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Business, Community

Founder of Tressler Coachwork dies aged 83

Jim Manning, the founder of Tressler Coachwork in Uckfield, who has died at the age of 83.

Jim Manning, the founder of car body repair shop Tressler Coachwork, in Uckfield, has died at the aged of 83.

A company spokesperson said it was with great sadness that they announced Jim’s death.

They said: “Jim originally qualified as a civil engineer, however his passion was cars and so he started repairing car bodywork in his father’s garage in Henfield at the age of 27.

“As demand grew, Jim took on premises in Balcombe, then in 1975, as it grew further, he moved the business to Uckfield where Tressler Coachworks became one of the first businesses on  the Bellbrook Industrial Estate.    

Jim leaves his wife Anne, and three daughters and grandchildren. He was known for his hardworking, friendly, and innovative character combined with a great sense of humour. He enjoyed nothing more than a challenge. 

Jim and Anne recently moved to Exeter but he lost his seven year battle with Leukaemia on October 15, 2020.

• Contact details for Tressler Coachwork can be found 24/7 in the Uckfield Directory, part of the Uckfield News Network. Look for the name or search in categories for Bodywork Repairs, Car Repairs, or Vehicle Valeting.

See also:

New homes could be built on Streatfeild House site

Fourth student at Uckfield College tests positive for Covid-19

Uckfield – the Wealden Covid-19 hotspot

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Complementary health studio opens in Uckfield

Reflexologist Ginny Taylor and massage therapist Anna Lane who have opened The Olive Sanctuary in Olives Yard, Uckfield.

A reflexologist and massage therapist have joined forces to launch a complementary health studio in Uckfield.

Ginny Taylor and Anna Lane have taken on premises in Olives Yard and their new business, The Olive Sanctuary, is now open.

The two therapists met while sharing a room on different days at another clinic.

Shared beliefs

They would swap treatments, looking after each other, and realised that they shared beliefs about creating a special experience for the benefit of the whole well-being of their clients.

It was Ginny who spotted the premises on the market in Olives Yard, mentioned the little building to Anna, who went along to see it immediately, and their dream of setting up a new business was born.

They were delighted to get planning permission to change the use of the building and have refurbished it to create a treatment room and waiting area.

Welcoming

Existing clients are enjoying the new studio and Ginny and Anna say their neighbours in Olives Yard have been very welcoming and supportive, so much so that they have given a small gift to each business there.

The therapists say they have priced their treatments in a bid to make them accessible to all.

Ginny, a reflexologist and Reiki practitioner working on feet, hands, face, and specialising in hot stone reflexology works on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the first Saturday of the month.

Anna, a massage therapist – specialising in hot stone massage, Indian head, myofascial release, sports massage, Ayurvedic facials, using Marma points, and pregnancy and baby massage – works on Wednesdays, Fridays, and the last Saturday of the month.

No-profit

They aim to operate in a no-profit way, covering their expenses and paying themselves, then investing any profit in the community.

They have already given a £50 voucher and product package to the Children’s Respite Trust, which is based in Uckfield, for a prize draw.

And they are talking with Sussex Support Service to benefit those with dementia and their carers.

Contact details

• Ginny and Anna are looking for a nutritionist, kinesiologist, or homeopath, who would be interested in joining them at The Olive Sanctuary to work on Mondays and two Saturdays in the month.

They are suggesting people with those skills because they feel they would compliment the type of well-being they offer to their clients.

• Contact details for The Olive Sanctuary can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Health and Well-being, Massage, or Reflexology.

See also:

New homes could be built on Streatfeild House site

Uckfield – the Wealden Covid-19 hotspot

New estate agency opens in Uckfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

New homes could be built on Streatfeild House site

The sign for Streatfeild House which has been empty since summer 2019.

The former Streatfeild House retirement living complex in Uckfield could be redeveloped with homes for rental and shared ownership.

Wealden Council’s cabinet is due to discuss proposals on Wednesday (October 21).

Members are recommended to approve general needs accommodation for affordable rent, with a proportion designated as shared ownership.

And up to 20% of the site could be allocated as accommodation for households where a member has a disability.

A final viability assessment for redevelopment is recommended before proceeding.

Streatfeild House, Uckfield.

Streatfeild House, has been empty since being closed in 2019.

It had 44 units, and thirty-three of the residents living there were rehoused at Grants Hill Court, a new development of 67 retirement flats, while others moved to different council properties. 

The plan originally was to provide a new upgraded 55 unit retirement living court but since then a number of factors have changed.

The report to cabinet says the Streatfeild House site now provides the council with “an excellent redevelopment opportunity” to deliver new affordable homes for local residents.

Changed factors

Changed factors include:

The council’s housing revenue account being able to borrow more than previously, £95m instead of £71m.

And withdrawal of the submitted Wealden Local Plan, which restricted development because of Uckfield’s close proximity to Ashdown Forest, allows greater flexibility.

The report says: “For Streatfeild House this means any redevelopment scheme considered by the HRA is not now limited to the same use.

Traffic

“The planning assessment for any redevelopment is simpler and is limited to straightforward matters such as design, layout, scale of development and impact on neighbours’ amenity, rather than an in principle objection to any material increase in traffic crossing the Ashdown Forest (Special Protection Area).”

In addition, the report says, Grants Hill Court has absorbed a significant percentage of the demand for retirement living accommodation and it is increasingly likely there will not be sufficient demand to fill a new retirement living court in Uckfield.

Significant demand

On the other hand there is significant demand for general needs accommodation with 93 households seeking one, two, and three bedroom accommodation.

The full report on the future of Streatfeild House can be seen on the Wealden website here.

See also:

Uckfield – the Wealden Covid-19 hotspot

New estate agency opens in Uckfield

Help Buxted Scouts by ordering their Christmas trees

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Uckfield – the Wealden Covid-19 hotspot

Wealden now has the “highest weekly rate” of Covid-19 cases in East Sussex and the Uckfield area is a hotspot.

A week ago, this website, which keeps its own datasets, reported there had been 672 cases to October 11 since the pandemic began.

Since then, there have been a further 104 cases in Wealden, taking the total to 776.

Case figures for Uckfield and surrounding villages are also on the increase and show Uckfield North is the area with the most cases in the district.

For context, here are the recent weekly rises of cases in Wealden as reported each Monday by this website.

  • Seven days to October 19: 104
  • Seven days to October 12: 84
  • Seven days to October 5: 37
  • Seven days to September 28: 9
  • Seven days to September 21: 11
  • Seven days to September 14: 22
  • Seven days to September 7: 13
  • Seven days to August 31: 9

The data is to 4pm the previous day.

East Sussex Public Health statement

East Sussex County Council Public Health said on Thursday (October 15): “Since the start of September there has been an increase following the national trend which briefly declined but has again increased from the end of September. 

“The most recent week has seen a greater increase and Wealden now has the highest weekly rate in the county.”

On a list of 380 local councils, Wealden is 53rd (52nd last week) when it comes to the rate per 100,000 of population since the pandemic began.

Coronavirus cases in the Uckfield area

At the same time, cases in the Uckfield area have increased. The following data is for the seven days to October 13. The boundary between Uckfield Town and North and the area known as Uckfield South is roughly the River Uck.

  • Uckfield Town and North: 16 cases – 8 cases when we reported last week. The seven day-day-rolling rate per 100,000 people is 185.1. This rolling rate is the highest in Wealden.
  • Uckfield South (New Town and Ridgewood): 6 cases – between 0 and 2 cases when we reported last week. The seven day-day-rolling rate per 100,000 people is now 92.8.
  • Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron): five cases – five cases when we reported last week. The seven day-day-rolling rate per 100,000 people is 59.5.
  • Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton): eight cases – three cases when we reported last week. The seven day-day-rolling rate per 100,000 people is 114.0.
  • Chelwood and Nutley (includes Fletching): five cases – nine cases when we reported last week. The seven day-day-rolling rate per 100,000 people is 91.7.

The community groupings above are those used for national statistical purposes and are areas with around on average 7,200 population.

Only the exact number of cases is given in official releases when the number of cases is three or more in a particular area.

Seven–day rates are expressed per 100,000 population and are calculated by dividing the seven day count by the area population and multiplying by 100,000.

Covid-19 lab confirmed cases in district areas around Uckfield

It is worth noting that the numbers of lab-confirmed cases almost certainly does not reflect the true number of people who have contracted Covid-19. At the beginning of the pandemic many people were not tested, some people are asymptomatic, others may not get a test even though they have symptoms and there have been difficulties in accessing tests.

Another source of data, suggests the number of people with Covid-19 in Wealden is 400 ‘active cases’. This figure is based on daily reports made by people via an app to the Covid Symptom Study run by King’s College, London.

Notes:

The number of cases in Uckfield area communities is reported over a different period to the Wealden figures, as are some of the seven-day rolling averages. This is due to the timings of data releases.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally taken from ONS data and other published Government sources..

We normally report cases each Monday, based on data up to 4pm the previous day, to allow seven-day comparisons to be made.

We generally update the number of deaths in Wealden on a Wednesday and for Uckfield and surrounding villages on a monthly basis, when national data is released. There has been no update since the end of August.

See also:

Bus enthusiast’s memories captured in book

New estate agency opens in Uckfield

Clothing donations raise more than £500 for Framfield School

Help Buxted Scouts by ordering their Christmas trees

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Planning

Developers publish website about Downlands Farm proposals

A sign, recently added, at one of the access points to Downlands Farm.

Gleeson Strategic Land have published a website carrying information about its proposals for development at Downlands Farm, Uckfield.

The developers say surveys are being undertaken to inform a design approach towards delivering “a new, highly sustainable development, that will comprise much needed new homes, including affordable housing, as well as significant new areas of landscaping, open space and Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (Sangs).”

They compare their new proposals for “up to 500 homes” with a scheme in 2008 for 750 homes which was thrown out by a Government planning inspector, after the developers appealed refusal of planning permission by Wealden Council.

Note

It is interesting to note that 500 homes is mentioned when a request for a screening opinion before Wealden Council was for up to 550 homes.

Gleeson say their vision is to:

  • Focus development on areas that area the least sensitive in landscape, ecology, and arboricultural terms.
  • Create a lower density more sensitively designed scheme.
  • Provide Sangs of about 60 acres, 22 acres more than previously proposed.
  • Provide new woodland walks, sports pitches and informal open space within and around development parcels.
  • Provide simplified access directly onto the A22 with non-vehicular links onto Snatts Road for cycle and pedestrian usage and a new pedestrian and cycleway along the A22 and B2102.
  • Provide a “sensitive response” to Ancient Woodland bordering the site and main ecological features within and adjoining it, with the objective of delivering a minimum landscape buffer of 15m between built development and Ancient Woodland areas.
  • Ensure arboricultural, ecological and landscape features at the site are preserved and wherever possible enhanced for future generations.

The developers say once their survey and design work has progressed further they will consult with the community to seek views on the emerging proposals.

This could be done via an online platform, because of current difficulties of holding physical meetings, with a leaflet sent to nearby residents and the town council to provide details of it and the proposals.

Read more about the latest Downlands Farm proposals:

Reader’s letter – Why Downlands Farm should be saved from development

Reader’s letter – Support for Downlands Farm development

Downlands Farm homes plan – battle lines drawn

Petition aims to stop development at Downlands Farm

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

See also:

New Uckfield housing – here’s the hit list

Priced out in Uckfield – affordable is simply not affordable for many

Your latest Covid-19 update

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Your latest Wealden Covid-19 update

Uckfield alert state, deaths data, cases update and hospital-patients.

Uckfield is in Covid-19 alert level: MEDIUM, along with the rest of the Wealden district and East Sussex.

Medium (tier one) is the bottom local alert and reflects the lower incidence of the Coronavirus in this area when compared to places in the Midlands and North of England.

Wealden deaths

For the fourth consecutive week, there have been no deaths from Covid-19 in Wealden, according to the latest published data which is for the seven days to September 22.

The last death in the district was in week-ending September 4.

Wealden has had a low mortality rate from Covid-19 since mid  June, according to this website’s dataset.

Hospitals

At present, it appears that few (if any) Uckfield people are in hospital with Covid-19.

Patients from the town and surrounding villages can be sent to a number of different hospitals but the data from the most likely treatment centres shows only a handful of people are in hospital with Covid-19, in figures up to a week ago.

Confirmed cases

Other data, which we hold, shows the number of cases in the Uckfield area and Wealden more generally is rising quite quickly.

Our latest story was published on Monday (October 12), see report here.

Since then, we have reported on cases connected to Uckfield Leisure Centre, see report here.

Yesterday (October 13), the total of lab-confirmed cases increased in Wealden by 17 from the previous day.

There have now been more than 90 cases in the district during the last seven days.

At the same time, the number of cases in Uckfield Town and North – the area north of the River Uck – is rising and was been logged as ten for the period October 3 to 9, which is the latest data available.

Uckfield South (Newtown and Ridgewood) has been between 0 and 2 cases – official statistics do not give an exact number for case numbers lower than three.

What does Covid alert level MEDIUM mean?

This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place.

This means:

  • you must not socialise in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors (other than where a legal exemption applies)
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • schools and universities remain open
  • places of worship remain open, subject to the rule of 6
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, or indoors if the rule of 6 is followed

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • when travelling, plan ahead or avoid busy times and routes. Walk or cycle if you can

Find out more about the measures that apply in medium alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

– taken from the government website.

Notes:

The number of cases in Uckfield area communities is reported over a different period to the Wealden figures, as are some of the seven-day rolling averages. This is due to the timings of data releases.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally taken from ONS data and other published Government sources..

We normally report cases each Monday, based on data up to 4pm the previous day, to allow seven-day comparisons to be made.

We generally update the number of deaths in Wealden on a Wednesday and for Uckfield and surrounding villages on a monthly basis, when national data is released. There has been no update since the end of August.

See also:

Maresfield Remembrance event disappointment

Uckfield Festival AGM to be held online

New toilet doors in bid to beat vandals

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Leisure

Barney’s Play pleased to be back in action

Barney’s Play, the soft play centre on the Bellbrook Estate, Uckfield, is back in action but operating at 40% of its usual capacity because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Louise Jago, who runs the centre with husband Asa, says they are really pleased to be open again and relieved that customers are reporting feeling safe and secure.

She added: “It’s lovely seeing all the little ones back, some have never been to soft play before, and it’s lovely to see our customers returning.

Proud

“We are so proud of our town and customers, and how they have handled the procedures we have put in place. I expected a little resistance as I know many other play centres have had some.

“But on the whole people have been really good at maintaining and following the Covid procedures, and they been polite.”

Louise says this is a tough time for play centres across the country, and many are closing each week.

Restrictions on numbers leave Barney’s struggling but they want to keep prices low for customers while overheads remain the same and they have to clear six months of debt that built up during closure.

Redecorated

The play centre has been redecorated and a new Farmington baby, toddler, and SEN area has been developed.

The role play village Barnington has had a facelift too with new props which are swapped out for each session.

And there are individual packs containing play food and teacups which will be issued just for your child. These are returned at the end of the session for cleaning and sanitising.

There is a single use policy for baby toys with a ‘clean’ bucket of toys available at the beginning of each session in the baby area with another bucket for them when they have been used.

Fogging machine

Some items you might remember have been removed for ease of cleaning and sanitisation and a fogging machine is being used, secondary to cleaning, to kill any bugs that may have been missed.

Louise hopes all these precautions will continue to keep customers feeling safe and able to enjoy the fun surroundings.

You can book tickets for Barney’s https://barneysplay.juststeponline.com/personbooking via their website.

There are sessions each weekday morning, 9.30am-12.30pm, and afternoon, 2-5pm.

At the weekend there are sessions from 10am-1pm and 2.30-5.30pm.

See also:

Priced out in Uckfield – ‘affordable’ is simply not affordable for many

Nutley schoolchildren learn how to read and make maps

Bell Walk Dry Cleaners install eco-friendly cleaning system

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Uckfield Covid-19 cases see sharp rise in last week

Uckfield and surrounding villages have seen big increases in confirmed Covid-19 cases in the last seven days.

The Chelwood and Nutley area, which includes Fletching, first emerged as a hotspot early last week and Uckfield Town and North registered increases as the week went on.

There is a similar pattern across much of Wealden and East Sussex.

The number of Wealden lab-confirmed cases has risen from 588 when we last reported a week ago to 672 at 4pm yesterday (October 11) – up 84 in seven days.

This is how the number of cases of the Coronavirus grew in Wealden in the past seven days:

  • October 5 +9
  • October 6 +11
  • October 7 +6
  • October 8 +15
  • October 9  +20
  • October 10 +14
  • October 11 +9

Some growth was first seen in last week’s report, although mistakes at national level in the handling of data skewed the numbers.

There have also been questions in recent weeks about the availability of tests in the local area.

What is not known is how these numbers compare with March and April when only limited testing – mostly for those in hospital – was available.

What we do know is that for much of the summer, our weekly report only showed increases in single figures. The big rises have developed in the last couple of weeks, or so.

On a list of 380 local councils, Wealden is 52nd (54th last week) when it comes to the rate per 100,000 of population since the pandemic began.

Cases in the Uckfield area

The following figures are for the period October 1 to October 7

  • Uckfield Town and North: 8 cases
  • Uckfield South (New Town and Ridgewood): between 0 and 2 cases
  • Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron): five cases
  • Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton): three cases
  • Chelwood and Nutley (includes Fletching): nine cases

The community groupings above are those used for national statistical purposes and are areas with around on average 7,200 population.

Only the exact number of cases is given in official releases when the number of cases is three or more in a particular area.

In the period September 24 to September 30, in each of those areas the number of cases was between 0 and two.

For context, the area in Sussex with the highest number of cases is Coldean & Moulsecoomb North (Brighton) with 74.

