Sustainable transport, a regenerated town centre and a town square where people can gather, these were some of the hopes expressed for the future of Uckfield at a meeting on Tuesday.
Members of the panel at a Question Time session organised by the Manor Park and Hempstead Fields Residents’ Association were asked to list two things they would like to see happen in Uckfield to benefit the next generation.
Richard Judge, chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, which is shaping the town for the next 15 to 20 years, said he was keen to look at sustainable transport.
He wanted twittens and footpaths kept clear and safety improvements on the roads to benefit cyclists and pedestrians. “People won’t walk or cycle anywhere if they feel threatened,” he said.
He supported regeneration of Uckfield town centre with investment in the area, more facilities, retail facilities and more employment opportunities for people moving into the town onto new developments.
Hugh Hennebry, principal at Uckfield Community Technology College which employs 200 people and accommodates 1,700 students, said he would like to see the town with a heart that was more than a road running through it.
He recalled a vision from many years ago which showed the creation of a town square where people could walk and stop to have a cup of coffee giving much more of a feeling of a centre of town centre “rather than somewhere people drive in, park, buy something and move on again”.
Next he would like to see the town getting all the right facilities to support people both physically and mentally, such as adult education and education for young people.
He said one of the things that would benefit the town would be proper tennis facilities. Three tennis courts wasn’t enough for a town of 15,000 people.
He, like Richard, wanted to see infrastructure in place to encourage cycling and walking.
Peter Waldock, Wealden district councillor for Uckfield North Ward said he wanted to see reinstatement of the Uckfield to Lewes railway line and investment in footways and street lighting which remained on at night.
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