Uckfield Bowls Club's present site

Ridgewood Rec ruled out for Uckfield Bowls Club move

Ridgewood Recreation Ground has officially been ruled out as a potential new site for Uckfield Bowls Club.

Now Wealden District Council is going to come under strong pressure to change its mind over its refusal to allow the club to stay at its present green in the grounds of Grants Hill House, off Oaklea Way, Uckfield.

Talks have gone up for many months over a possible move to Ridgewood but a public meeting in April heard many objections from residents.

The previous town council had approved an “agreement in principle” for the bowls club to move to Ridgewood Rec but that was withdrawn on Monday night by members of the new council’s environment and leisure committee “given the weight of opposition”.

April’s public meeting over the plan threw up a number of objections and concerns including:

  • The height (2.1 metres of the bowls green perimeter fence;
  • Worries over alcohol being served and what was termed the opportunity for “late-night partying”;
  • Doubts over the sufficiency of on-site car parking and that vehicles would spill out into New Road;
  • Too much field space would be taken by the bowls green, compromising use by parents and children for “knock-abouts” and picnics.

The council committee agreed to join the bowls club to withdraw the termination of the lease at Grants Hill or find and arrange the transfer of the club to another appropriate location.

Mike Wilson, chairman of the club, told the committee they believed the district council had a duty under planning law to make arrangements to secure the club’s future.

Environment and Leisure Committee members attending Monday’s meeting were:

Chairman: Cllr Mick Dean, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Jacqueline Beckford, Liberal Democrat, Ridgewood
Cllr Duncan Bennett, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Donna French, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Jackie Love, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood
Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central

Apologies were received from:
Vice-chair: Cllr Helen Firth, Conservative, Central
Cllr Keith Everett, Independent, Ridgewood

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