Compare and contrast Wealden Coronavirus cases with other areas

Here are the statistics for neighbouring areas (last week’s figure and the previous week’s in brackets) with the rate per 100,000 of population since the outbreak began.

  • Brighton and Hove 1,395 (1,170) – 479.6 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Eastbourne 588 (555) – 566.8 per hundred thousand of population
  • Hastings borough 276 (228) – 297.9 per hundred thousand of population. 
  • Lewes district  482 (445) –  466.7 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Mid Sussex 823 (754) – 545.0 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Rother 281 (249) – 292.5 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Tunbridge Wells district 705 (623) – 593.8 per hundred thousand of population.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  2,299 (2,065) – 412.6 per hundred thousand of population.
  • West Sussex –  3,988 (3,652) – 461.6 per hundred thousand of population.
  • South East region – 50,760 (45,496) – 552.9 per hundred thousand of population.
  • England –  514,439 (430,843) – 914.0 per hundred thousand of population.

Recent Covid-19 deaths in Wealden

This website generally reports deaths from Covid-19 on a Wednesday. The latest figures are to September 15 and there have been no deaths in the 21 days to that date. See our report here

Notes:

The number of cases in Uckfield area communities is reported over a different period to the Wealden figures, as are some of the seven-day rolling averages. This is due to the timings of data releases.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally taken from ONS data and other published Government sources..

We normally report cases each Monday, based on data up to 4pm the previous day, to allow seven-day comparisons to be made.

We generally update the number of deaths in Wealden on a Wednesday and for Uckfield and surrounding villages on a monthly basis when national data is released.

See also:

East Hoathly osteopathic clinic set to expand

Super-luxury electric recliners coming to Picture House

Priced out in Uckfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

 

Priced out in Uckfield – ‘affordable’ is simply not affordable for many

Government housing minister Robert Jenrick is being told many Uckfield people are priced out of owning a home – and will even struggle to rent.

Research by Uckfield town councillor Angie Smith laid bare the struggle people are having.

Her report has led the town council to call for more smaller, cheaper, properties to keep young workers and local residents in the Uckfield area.

Councillors are frustrated by the current situation and are sending all the details to Mr Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

At the same time, Wealden District Council has told the Government quite bluntly why “affordable” housing is not affordable in the South East.

Wealden blames ever increasing land values

Cllr Smith researched salaries, house prices, and rents data, for the report which was widely praised by fellow councillors who also said the details should be passed to Wealden council and neighbouring parishes.

How much people are earning

Cllr Smith’s figures showed:

  • UK average salary: £37,400
  • Wealden average salary: £30,800
  • An average couple’s earnings in Wealden are £50,284 per year based on the average earnings of a man and a woman combined.

The cost of a new home

Cllr Smith’s report applied average earnings to the cost of homes, known as the price-to-income ratios which is calculated by dividing property prices by annual earnings.

In Wealden in 2019:

  • The house prices-to-earnings ratio was 9.83 based on average earnings and 11.83 in the lowest quartile of earners.
  • Across England as a whole, the figures were 7.83 and 7.87 respectively.

The councillor’s report continued:

Cllr Angie Smith

“The cheapest property at Ridgewood Place (£385,000) would cost £1,544 per month for a 25-year mortgage (based on mortgage with 10% deposit). 

“It is generally accepted that to be affordable, payment for housing should take up no more than one-third of family income. 

“This would entail a monthly household income of £4,632 for the household, or a yearly take home salary of £55,584 (gross salary of £74,112).

“An average couple’s earnings in Wealden are £50,284 pa gross, leaving a £24,112 shortfall on earnings per annum.

“According to Money Saving Expert, average loan for a mortgage is 4.5 times annual salary…£226,278 maximum borrowing (£251,420 maximum property price with 10% deposit).

“Searching Right Move found 42 properties in Uckfield that a borrower with the average salary and 10% deposit could afford (on August 7, 2020). 

“Of these 27 were retirement properties.

Uckfield wages could be lower than average

“However, residents of Uckfield who work in the local area in local shops and business could earn substantially less than the average described above. 

“On average, a worker employed in a business within 25 miles of Uckfield could expect to earn an average of £25,189 (based on the average starting salary of 20 jobs sampled on Indeed). 

“This is likely to mean that increasingly houses in Uckfield are going to be sold to those who can work in London, where they can command higher salaries, rather than the people we need for our local business.”

What about renting?

Cllr Smith’s report said monthly rents were, on average £900 per month in Wealden. The rents break down as: 

  • Studio £550
  • 1 bed £695
  • 2 bed £850
  • 3 bed £1,075
  • 4 bed + £1,563

Cllr Smith wrote: “Looking at the ‘average’ Wealden couple detailed above, earning £50,284 gross, this means their take home pay is £3,143 per month. 

“For this couple, the average rented property is within their means, although a three-bed would take up more than the one-third of their salary deemed affordable – and a four bed or larger quite substantially more.

Studio flat

“For an employee in a local business earning the average of £25,189, their take home salary would be £1,574 per month, meaning that if they were renting as a single person, the largest property they could afford would be a studio flat.”

During a debate on the report, councillors acknowledged that the definition of affordable housing had broadened over the years to include not just social rented properties, but shared ownership and alternative schemes intended for low-income families. 

Affordability ratio

Members felt that despite the 35% affordability ratio set by Wealden District Council on new build housing developments, that this ambition was rarely achieved. 

It was also clarified by councillors at the meeting that any new build developments with under 50 dwellings were not required to provide affordable housing.

Wealden’s response to Government

Wealden District Council has responded to a Government consultation on planning.

Part of the letter said a high number of local authorities in South East England have had continuing worsening trends in affordability over the past ten years, including all in East Sussex with Wealden no exception. 

Wealden warned that individual improvements to housing land supply in some council areas may not lead to improvements in affordability in the overall region, particularly if neighbouring councils were constrained or are unable to provide the necessary housing to meet their full housing requirements.

Moot point

“In Wealden, a rural district with modest market towns, we currently have over 6,000 homes granted planning permission. 

“Whether this will be enough to satisfy any new requirement figure is moot, if developers are not willing to build at that rate. 

“Under our current system, rapid build out rates only reduce developer profitability and not, regrettably see land values reduce. 

“Simply granting ever more homes planning permission does not ensure that house prices become more affordable, or indeed that more homes get built,” the letter states.

See also:

Luxfords Restaurant finances take hit from Covid-19

Latest Covid-19 deaths data

Nominate NHS professional, carer or emergency services worker for thank you treat

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, History, Leisure

Bluebell Railway receives more than £700,000 from Government

Bluebell Railway photograph by David Cable.

The Bluebell Railway has been given more than £700,000 in a Government grant to help it rebuild its business.

The total sum awarded to the not-for-profit heritage line from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is £727,200.

Bluebell Railway Trust chairman Vernon Blackburn said: “We are grateful to the Culture Recovery Fund for giving us this money which will help us bounce back from Covid. It will see us through the lean winter months, particularly the post-Christmas period.

“The money will give the Bluebell Railway a chance to modernise as a business and diversify by looking at new sources of income.”

Costs

The money will pay for some of the railway’s costs between now and next March. It includes heritage staff salaries, overheads, an improved online presence, some special events and financial assistance to generate additional revenue beyond steam train rides.

The latest grant comes on top of £250,000 given to the Bluebell Railway by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to cover some of the costs for the period from August to November and £400,000 raised in its own emergency appeal from members, supporters and the public.

Bluebell Railway photograph by Peter Edward.

Coronavirus

The Bluebell Railway closed in March because of coronavirus. The largely volunteer-run line shut for five months and began running steam-hauled train services again in August as part of a phased reopening.

The railway at Sheffield Park, near Uckfield, is mostly running at weekends with some weekday services as it slowly recovers from the shutdown. It relies on fares income for the majority of its revenue each year.

Events

The railway has a number of events planned for autumn/winter including a transport-themed gala at the end of October, illuminated trains called ‘SteamLights’ from mid-November to early January and its ever-popular Santa Specials.

Details of the Bluebell Railway’s services are at www.bluebell-railway.com

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is part of the £1.57bn rescue package announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of coronavirus.

• Contact details for the Bluebell Railway can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Heritage Railways, or Visitor Attractions.

See also:

East Hoathly osteopathic clinic to expand

Holy Cross school celebrates 170th anniversary

Super-luxury electric recliners coming to Picture House

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Closing down sale begins at Final Score on Monday

Final Score, closing down. Picture from our files.

Final Score Sports Shop in Uckfield High Street is closing down with a sale beginning on Monday.

Earlier this year the owner Stephen Holliday thought he had found a buyer but the sale fell through.

He carried the business on through lockdown and afterwards, but now a new buyer has come forward and contracts have been exchanged on the freehold property.

24 years

Stephen announced on Facebook yesterday: “We will therefore be leaving the high street we have served for 24 years in the middle of November.”

This means they have four or five weeks to sell the stock.

Clothing will be half price from Monday and all other stock will be reduced by 25%. Stephen says there is plenty of excellent quality stock because much of it is new since lockdown.

Examples of deals are:

Lady Nike training tee was £25 now £12.50
Boys Nike trousers were £20 now £10
Boys Nike baselayers were £22 now £11
Men’s Canterbury stadium pants were £40 now £20
Men’s Nike shorts were £22 now £11

Stephen adds: “Thanks to everyone for all your support over the years. Do come and grab some bargains, pass the word and share this post.”

See also:

Super-luxury electric recliners coming to Picture House

Holy Cross school celebrates 170th anniversary

College students isolate after one tests positive for Covid-19

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Schools

Holy Cross school celebrates 170th anniversary

Holy Cross Primary School pupils celebrate the school’s 170th anniversary at St Margaret the Queen Church, Buxted Park.

Holy Cross Primary School is celebrating its 170th anniversary this year and pupils marked the occasion at an annual pilgrimage.

The sun shone as they walked together to St Margaret the Queen Church in Buxted Park and were able to sit inside in their ‘bubbles’.

Each enjoyed a drink and snack before the celebration service where there were contributions from every class.

Pupils have a break after their walk to church and before the celebratory service.

Artwork

The school said: “Our youngest pupils in Cherry class sang a prayer for us, whilst Oak class shared some fantastic artwork about their favourite activities at school.

“Five children from Silver Birch shared some of the things they like about Holy Cross, and our oldest pupils in Willow class demonstrated the fruits of their recent lyric writing workshop with a fantastic rap, performed by the whole class, about Holy Cross.

“We are very proud of our school and its close-knit community, and it was especially wonderful to see our oldest pupils supporting their Reception class bubble, and enjoying the walk together.”

See a vlog of the pilgrimage here on YouTube.

Pupils take part in a special service to mark the 170th anniversary of Holy Cross Primary School

Rap

And here’s the Willow Class Holy Cross 170th Anniversary rap:

Let’s start by saying why we’re here,
To celebrate our 170th year,
To everyone in church, we hold you dear,
Let’s give Holy Cross one big cheer!

Our teacher told us to write a prayer,
So when we get to church, we can share,
We thought “that won’t show our writing flair”,
So we wrote a rap, please beware!

Our school is such an amazing place,
One that definitely can’t be replaced,
We love our school, it’s just the case,
I’ll tell you what, we’ll cut to the chase.

We’re so glad we’re back after lockdown,
To our special school in the heart of town,
We promise to work hard all year round,
So we learn Holy Cross is a proper noun!

To the teachers and staff at our school,
We promise to follow the GREAT rules,
To all our friends, you are so cool,
This is the best Church of England School!

Let’s thank all the staff at Holy Cross,
We hope our points have come across,
It’s time to make up for learning lost,
We hope our rap has impressed the boss!

At Holy Cross, we are so proud,
To be pupils, let’s say it out loud!

At Holy Cross, we are so proud,
To be pupils, let’s say it out loud!

At Holy Cross, we are so proud,
To be pupils, let’s say it out loud!

At Holy Cross, we are so proud,
To be pupils, let’s say it out loud!

Children share what they like best about Holy Cross school in its 170th anniversary year.

See also:

Super-luxury electric recliners coming to Picture House

College students isolate after one tests positive for Covid-19

East Hoathly osteopathic clinic set to expand

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Food & Drink, Local authorities

‘Preposterous’ licence bid thrown out

Attempts to obtain a premises licence for Palehouse Barn at Palehouse Common on the outskirts of Uckfield have failed.

Palehouse Barn – subject of a premises licence application – is to the left of a courtyard seen in this Google Earth image.

The application was described by Framfield Parish Council as “preposterous” in comments sent to licensing panel before the meeting – see our report here.

The hearing took place last Friday (October 2) with a written decision from Wealden District Council’s licensing sub-committee following this week.

Reason for licence refusal

In refusing the application, the councillors said:

“Given the lack of detailed proposals and the inability of the applicant to set out how he would uphold the licensing objectives in any detail, the members were satisfied that the licence should, at this stage, be refused. 

“They were satisfied, on balance, that this represented a proportionate and transparent decision based on the evidence before them.”

The applicant can appeal the decision at the magistrates’ court.

Fine dining experience

The sub-committee was told the request for a Premises Licence was to enable the applicants Robert Carter and his wife to formally operate their passion for fine food and drink, on a more commercial basis. 

They had for many years entertained friends and family with fine dining, and believed that now was the time to expand that hobby into a business. 

Guests would have to pre-book a table, and be invited to attend. 

Mr Carter stated guests would not drive to the venue, and were likely to be driven by a driver, or by taxi, and so there would be no parking on the road as detailed in many of the letters of representation. 

‘No community benefit’

Opposing the application, David Whitehead stated the application was lacking any real detail and should be refused, as it offered no community benefit. 

Members considered their decision after the meeting was closed to the parties and the licensing officer. 

The report states:

“In considering the application, the members had to find a balance between the commercial ambitions of the applicant, and the wellbeing of local people, but importantly that they were satisfied the applicant could uphold the licensing objectives. 

Site susceptible to noise

“They were satisfied, on balance, that the immediate area around the Barn was significantly residential, and given the rural nature of the location, that it was very susceptible to noise issues and parking, given the low levels of ambient background noise in the evenings in such rural locations. 

“The members were satisfied that the applicant had failed to detail any specific or detailed measures in relation to the four licensing objectives.

“Given the sensitivities evident at the location it was clear to the members there were shortcomings in the submissions from the applicant. 

‘Woefully lacking in specific detail’

“The members believed that having heard at length from the applicant that his submissions were woefully lacking in any specific detail, and came across as statements of ambition for the business as opposed to the measures needed to uphold the licensing objectives in such a noise sensitive location. 

“The extensive hours within the application had been abruptly reduced in the face of questions about measures appropriate to uphold the objectives. 

“The members were satisfied, on balance, the proposed reduction was meaningless, given that the reality of the variable operational hours meant the application was unaltered in relation to the days and timings.

“This suggested to members that the application had not been properly or fully considered.

‘Generalised statements’

“The members were frustrated at the generalised statements, such as his customers were not the type of people who would make noise, without any consideration of what needed to be in place if that was not the case. 

“The members were satisfied, on balance, that there was a potential for some public nuisance that had not been properly considered in the applications or in the submissions. 

“The members were satisfied, on balance, that aspects of the letters of representation were genuine concerns that deserved to be addressed.

Application was ‘inadequate’

“However, the applicant seemed unable to recognise those concerns, and based upon the submissions made at the hearing, seemed incapable of outlining the measures needed to re-assure those concerns. 

“This fundamental aspect of the application failed to satisfy the members the objectives could be upheld.”

The councillors went on to say they were clear that the application was “inadequate, lacked any specific detail or thoughtful preparation”.

See also:

Luxfords Restaurant finances take hit from Covid-19

Latest Covid-19 deaths data

Nominate NHS professional, carer or emergency services worker for thank you treat

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Wealden Covid-19 cases increasing

Covid-19 cases in Wealden have seen a big rise in the last couple of days which can partly be explained by national “technical issues”.

UK figures issued on Saturday (October 3) and yesterday were hours late and showed the number of cases in Wealden had risen by eight on Saturday and 20 on Sunday.

The big increases on those two days are due to undercounting in the previous eight days.

Cautionary notes with weekend’s figures

A statement with Saturday’s national figures said:

“Due to a technical issue, which has now been resolved, there has been a delay in publishing a number of Covid-19 cases to the dashboard in England. 

“This means the total reported over the coming days will include some additional cases from the period between 24 September and 1 October, increasing the number of cases reported.”

Yesterday, a note with the national data stated:

“An issue was identified overnight on Friday 2 October in the automated process that transfers positive cases data to PHE. It has now been resolved.

“The cases by publish date for 3 and 4 October include 15,841 additional cases with specimen dates between 25 September and 2 October — they are therefore artificially high for England and the UK.”

What’s the picture in Wealden?

This website has its own datasets to monitor the pandemic and its effect on Uckfield and Wealden. They are based on Government and Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics.

We generally report cases every seven days – on a Monday.

Since we last reported on Monday, September 28,  there have been 37 more cases – taking the total since the start of the pandemic to 588, a rate of 364.1 per 100,000 population.

Daily average of cases

Our data shows that the number of lab-confirmed Wealden Covid-19 cases, when averaged over the 11 days affected by the statistical blip were running at nearly four a day.

In the previous 11 days, the figure was below 1.5 per day.

On a list of 380 local councils, Wealden is 54th (60th last week) when it comes to the rate per 100,000 of population since the pandemic began.

Testing concerns remain

There is also another question mark about the data being released at national level because of the difficulties some people have had in getting a test.

East Sussex public health noted last Thursday (October 1): “Due to national restrictions in testing, the true rates across East Sussex may be higher.”

Compare and contrast Wealden Coronavirus cases with other areas

Here are the statistics for neighbouring areas (last week’s figure and the previous week’s in brackets) with the rate per 100,000 of population since the outbreak began.

