Planning permission has been given for an empty shop unit on the Fernley Park development, Uckfield, to be turned into a flat.
The owners of the property OSAC Developments, a sister company of Oldfield Smith & Co chartered surveyors are delighted with the news.
Bernard Smith, a director of both companies, said OSAC was set up to do this kind of small scale development, adding value by extension, conversion or change of use and it sits nicely alongside the core business.
“Oldfield Smith do this sort of thing for clients all the time and it seemed a logical extension to do it for ourselves. OSAC is an Uckfield company and it is nice to see it starting off on a good footing.”
Mr Smith said from a wider perspective it was nice to see a building that had been disused for so long finding a purpose. It was quite disheartening to see things boarded up.
He added that the building would provide good quality living accommodation for a local family – a two-bedroom, two bathroom flat – and the planning approval was an indicator of movement again within the planning system following a moratorium over the Ashdown Forest issue.
Mr Smith said the market had spoken in relation to the accommodation ever being a shop.
“Nobody came forward and said ‘Yes, we will do it’. This underlined the fact that it really wasn’t a viable retail development, something that both the town council and Wealden came to accept.”
The property will be sold eventually and the details can be seen on the Oldfield Smith website.
Mr Smith added: “Whether we build it ourselves or, having done what we said we would do and added value, another developer takes over to finish it off is still under discussion.
“However, we are keen to move quickly and do have a contractor lined up. The intention is to start work as soon as possible.”
Mr Smith reckoned the project would take about three months and the property would probably be ready by the end of the summer.
• Contact details for Oldfield Smith can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Chartered Surveyors, Commercial Estate Agents, or Commercial Property Management.