Our Saturday independent columnist Observer considers the Manor Park footpaths and what such arrangements could mean for more recent housing developments; plus more on crime.
Many footpaths on Uckfield’s Manor Park Estate have disintegrated into little more than rubble in places.
It makes walking difficult and its even worse if you are using a wheelchair or pushing a buggy/pram.
The problem is the paths were never ‘adopted’ by the county council when the houses were built.
I don’t know why the developers didn’t arrange and pay for this to happen but instead they wrote into the deeds of the properties that the house owners were responsible (with neighbours) for the upkeep of the paths.
Fallen into disrepair
Such arrangements are notoriously difficult to make work effectively and, as a result, the paths have gone into disrepair.
Clearly, the county council feels under no obligation to carry out repairs to something that is privately owned. Taxpayers in the rest of the county might question why their money was being spent in this way.
You may have seen the county council is carrying out works in Tower Ride, which is an historic footpath it clearly has responsibility for.
In the wider scale of things, more and more new developments are seeing roads, pavements and, I am told, sewage disposal, infrastructure not being adopted by the proper authorities because that is what the developer wants.
Instead, all property owners on the new estate are expected to come together, form a company into which they pay annual sums, with the company carrying out maintenance of roads, pavements, green spaces etc.
I fear the mistake which was made on Manor Park is being repeated.
The estate is around 50 years old.
Makes you wonder how some of these estates will be faring in 2070.
Crime on the rise
If you read my column last week, you will have seen my view that we should be worried about a rise in crime.
Further evidence has come in.
An alert has gone out in Piltdown after burglaries in the village and Uckfield Trust, whose members make up the majority of town councillors, have also expressed concerns.
In a social media posting the Trust referred to thieves targeting the community hospital, a rise in vehicle crime, particularly from vans, and other concerns about policing in the town.
They are asking for views, comments, concerns to take to the police and crime commissioner, Katy Bourne.
I fully support the attempt to get Ms Bourne to be accountable. One hopes she could be persuaded to come to Uckfield and attend a public meeting.