  • Brighton and Hove 1,170 (1,055)) – 402.2 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Eastbourne 555 (528) – 535.0 per hundred thousand of population
  • Hastings borough 228 (201) – 246.1 per hundred thousand of population.  
  • Lewes district 445 (423)) –  430.9 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Mid Sussex 754 (717) – 499.3 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Rother 249 (233) – 259.2 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Tunbridge Wells district 623 (587) – 524.7 per hundred thousand of population.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  2,065 (1,936) – 370.6 per hundred thousand of population.
  • West Sussex –   3,652 (3,431) – 422.7 per hundred thousand of population.
  • South East region – 45,496 (42,594) – 495.6 per hundred thousand of population.
  • England –  430,843 (373,719) – 765.4 per hundred thousand of population.

These figures are, of course, similarly affected by the weekend’s statistical problems.

Covid-19 in Uckfield area

Looking specifically at the Uckfield area, there were between 0 and 2 cases in the following areas in the period September 24 to September 30, ie: before the under-reporting of cases became known at the weekend.

  • Uckfield Town and North
  • Uckfield South (New Town and Ridgewood)
  • Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron)
  • Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton)
  • Chelwood and Nutley (includes Fletching)

Only the exact number of cases is given in official releases when the number of cases is three or more in a particular area.In Uckfield and the communities around the town  in the period September.

Notes:

The number of cases in Uckfield area communities is reported over a different period to the Wealden figures, as are some of the seven-day rolling averages. This is due to the timings of data releases.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally taken from ONS data and other published Government sources..

We normally report cases each Monday, based on data up to 4pm the previous day, to allow seven-day comparisons to be made. 

We generally update the number of deaths in Wealden on a Wednesday and for Uckfield and surrounding villages on a monthly basis. 

See also:

Uckfield shopping tips for October

Uckfield Line: new electrification hope

Uckfield council objects to plans for Solar Electric Forecourt

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Reader’s Letter: Why Downlands Farm should be saved from development

Ecologist Martyn Stenning with his book The Blue Tit which he wrote following a study carried out in Lake Wood next to Downlands Farm.

Downlands Farm, along with other shrinking locations, provides essential environmental services for the 15,000 or so residents of Uckfield, and the world at large.

Every breath we take, meal we eat, and waste we produce, is processed by our natural environment and we should all be concerned about it because our built environment, and the human populations they contain cannot exist without it.

So says ecologist Martyn Stenning who, over the last 33 years, has compiled a 20-page species list for Lake Wood, and its vicinity during a programme of scientific research conducted for the University of Sussex and the Woodland Trust.

Read what Martyn says in a letter to Uckfield News:

Balance

In order to balance the views of Mr Chris Lawson (Uckfield News, September 29, 2020) I would like to make some comments about Downlands Farm (here after just Downlands) as one of the “environmentalists” that he refers to.

Chris Lawson has done an important job of preserving some of the old buildings in the preservation area of Uckfield North and likely many other good works. 

However, I am unaware that Mr Lawson has credentials for indicating that the building of hundreds of houses at Downlands will not have a measurable negative impact on local, hence global, biodiversity. 

Essential

Downlands, along with other shrinking locations, currently provides essential environmental services for the 15,000 or so residents of Uckfield and the world at large. 

Every breath we take, meal we eat, and waste we produce, is processed by our natural environment. 

Sir David Attenborough’s recent messages could not be more timely.  We should all be concerned about our natural environment as our built environment, and the human populations they contain, cannot exist without it. 

1,000 houses

Uckfield and Wealden have recently permitted the building of more than 1,000 houses to the south of Uckfield which I have declined to object to because the environmental impact is unlikely outweigh the need for a growing human population to have homes.  However, the situation at Downlands is just the opposite.

Downlands – and adjacent land – has been demonstrated scientifically to be a site of exceptionally high biodiversity and to be of significant, even international interest to the scientific community, and any change of use is certain to have a profound impact on the organisms that live there and the general landscape. 

Public inquiry

Moreover, a similar development proposal was forensically examined by a public inquiry about ten years ago concerning proposal WD/2006/2855/MEA and decisively dismissed by the Planning Inspector and Secretary of State. 

Indeed, as an ecologist, I believe that the assertion by Gleeson Homes Ltd at that time that the development would have no significant environmental impact was clearly misleading and any well conducted, honest, new analysis would surely evidence that again, as little has changed since then.

Species list

I have compiled a 20-page species list for Lake Wood and its vicinity over the last 33 years during a programme of scientific research conducted for the University of Sussex and the Woodland Trust. 

Most observations were of species from the land known as Lake Wood Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) which is contiguous with Downlands that will, because of its proximity, also be used by most of these species, and possibly additional ones, due to the size and diversity of habitats contained within Downlands, notably the ancient woodland, primeval ghyll valleys, and wetlands, but also the organically farmed hay meadows and historic Budletts Common.  

Researchers

Lake Wood SNCI is owned by the Woodland Trust and managed as a nature reserve and used by researchers, including myself, from the University of Sussex. 

Among the outcomes of this research are a book on blue tits, several degree theses, and published research papers in the international scientific press, using data on birds, insects, and trees, resident at Lake Wood, some of which have implications for the understanding of the consequences of climate change.  

Analysed

Another scientist from the University of Sussex, Professor Trevor Beebee, then President of the British Herpetological Society and now Trustee of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, analysed data collected from Downlands by ecological contractors employed by Gleeson Homes prior to the previous planning proposal WD/2006/2855/MEA. 

Professor Beebee concluded that the data from the site indicated that the site was “astonishingly good” for reptiles and amphibians and fitted the national criteria to be a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on herpetological (reptile and amphibian) grounds alone.

Negative

Furthermore, the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and the Woodland Trust also concluded that building on Downlands would have unjustifiable negative ecological consequences.

Historically, Downlands consists of many hectares of Sussex lower Cretaceous sand-rock Sussex downland, from where the South Downs National Park can be clearly seen. 

Streatfeild family

Downlands and Lake Wood, which is typical of the High Weald and up to 60 metres above sea level, was acquired by the Streatfeild family in about 1780 and preserved within their estate until the latter decades of the 20th Century when it was sold to the late Mr C. Preston who has campaigned posthumously, via his will, for for development there through a contract with his trustees. 

Since then constituent fields have been farmed organically for grass fodder and the two ghyll valleys have had minimal disturbance. 

Rare and primeval

These ghylls are rare and primeval features formed by erosion during the last ice age over 10,000 years ago. 

The same is true for the ghyll within Lake Wood where the sand-rock can be clearly seen. 

These valleys drain into a stream that is an EU designated salmonid refuge, and any contamination of water entering those streams during or after any construction on the site would undoubtedly have an impact on the migratory trout and the large community of other organisms that live there.

Main concern

My main concern is that an unbridled increase in human disturbance on the ancient woodlands, ghylls and meadows of Downlands or adjacent protected habitats such as Lake Wood, Budletts and Paygate Wood is likely to have a huge impact on the environments and the species they contain. 

This was demonstrated this summer when Lake Wood was recommended, and publicised, by a misleading publication to be good for wild swimming where no such permission exists. 

Species

Scores of visitors flocked to the wood with the consequence that disturbance meant that species such as kingfishers, grey wagtails, spotted flycatchers and turtle doves, previously recorded there, failed to appear. 

Thankfully, the WT have responded with new signs and greater vigilance to prevent this recurring. 

However, if there were to be an additional population from up to 550 households, and predatory pets, using this land the impact would render the habitats and species diversity of the whole area (land and water) to be unsustainable in their present form.  

Excellent guardian

Finally, the Wealden District motto INTERIORA RURIS translated means “The interior areas of the countryside”. 

I consider Weald District Council to be an excellent guardian and custodian of its very special countryside which is demonstrated by its just concern about preserving the unique, famous and ancient Ashdown Forest, but also in fighting the Gleeson Homes appeal against the rejection of WD/2006/2855/MEA about ten years ago. 

Special

The zone between Uckfield and the Ashdown Forest is special and punctuated with several SNCIs and of course Buxted Park SSSI and should be preserved as prime English heritage countryside rich in biodiversity and important habitats that drain from Ashdown Forest and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty into the Rivers Uck and Ouse and out to sea at Newhaven. 

I urge WDC and its officers to continue to take threats to this environment very seriously and soundly reject any further inappropriate proposals such as  WD/2020/6507/SO. 

This is particularly relevant just now with David Attenborough’s current warning that we should not squander the wonderful biodiversity upon which we all depend.

Thank you very much for your time.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Martyn Jonathan Stenning CSci MRSB

Read more about proposals for Downlands Farm in previous Uckfield News stories:

Downlands Farm homes plan: battle lines drawn

Petition aims to stop development at Downlands Farm

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

See also:

Uckfield shopping tips for October

Uckfield Line: new electrification hope

Uckfield council objects to plans for Solar Electric Forecourt

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Local authorities

Premises licence application is ‘preposterous’ says council

Palehouse Barn – subject of a premises licence application – is to the left of a courtyard seen in this Google Earth image.

An application for a premises licence to be granted for Palehouse Barn at Palehouse Common has been described as ‘preposterous’’ by Framfield Parish Council.

The council, which covers the hamlet, says the application should be refused in the “strongest terms possible. The impact to the local community will be devastating at the very least”.

Residents have objected too, with one describing the barn as having been a construction site for 20 years with any building work only ever being sporadic and incomplete so leaving an unsightly mess.

No consideration

That resident says: “The owners have shown no consideration for the local community during this time, and the site is an eyesore and a blight on Palehouse Common.

“I do not think that someone who has shown such a disregard for his neighbours’ wellbeing and the local community should be trusted with a licence to sell alcohol on their premises.

“The applicant already has a history of late night gatherings causing disturbances, and on a number of occasions this has led to the police being called.

Gourmet venue

The applicants, Mr R and Mrs A Carter, of Palehouse Barn, have described the barn as a “destination gourmet venue, incorporated into a large private domestic property”.

They say: “We will be providing privately booked bespoke dining experiences, focusing on tasting menus, small functions and seasonal events.”

The licence would cover the sale/supply of alcohol (on and off sales) from Monday to Sunday from 12:00 hrs to 24:00 hrs, and late night refreshment Monday to Sunday 23:00 hrs to 24:00 hrs. (Authorisation for late night refreshment of hot food and drinks is only required after 23:00).

Opening hours

Opening hours are said to be Monday to Sunday 12:00 hrs to 24:00 hrs.

A report to the Wealden Council Licensing Sub-Committee which meets today (Friday, October 2) says the licensed area includes a limited outdoor space for on-sale of alcohol, and on-sales can be consumed anywhere in the licensed area.

Off-sales authorisation would allow a patron to take home a half-finished bottle of wine etc.

Wealden Council’s planning department has commented that there appears to be no planning permission evident which would allow such ‘food and drink’ related activity to occur at the site.

Listed building

Framfield Parish Council’s objections include Palehouse Barn being a Grade II listed building, currently residential.

It says: “It can only be assumed that applying for a licence to sell alcohol is for the purpose of a commercial enterprise – and something that this property was not designed for. Therefore, it is significantly changing the historic value and fabric from an agricultural barn appearance to a pub or inn.

“This can already be noticed by the array of tables and chairs situated to the front area that is not in keeping with a residential property, and somewhat out of place.

Impact

“There is a lot of concern that approval of an alcohol licence in a small hamlet such as Palehouse Common for 12 hour of every day (seven days a week) midday to midnight will have significant impact on local residents and surrounding properties as patrons when arrive and depart.”

The parish council also raises concern about there being no footpaths in the area and no designated parking areas. “How will this be managed especially of drunken people walking along unlit country narrow roads.”

The applicants say that as the business will be food led the selection of the alcohol menu has been designed to enhance the customers’ dining experience.

Quantities

“The nature of the alcohol that we intend to sell is that they will not appeal to individuals looking to buy cheap alcohol in large quantities.

“All staff shall be suitably trained for their job function for the premises. The training shall be written into a programme ongoing and under constant review and shall be made available to a relevant responsible authority when called upon.

“All alcohol shall only be sold or supplied to guests who have purchased a food package. All guests must pre-book in advance.”

Crime

The applicant have listed the ways they would prevent crime and disorder, ensure public safety, prevent public nuisance, and protect children from harm.

More information about representations to be considered by the licensing sub-committee from the applicants, residents, and parish council can be seen in this document on the Wealden website.  

• You would find Palehouse Barn by turning left off Eastbourne Road, past the Rajdutt Restaurant, as you travel out of Uckfield. The barn is then on the left in Palehouse Common.

See also:

Uckfield shopping tips for October

Uckfield Line: New electrification hope

Uckfield councillors object to plans for Solar Electric Forecourt

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Planning

Reader’s letter: Support for Downlands Farm development

Commercial agent Chris Lawson, who supports development at Downlands Farm, Uckfield.

Commercial agent Chris Lawson, a partner in Lawson Commercial, supports the principle of development on Downlands Farm, Uckfield, at a time when others are fighting to protect the land.

Chris says: “Downlands Farm is not high grade agricultural land producing food. It is unused woodland with no public access. It’s 167 acres, well able to accommodate 550 houses.”

Big village

Read his letter to Uckfield News here:

“When I moved to the Uckfield area 40 years ago, Uckfield wasn’t really much more than just a big village.

“There was no by-pass, there was no Bellbrook Business Park, the Office Village and Falmer Court office developements didn’t exist.

“There was no Tesco, Halfords, or McDonald’s, no Shell petrol station or little Waitrose.

Evolved

“The town has evolved into an important market town, one of the pre-eminent towns in Wealden. You cannot stop progress. As the planning inspector reported the Wealden area needs to consider taking more housing development.

Downlands Farm is not high grade agricultural land producing food. It is unused woodland with no public access. It’s 167 acres, well able to accommodate 550 houses.

“I was very disappointed that the 2006 application was refused because I thought it was an eminently sensible plan.

Employment space

“Not only did it include a lot more housing but it provided a community hall, it would have had an extension to the community college, plus a public park, and more importantly from my perspective, over 100,000 sq ft of employment space.

“With all this new housing that is being suggested in the area not a lot of thought seems to be given as to where these people are going to work.

“I would expect that a large proportion of the schemes that have been proposed will probably receive planning consent over the next five years or so, but it is very important that people have somewhere to work.

Offer

“The Ashdown Business Park is now basically full, with the last site going under offer on a subject-to-planning basis this week.

“Most of the development that has taken place in the Uckfield area over the last 40 years has taken place to the south, and it seems eminently sensible to have development in the north of the district where the road network is better.

“Easy access to the A22, A26, and A272, must be considered an important factor for not only residents but also for business people.

Disappointing

“The latest screening proposal has a big reduction in housing numbers. There is no reference to any employment space which is disappointing.

“Overall, I think it is a worthy application and if it includes some public access land for people to enjoy the environment which they don’t have the right to do currently, then I think it should be welcomed.

“No doubt the NIMBYs and environmentalists will attack me for my view, what I do for a living, and having a vested interest which I do not.

Free speech

“I have no connection with Gleeson Homes whatsoever. We are supposed to treasure free speech and sometimes the environmental lobby drown out an alternative view, which I think should be heard from time to time.

“Many of the same arguments were used originally when the Ashdown Business Park was being proposed, and that took nearly 20 years to get where it is today, and I think most people would agree that that has been a terrific success.

New businesses

“Not only has it brought new businesses to the area such as Premier Inn, Costa Coffee ‘drive-thru’ (the first ‘drive-thru’ in East Sussex), and John Lewis, but it has allowed a number of well respected, local companies to expand including Gunnebo, Jemtech, PGL Group, and Applications Engineering, all providing extra jobs for the benefit of the town and community.

“If the area is to continue to grow, and provide jobs for our residents and youngsters, then we need to see development such as Downlands Farm, and we need more land for employment opportunities as well.”

Read more about proposals for Downlands Farm in previous Uckfield News stories:

Downlands Farm homes plan: battle lines drawn

Petition aims to stop development at Downlands Farm

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

See also:

Uckfield councillors object to plans for Solar Electric Forecourt

Testing difficulties likely to have skewed Covid-19 totals

Council offers residents chance to join group-buying solar scheme

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Local authorities, Planning

Offices in old Post Office could be converted to flats

The old Post Office, Uckfield. Two offices on the first floor could be turned into flats.

Plans have been submitted to change the use of offices at the old Post Office in Uckfield High Street into two flats.

The offices are on the first floor of the landmark building.

The proposal is for each flat, overlooking the High Street, to have one bedroom and a kitchen, dining, sitting area. One would have a bathroom and the other a shower room.

The application before Wealden Council has been submitted by Marten Investments.

Very little information is currently included with the application, number WD/2020/1870/ P01 but drawings can be seen on the Wealden Council website.

See also:

Downlands Farm homes plan: battle lines drawn

Retailers set up Uckfield Shop Watch group

Job vacancies at Uckfield College

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Bridge Cottage can no longer accept charity shop donations

Bridge Cottage, no longer able to act as a receiving centre for donations for the Uckfield and District Preservation Society Charity Shop.

Bridge Cottage is no longer able to accept donations for the town’s preservation society charity shop.

The cottage has acted as a receiving centre since mid-June with donations being quarantined and disinfected before being offered for sale.

Now, due to the increasing risk of Covid-10 and to protect volunteers, the decision has been made to stop accepting donations from Monday, September 28. People are asked not to leave donations outside the cottage.

Volunteers say they will resume as soon as they can and add: “Thank you to everyone who has supported us. Your donations have helped the Uckfield and District Preservation Society to continue.”

