Holy Cross School could move to Ridgewood

Holy Cross School looks set to move from the heart of Uckfield to the new Ridgewood Farm development of 1,000 homes.

This would free up more land in the centre of town to be included in regeneration proposals.

Members of the Uckfield Town Centre Regeneration Joint Committee were told at a meeting last week that East Sussex County Council was progressing the proposal to move the school and expand it to enable two-form entry.

They were told the county council had written to the Department of Education informing it of the potential plans.

School representatives had said they were happy in principle for the school to be expanded and would be willing to provide confirmation of this, subject to appropriate assurances.

Nigel Hannam, director of corporate services and change management at Wealden District Council, reported this news following a meeting attended by him and Cllr Mick Harker, who chairs the regeneration committee, with Sean Hambrook of East Sussex County Council, Gerald Baker, chair of Holy Cross governors and Sally Collins, diocese representative.

Joint committee members were concerned about the site access to the school in its potential new location during construction works. They were assured by Mr Hannam and Elaine Martin, principal development control engineer at East Sussex County Council that this aspect would be fully addressed.

A question mark has hung over what would happen to Holy Cross School since the process of choosing a contractor to work on the redevelopment project began but now it looks as if the land it stands on will be included in any proposals.

Other land being considered as part of the project includes the allotments in Bell Lane, the Fire Station, the Holy Cross School site, the Oast House, Dalgeny, the Luxford  Car Park, the Luxford Centre, the buildings occupied by the Citizens Advice Bureau and The Source, shops to the north of Civic Approach (up to those set back from the High Street), and other property in Civic Approach itself.

Contractors have until November 7 to submit Pre-Qualification Questionnaires as they bid to be involved in the regeneration project. They also have to submit a case study of a previous project based on similar sites or procedures.

Evaluations of the submissions are to take place at Uckfield Civic Centre on November 12 and 13 with the evaluation group including Councillors Claire Dowling, Mick Harker, Roy Galley and Ian Smith.

Six developers have previously expressed an interest in the project and came to look around Uckfield on Friday, October 3.

Read more about the timescale for development here: Developers visit Uckfield to see regeneration site.

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