Historic Uckfield building set for new chapter

Planning permission has been granted for the conversion of part of the former Maidens Head pub in Uckfield High Street, which more recently traded as the Smokehouse restaurant.

The cream and pink buildings were once together known as the Maidens Head. File photo.

The proposal, approved by Wealden District Council, is to convert part of the ground floor into two commercial units.

They will either be used as a shop, for financial/professional services or other business use.

The first floor will be converted to two one-bed flats.

Other works have also been approved.

Sustainable location

In summary, Wealden’s planning department said:

“The proposals would provide an additional two dwellings in the town centre in a sustainable location, within the development boundary for Uckfield. 

“The site is in a sensitive location within the Conservation Area, and the alterations proposed would not have a materially different visual impact to the existing, when viewed from the High Street, as the conversion works would be mainly internal. 

“When viewed from Church Street, the external rear elevation will be more affected, but this will be an enhancement to the locality and the Conservation Area, with the removal of modern additions. 

Loss of pub regrettable

“It is considered the change of use and conversion of the ground floor will not have a detrimental impact upon the visual appearance of the locality and will not adversely impact on neighbouring properties. 

“While the loss of the public house is regrettable, there are no current local policies which protect against this.”


Uckfield Town Council plans committee objected to the application saying the building had been a public house, with accommodation at times, for more than 100 years, and it was an important character property and landmark.

It added: “More time needs to be given to finding suitable occupants/ownership working to the existing usage/categorisation and not see available hospitality amenity removed.” 

The building is Grade 2 listed.

See also:

Wealden Covid-19 infections pass 2,000 mark

Downsview Crescent verges to be reinforced with plastic

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