See also:

Uckfield Christmas lights decision

Retailers set up Uckfield Shop Watch group

Wealden Covid-19: A bittersweet day

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Uckfield Christmas lights decision

Uckfield Christmas lights have long been a sparkling beacon, bringing joy during the dark and bleak mid winter.

Uckield Christmas lights

And the good news is that those lights will shine bright again this festive season.

The town’s Christmas lights are organised and paid for by the town council, with usually a financial contribution from the Chamber of Commerce.

The council has confirmed that the lights will go on as normal this year as councillors believe it is important for the town.

The lights going up in late November is a herald for the Christmas season in Uckfield.

Major events

Townsfolk organise many events but the two which bring most people together are late-night shopping and the Festival of Christmas Trees at Holy Cross Church and neither of those will go ahead this year.

Late-night shopping is always on the first Friday of December with the trees festival starting its three-day run on the same day.

Thousands of people flock to the town centre on the Friday evening to visit Holy Cross, do some shopping, sip mulled wine, eat mince pies plus taking in the various entertainments which run the length of the High Street.

Covid-19 has put paid to late-night shopping with entertainment this year (report here) and the Christmas trees festival has gone virtual (see our earlier report here).

How we celebrated in 2019

Santa Claus knew Uckfield was the place to be

Crowds last night throng the high street for late-night shopping

From last year’s Festival of Christmas Trees at Holy Cross Church

 

See also:

Downlands Farm battle lines drawn

New play area vandalised

Job vacancies at Uckfield College

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Downlands Farm homes plan: battle lines drawn

A sign near a track leading from the right of way into Downlands Farm

Initial skirmishes over the future of Downlands Farm on the outskirts of Uckfield are under way.

  • The landowner is taking action to deter people from walking over the land;
  • A protest petition against any building is growing; and
  • The developers have voluntarily agreed to submit an environmental statement (ES) in support of its forthcoming planning application to Wealden District Council.

Gleeson Strategic Land is proposing the development of the land which is between Snatts Road and the A22 by-pass.

See our earlier story here for the details

Screening opinion

As part of the planning process, the developer sought what is known as a “screening opinion” from the district council as to whether an environmental impact assessment (EIA) was needed.

It has now voluntarily offered Wealden an Environmental Statement and this has been accepted by the council as an EIA application.

Stacey Robins, the council’s head of planning an environmental services, told agents for the developers that he had noted the scope of the statement should focus on the following “technical disciplines”:

  • Biodiversity;
  • Landscape and visual effect; and
  • Water resources and flood risk.

This latest news means the planners have decided such an evaluation is required and the fact is recorded on Wealden’s website.

Friend of the Earth says an EIA is a key aspect of many planning applications which is used to help understand the potential environmental impacts of development proposals.

Signs of change near Downlands Farm

A public footpath runs from Snatts Road between Downlands Farm and Paygate Wood and then on to Budletts Common, before tracking on past a handful of homes towards the by-pass and over to Maresfield.

The path is way marked and is now fenced on both sides, with the barbed wire barrier alongside Downlands Farm seemingly more recent, although it is broken in places.

Tracks are visible on to Downlands Farm where walkers and people taking their dog for a run have trodden down the undergrowth.

However, the East Sussex rights of way map shows no public footpaths running across the land.

Adjacent to the right of way is at least one sign prohibiting entry on to Downlands Farm.

Others are said to have been removed.

The notice also seems to address the issue of “presumed dedication”.

The Ramblers deals with the concept on their website and states:

Presumed dedication refers to a long-established principle that long use by the public without challenge can constitute evidence that the landowner intended to dedicate the used route as a public right of way.

You can read more on its website here

There is more on The Open Spaces Society website

Downlands Farm is not shown as open access land (right to roam) by Natural England. See here.

It is generally accepted that attempts to establish a right of way can be difficult to establish through what can be a lengthy process.

Spray paint has also been used to mark the footpath and a few trees on Downlands Farm.

This could be connected to initial surveying.

Spray paint on a footpath

Spray markings on a tree

The petition to Wealden District Council planning and East Sussex County Council against the development was started by Mat Mitchell. It says:

“We want to stop the building on Green Belt land north of Uckfield. It has many species of native flora and fauna including deer, buzzards, red kites, kestrel, mice, stoat, lizards and snakes and many more to count.

The woodland comprise of mature oak, willow, birch, hazel, beech, alder, cherry hawthorn and blackthorn.

By mid-afternoon yesterday (September 23), the petition had attracted more than 2,300 signatures.

The petition can be found here

See also:

Uckfield retailers set up Shop Watch group

Plans for 64-bed nursing home in Coopers Green Road

Bittersweet Covid-19 news

Maresfield Remembrance service to be held outside

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Vandals attack new Luxford Field play area

The newly opened Luxford Field play area in Uckfield which was vandalised within 24 hours of opening.

Vandals attacked the new Luxford Field play area in Uckfield within 24 hours of its opening on Saturday (September 19).

Uckfield Town Council said a difficult-to-remove paint was sprayed onto equipment and grounds staff  had to remove the graffiti on Monday morning.

A spokesperson said: “It is extremely disappointing to have to deal with this sort of vandalism and particularly galling when it has happened at the newly refurbished and opened Luxford Play Area. It is also frustrating having to divert our grounds staff from their usual duties in order to deal with it.”

The castle-themed play area cost £130,000 to build. The money saved up over several years to pay for the work.

Read about the opening here: Luxford Field play area open.

See also:

Downlands Farm homes plan: battle lines drawn

Job vacancies at Uckfield College

Council asks tenants who can’t pay rent to get in touch

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Wealden Covid-19: A bittersweet day

There was respite for Wealden when figures for Covid-19 deaths in the district were revealed yesterday (September 22).

The weekly total for the seven days to September 11 registered zero.

It was the first time in 24 weeks that no-one in the district has died from Covid.

However, it comes at a time when cases of the Coronavirus are rising.

Weekly increases in lab-confirmed cases in Wealden ran at a level of fewer than ten for much of the summer but increased through September with a rise of 22 in the week to September 14, although the number fell back to 11 for the following seven days.

However, concerns have led to East Sussex County Council lifting the state of preparedness to “Yellow” – raised local alertness. Read the full details here

Within three hours of the Wealden deaths data coming out, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a tightening of rules which could last for six months because of the rise in cases. BBC report here [external website]

This website has its own datasets tracking Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden.

First death in spring

The first death occurred in the seven days to March 20.

In the following week, there were no deaths.

Since then, not one seven-day period has passed without there being at least one death – until week-ending September 11.

Stark contrast

Covid-19 deaths in Wealden have been running at a low level since week-ending June 12, when six people died.

In contrast, deaths from all causes in the seven days to September 11 increased markedly on the week before and in comparison with the year as a whole. The overall total was 50 – it was 20 in the previous seven days.

It is only the fifth week this year that deaths from all causes in Wealden have been 50 or above.

Week-ending April 24 shows the highest total when 57 people died, with 21 attributed to Covid-19.

Wealden MP’s concern

The Wealden MP, Nus Ghani, has said she is pressing the Government to provide sufficient testing facilities in the constituency.

There have been reports of people being unable to obtain a Covid-19 test or being directed to centres miles away.

Ms Ghani told constituents: “We have a difficult winter ahead of us and I am aware that you are concerned about the spread of the virus, as well as the impact of further lockdowns on people’s wellbeing and our local economy.

MP Nus Ghani

“I continue to press the Government to ensure that any decision they make in the months ahead puts our care homes, schools and testing capacity as top priorities.

“From your correspondence, I also know how difficult it has been to access a test in Wealden. I have been urging the Government to ensure sufficient resources for Wealden since July and I pressed the Health Secretary on testing capacity again this month.

“It is my priority to ensure that residents across Wealden have access to Covid-19 testing and that our services are fully prepared for the winter ahead.”

Notes:

The number of cases in Uckfield area communities is reported over a different period to the Wealden figures, as are some of the seven-day rolling averages. This is due to the timings of data releases.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally taken from ONS data and other published Government sources..

We normally report cases each Monday, based on data up to 4pm the previous day, to allow seven-day comparisons to be made. 

The number of deaths in Wealden is generally updated on a Wednesday and for Uckfield and surrounding villages on a monthly basis.

See also:

Uckfield retailers set up Shop Watch group

Plans for 64-bed nursing home in Coopers Green Road

Start dates for new mindfulness stress-reduction courses

Maresfield Remembrance service to be held outside

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Food & Drink, History, Leisure

Job vacancies at the Bluebell Railway

Bluebell Railway is looking for Front of House and Kitchen Porters to work at its catering outlets from mid-November.

Find more information about the jobs at the heritage railway, and how to apply, on the Uckfield Jobs website.

See also:

Plans for 64-bed nursing home in Coopers Green Road

Start dates for new mindfulness stress-reduction courses

Maresfield Remembrance service to be held outside

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

 

 

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Plans for 64-bed nursing home in Coopers Green Road

Coopers Green Road where land, on the right, could be the site of a 64-bed nursing home. It is opposite two houses called The Croft and Triscombe.

Plans have been submitted for a 64-bed nursing home to be built in Coopers Green Road, Ringles Cross.

The home would be built on land opposite The Croft and Triscombe, if a major planning application before Wealden Council is approved.

The site is described, in a design and access statement, as being half of a parcel of land identified as site 291/3255 submitted for consideration in the Wealden Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment.

It is nearly a mile north of Uckfield at Ringles Cross.

Character

The statement says: “The site is essentially flat and level declining gently towards the north. The character of the site and its immediate surroundings to the north, south and west is edge of settlement/rural.

“No landscape features exist in the body of the site but immediately to the east are significant areas of protected (ancient) woodland.”

The statement adds: “Although the application site is beyond the current developed edge the western side of Coopers Green Road carries a continuous line of residential development connecting Uckfield/Ringles Cross to Coopers Cross.”

Land in Coopers Green Road, Ringles Cross, where a 64-bed nursing home could be built.

Benefits

The statement says the proposal would have “significant” economic benefits as a new “employment generator” at a location close to Uckfield, and the dedicated accommodation would allow residents otherwise “stranded in conventional but inappropriate dwellings” to release these dwellings to the benefit of local residents.

A further shorter term economic benefit would be to support the local construction trade.

The statement says site 291/3225 in the Wealden Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment PSS Summary was identified as a site for residential development.

Viable

It continues: “An economically viable nursing home, a use which falls into the Planning Class use of C covering all forms of residential development, can be delivered on a stand-along section of 291/3225.”

The home would provide fully managed specialist care in a footprint which could deliver “modern resident accommodation at an economically viable level.

“The application site is essentially a long rectangle running east-west. The footprint, a flat ‘H’ shape, places the main entrance to the east where it faces the access and car park.”

Read more about the planning application, number WD/2019/2466/MAJ, on the Wealden website.

• A list of sites targeted for new housing in the Uckfield area can be found here: New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’.

See also:

Covid-19 alert level goes up

Start dates for new mindfulness stress-reduction courses

Luxford Field play area open

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Planning

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

Downlands Farm, Ridgewood, Mallard Drive, Coopers Green, Ringles Cross, Eastbourne Road, Blackboys, Buxted … all targets for new housing. And the list keeps growing.

The entrance to Rigewood House, Lewes Road, where a plan for homes has passed the first hurdle.

It feels as if Uckfield and its immediate environs are in the eye of a storm as new, major schemes keep coming to light.

The latest involves land at Coopers Green Road, Ringles Cross, where a planning application has been submitted for a 64-room nursing home. See here.

This website is following major housing development projects in the town and surrounds

We  have our own housebuilding ‘tracker’ and this is what it shows. Please let us know if we have missed any by emailing cathy@uckfieldnews.com.

Schemes which have approval

Ridgewood Farm

The 1,000 homes scheme for Ridgewood Farm has had planning permission since March 2016 and was earmarked for development in a Local Plan. Building of the opening phase of 250 homes is well under way having receiving detailed permission in September 2017.

East Hoathly

Outline permission has been given for 205 new homes at East Hoathly.

Report here

Harlands Farm Estate, Uckfield

Full permission has been given to a scheme for 119 homes off Mallard Drive on the Harlands Farm Estate. The site stretches as far as the town’s community hospital. It received outline planning permission in March 2011 with the details receiving approval last year with further “reserved matters’ getting the green light subsequently.

Councillors make ‘horrible’ decision about 119 new Uckfield homes

Planning permission is being sought for the following schemes

Horstedpond Farm, Ridgewood

A screening opinion is being sought on a 450 new homes plan for Horstedpond Farm at Ridgewood. See here

Downlands Farm

Proposals for 550 new homes at Downlands Farm, Uckfield, are before Wealden Council. More details here.

Five Ash Down

Developers have proposed building 39 homes on a field to the west of Coopers Green Road, on the outskirts of Uckfield.

Report here Residents are banding together to fight the scheme

No decision has been made on this plan.

There is also a proposal to build three homes in a ‘backland’ development at Five Ash Down.

See here

Eastbourne Road, Ridgewood

Ninety new homes could be built off Eastbourne Road, Ridgewood, virtually opposite to the Fernley Park development. The outline plan is being considered by the planning authority, Wealden District Council. More information here.

Buxted

Nineteen acres of land in Buxted is being advertised for sale as having the potential to accommodate a development of between 150 and 200 homes. Read more here.

Seven homes could be built in the grounds of Moorings, in Buxted High Street, if plans are approved.

No decision has been made on this plan.

Ridgewood House, off Lewes Road

Proposals for 49 homes within the grounds of Ridgewood House, off Lewes Road, emerged in May with the request for a screening opinion. See our report here

Wealden District Council has concluded that under the Town and Country Planning regulations the site is an “urban development project” and would not give rise to “significant environmental effects”.

In giving the screening opinion the council notes the intention that the proposed scheme will be submitted as a fully detailed application.

Blackboys

A 20-acre site south of Framfield Road, Blackboys, is the subject of a planning application for 80 homes. No decision has been made on this plan.

Framfield

Twelve acres of land south of Framfield at Old Nursery House, The Street, are the subject of an outline planning application for 88 new homes.

See our report here from last year. The application has still to be determined.

Why so many planning applications?

The failure of Wealden District Council’s Local Plan is a major factor in the planning applications coming forward. The district had hoped to limit housing development under the Plan.

However, the government-appointed inspector said the council had placed too much emphasis on protecting the environment and needed to build more houses in Wealden which neighbouring councils cannot accommodate.

The Plan which failed envisaged 950 new properties a year with a kick-up at the end of the Plan period. The planning inspector indicated Wealden needed to have 1,231 new dwellings a year.

Wealden must build more houses, says planning inspector

Another factor is that Wealden does not have a five-year supply of housing land.

Here is our story from earlier this year which explains why this deficiency matters.

Why Wealden has problems with housing land supply.

Related stories

In early March this website warned that major new housing estate plans were looming. You can read our report here

Wealden District Council has asked landowners to flag potential development sites so that it can be considered as the new Local Plan is formulated.

• This story was first published on July 23, 2020, and updated for August 11, 2020.

See also:

Plans for 64-bed nursing home in Coopers Green Road

Covid-19 alert level goes up

Start dates for new mindfulness stress-reduction courses

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Covid-19 alert level goes up

The whole of Sussex is on Covid-19 “yellow alert” meaning the county has a state of “raised local alertness”.

East Sussex County Council announced its change in level from Green to Yellow last Thursday (September 17) and it aligns with the status in both West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

There are four levels of escalation in the local fight against the Coronavirus:

RED – national oversight
AMBER – Raised local concern
YELLOW – Raised local alertness
GREEN – Outbreak prevention and containment.

More detail about the county council’s escalation framework is available in the East Sussex COVID-19 Outbreak Control Plan [external link]

Picture in Wealden and nearby areas

The number of lab-confirmed cases in Wealden has continued to rise but continues to track below the England weekly rate.

Neighbouring Eastbourne is the only council area in the county to have had similar rates to England in recent days.

The seven-day rolling average of cases per 100,000 of population for Eastbourne (as at September 15) was 18.31, Wealden 14.24, East Sussex as a whole 12.92, Hastings 11.87, Lewes 9.68 and Rother 9.37. England was 33.87.

Wealden specific

In the past week, the number of cases in Wealden has generally risen by two a day and the figure as of teatime yesterday (September 20) stood at 542, an increase of 11 on the previous seven days total.

Last Monday (September 14), we reported that the rise in lab-confirmed cases in the previous seven days was 22.

In the last seven days there was only one occasion when no new cases were confirmed in Wealden – on Wednesday (September 16).

During this whole period, there has been national concern about the availability of tests for the Cornavirus.

On a list of 380 local councils, Wealden is 68th (74th last week) when it comes to the rate per 100,000 of population since the pandemic began.

Looking specifically at the Uckfield area, there were between 0 and 2 cases in the following areas in the seven days to September 14.

  • Uckfield Town and North
  • Uckfield South (New Town and Ridgewood)
  • Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron)
    Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton)
    Chelwood and Nutley (includes Fletching)

Only the exact number of cases is given in official releases when the number of cases is three or more in a particular area.

Compare and contrast Wealden Coronavirus cases with other areas

Here are the statistics for neighbouring areas (last week’s figure and the previous week’s in brackets) with the rate per 100,000 of population since the outbreak began.

  • Brighton and Hove 1,017 (962, 900) – 349.6 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Eastbourne 511 (501, 474) – 492.6 per hundred thousand of population
  • Hastings borough 188 (183,167) – 202.9 per hundred thousand of population.  
  • Lewes district 418 (413, 401) –  404.8 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Mid Sussex 699 (685, 662) – 462.8 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Rother 225 (218, 204) – 234.2 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Tunbridge Wells district 560 (547, 529) – 471.7 per hundred thousand of population.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  1,884 (1,846, 1,755) – 338.1 per hundred thousand of population.
  • West Sussex –   3,293 (3,177, 3,035) – 381.1 per hundred thousand of population.
  • South East region – 40,908 (39,935, 38,537) – 445.6 per hundred thousand of population.
  • England –  339,901 (318,121) – 603.9 per hundred thousand of population.

