Uckfield residents have bombarded town councillors with views on the large number of major housebuilding plans which have been announced in recent weeks.
Now the town mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew, hopes to ensure opinions are brought together for a co-ordinated response and to try and make an impact with the decision makers.
Data kept by this website shows that in Uckfield and surrounding villages more than 3,600 homes either have planning permission to be built, are seeking planning permission or want a “screening opinion” from Wealden District Council.
This number includes houses already built at Ridgewood Place, part of the Ridgewood Farm 1,000 homes project.
In addition to those homes, other plans have surfaced for a further 1,100 new properties in Uckfield itself.
Major schemes brought forward in recent times include:
- 450 homes at Horsepond Farm, Ridgewood
- 550 homes at Downlands Farm
- 90 new homes at Eastbourne Road, Lewes
This website has its own housebuilding tracker which keeps watch on proposals in Uckfield and nearby villages.
Cllr Mayhew told a meeting of the full town council that members had been deluged since details of the applications became known.
He said: “We have all been inundated with loads of comments, phone calls and emails from residents really concerned about the developments heading this way.
“I am looking into ways of putting our views across to the relevant authorities for a strong approach to get them to listen to us.
“It is an ongoing process but I think our voice does need to be heard.
“Hopefully, I will have an update for you at the next full council.”
Major change to planning system
The Government is proposing a major shake-up to the planning system.
The major change is that land will be “zoned” and it is that process where the major debate and discussions will come.
Planning authorities (in our case, Wealden District Council) will need to fully engage residents in deciding whether land is zoned as Growth, Renewal or Protected.
Once land has been zoned, the Government suggests streamlining the opportunity for consultation at the planning application stage.
The Government’s plans are out for consultation but if they go ahead as envisaged, it will mean the land zoning process will be the key moment and the best chance for people to make their views known.