Our independent columnist Observer wonders if any control will ever be brought to Uckfield High Street parking and reflects again on the future of shopping in the town.
Control of parking in Uckfield High Street is conspicuous by its absence from the published papers for next week’s town centre regeneration joint committee.
One would have thought the free-for-all that has resulted since the completion last September of the improvements was worth a mention.
We have people abusing the two disabled parking spaces – I saw a small motor-bike park in one recently – drivers over-staying the limit of 30 minutes and, of course, pavement parking is rife.
We were promised before the roadworks started that some plan would be forthcoming to control parking. There has been none, unless you count the tiny notices displayed at various points.
They are, as I said before Christmas, lame.
The agenda does include an item for an oral update from the Highway Improvement Board. Maybe the control of parking may get a mention but why does it have to be an oral report?
This committee, over time, has had far too many oral reports which don’t help those of us who work during the day.
The meeting starts at 3pm on a Friday afternoon – not much chance of getting along to sit in the public gallery to hear what is said.
Town centre expansion
The same meeting will also hear the proposal that the expansion of the town centre be “mothballed”.
That’s no surprise.
I have been calling for some time for the committee – made up of members of Uckfield, Wealden and East Sussex councils – to come a decision and get on with the scheme or remove the “blight” from Holy Cross school and some shops.
There were high hopes with the original plans, which had to be shelved as the 2008 recession took hold.
We have come out of the recession but the big supermarkets – such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda etc – are no longer in the business of building “anchor” stores in new shopping precincts.
They are more interested in putting up small convenience shops.
Lidl and Aldi, it is said, have looked at Uckfield but nothing has come of it. They are not in the business of being an anchor and sharing in the building of a new development.
We have what we have and we better make the most of it.
Commercial agent Chris Lawson spelled out how hard it is when talking about the letting of the former Joli Couture premises for a drinking establishment.
Put simply, Uckfield is not big enough to interest the big boys.
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