Notes:

The number of cases in Uckfield area communities is reported over a different period to the Wealden figures, as our some of the seven-day rolling averages. This is due to the timings of data releases.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally taken from ONS data and other published Government sources..

We normally report cases each Monday, based on data up to 4pm the previous day, to allow seven-day comparisons to be made. 

The number of deaths in Wealden is generally updated on a Wednesday and for Uckfield and surrounding villages on a monthly basis.

See also:

Young dancer wins place at prestigious school

Mansell McTaggart sponsor Uckfield soccer team

Free NHS flu vaccinations at Kamsons Pharmacy

Uckfield Library to reopen next month

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Leisure, Sport

Mansell McTaggart estate agents sponsor Uckfield football team

Uckfield estate agents Mansell McTaggart are new sponsors of AFC Uckfield Town.

See members of the football team, below, wearing their Mansell McTaggart shirts.

Members of AFC Uckfield wearing their Mansell McTaggart shirts.

And here’s the team at Mansell McTaggart:

The team at Mansell McTaggart. From the left are Clare Waters, Trevor Mepham, Avin Jay, and Daniel Kaye.

• Contact details for Mansell McTaggart can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in the category for Estate Agents.

See also:

Pared back Uckfield Remembrance services likely

Free NHS flu vaccinations at Kamsons Pharmacy

Uckfield Library to reopen next month

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Job vacancy at Tressler has been filled

Update on Tuesday, September 29, 2020: This job vacancy has now been filled.

Uckfield company Tressler Coachwork is recruiting to fill a part time reception/admin post.

Details of the vacancy, and how to apply, can be found on the UckfieldJobs.com website.

See also:

Free NHS flu vaccinations at Kamsons Pharmacy

Uckfield roadworks on a knife-edge

Uckfield Library to reopen next month

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Music and arts

Young Uckfield dancer wins place at prestigious school

A young Uckfield dancer has won a place at the prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham.

Amelie Hanson, 13, from London Road, who has danced with the Rennie Dance Academy since she was five, started at the school this term, having received news of her audition success in April.

Amelie took part in preliminary auditions in London and was one of a select few asked back to finals auditions in Birmingham in March, the week before lockdown.

Amelie Hanson who has won a place at the prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School.

Elmhurst is a world renowned centre of excellence for the training and education of young ballet dancers and one of the top vocational ballet schools in the country.

Amelie has taken ballet, modern, jazz, and tap classes at the Rennie Dance Academy and represented the school at various competitions, awards and as a member of the National Youth Ballet company.

Rennie Dance principal Kirsten Rennie said: “Amelie is a beautiful young dancer that we are proud to have nurtured to this level. We are thrilled her hard work and dedication has paid off, and wish her lots of luck in her new adventures.”

Amelie, “a beautiful dancer”, says Rennie Dance Academy principal Kirsten Rennie.

Following in Amelie’s footsteps at the Rennie Dance Academy is another bright star Mirabelle Hogan, aged eight, from Burgess Hill.

Mirabelle successfully auditioned for London Junior Ballet School associate programme during lockdown.

Kirsted said the dancer had the unenviable task of auditioning by Zoom, and was contacted immediately afterwards with the offer of a place.

Eight-year-old Mirabelle Hogan who auditioned via Zoom and won a place on the London Junior Ballet School associate programme.

Mirabelle will now take weekly classes in London on Saturdays while continuing to dance every evening after school.

Mirabelle was also offered a place with the English Youth Ballet company which, despite restrictions, managed to go ahead with summer school in Bromley, and a filmed production of their gala production.

Kirsten said: “Mirabelle is a bright star in the making. We are delighted with all her achievements and look forward to supporting her with her dancing in the future.”

Challenging

Over lockdown the Rennie Dance Academy helped more than 100 students to keep dancing with pre-recorded, and daily Zoom classes.

Kirsten said they were delighted to now be back working in person with all students. “We would like to thank all the parents and students for their continued support throughout such challenging times.

• Contact details for Rennie Dance Academy can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Children’s Activities or Dance.

See also:

Uckfield roadworks on a knife-edge

Appeal submitted against refusal of Browns Lane home plan

Pared back Uckfield Remembrance services likely

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Appeal submitted against refusal of Browns Lane home plan

Update on Thursday, September 17, 2020: An appeal has been submitted against refusal of planning permission for a new house to be built in the grounds of 52 Browns Lane, Uckfield.

Planning application WD/2019/2691/F was refused by Wealden Council and the appeal is reported to  planning committee, north, which meets today. (Thursday, September 17).

Stinging criticism of Browns Lane home plan

Uckfield News original story on February 6, 2020: A “strong” objection to a plan to build a new house in the grounds of 52 Browns Lane, Uckfield, is being lodged by the town council.

The plan is for the site on the right of this photograph

The plans committee signalled its disapproval to the scheme, which has also upset some near neighbours, when it met this week.

The objection will be sent to Wealden District Council which will determine the application.

The new property would be attached to No 52 where the number of bedrooms would be reduced from three to two.

The new house would have two bedrooms.

Infilling

If the plan goes through, it means No 53 Browns Lane will go from a semi-detached property to an end-of-terrace property.

Details of the application were given in this story

At the committee meeting, after two neighbours spoke against the plan, Cllr Chris Macve said the council had always been against infilling on the Manor Park Estate.

He said the infilling detracted from the original design concept and the appearance of the estate.

‘One of the worst’

“I think this particular application is one of the worst layouts we have come across, not the worst but one of the worst.

“It means the vehicle access is out on to Browns Lane itself which is a very busy road.

“A lot of vehicles do travel up and down there at a very considerable speed,” he said.

Dangerous

“It is potentially extremely dangerous.”

He said changing a pair of semis to a terrace of three was detrimental to the style of the adjoining properties.

“I think we should strongly object to it,” he said.

See also:

New plea to Sussex Police over ‘anti-social’ parking

Uckfield Library to reopen next month

Free NHS flu vaccinations at Kamsons Pharmacy

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Pared back Uckfield Remembrance services likely

Uckfield Remembrance services in November are set to be greatly reduced because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Details of how the annual commemorations can take place will be formulated by the Uckfield branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL), Holy Cross Church, the Rector, Father John Wall, and Uckfield Town Council.

Fr John Wall leads the 11-11–11 service last year at Uckfield war memorial

Initial thoughts were given this week to town councillors who stressed the importance of the town holding the Acts of Remembrance.

Discussions will take place with all interested parties.

Here is how Uckfield may Remember the Fallen this year.

Armistice Day, November 11

Usually the 11-11-11 ceremony is held at the war memorial outside Holy Cross Church, attended by a number of townspeople, children from Holy Cross Primary School, councillors and members of the Royal British Legion.

The suggestion for this year is for only a small number of people to gather at the memorial.

The town council may also support the 11-11-11 moment by enabling those who wish to stand at the flagpole outside the Civic Centre to pay their respects away from the church.

Remembrance Sunday, November 8

Usually there is a parade from the Luxford car park to the church for a service which is normally extremely well attended.

Uckfield Remembrance Sunday Parade forms up in 2017

The suggestion for this year is for a parade to go ahead with a maximum of about 30 people, spaced two metres apart. 

The parade may avoid the High Street and go direct from the car park to the church, to avoid spectators getting too close to one another on the pavements.

The parade would be invitation only with participants’ details recorded for the track and trace process.

Holy Cross Church

Sunday services have been resumed at Holy Cross Church which has been marked out for social distancing.

About 45 people can attend – more if they are couples of in family “bubbles”.

For 2020 Remembrance Sunday service – if it is permissible at the time – would have limited numbers with people’s names and contact details recorded.

At present no singing is allowed.

There is also a question of whether Holy Cross Church will be able to clean and sanitise the church between the morning Sunday service and the afternoon Remembrance service.

Other Remembrance Services

Maresfield Remembrance Service to be held outside.

• Ashdown Forest Centre have announced that they have reluctantly made the decision not to hold the Remembrance Sunday service at the Airman’s Grave on the forest this year.

See also:

New plea to police over anti-social parking

Uckfield public library to re-open 

Kamsons Pharmacy NHS flu clinic

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Business, Community

Free NHS flu vaccinations at Kamsons Pharmacy

Hemal Chudasama, manager of Kamsons Pharmacy in Bell Farm Road where free NHS flu vaccinations are available.

Free NHS flu vaccinations are now available at Kamsons Pharmacy and more people are eligible to have them this year than in the past.

The main difference is that people in the households of those who have shielded during the Coronavirus pandemic now qualify.

Hemal Chudasama, manager at the pharmacy in Bell Farm Road, said this covers households where a member received a letter from the Prime Minister, Department of Health, or GP.

Crucial

He said it was crucial this year that people have their free jabs sooner rather than later because of the similarity of symptoms between Covid-19 and flu.

He added: “If we can immunise as many people as possible, not just those in high risk groups, there will be less of a flu spike, less confusion about symptoms, less of a need for whole households to have Coronavirus tests, and less pressure on public services.”

There are two vaccines, one for the over 65s and another for under 65s.

Eligible

The over 65s are eligible for a free vaccine, as well as patients with certain health conditions and those who live with a shielded person.

Once the main bulk of patients have been vaccinated the NHS will release permission for the age limit to be dropped to patients over the age of 50.

Kamsons offers a walk in-flu vaccination service, has plentiful supplies of the vaccine, and its service is operated in a Covid-safe environment.

Socially distanced

There are socially distanced waiting bays, staff are masked, you will be required to wear a mask too, and people are asked not to touch any surfaces as they wait and are seen.

The door will be opened and closed for you, surfaces and chair are cleaned between visits and there is no paperwork to sign. Verbal consent is acceptable so that contact with pen and paper is avoided.

The vaccine is also available privately, for £12.95, for patients who are not eligible for the NHS Flu Service but who would like to protect themselves against flu.

• Contact details for Kamsons Pharmacy, Meads, are available 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in the category for Pharmacies.

See also:

New plea to Sussex Police over ‘anti-social’ parking

Wealden Covid-19 deaths update

Play area Covid-19 sanitisation slashes microbe numbers

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How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Work begins to make Uckfield day care centre Covid-safe

Margaret Dode-Angel pictured at the Victoria Pavilion which is about to be refurbished to make the day centre she runs Covid-safe.

Work is under way to refurbish the Victoria Pavilion, home of a day care centre in Uckfield, to make it Covid secure for clients.

The Sussex Support Service premises have been closed since March 16 but director and founder Margaret Dode-Angel has been busy throughout lockdown offering phone support, sourcing PPE for carers and providing outdoor one-to-one support to give carers a break.

And she has been applying for grants that have enabled the centre to cover its costs while closed, and making it possible for the make-over to go ahead.

Space

The pavilion’s central space is to be divided into three. One room will be available for meetings, craft work and film shows, while another will be for quiet relaxation with treatment areas off it, which can be used by visiting therapists.

Then the third area, the main hall, will be furnished with small fold-up round tables and comfortable chairs, thanks to a donation from Uckfield Lions.

Bigger tables and chairs which are no longer suitable for communal use in these Covid-19 times are being sold by Margaret through Facebook Marketplace.

Replaced

The previous two toilets and three sinks, which date back to use by a football club, have been stripped out and are to be replaced with two accessible cubicles.

Margaret says she is very grateful for the help given to Sussex Support Service, which provides activities for older people and those with dementia and extra care needs, in these difficult times.

East Sussex County Council has given a percentage of the money that would previously have been received for each client, Wealden District Council arranged payment of a small business grant which has helped with rent and bills.

Money

And money for the refurbishment has come from the Screwfix Foundation and Sussex Community Foundation Covid Crisis Fund.

Dawson Hart solicitors have donated money to the day centre too, finding new ways to boost funds as their usual events have been cancelled this year.

Margaret is hoping that, all being well, she will be able to reopen the day centre on October 5.

Existing clients will be welcomed back first on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays which will allow plenty of time for thorough cleaning, and infection control measures to be implemented, between sessions.

Crowdfunding

If you would like to contribute to day centre funds a crowdfunding page has been set up on gofundme here.

Margaret said: “A huge thank you to all funders, fund-raisers, and supporters of the service through this very challenging time.”

• Contact details for Sussex Support Service can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory . Look for the name or search in categories for Care Services or Dementia Support.

See also:

Wealden Covid-19 numbers spike

Night-time closures begin on Uckfield by-pass

Petition aims to stop development at Downlands Farm

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Wealden Covid-19 numbers spike

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wealden have shown a sharp increase in the last seven days.

The figure now stands at 531 – a rise of 22 since we last reported a week ago.

In other developments:

Confirmed cases of the Coronavirus have risen sharply in some villages around Uckfield.

Uckfield area people are reporting problems in getting Covid tests within reasonable travelling distance (see separate story here).

Five new cases in one area

In the Uckfield district, the largest rise in cases in the period September 3 to September 9 came in an area labelled in official statistics as Chelwood and Nutley (includes Fletching) where five new confirmed cases were recorded.

In the area defined as Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton) there were four cases – three in the previous seven-day period.

There were between 0 and 2 cases in the following:

  • Uckfield Town and North
  • Uckfield South (New Town and Ridgewood)
  • Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron)

Lewes cases

Only the exact number of cases is given when the number of cases is three or more.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) groups areas into populations of around 7,200 for statistical comparison purposes.

In the town of Lewes (two reporting areas) there were nine cases in the seven days to September 9.

Our datasets

A dataset kept by this website is used to track Covid-19 cases in Wealden.

We take the figures released on Sunday afternoons for comparison purposes.

The rise of 22 cases in a week is the highest weekly rise since the way lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported changed at the beginning of July.

Here’s how the numbers have risen

A table of confirmed cases, as reported by UckfieldNews.com:

  • Monday, September 14: 531 + 22 on the previous week
  • Monday, September 7: 509 + 13
  • Monday, August 31: 496 + 9
  • Monday, August 24: 487 +  6
  • Monday, August 17: 481 + 5
  • Monday, August 10: 476 + 5
  • Monday, August 3: 471 + 7
  • Monday, July: 27: 464 + 7
  • Monday, July 20: 457 + 9
  • Monday, July 13: 446 + 7 
  • Monday, July 6, 439

The latest figures show that new cases per day per 100,000 population is just under two.

On a list of 380 local councils, Wealden is 74th (75th last week) when it comes to the rate per 100,000 of population since the pandemic began.

Compare and contrast Wealden Coronavirus cases with other areas

Here are the statistics for neighbouring areas (last week’s figure in brackets) with the rate per 100,000 of population since the outbreak began.

  • Brighton and Hove 962 (900) – 330.7 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Eastbourne 501 (474) – 482.9 per hundred thousand of population
  • Hastings borough 183 (167) – 197.5 per hundred thousand of population.  
  • Lewes district 413 (401) –  399.9 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Mid Sussex 685 (662) – 453.6 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Rother 218 (204) – 226.4 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Tunbridge Wells district 547 (529) – 460.7 per hundred thousand of population.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  1,846 (1,755) – 331.3 per hundred thousand of population.
  • West Sussex –   3,177 (3,035) – 367.7 per hundred thousand of population.
  • South East region – 39,935 (38,537) – 435.0 per hundred thousand of population.
  • England –  318,121 – 565.2 per hundred thousand of population.

Notes:

The number of cases in Uckfield area communities is reported over a different period to the Wealden figures.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally taken from ONS data and other published Government sources..

We normally report cases each Monday, based on data up to 4pm the previous day, to allow seven-day comparisons to be made. 

The number of deaths in Wealden is generally updated on a Wednesday and for Uckfield and surrounding villages on a monthly basis.

See also:

Petition to stop Downlands Farm development

Uckfield College job vacancies

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Community, Local authorities

Dog fouling in Uckfield is ‘appalling’

Dog owners who fail to clean up after their dogs foul public land should face strong action.

That’s the view of Uckfield town councillors who labelled the state of some areas in and near the town as “appalling” and “disgusting”.

Members agreed to support an extension of Wealden District Council’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog fouling.

PSPO’s are valid for three years and the district is consulting on continuing the order which makes if an offence for anyone in control of a dog not to clean up the animal’s faeces on designated land.

If the order is breached, a fixed penalty notice can be issued which if unpaid can lead to prosecution where the maximum fine is £1,000.

Cllr Chris Macve said he had visited the district-council run park at Horsted Green, built as part of the Ridgewood Farm 1,000 homes development to try and reduce the numbers of people visiting the Ashdown Forest to walk their dogs.

He said: “I was there at the end of last week. It was absolutely disgusting with the amount of dog faeces scattered about everywhere.

“It is appalling.

An example of signs used in Uckfield to persuade dog owners to clean up

“People obviously just take their dogs up there, kick them out of the car, let them go and foul all over the place and take them away.

“Much stronger enforcement should be brought to bear there and Wealden need to go there and apprehend a lot of these people that are causing the problem.

Cllr Karen Bedwell said the situation was also appalling around the Harlands Estate.

Uckfield town councillor Karen Bedwell

Cllr Karen Bedwell

“It is on the fields, it is on the pavements, it is everywhere,” she said.

The town council needed to think about how it could support attempts to monitor the situation.

It was a disgusting health hazard, she said, and something needed to be done to connect with the people causing the problem.

Cllr Duncan Bennett predicted the situation would probably get worse before it got better with the loss of dog walking amenities around the town, mentioning the closure of fields near the Framfield Stream and River Uck.

Cllr Ben Cox said it was disgraceful that some people picked up the faeces but then left the poo bags on the ground.

