About 340 people responded to a survey enabling them to have a say on the future development of Uckfield town centre.
Many of the 61 people who did not agree argued the redevelopment was either not needed or wanted, said they did not want change or that the changes would result in Uckfield becoming a clone town.
The characteristics described in the survey as being good for Uckfield included a development that:
- Retains the town’s character – to avoid it becoming a ‘clone town’
- Incudes an attractive open plaza to provide social and entertainment opportunities
- Retains Luxford Field in its entirety, but improved to provide better social, sporting and recreational facilities
- Includes an alternative food retail outlet or a larger current food store
- Retains a variety of independent businesses and attracts new independent businesses into the town centre
- Focusses on creating a local identity by including quality food shops selling local produce
- Includes a number of places to eat and drink – to create an entertaining ‘cafe culture’ feel to the area around the plaza and facing Luxford Field
- If possible, inclues a strong residential/retail mix
- Includes good open access to the High Street
- Allows existing retailers to be given first refusal on new units
- Includes both Holy Cross School, and if necessary the East Sussex Fire Service premises, re-provisioned elsewhere in the town
- Includes adequate parking provision and good transport access (bus, bike, car)
Some disliked the term plaza; a number felt another food store/supermarket or national chain store was not required and should not be included.
The demand for more eating places was questioned and the term café culture was not liked by some.
Holy Cross School
Others said moving Holy Cross School should not be included in the redevelopment.
The results of the survey, conducted by Uckfield Town Centre Regeneration Joint Committee, are contained in a report to a meeting due to be held this morning (Wednesday, December 9), in the Council Chamber, Uckfield Civic Centre, at 10.30am.
Responses came from Uckfield (population in the region of 14,500), other towns, such as Hailsham and Haywards Heath and villages as far afield as Beddingham and Alfriston.
Responses included comments about the need to address potential traffic issues; that parking should be retained, and free of charge, and that any parking restrictions must be properly enforced.
The need to retain and improve the Luxford Field green space was mentioned with suggestions for flower beds and improved paths to be included and that the green space could become a ‘real’ park.
Full details of the survey results can be seen here.