Persimmon asked to donate Mallard Drive oak for community project

Wood from an oak tree on the Mallard Drive housebuilding site at Ridgewood could be used for an Uckfield community project.

Persimmon Homes has planning permission for 119 homes on the site at Harlands Farm.

Access point on to the land at the Harlands Farm Estate, off Mallard Drive, Uckfield, which is at present used by dog walkers and as an open space (file photo)

Uckfield Town Council is to approach the housebuilder to ask if it would donate wood from at least one of the oak trees which will be felled on the site.

The council will also ask if the developer would cover the cost of producing something useful from the wood.

A bench or seat for Harlands School or a remembrance/memorial bench for the town were suggested, although ideas from members of the public and other councillors would be welcome.

Sad day

Cllr Donna French’s suggestion to approach Persimmon was agreed by members of the council’s environment and leisure committee.

She said in a written report to councillors that it would be a “sad day when some of the ancient trees are felled as a result of the development”.

Cllr Karen Bedwell said she was particularly sad about the oak tree at the entrance of Mallard Drive, which is “now looking absolutely amazing, which doesn’t need to be destroyed and doesn’t need to be chopped down”.

Tragic

“If it is going to be chopped down, it would be a lovely thing to do to create something nice out of it but I am hoping Persimmon Homes won’t build there, at least in the short term, but when they do, yes please can we do something with the trees.,” she said.

Cllr Duncan Bennett commented: “How tragic that we are having to consider this. The circumstances still stick in the throat with me.

“I want to be vocal and record my sadness that we are even having to consider this.”

Mallard Drive – controversial plan

The Mallard Drive plan resurfaced last autumn, to the amazement and consternation of residents.

People opposed the scheme but Wealden District Council went on to grant detailed permission in November because the site already had outline approval.

Councillors make ‘horrible’ decision about 119 new Uckfield homes

Further ‘reserved matters’ are still going through the planning process, although these will not affect the decision to build 119 homes.

The outline plans for 146 homes on the site off Mallard Drive were approved in 2008 but while a reserved matters application was registered complete in 2013, discussions continued since then because of emerging concerns about the impact of development on the Ashdown Forest.

The development was dependent on Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS) being delivered from the Ridgewood Farm development and that wasn’t approved until March 2016.

The SANGS is now open at Little Horsted.

See also:

Lockdown rules flouted. You cannot fix stupid, says councillor

Firefighters in sky-high rescue of Uckfeld ducklings

Council boosts Community Fridge project

80 new homes could be built in Blackboys

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