Cllr James Edwards said Wealden needed to make the wording tougher and tell people that if they were caught it could cost them £1,000.

Clean up signs from Wealden District Council

Town mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew, said since lockdown many more people had dogs to go out and walk them.

He believed people knew they had to “pick up” and now was the time for strong warnings.

“I think if we can put a statement out from the council, saying it will not be accepted, that would help,” he said.

Cllr Angie Smith said there were only two dog poo bins at Horsted Green, although that was not an excuse, but suggested a third should be provided.

She said Wealden needed to carry out patrols to enforce the PSPO.

“If a patrol person is seen even once or twice, it is going to be a visible deterrent to get people to do the right thing,” she said.

See also:

Luxford play area to open soon

You could win a free window clean

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How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Leisure

Coronavirus hits Christmas tree festival in Uckfield

Some of the trees in last year’s Christmas Tree Festival at Holy Cross Church. This year there will be a virtual event.

A Christmas tree festival which attracts thousands of people to Holy Cross Church, Uckfield, each year is unable to go ahead as a live event this December.

Festival organisers say it would be irresponsible to carry on as usual because of the Coronavirus, and they must ensure the safety of their community, and volunteers.

Instead, because this is such an important event for the town, and an essential fund-raiser for the church, there are plans to put together a virtual festival helping to promote organisations and groups in the community.

Organisations, including groups and schools, which would like to take part are invited to get in touch.

Decorations

The idea is that you will decorate a tree within your premises, school or home ready to be photographed for inclusion in a video. This can include detailed pictures of handmade decorations and members of your team.

Two slides of images will be included for each organisation, with clear name and website details, and a Christmas greeting to the community.

“It’s more important than ever to try to ensure your decorations represent your organisation,” say the organisers. “Let’s get creative.”

The festival video will be supported by festive music, and performances, and will be released on Saturday, December 4, traditionally one day of the festival weekend.

Donate

Those taking part are asked to donate £20 to be part of the virtual festival and to buy their own Christmas trees.

Members of the community are also invited to decorate their own trees at home during the festival weekend and to share pictures so everyone can be part of the event.

A memorial tree will be the focus at the church this Christmas. It will be twice as big as usual and located on the stage.

The aim will be to set up an online facility for people across the community, and country, to leave a message which will be written on a tag and placed on the tree of remembrance.

Thoughts

“These loved ones may no longer be with us, but will remain in our thoughts and hearts this Christmas.”

Festival organisers add about this year’s event: “It may not be quite the same and we look forward to returning in 2021, with the original format, but we want to continue to bring the community together once again, with a little festival magic.”

If you would like to be involved in the virtual festival please email Sarah at uckfieldchristmastreefestival@gmail.com.

See also:

Luxford play area to open soon

You could win free window clean

Josefina reopens after refurbishment

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

late-night shopping
Business, Community, Shopping

No late night shopping in Uckfield this year

late-night shopping

Late night shopping in Uckfield in happier times. The event is unlikely to be held this year.

Late night shopping in Uckfield is another casualty of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers say they regret their decision against going ahead with the event, but because of restrictions on numbers gathering in public places it is not possible to secure a road closure.

This, combined with face coverings being mandatory in shops, and social distancing restricting the numbers in each store, means holding the event is “untenable”.

They add: “We will continue to keep the situation under review, and if guidance changes during October or early November that relaxes restrictions, we will consider the matter further and advise accordingly.”

See also:

Luxford Field play area to open soon

You could win free window clean

Josefina reopens after refurbishment

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Police arrest woman in Uckfield as part of modern slavery investigation

Police have arrested a 31-year-old woman in Uckfield as they investigate suspected modern slavery activity in the town.

They say officers officers from East Sussex Project Discovery executed a warrant to search a business address in Uckfield High Street, and a flat nearby, on Thursday, September 3.

Documents were seized at both locations and £4000 cash was seized at the flat.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of requiring the carrying out of forced labour, contrary to Section 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and was later released on police bail until September 23 while enquiries continue.

No other arrests were made.

Ongoing

Detective Sergeant Jo Cooper said; “This action is part of our ongoing commitment to uncover the problem of modern slavery that can affect any part of the country.

“We are working with our partners in Discovery to expose hidden crime and safeguard some of the most vulnerable people within our communities.”

Discovery in East Sussex brings together local police officers, fire officers, Stop the Traffik Hastings, King’s Church and staff from Hastings and Rother Councils, DWP, HMRC, Home Office Immigration, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and local charities, all with the aim of seeing victims of modern slavery rescued and supported, and perpetrators brought to justice.

For advice and information on spotting signs of modern slavery and how to report it see the Sussex Police website.

• This story has been edited in line with changes made to a press release issued by Sussex Police.

See also:

Luxford Field play area to open soon

Josefina reopens after refurbishment

You could win free window clean

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Luxford Field play area to open soon

The new play area at Luxford Field in Uckfield is due to open soon, according to a banner on fencing.

Here’s a look at the play equipment now installed on a site that is wider, but shorter, than previously, making it easier for children to be supervised.

The play area, with its castle theme, was built by HAGS-SMP after their design was chosen by townspeople at a public exhibition of competing bids, which was organised by Uckfield Town Council.

The original budget was £130,000 and then another £30,000 was added so that new features could be included to make it accessible to all.

The winning design for the Luxford play area came from HAGS-SMP. The original plan has now been improved by the addition of a further £30,000 to the £130,000 budget to make it accessible to all.

See also:

Uckfield Carnival was like no other

Josefina reopens after refurbishment

Wealden and Uckfield area: Covid-19 cases rise

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Josefina reopens after refurbishment

Josefina, the lifestyle shop at the heart of Uckfield High Street, has reopened following refurbishment.

Everything is new, from floor to lighting and display cabinets, and the counter – emblazoned with the Josefina name – has been moved to be immediately visible as you walk in.

Josefina owner Louise Beard is pictured, centre, with Monique Neeter, in her refurbished lifestyle shop.

Owner Louise Beard and her team have been working for the last month on the redecoration and restyle and when she reopened on Saturday she was very pleased with the result.

Clothing is now incorporated in the displays – with full ranges in a boutique off the main room – and displays of homeware are created to provide inspiration for shoppers.

All the shelving units, and the new counter, have been built by the shop’s own joinery with the counter crowned by one of the marble tops freshly introduced to the range. Stone tops are available too.

In the boutique there is a new range of dresses from Dubai and, if you can’t find a design you like on the rails there are different fabrics to choose from. Short sleeves are a bespoke option too.

Louise loves the wrap dresses so much that she has ordered one for herself in each of the fabrics available.

Other brands include Saint Tropez, a Josefina staple, offering tops and jeans, and a casual range from A Postcard from Brighton.

Louise says she aims to cater for everything needed on a daily basis, a capsule wardrobe which is refreshed every month.

After a successful first day on Saturday Louise is now looking forward to the future and welcoming in more customers.

Contact details for Josefina can be found 24/7 in their listing in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Furniture and Furnishings, Gifts, Homeware, Shops, and Clothing.

See also:

Uckfield Carnival was like no other

Wealden and Uckfield area: Covid-19 cases rise

Lottery provides £250,000 boost for Bluebell Railway

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Wealden and Uckfield area: Covid-19 cases rise

Latest figures show the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 continues to edge up.

Two indicators, tracked by this website’s datasets, both show increases, which follow the national trend.

Across Wealden itself, the number of lab-confirmed cases in the past seven days is 13 more than when we last reported a week ago.

Uckfield’s nearby villages

A second figure shows that for the first time in many weeks, the number of cases in a community around Uckfield is high enough to register on the statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS groups areas with around 7,200 average population. 

In the last seven days for “which near-complete data” is available, there were three cases in the Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly area (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton).

There were between 0 and 2 cases in the following:

  • Uckfield Town and North
  • Uckfield South (New Town and Ridgewood)
  • Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron)
  • Chelwood and Nutley

Only the exact number of cases is given when the number of cases is three or more.

Wealden totals

In Wealden as a whole, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is up 13 in the last seven days to a cumulative total of 509, a rate of 315.2 per 100,000 of population.

On a list of 380 local councils, Wealden remains 75th when it comes to the rate per 100,000 of population since the pandemic began.

The number of new cases per day, per 100,000 people in Wealden is just over one in the last seven days.

Bolton, for comparison purposes, is nearly 17 new cases per day, per 100,000 people.

How do we compare?

Compare and contrast Wealden Coronavirus cases with other areas

Here are the statistics for neighbouring areas (last week’s figure in brackets) with the rate per 100,000 of population since the outbreak began.

  • Brighton and Hove 900 (870) – 309.4 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Eastbourne 474 (469) – 456.9 per hundred thousand of population
  • Hastings borough 167 (155) – 180.2 per hundred thousand of population.  
  • Lewes district 401 (395) –  388.3 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Mid Sussex 662 (648) – 438.3 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Rother 204 (201) – 212.3 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Tunbridge Wells district 529 (512) – 445.6 per hundred thousand of population.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex – 1,755 (1,716) – 315.0 per hundred thousand of population.
  • West Sussex –   3,035 (2,953)  – 351.3 per hundred thousand of population.
  • South East region – 38,537 (37,685) – 419.8 per hundred thousand of population.
  • England –  (288,989) – 513.4 per hundred thousand of population.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally taken from ONS data and other published Government sources..

We normally report cases each Monday, based on data up to 4pm the previous day, to allow seven-day comparisons to be made. 

The number of deaths in Wealden is generally updated on a Wednesday and for Uckfield and surrounding villages on a monthly basis.

See also:

Two job vacancies at Horsted Place Hotel

Concerns about noise from new electricity sub-stations

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Community, Local authorities

Uckfield loses dedicated 2nd fire appliance

Uckfield will lose its dedicated second fire engine under changes agreed yesterday (September 3) by East Sussex Fire Authority.

However, a second appliance will still be based at the fire station but labelled as part of the East Sussex Fire and Rescue (ESFRS) “spare appliance fleet”.

Uckfield Fire Station (file photograph)

Fire authority members decided to remove the second appliance from the town. Bexhill, Crowborough, Newhaven, Lewes, Battle and Rye suffer a similar fate.

All these locations will be formally designated as single appliance stations.

Uckfield, Bexhill, Crowborough and Newhaven will be designated one-pump resilience stations through an overall redistribution of operational vehicles.

The fire authority said: “These stations will, therefore, have access to an additional fire appliance located at the stations.” 

Service-wide

“These will be utilised as flexible service-wide assets providing part of the service’s spare appliance fleet, as well as being operationally available at the stations for response to incidents, if required.”

Members of the fire authority also agreed to:

Introduce a one-watch duty system at Uckfield, Bexhill, Crowborough, Lewes and Newhaven to work over seven days with an establishment of nine.

An original proposal was for the full-time firefighters in Uckfield to be on station, Monday to Friday, during the day.

The agreed changes are part of the adoption of a new Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP).

In a statement, the fire authority said the IRMP had a number of key aims including:

  • Maintaining 24 fire stations;
  • Improving risk cover and resilience by resourcing, as far as practicable, 24/7 availability of some fire engines that have historically had limited availability; and
  • Balancing resources across the Service to reinvest in expanding building safety and prevention work we do in communities as well as firefighter safety.

Chairman of the authority, Roy Galley said:

Roy Galley

Cllr Roy Galley

“It is the responsibility of the fire authority to provide a fire and rescue service and to ensure its efficiency. 

“More than that, we want to ensure that the community we serve and those who work for the fire and rescue service have the opportunity to shape its future.

“The proposals brought to the fire authority for debate followed a wide ranging consultation, involving an online survey, forums and other two-way communication. 

“I am pleased that these decisions, which were based on evidence and engagement, were agreed and the fire authority is committed to ensuring this engagement continues.”

Educational work

Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker said:

“It is vital that our available resources are used in the most effective way to mitigate the risks our communities face, whether they be response to emergencies, our educational work or improving building safety.

“These decisions allow us to move forward with our original aims which will increase our resilience, and allow our resources to be deployed to where they are most needed such as building safety and community engagement.

Residents’ safety

“There is now a great deal of work ahead and we will naturally take into account any new emerging information, data and evidence when implementing these decisions. 

“Our focus will remain on those who live in and visit East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, and their safety.”

The statement also highlighted the following decisions:

Fire alarms

There  will no longer be automatic attendance to fire alarms operating in “low risk” commercial premises. 

Plans will be developed to work with businesses  to reduce the numbers of unwanted fire signals (AFAs) attended “through a range of measures”.

Lift releases

Attendance to people trapped in lifts will be continued. 

The fire authority said: “Confinement in a lift is traumatic for anyone, but even more so for those with a disability or a severe health condition, those who are elderly, or for those with young children.  

A swift response by the ESFRS [East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service] is the right one, given the training of the firefighters and the equipment that they have to hand.  This service should continue.”

Trapped birds

Calls to birds trapped in netting will continue to be answered.

The fire authority said: “If birds are not rescued by the ESFRS, then there is the potential for greater risk to members of the public in attempting to rescue trapped or dying birds themselves. 

“It also places the burden back on to animal charities who are suffering huge financial consequences because of the [Covid-19] pandemic.  

“It is also a humanitarian gesture, and this service should continue.”

Originally it was proposed to cease attending calls to trapped birds and lift malfunctions where people were not in distress to give time for owners to rectify the problem.

Future funding

The fire authority agreed an additional proposal stating:

In the event that there is an increase in government funding to Fire Service, the authority agrees to review the IRMP to reflect the changed position.

Commentary from UckfieldNews.com

The fire authority has moved from its original proposals.

However, there are four vital questions which go unanswered.

ONE: How will the additional fire appliance availability be guaranteed as this still relies upon ‘on call’ firefighter cover which cannot be guaranteed, whatever changes are made to contracts?

TWO: With three more posts cut from each day crewed station, will the whole-time firefighters provide cover at night to guarantee a fire appliance being available?

THREE: What is a “resilience station”?

FOUR: What reason is there for any on-call staff to be available when there may not be a fire appliance for them to crew?

In summary

The revised proposals are nothing but a re-jig of the originals and will see all six-day crewed stations fail to provide a second appliance for the benefit of their communities.

From our files

The original proposals

See also:

Carnival fireworks to soar over Uckfield

Concern about noise from new electricity sub-stations

Work of Isfield artists goes on display this weekend

Uckfield shopping tips for September

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Plans for new electricity supply point off Uckfield by-pass

The site of a proposed new UKPN sub-station is marked by a blue star. The dotted blue line shows National Grid’s existing overhead line.

National Grid will be sharing details of proposals for a new electricity supply point, at the corner of Eastbourne Road and the A22 Uckfield by-pass, at an online meeting today.

The proposal is to build two new substations and two pylons, one of which would replace an existing pylon.

The work is described as essential to allow UK Power Networks to connect to National Grid’s network, enabling them to upgrade the electricity supply to the surrounding area and meet increased demand.

Engagement sessions are to be hosted online by National Grid, via the video conferencing platform Zoom, rather than face-to-face, because of the impact of Covid-19.

Four sessions will run in two parts. Two taking place today (Thursday, September 3) at 11am and 6pm, will share details of proposals for the development.

The second sessions to be held next Thursday, September 10, at 11am and 6pm, will give those attending chance to share feedback and ask further questions.

To register your place for these virtual information sessions, or if you have any questions, please contact National Grid’s community relations team on 0800 6525 180 or email littlehorsted@communityrelations.co.uk.

National Grid aim to submit their proposals to Wealden District Council in the autumn.

If approved, National Grid would plan to start their 18-month construction programme in January 2022.

In preparation, they would need to carry out ground clearance work in 2021 and would write to local people in advance of these works.

National Grid says: “Please be assured that National Grid will do all they can to minimise any disruption to the local community.”

See also:

Coronavirus claims more Wealden lives

Town councillors oppose plans for former Uckfield hotel

Uckfield shopping tips for September

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Leisure, Music and arts

Work of Isfield artists goes on display this weekend

Ceramics artist Nigel Hunter with some of his work at a previous exhibition in Isfield. He will display sculptures at the Made in Isfield event this year.

Thirteen artists and makers who live in, or near Isfield, will be exhibiting their work in the village hall this weekend.

They are taking part in Artwave 2020 and the exhibition will be open from 11am until 6pm on Saturday, and from 11am until 5pm on Sunday.

The ‘Made in Isfield’ artwork will include figurative and landscape painting, bespoke jewellery, drawings, textiles, ceramics, sculpture, photography, collage, and a variety of printing methods.

Artists

Artists include Adele Scantlebury (woodblock prints), Karen Potter (litho and lino prints), Lisa Hamilton (jewellery), Nigel Hunter (sculpture), Janine Shute (drawing), Stuart Bass (painting), Mark Preston (Digital prints), Dan Johnson (collage and screen prints), Sue Williams (hand made bags and fabric goods), Stephanie Hunter (ceramics), Debbie Lias (photography), Annie McManus (painting), and Tommy Merryfield (painting).

There is plenty of room to park at Isfield Village Hall, or you can take the number 29 bus from Uckfield, Ringmer, or Lewes (please check the timetable for your return journey).

For refreshments The Laughing Fish pub is a ten minute walk away, or you could walk along the River Ouse for half an hour to the Anchor Inn.

Numbers

Numbers inside the hall for viewing the art will be restricted depending on Government rules at the time (25 people standing inside at present which includes the exhibition organisers on duty).

Masks are to be worn inside the hall, and people are asked to please use the hand sanitiser on entry.

Isfield Village Hall Committee requires the event organisers to adhere to additional Terms and Conditions of Hire which include a stringent cleaning regime during and after the event.

The event may be cancelled at short notice if Government rules change for any reason, for example local Covid 19 numbers ‘spiking.’

See also:

Plans for new electricity supply point off Uckfield by-pass

Town councillors oppose plans for former Uckfield hotel

Coronavirus claims more Wealden lives

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Town councillors oppose plans for former Uckfield hotel

The former Maidens Head – latterly the Smokehouse – in Uckfield. Town councillors are opposing an application for listed building consent to convert it into three homes and two commercial units.

Town councillors have opposed an application for listed building consent to convert a former Uckfield hotel into three homes and two commercial units.

The final decision on application WD/2020/0418/LB for the former Maidens Head – latterly the Smokehouse, at 91A High Street – will be made by Wealden District Council but the town council objects to the loss of accommodation.

It says there is already limited accommodation available in the Uckfield area and this change of use would result in further loss of facilities, especially near to the Ashdown Forest.

Key feature

It adds: “This building is a key feature in Uckfield High Street’s character and heritage, and any changes to the structure of the building would alter the street scene appearance and history of Uckfield.”

The council continues saying parking for the dwellings and commercial units would be limited and add further pressure to the High Street, and surrounding on-street parking bays.

Narrow

And, it says, the High Street and Church Street, at the Church Street junction are particularly narrow and access to the already congested and tightly arranged area of town would prove difficult with increased vehicular traffic linked to both the commercial and residential units.

The date for a response to the listed building application fell outside the town council’s usual cycle of plans committee meeting and so members were emailed the details for consideration.

• Town councillors have previously objected to a full planning application WD/2020/0417/F for the proposals covered in the listed building application. See: Town council objects to conversion plans for former hotel.

See also:

Coronavirus claims more Wealden lives

Amy White becomes partner at Rix and Kay solicitors

Uckfield shopping tips for September

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business

Amy White becomes partner at Rix and Kay solicitors

Amy White newly promoted employment partner at Rix & Kay solicitors.

Rix & Kay solicitors have announced the appointment of Amy White as employment partner.

The firm, which has offices in Uckfield, Ashford, Brighton and Hove, Seaford, and Sevenoaks, says the promotion brings the total number of partners to 19.

Amy completed her training contract with Rix & Kay in 2015 having spent seven years working and training with Gerard Maye Legal, a criminal defence firm based in Brighton.

She has progressed quickly through the ranks under the mentorship of chairman Bruch Hayter.

Leadership

She was promoted to Associate Solicitor in 2018 and completed the firm’s dedicated Leadership Development Programme the same year. Most recently, Amy joined an internal team responsible for the development and implementation of Rix & Kay’s strategic five-year business plan.

In addition to Amy’s role as Employment Partner, she also leads Rix & Kay’s fixed cost employment law and HR service, GatekeeperHR and has specialist sector expertise in Charity and Sport.

Amy is a member of Sussex FA’s Inclusion and Advisory Group advising on equality and diversity.

Success

Richard Cripps, Managing Partner of Rix & Kay said: “I’m delighted to see another success story emerge from Rix & Kay’s commitment to the recruitment and continuous development of talented and ambitious young lawyers.

“Amy is a huge talent and has a great career ahead of her. We are all delighted that she has made the step up to partner and will be a real asset to both Rix & Kay and the clients she serves.”

Amy White, said: “Since joining the firm, I have continued to be impressed by the emphasis that is placed on learning and personal development.

Progress

“From an early stage I was given the opportunity to progress and have always felt supported and encouraged.

“I’m delighted to have been made partner at Rix & Kay and I’m extremely excited about the firm’s future plans and to have the opportunity to be part of a successful and growing business.”

Rix & Kay is a full-service law firm which retains a strong regional presence across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and London and works in partnership with business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals, providing expert legal advice across a wide range of legal services. 

The firm’s Employment lawyers provide strategic and operational employment law advice to businesses, their directors and HR teams.

See also:

Coronavirus claims more Wealden lives

Uckfield shopping tips for September

New co-working space on Bellbrook Estate takes shape

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Uckfield and nearby villages: Covid-19 landmark

Latest data recording deaths from Covid-19 in Uckfield and surrounding communities shows July as a milestone month.

No deaths were recorded in the four-week period, the first time no-one in the area has died from Coronavirus since the pandemic began.

In Uckfield itself, the last Covid death was in May.

The cruelest month was April when 13 townspeople died.

However, the number of lab-confirmed cases in Wealden as a whole has shown an uptick in the last week.

This data follows a week when two customers of the Station pub in Uckfield are known to have contracted the disease.

See story here.

The latest data emphasises the important of continuing to follow the Government guidelines to combat the disease. The increase in cases could also be in part due to more testing.

Covid-19 deaths in Uckfield and nearby villages

The dividing line between the two Uckfield reporting areas is roughly the line of the River Uck. Communities are grouped by approximately similar populations by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for reporting purposes.

Uckfield Town and North

In Uckfield Town and North there have been seven deaths overall. Here are the monthly figures, as reported by the ONS.

March
1
April
6
May
0
June
0
July
0

Uckfield South (New Town and Ridgewood)

In Uckfield South there have been nine deaths overall.

March
1
April
7
May
1
June
0
July
0

Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron)

In Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield there have been six deaths overall.

March
0
April
2
May
1
June
3
July
0

Five Ash Down, Horsted and  Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton)

In Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly there have been three deaths overall.

March
2
April
0
May
0
June
1
July
0

Chelwood and Nutley

In Chelwood and Nutley there have been four deaths overall. 

March
0
April
3
May
1
June
0
July
0

Positive Covid-19 cases

Data showing the number of positive Covid-19 cases in each of these areas (above) show that in the week-ending August 26 the number of cases was between 0 and 2. Only the exact number of cases is given when the number of cases is three or more.

For comparison purposes, in the same period there were four new cases in East Grinstead Central and North, four in Balcombe and Handcross (Mid Sussex), three in Haywards Heath West, three in The Meads (Eastbourne) and three in the Burwash area.

We report on the number of Covid-19 deaths across Wealden each Wednesday.

Our latest report is here

Covid-19 cases in Wealden

The number of Covid-19 cases in Wealden increased by nine in the seven days to Sunday teatime.

This is the biggest weekly increase in recent weeks.

There have now been Wealden 496 cases, a rate of 307.2 per 100,000 population.

Here is a table of cases, as reported by UckfieldNews.com:

  • Tuesday, September 1, 496*
  • Monday, August 24: 487
  • Monday, August 17: 481
  • Monday, August 10: 476
  • Monday, August 3: 471
  • Monday, July: 27: 464
  • Monday, July 20: 457
  • Monday, July 13: 446
  • Monday, July 6, 439

*Our reporting date is a day late this week because of the August bank holiday. However, to maintain comparability, the numbers are those recorded at teatime the previous day (Sunday).

On a list of 380 local councils, Wealden is now 75th, last week 79th when it comes to the rate per 100,000 of population.

Compare and contrast Wealden Coronavirus cases with other areas

Here are the statistics for neighbouring areas (last week’s figure in brackets) with the rate per 100,000 of population since the outbreak began.

  • Brighton and Hove 870 (847) – 299.1 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Eastbourne 469 (462) – 452.1 per hundred thousand of population
  • Hastings borough 155 (141) – 167.3 per hundred thousand of population.  
  • Lewes district 395 (382) –  382.5 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Mid Sussex 648 (628) – 429.1 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Rother 201 (195) – 209.2 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Tunbridge Wells district 512 (503) – 431.3 per hundred thousand of population.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex – 1,716 (1,677) – 308.0 per hundred thousand of population.
  • West Sussex –   2,953 (2,904) – 341.8 per hundred thousand of population.
  • South East region – 37,685 (36,978) – 410.5 per hundred thousand of population.
  • England –  288,989 (281,457) – 513.4 per hundred thousand of population.

This website maintains its own datasets to track Covid-19 in Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden more generally. Our statistics are generally based on ONS data.

See also:

Uckfield house fire

New co-working space on Bellbrook estate takes shape

Vandals attack council properties

New Town roadworks on hold after outcry

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Uckfield shopping tips for September

Join us in this feature to catch up with what is happening in Uckfield shops.

There’s plenty of fresh stock to browse whether you have a return to school in mind or a new look for your home.

PipeDreams says thank you

Husband and wife team David and Julie Hobbs, who own the snow, surf and skate shop PipeDreams, in Uckfield, are grateful for the local support shown for their business over the summer holidays.

They have done good trade in wet suits, body boards, and beach shoes, and anything else needed for a staycation and Julie said that was thanks to local shoppers.

Now they are looking ahead to ‘Back to School’ and have a wide selection of backpacks in stock.

Just a few of the backpacks available at PipeDreams.

Then comes winter and the couple is very concerned about what will happen then because of the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the ski season. Some individuals are likely to go on ski holidays but all-important school trips will be off.

“We will need support more than ever then,” said Julie. “We are optimistic because of the support shown so far and hope it will continue.”

Scooters and skateboards are selling quickly and deliveries of skateboards are expected in September and October with new deliveries of Scooters throughout the winter.

New scooters and skateboards for sale at PipeDreams.

Final Score has ‘Back to School’ supplies

Final Score Sports Shop is stocked up with ‘Back to School’ supplies including backpacks football boots, trainers, shin guards, socks and shorts.

Owner Stephen Holliday says they have Velcro boots, classic rugby boots, great value trainers, and “some fancy gear” if you need it.

Final Score where boots, trainers, shin guards and backpacks are among goods available to get your children ready to go back to school.

Chestnut Tree charity shop is open again

Chestnut Tree children’s hospice charity shop at 23 High Street is open again after being closed for more than four months.

Manager Fizz Dean says they are accepting only a small amount of donations each day because items have to be quarantined before being sorted and sold and there’s very little storage space.

Phone first

She recommends people with items to donate call the shop first before dropping them in. The number to call is 01825 769912.

This charity shop is the first business in town to mention Christmas this year. A wide variety of Christmas cards has been delivered and they are being snapped up already.

See some in Uckfield News photographs below.

Christmas cards selling already at Chestnut Tree children’s hospice charity shop.

New fidget toy – and wool and fabric – arrives at Sew n Sew

New toys to fiddle with have arrived at Sew n Sew Haberdashery. They are magnetic rings that can be twisted, turned and balanced on each other.

Magnetic rings for sale at Sew n Sew.

Dawn and Andy Coppins who run Sew n Sew expect the rings to be a popular craze, just like fidget spinners were a few years ago.

Also new in at the shop are wools from King Cole and Stylecraft and 100% cotton fabrics. Get an idea of the variety available in the photographs below.

King Cole Fjord and Yummy Crush Wools left, and Stylecraft Amor and Highland Heathers.

New fabrics at Sew n Sew. They are 100% cotton.

Country garden flowers at The Flower Shop

It’s still the season for country garden flowers which make fantastic displays like the one being put together for a customer by the owner of The Flower Shop in Uckfield, Lisa Hepburn.

Lisa Hepburn of The Flower Shop puts together a bouquet of country garden flowers.

Stocks, Lisianthus, Roses, Companulas, Lilies and Delphiniums are among summer blooms at The Flower Shop.

Looking for a new sofa – SG Home Interiors can help

SG Home Interiors can help you choose the ideal sofa for the space you have available. Its Rom Sofas are contemporary, modular, with electric recliners, and adjustable head rest.

Rom’s ‘intelligent 20cm concept’ have a number of configurations to choose from, including fabric and leather options, mix and match colours, and two different leg heights. They are also available with contrast stitching.

Mix and match modules in a Rom Sofa at SG Home Interiors in Uckfield.

Lots of new stock will be arriving over the coming month and it is worth calling in for ideas on brightening up your interiors.

There’s a good selection of rugs and throws to help you get cosy for autumn.

Artwork to make you smile at Diane Hutt Gallery

There’s artwork to make you smile at the Diane Hutt Gallery and the most popular recently has been Nicky Litchfield’s cheeky donkey peering around a corner in the aptly named Yoo Hoo. You can spot it in the gallery window at the moment.

Nicky Litchfield’s Yoo Hoo at the Diane Hutt Gallery.

Also cheery is a new collection from Gary Walton who creates quirky maritime scenes, and there are new works too from Dale Bowen who similarly is known for his harbour scenes.

Gary Walton’s Harbour Rest at the Diane Hutt Gallery.

Dale Bowen’s Harbour Days and The Squall, just arrived at the Diane Hutt Gallery and still to be unpacked.

There are works to suit a more reflective mood too such as Nick Potter’s autumn scene, Take the Long Way Home.

Nick Potter’s autumn scene, Take the Long Way Home.

Eco-friendly and Fair Trade products at Carvills

Carvills is continually looking for new and exciting ethically sourced contemporary gifts and homewares made with sustainable materials and, where possible, made here in the UK.

And this year they are particularly pleased with new collections they have found to add to existing ranges.

They say: “Our passion is to provide our customers with a place they can buy quality products that are fairly traded and unpackaged, or packaged in as eco-friendly a way as possible.

“Looking after this amazing planet and the wonderful people on it surely has to become a top priority for all of us.

Responsible living

“For conscious and responsible living, shop sustainable, shop eco friendly shop Fair Trade, shop cruelty free, and shop vegan. Every little change really can make a difference.”

Among products sourced recently for Carvills are:

St Eval candles which smell amazing and come in reusable containers that are also easily recyclable.

Favourites are Bay and Rosemary and Sea Salt. They are made in Cornwall harnessing power from a wind turbine, photo voltaic panels and bio mass toilet. St Eval Candles are close to being carbon neutral.

Salt and Pepper ‘Pipes’ and ‘Manhole cover’ coasters are also proving popular. Each product is individually handmade in slipcase earthenware ceramic and finished in four high gloss colours, shale grey, mustard, turquoise and white. They are made in the UK and packaged in recyclable boxes.

Fishy Cork Trivets are harvested naturally from the Cork Oak Tree. They are by LIGA LoveEcoLiving, based in Cornwall, and available in two sizes, three, or five, fish.

Look out for packs of two environmentally friendly dishcloths made in a natural material which is 70% cellulose, 30% cotton. You just pop them in the dishwasher to clean. Three designs are available fish and weave, lobster and seaweed, swallow and dandelion.

There are eco-friendly 100% organic Bamboo Straws too which come in a set of five with their own cleaning burns. They are reusable, recyclable, and sustainable.

Pro biotics at Best Health Food Shop

Probiotics, designed to help with tummy health, including conditions such as bloating and IBS are available at Best Health Food Shop.

Probiotics, supplements, and more at Best Health Food Shop in Uckfield.

The shop also carries the full range of products designed by Dr Marilyn Glenville, a leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health.

Dr Marilyn Glenville products at Best Health Food Shop.

Medical herbalist Amber Callafiore.

There are also a wide variety of supplements including Omega 3.

If you would like advice on specific conditions then do contact the shop and arrange to meet medical herbalist Amber Callafiore, who has a degree in medicines made from wild plants and flowers.

Amber understands how they can be used to help illnesses great and small, by supporting the body to work better and feel stronger.

Don’t forget Best Health Food Shop also has a wide range of zero waste products and you can take in your own bottles, boxes and bags to fill when you buy laundry products, washing up liquid, shampoo and conditioner, and when you buy nuts and seeds, pasta and rice.

Clarins Milkshake Collection at Kamsons Health and Beauty

Just arrived at Kamsons Health and Beauty is the Clarins Milkshake Collection.

This is enriched with peach milk and designed to nourish and hydrate the skin, and restore soft skin and lips.

The collection is launched alongside six new Lip Milky Mousse shades, and Milky Boost which is said to leave the skin radiant and glowing while blurring imperfections and signs of fatigue. It comes in a creamy formula with ‘transformative micro pearls which change colour upon contact with the skin’.

The new Clarins Milkshake Collection at Kamsons Health and Beauty.

It’s also worth noting – as a complete contrast –  that new hot water bottles and head packs have arrived at Kamsons. See examples in the photograph below.

Hot water bottles and heat pads, new in at Kamsons Health and Beauty.

Final reductions in Cole’s sale

Final reductions are being made in the Cole’s Menswear sale with many more bargains added as new stock begins to arrive.

Final reductions in a sale at Cole’s Menswear.

Don’t forget Cole’s sells facemasks including a selection from Van Buck in Liberty prints.

Van Buck Liberty print facemarks.

Look out too for newly arrived bamboo socks.

Newly arrived bamboo socks at Cole’s Menswear.

New season stock at Cole’s Menswear.

Colourful cyclamen, bulbs and coffee at Staverton Nursery

Cyclamen have emerged in glorious colour at Staverton Nursery – the flowers were just buds a month ago.

There are plenty of bulbs to choose from to light up your garden in the spring, and don’t forget you can relax over a coffee and snack at the Space and Spoon after doing your shopping.

Cyclamen at Staverton Nursery.

Staverton Nursery with boards advertising Spade and Spoon.

Hedge cutters and leaf blowers at PP Estates

Hedge cutters and leaf blowers are available now at PP Estates ready for autumn jobs.

Hedge cutters and leaf blowers are among machinery at PP Estates when you are ready to carry out autumn maintenance in your garden.

Further discount on Swatch watches at W E Clark & Son

There’s now a 25% discount on Swatch watches at W E Clark & Son jewellers in Uckfield. Visit soon if you are interested in buying one because only limited stock is available.

Swatch watches – 25% off now.

New items have been added to the window display of pre-owned pieces. They include watches, gold items, and gem set pieces.

Pre-owned jewellery at W E Clark & Son.

New in store to the Danish brand Georg Jensen is the curve collection crafted in sterling silver and 18ct yellow gold with items including earrings, pendants, and bracelets.

The Georg Jensen Curve Collection is new at W E Clark & Son.

W E Clark & Son is now taking bookings for its ear piercing service. All the relevant PPE will be used. Appointments can be booked by calling 01825 708777.

