Ridgewood House homes plan opposed

Development of 46 homes on land at Ridgewood House, off Lewes Road, is being opposed by Uckfield Town Council.

The current entrance to Rigewood House, Lewes Road

Members of the council’s plans committee welcomed the fact that 35 per cent (16) of the homes would be “affordable” but said the parkland setting was not the right place.

If the scheme had been on the other side of Lewes Road, where the Ridgewood Farm development is taking place, it would have been welcomed.

Building of 1,000 homes on the former farm is under way but the eventual planning permission slashed the required number of “affordable” homes.

Details of the Ridgewood House plan in this earlier UckfieldNews.com story

Cllr Spike Mayhew, the town mayor, told fellow members of the plans committee that there was a history of overdevelopment in Uckfield.

Cllr Spike Mayhew

“This committee has objected to everything that is coming and I think we should do that again on this occasion,” he said.

He said the development was straining existing resources and is “too much”.

He added that it was sad the two other development sites (Ridgewood Farm and Mallard Drive) were not providing that level of affordable housing.

Deputy town mayor, Cllr Jackie Love, said the site was outside the “building boundary”.

She was also concerned with water run-off into the streams and river.

Cllr Love said: “The actual design is fabulous and if we picked it up and put it across the other side of the road into phase two of Ridgewood Farm, I don’t think there would be an issue.

“They have thought of local residents with affordable housing and they have gone for different types of housing and sizes but in that area I cannot agree to it.”

Flood plain

Cllr Karen Bedwell, who chairs the plans committee, said as a Ridgewood councillor, she was concerned about water run-off.

She wondered whether another attenuation pond was needed to hold the water.

“Uckfield is a flood plain and you only have to walk on Ridgewood recreation ground to realise just how much surface water there is,” she said.

[Attenuation ponds help manage storm water run-off into streams and rivers by temporarily storing the water].

The plans committee agreed to object to the plan on the following grounds:

  • Concerns for flood risk;
  • The lack of infrastructure in the town to accommodate the development; 
  • Concerns for highway and pedestrian safety along the Lewes Road; 
  • Concerns that the development would exacerbate traffic congestion in and out of Uckfield; 
  • The development is outside of the development boundary according to the development boundary detailed in the Local Plan Submission 2018.

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