Plans for children’s soft play centre in New Road, Ridgewood, Uckfield

Plans have been submitted to convert industrial units in New Road, Ridgewood, Uckfield, to a children’s soft play centre.

Three units, numbers 18, 19 and 20 are all empty at the moment, according to a planning application before Wealden Council.

A planning statement says there would be four separate play areas and a cafe.The centre would be open from 10am to 6pm and cater for children aged up to 13 years and young adults with learning disabilities.

About 14,000 visitors a year would be needed to cover operating costs and return a ‘modest profit’. This would average 55 customers a day but be more likely to present as around 30 a day and 120 a day Saturday and Sunday.

The statement says there are 23 allocated parking spaces with the units and a further 31 open spaces which are seldom used at the weekend when key visitor numbers would be anticipated.

The main area would have multi-level climbing frame with slides, tunnels, climbing nets, rope bridges and ball pools.

A toddler area would be a low-level play area made of padded mats and shapes and would have a modular tunnel section.

A baby area would be divided into two, half carpeted with baby walkers and toys and the other made of padded mats, shapes and balls.

There would also be a sensory area targeted at children and young adults with learning disabilities. This would be enclosed and feature stimulating play, such as bubble tubes, mirrors, tactile walls, colour-changing lights.

The statement concludes: “This proposal will meet a currently unfulfilled need within the Uckfield community, located in a sustainable quiet industrial estate. A proposal that would help reduce nitrate emissions across the Ashdown Forest, reducing trips to Tunbridge Wells, traffic leaving and moving around Uckfield to Lewes.

“The business would be operated in a sustainable manner whilst not causing harm to employment opportunities in the town, local residents or other premises trading on the estate.”

The plans have been submitted by Louise and Asa Jago who live in Ridgewood. They say that since having a child of their own they have found a real lack of local play facilities.

They add that the privately-owned and run play centre would offer play equipment maintained to the highest standard. They have both previously worked in the leisure industry where soft play has featured.

Share this story

Sign up to receive daily news alerts

I'd like to receive updates every: