The Luxford Field play area is now formally top of the list for a full-scale revamp.
It follows a series of projects to upgrade play areas throughout Uckfield, including the ones at Hempstead Road, Ridgewood Rec and Hughes Way.
Uckfield Town Council’s environment and leisure committee formally agreed this week that the Luxford play area should be next.
Town centre regeneration
However, the work cannot begin until sufficient funds have been “saved” by the council to pay for the work, and the threat of redevelopment, as part of a large-scale town centre regeneration project, has been removed.
Town councillors have put off work on the play area for some years because the site has been “blighted” by the proposed regeneration, which has stalled.
A final decision is due to be made later this year on whether to keep the multi-million pound regeneration scheme alive or to scrap the whole idea.
At their meeting this week, councillors recognised that the play area badly needed an upgrade, particularly because it was so central.
Work would cost around £100,000.
Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Uckfield Central, said it was important that there was confirmation from the town centre regeneration committee (TCR – made up of the town, district and county councils) that there would be no town centre redevelopment.
She said it would not be possible to move any new equipment from the Luxford Field to other sites, if there was to be a redevelopment, for reasons of safety.
Cllr Helen Firth, Conservative, Central, said a few years ago the environment and leisure committee had agreed to put money aside each year until all the play areas in the town had been refurbished.
£25,000 per annum
There was, she said, no need for a formal resolution from the committee.
Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood, said he believed the sum was £25,000 per year so it would take four or five years to have the money to do the works – by which time the TCR would have made up its mind.
A report to the environment and leisure committee said:
“The play area houses some of the oldest equipment owned by the council.
Equipment taken away
“In recent years the rocking horse, a spring animal and roundabout have been removed and not been replaced, leaving a set of swings, over 20 years old, a see-saw, spring animal and a multi-activity unit.
“The area is enclosed by post and rail fencing with chain link attached, and in places is in a poor condition, needing either replacing, or major repairs.”
*The chairman of the meeting, Cllr Mick Dean, Trust Independent, New Town, confirmed the revamp of the Hughes Way play area was now complete.