Sludge lorries which currently access Uckfield sewage works via Bridge Farm Road may be rerouted when 1000 new homes are built at Ridgewood Farm.
Developers wanted to include a new road to the sewage works from the by-pass, in a planning application for the homes, but had difficulty in reaching agreement with East Sussex County Council over a ransom strip of land needed for the road.
Just last week, as a planning application for the new homes was about to be submitted excluding the road, it was revealed that a deal was possible, as long as the developers included provision for a two-form entry primary school on the new estate rather than one as they proposed.
This information was revealed at a full meeting of Uckfield Town Council last night by Mayor Cllr Ian Smith who along with some other town councillors attended a pre-application meeting with developers last week.
Cllr Smith said the prospect of the road being excluded from the plans was met with gasps from all present and it was good news that this had been resolved.
Location of school
There were other points of concern about details on a map of the 1000 home estate shown to councillors at the meeting last week. They related to the mix of housing, a lack of affordable housing and the location of the school.
All those issues could be raised formally once the planning application had been submitted, he said.
Cllr Helen Firth said she was particularly concerned about the developers saying they couldn’t afford to provide affordable homes for rent in the scheme and she pledged to continue a battle to ensure some were included.
Millions to be spent on SANGS
Cllr John Carvey said the developers had bought land to the south of the by-pass to be used for SANGS – Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space – for recreational use. This was required to mitigate the effects of the development on the Ashdown Forest.
Cllr Smith said the developers had bought 72 acres of land while only 45 acres were required to mitigate the 1000 home development.
He said the remainder of the land would cover SANGS required to proceed with an extension of the Harlands Farm estate, but there were complications in that developers there would need to buy the land from the Ridgewood Farm developers.
Tunnel under by-pass
Cllr Carvey, said the SANGS site could be accessed via an existing tunnel under the by-pass and told fellow councillors he was very impressed with the plans for the land.
Millions of pounds would be spent turning it into a park but he queried whether that would be enough to stop people from travelling to the Ashdown Forest.
Cllr Smith said other unresolved issues included a path across the New Barn Lane field and a lighted cycle path that East Sussex County Council wanted to see provided.
Cllr Smith added that when the map of the new estate was amended and a planning application submitted the map would be made available for public display in the Civic Centre at Uckfield.