New plans for children’s soft play centre in Uckfield

New plans have been submitted for a children’s soft play centre in Uckfield.

The first proposals submitted by Mr and Mrs Asa Jago to convert industrial units in New Road, Ridgewood, were refused but now the couple have applied for permission to use units in Bell Lane, Uckfield.

They are hoping to convert three units, Units 3-5, 52-60 Bell Lane, last used as a car and van body repair shop, which have been vacant since October 2012.

The ground floor space amounts to 495.5 sq m and they have between them a total of 26 parking spaces.

The site is 500m from a public car park and 650m from Uckfield High Street.

One of the reasons for refusal of the Ridgewood plan was concern about the impact on the Ashdown Forest of increased nitrogen emissions from vehicles using roads in and round the forest.

The new planning application says this is for activities solely based within the units on Bell Lane and would not create any recreation use of the Ashdown Forest.

It adds the business is intended to be used by the Uckfield community and should not create any traffic movements across the forest.

The design and access statement says: “It is considered that a large proportion of customers will use sustainable means of travel to and from the play centre, a transport statement is included with the application.

“This shows that even if all customers travel by car, no increase in traffic movements would be created.”

The statement adds that it should also be taken into account that fewer parents/guardians would be making the trip to Tunbridge Wells to use facilities there.

The statement concludes: “This proposal will meet a currently unfulfilled need within the Uckfield community, located in a sustainable quiet, enclosed section for Bell Lane industrial estate.” It points out that two other facilities nearby have already been given permission for a change of use to D2 – assembly and leisure – and “proven to be in a suitable location causing no impact to traffic in or around the estate”.

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