More detail emerges about Uckfield 1,000 new homes plan

More details are emerging about the way land west of Uckfield could be developed to include 1,000 homes, 13,495 square metres of employment floorspace and educational facilities.

Wealden Council is preparing a Strategic Sites Local Plan for each of 11 areas across the district earmarked for development up to 2027.One of those sites is to the west of Uckfield, between the by-pass and the Victoria Ground.

The council’s aim is to consult on its proposals in June/July this year.

Mitigation measures, which take account of the fact that the site is within five kilometres of the Ashdown Forest, are included as policies in the plan and provided they are implemented then the development “will not adversely affect the Ashdown Forest in relation to pressure or nitrogen deposition”, according to a council report.

The land is described as significant in size but not all will be used for built development.

Provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS), green space, green networks and open space, leisure and recreation facilities will reduce the land available for development.

Also taken into account is the proximity of the Uckfield Waste Water Treatment Works which may lead to odour problems on the new development site.

“It is necessary to ensure that development is protected by either locating development outside the area that is affected by levels of unacceptable odour or through reducing odour by use of mitigation measures at the treatment works”, says the report.

Proposals for development will only be permitted if education facilities – primary and early years school facilities, and if necessary secondary school facilities – are also included.

Thirty-five per cent of the homes would have to be affordable. Of those 18% would be one-bedroom, 42% two-bedroom, 30% three-bedroom, 9% four-bedroom and 1% five-bedroom.

Market housing should seek to provide around 30% one and two-bedroom homes, 52% three bedroom homes, 15% four bedroom homes and 3% five-bedrooms.

Land required to act as Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space to protect the Ashdown Forest amounts to 18.4 hectares.

The council report says that not all of it can be met fully on the site but a “meaningful proportion” sbould be accommodated there.

The preference is for on-site provision to be adjacent to Boothland Wood.

Off-site, the council has assessed Boothland Wood and Uckfield Millennium Green and considers them to have potential, but the report says other areas may also be considered appropriate “subject to suitable assessments”.

Green access links would have to be provided throughout the development to ensure that both on-and off-site alternative natural green space is suitably connected.

Location and design of accesses – the principle one for vehicles from the A22 and a possible secondary access for vehicles, pedestrians and cycles from Lewes Road – would be determined following traffic modelling and agreement with the Highway Authority.

This would take into account flood risk and a need to improve the water quality of Ridgewood Stream.

Employment provision would be in one area, close to the new access on to the A22 and the road frontage.

Education provision would be in an area maximising access to new and existing properties in the vicinity.

The council report says measures must be undertaken to protect and improve the biodiversity and wildlife value of the Ancient Woodland, woodland, mature trees, semi-improved marshy grassland, the pond and Ridgewood stream.

Provision of a children’s equipped play area, minimum 0.08sq m, is required and a park and/or amenity green space, minimum around 3.5 ha, within the site.

New youth and adult facilities would be required at existing local sites such as the Victoria Pleasure Ground, New Barn and Ridgewood Recreation Ground.

In total around 3.5ha of youth and adult provision would be required.

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