Roads on Sand Ridge estate at Ridgewood to remain in private ownership

Roads, pavements and green space on a 60-home Ridgewood housing development will remain privately owned.

On many developments, the roads and pavements are provided by the housebuilder but, once work is complete, are taken over by the county council as the highways authority.

Sand Ridge road sign

This has not happened at Sand Ridge, known to council planners as Eversfield Sandpits, Lewes Road, Uckfield.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “When a new development is built, the developer has the option to offer the roads within it to the county council for adoption.

“If this happens we will consider the request and may adopt the roads if they meet the appropriate standards required for adoption.

‘Will remain private roads’

“In the case of this development, the developer has not offered the roads for adoption and we have no power to compel them to do so, therefore they will remain private roads.”

The situation came to light when the developers sought approval from Wealden District Council (WDC) to vary a planning obligation relating to the open spaces on the estate.

Uckfield Town Council plans committee originally recommended Wealden refuse permission to allow a private company to become responsible and asked that the original planning agreement be adhered to, with the local authorities taking responsibility.

Committee members rescinded the original decision last week after being told the county council would not take over the roads and that Wealden did not take ownership of open spaces.

If open spaces were to be transferred to local authority ownership, the councillors were told it would be Uckfield Town Council which would have to accept future responsibility.

‘Opens spaces of poor community value’

The report to the plans committee went on to say: “It is considered that the open spaces are of poor community value and the future costs of maintaining, especially the overgrown pond area, is not considered to be beneficial to the town council.

“WDC has advised that the roads and open spaces will be managed and maintained by a private management company similar to the arrangement at Fernley Park.”

The application site, excluding the homes, is now owned by Persimmon

Site history

The site, earlier known as land adjacent to Oakrise, was the subject of many planning applications in the last 50 years. Some were for homes and one, refused in 1958, was for a petrol filling station.

In 2006, outline permission was given for residential development and the following year full permission was granted to demolish the existing property of Sandpits and its outbuildings and construct 60 new homes.

See also:

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Uckfield Community Resilience charity set to fold

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