New pottery at Kilnwood Studio

New pottery is arriving ready to be painted at Kilnwood Studio and if you like to be creative with gifts then these items – ranging from guitar to chunky gravy boat – will be perfect for you to do just that.

More new stock will be arriving this month too.

Gravy boat, guitar, wine coolers and vases are among new stock at Kilnwood Studio.

Favourites in stock at Something for Everyone

Favourites such as bird food, storage boxes, Mrs Hinch studio baskets and pick n mix can all be found at Something for Everyone in Uckfield High Street.

Opening hours currently are Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Aluminium doors and windows at Superior Glass

Superior Glass, Uckfield’s longest-established glass and windows business are installers of AluK and Smarts Aluminium products such as bifold doors, windows, and sliding patio doors.

The business takes on residential and commercial jobs and some examples of recently completed work can be seen below.

Uckfield News readers are invited to contact Superior Glass for a quote for similar work. Call 01825 764766 or email info@superiorglass.co.uk.

Aluminium doors and windows recently fitted by Superior Glass.

Specials on the menu at Hartfields

Specials on the menu at Hartfields include:

Drinks

Guest Coffee: Single origin ‘Peru’ Cafe Feminine. Tastes: Clean, juicy and well balanced. Available as a batch brew.
Watermelon and Strawberry Ice Cooler, and you can add gin.
Cold Brew Iced Tea: Hartfields special recipe

Brunch, all day

Sweet Potato Rosti Stack V – Halloumi, smashed avocado, red pepper relish, poached egg
Chestnut Mushrooms and Spinach on Sourdough, GF and VG option – Pine nuts and poached egg, and you can add streaky bacon.

Lunch, noon onwards

Chicken, Leek, Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Terrine, with Sourdough
Coronation Chicken Sandwich, almonds, sultanas, coriander, apple, cos lettuce, tomato
Macaroni Cheese, parmesan topping, mixed salad garlic ciabatta
Falafel Wrap V, hummus, rocket, sun dried tomato and sweet chilli sauce.

Sides include crisps, hand cut chips, and sweet potato fries.

Community

Uckfield house fire

An Uckfield home has been severely damaged by fire this afternoon (August 31).

The scene of the bank holiday Monday afternoon fire in Farriers Way, Uckfield. Picture: Dan Jessup, via Twitter

The blaze was in the roof of a home in Farriers Way.

There were no reports of any injuries with the occupants believed to be out when the fire began.

Smoke could be seen pouring from the roof from many miles away.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue sent two fire engines to the blaze plus support personnel and equipment.

People were asked to avoid the area at the height of the blaze

Farriers Way is off Bridge Farm Road.

See also:

New co-working space on Bellbrook estate takes shape

Vandals attack council properties

New Town roadworks on hold after outcry

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

New co-working space on Bellbrook Estate takes shape

 

Mark Hendley, right, who is overseeing the development of Cube Co-Working, a sister company of Cube Self-Storage, is pictured with Rod Payne, general sales manager at Cube Self-Storage.

New co-working space on the Bellbrook Estate, Uckfield, is taking shape and the first people to move in will be offered a special introductory rate.

Desks, and high speed wifi, are in place and so is air conditioning, and work will soon be completed on shared breakout area, decking, an outdoor seating area, a conference room, and meeting booths.

Work stations are arranged over two floors above the shared breakout area and kitchen.

Demand

At the moment there’s one separate office but if demand arises for more private space, or for different groupings of desks, that can be arranged.

“We aim to be flexible,” said Mark Hendley, property director for the Edward Baden Group, who has overseen the conversion of accommodation next to Cube Self Storage.

Priority has been given to installing high speed wifi access and ensuring the Cube Co-Working space is comfortable and friendly.

Eco-friendly

It is eco-friendly too. The decking surface will be recycled plastic, the lights are LEDs, and solar panels provide the electricity.

A website for the co-working space is up and running and you can read more there about the facilities available.

Enquiries have already been received from people interested in moving in, and those ready to start work there first will be offered time free of charge.

Discounts

Founder members will also be offered discounts to share feedback about how the space works.

Mark said: “The whole idea is to create a community of like-minded people here who would like to get involved with how the co-working space is managed, alongside our team and make suggestions on, or organise, their own events too.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has delayed the opening but we are pleased now to be ready to welcome our first co-workers.”

See also:

Scale of house building required in Wealden revealed

Help still available for crisis-hit residents

Station pub closes after customers test positive for Covid-19

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

A Royal Mail delivery to new homes at Ridgewood Place with construction in the background
Community, Local authorities, Planning

Scale of house building required in Wealden revealed

A Royal Mail delivery to new homes at Ridgewood Place with construction in the background

New homes at Ridgewood Place, Uckfield.

The number of homes required, by the Government, to be built in Wealden each year is nearly three times the target contained in the district’s local plan of 2013.

The Government’s target figure for 2019 was 1,231 compared with the council’s own target of 450 in the now outdated Local Plan.

New figures show that 1,034 homes were built in 2019/20 so that is below the new housing target.

The information is contained in a report going to Wealden Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, September 2.

Strategy

It says: “The adopted Wealden District Core Strategy Local Plan (February, 2013) provided the strategy for delivering against a housing target of 450 dwellings per annum. 

“This Local Plan is over five years old and as such, that housing target is no longer relevant for the purposes of assessing housing need in the district according to national planning policy guidance. 

“The net total of new homes built in the district over 2019/20 has now been calculated at 1,034. Previously this would have been considerably above the annual target. 

“In 2018, the Government produced a new method for calculating housing need in England called the ‘standard method’. 

Status

“This is based on status of the existing Local Plan (i.e. is it outdated), population projections and the affordability of the area. 

“For Wealden, the calculation of housing need in the 2019 period was 1,231 dwellings per annum (dpa). 

“This is an unconstrained assessment of housing need for the district. The council when moving forward with its new Local Plan will need to consider its own housing need, the unmet housing needs of neighbouring local authorities under the duty to cooperate process as well as its own physical/planning constraints before reaching a view on its formal housing target in the Local Plan. 

Interim

“However, for the interim period and for the purposes of determining planning applications, the council is now required to use the 1,231 dpa figure placing the 2019/20 outturn below its housing target. 

“Data collection for new homes built in the first quarter of 2020/21 has been delayed due to the pandemic and difficulties in conducting on-site checks.” 

• Decisions are awaited on a number of major planning applications relating to the Uckfield area which are before Wealden Council.

Developers are targeting Downlands Farm, Ridgewood, Mallard Drive Coopers Green, Eastbourne Road, Blackboys. Read more here: New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

See also:

Station pub closes after customers test positive for Covid-19

Vandals attack council properties

New Town roadworks on hold after outcry

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Vandals damage council properties in Uckfield

Damage to the pavilion roof at West Park.

Vandals caused “significant” damage to property at West Park and Victoria Pleasure Ground over the weekend.

Uckfield Town Council grounds staff say the pavilion roof at West Park was badly damaged as well as the stone steps and some fencing. Roof repairs alone have cost in excess of £300.

Vandalised steps at West Park Pavilion.

At Victoria Pleasure Ground the door handle to the Victoria Pavilion toilets was broken and, once inside, attempts were made to block the remaining sink and toilet. Although these facilities are currently still closed due to Covid 19, again this will cost significant money to repair.

A spokesperson for Uckfield Town Council said: “It is frustrating to have to deal with this vandalism and its consequent financial implications.

“The Town Council and its Councillors work hard to provide outside spaces and play areas for young people to use and enjoy so it is disappointing when they choose to be destructive instead.”

The Victoria Pavilion where vandals broke into toilets and attempted to block the remaining sink and toilet.

See also:

Station pub closes after customers test positive for Covid-19

New Town roadworks on hold after outcry

Blow for fund-raisers as Lavender Line remains closed

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Local authorities, Roads and rail

New Town roadworks on hold after outcry

Permits allowing UK Power Networks to start roadworks in New Town, Uckfield, next month have been temporarily revoked.

Cllr Chris Dowling.

The news comes from Cllr Chris Dowling, who represents Uckfield South on East Sussex County Council, and follows an Uckfield News report yesterday: Fury over roadworks planned in New Town.

Cllr Dowling welcomed news of the revocation but said this was only temporary. UKPN would re-apply for the permits which allow for the supply of electricity to the Ridgewood Place development.

Cllr Dowling said he shared concern, raised in the Uckfield News story, about the prospect of the roadworks being carried out at the same time as work to build a roundabout on Uckfield by-pass.

But, he said, he was advised that utility companies had legal rights to carry out infrastructure work and East Sussex County Council, as the Highways Authority had only limited reasons to refuse or deny the work.

He continued: “The work by UKPN should have been undertaken much earlier, rather than now when work relating to the development is taking place on Uckfield by-pass. They have had plenty of time to do this work since the planning application was approved.”

He added: “This temporary delay has given me the chance to request that when the highway permits are re-applied for, the work is scheduled so no work is undertaken leading up to Christmas, which otherwise could impact on the High Street.

“The final phase of work in Lewes Road must take place in January.”

See also:

Station pub closes after customers test positive for Covid-19

Blow for fund-raisers as Lavender Line remains closed

Charity’s campaign provides school packs for 148 children

Business, Community

Station pub closes after customers test positive for Covid-19

The Station pub in Uckfield, temporarily closed after two customers test positive for Covid-19.

The Station pub in Uckfield has closed temporarily after two customers, who visited together on multiple occasions this week, have since tested positive for Covid-19.

The announcement was made yesterday on the pub’s Facebook page.

The post says: “This is a precautionary measure to allow us to undertake a deep clean and we hope to be back open very soon.

Worrying

“We appreciate this is worrying news, and would like to reassure our customers that we have a number of robust hygiene and safety measures in place as part of our Pub Safe promises to help keep our team and customers safe.

“We will be contacting the relevant health authorities to make them aware of this and have NHS Test and Trace data available for them to use should they feel it is needed.

“We expect to be closed for at least a couple of days, and will contact customers with bookings to let them know that we will regrettably have to cancel.

“Thank you all for your support at this time.”

Infections

• Indicators had been showing the number of Covid-19 infections in the Uckfield area running at a low level.

On Monday this website reported that the number of lab-confirmed cases in the town and surrounding villages in the previous week were too low (or non-existent) so as not the register on Office for National Statistics data which only publishes when figures are at three or above for a specific district, such as Uckfield town and north, for example.

See our latest stories about lab-confirmed cases, and the number of deaths in Wealden in the last few weeks:

Covid-19 remains suppressed in Uckfield area

Hopeful Wealden Covid-19 trends continue

See also:

Uckfield Line: Extra service coming but bank holiday closure

Charity’s campaign provides school packs for 148 children

Blow for fund-raisers as Lavender Line remains closed

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Roads and rail

Fury over roadworks planned in New Town

Uckfield Chamber of Commerce president Chris Lawson says he is “incandescent with rage” over plans for roadworks due to start in New Town next month.

Mr Lawson says it is appalling the roadworks have been scheduled at the same time as  major works are under way on the town’s by-pass.

He said: “This is crass stupidity and will make it more difficult for people to access the town at a time when the Chamber of Commerce is working with the town council and district council to promote shopping in the High Street.”

The New Town roadworks have been scheduled to take place between Tuesday, September 22, and Monday, November 23, by UK Power Networks.

High voltage electricity cables

The plan is to install new 33kv high voltage electricity cables “to ensure safe and reliable power supplies”.

Multi-way signals will be in place to control traffic as excavation gets under way to install ducts, backfill and reinstate the surface.

Uckfield Chamber of Commerce president Chris Lawson.

The work is due to be carried out between the Citroen garage and Lewes Road roundabout.

Mr Lawson said: “I cannot believe the crass stupidity of this. Does UK Power Networks not consult anyone before embarking on such projects?

“It is bad enough enduring the traffic chaos caused by the new roundabout works on the by-pass, but to have these works at the same time will have a disastrous effect on the town.”

He feared a severe detrimental impact on High Street shopping and traffic chaos for people trying to travel between the north and south of the town.

He added: “These works must be postponed until after the new by-pass roundabout is completed. I will be urging our elected representatives to take action forthwith.”

See also:

Hopeful Wealden Covid-19 trends continue

Uckfield Line: Extra service coming but Bank Holiday closure

Charity provides 148 school packs for children

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Charity’s campaign provides school packs for 148 children

School packs have been provided for 148 children thanks to the efforts of the charity Baby2Baby and Beyond and its supporters.

The Bags4School campaign was set up to ensure that where families were struggling financially, and in need of support, children were able to receive new school bags and essential equipment.

Hannah Powell, co-founder of the charity, which is based near Uckfield, said: “All the items we’ve gifted are brand new and we hope they will give children who may otherwise go without, the right equipment, motivation, and ultimately the best possible start to this academic year.

Referrals

“We’ve received far more referrals than anticipated for an initial campaign, and have been able to provide school packs for 148 children.

“We would like to thank all who used our Amazon Wishlist, and local giving account, to support this campaign; Co-op Funeralcare (Tunbridge Wells), who made a donation of notebooks, and Holmewood House School shop.

“It’s thanks to their generous donations that it was possible to launch this campaign and purchase bulk volumes of items like backpacks, scientific calculators, and pencil cases.”

Some of the items collected to go into backpacks as part of the Bags4School campaign. They include pencil cases and maths sets.

East Sussex County Council’s Lead Member for Children and Families, Cllr Sylvia Tidy visited the charity yesterday to see its regular work and also learn about the Bags4School campaign.

Cllr Tidy said: “I had a very informative visit to the amazing Baby2Baby. 

“The work of the charity is collecting good condition baby and children’s clothes and equipment, and bundling them into beautiful parcels to be given to families who have found themselves living with very little in the way of clothes and equipment to support their children.

Bundles

“The bundles are packed with love and care to give the recipient a feeling of worth at a difficult time in their lives.

“Prams, cots, bottles, bedding, toys, books a whole array of stuff are also on hand to bring joy to those most in need.

“East Sussex County Council social workers work closely with the charity so ensuring those in need are given a helping hand.”

Social workers

She said the backpacks full of pencil cases, note books, and maths equipment which were going to primary and secondary school children referred by social workers, and other key workers, who support families in need. 

Cllr Tidy added: “What a difference it will make, particularly after being out of school for so long because of Covid-19, knowing you will have what every other pupil has when starting a new school year.

“How lucky East Sussex is to have Baby2Baby helping families in their time of need.”

See how you can get involved with the charity at the Baby2Baby and Beyond website.

See also:

Tips to help 18 to 25-year-olds in financially tough times

Your invitation to Wild Meat Tasting Day

Ridgewood Post Office has been sold

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Tips to help 18 to 25-year-olds in financially tough times

Tips designed to help young people take control of their financial situation during tough times are being shared by Uckfield-based Cranwell Wealth Solutions.

Advisor Steven Sanders says 18 to 25-year-olds have been hard hit as a result of the 2008 financial crash, unattainable housing, higher tuition fees, Brexit, and now the enormous impact of Covid-19.

But, he says, there are ways to get to grips with the situation.

Steven’s tips include:

Government help 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £2bn “kickstart scheme” ambition for people living in England is to create more jobs for young people. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit, and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Here’s what the scheme entails:

  • 6-month work placements aimed at 16-24 year olds 
  • New funding for National Careers Service
  • High quality traineeships for young people. Plus funding to employers who provide trainees with work experience.
  • Payments for employers who hire new apprentices under the age of 25.
  • Investment in high value courses for school and college leavers.

Check here for the latest updates – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rishis-plan-for-jobs-will-help-britain-bounce-back

How 18-25 year olds can help themselves

  • Community spirit is high right now, so why not capture this sentiment and write to companies or individuals via Linkedin to ask for valuable work experience. Remind them of the Government schemes when you make an approach. 
  • When you do find regular employment begin contributing even a small amount to a pension. If you meet the criteria, your employer will also help by paying into the pension for you. 
  • Consider saving into an ISA for more tax efficient savings, rather than investing into cash savings accounts. 
  • But most importantly, do not delay in asking for financial advice. It is a common myth that you need to wait until you have wealth to see a financial adviser; this is simply not the case. Getting advice early on is vital. 

How parents/grandparents can help

  • Fund further or specialist courses and study to give you an edge over others.
  • Free up some of their disposable income to contribute to a deposit for your first property.
  • Parents and grandparents can also make small regular contributions into a pension for you.
  • Grandparents and parents can consider using their annual gifting allowances, if they want to reduce their estate for Inheritance Tax Purposes. 

Whatever you decide to do, Stephen says the very best advice he can give is to plan for the future now. 

Cranwell Wealth Solutions would be happy to help. To book an appointment with a Financial Adviser there please call 01435 866101 or email Steven Sanders at steven.sanders@sjpp.co.uk 

• The value of an investment will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time and are generally dependent on individual circumstances.

• Contact details for Cranwell Wealth Solutions can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Financial Advice or Wealth Management.

See also:

Ridgewood Post Office has been sold

Covid-19 remains suppressed in Uckfield area

Housebuilding: Mayor seeks to ensure Uckfield’s voice is heard

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Food & Drink, Shopping

Your invitation to Wild Meat Tasting Event

South Brockwells Farm Shop, at Little Horsted, is hosting a Wild Meat Tasting Day on Saturday (August 29).

There will be speciality burgers, koftas, summer tarts, and homegrown produce to try. All will be cooked in the farm’s catering trailer in the spacious farmyard.

The free event will run from 11am to 3pm and there will be plenty of room for visitors to enjoy tasting the wild food safely.

South Brockwells Farm has a new website too. You can see it at www.southbrockwellsfarm.com.

• Contact details for South Brockwells Farm can be found 24/7 in their Premium Listing in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Farm Shop, or Farms.

See also:

Ridgewood Post Office has been sold

Bluebell Railway plans spectacular SteamLights show

Covid-19 remains suppressed in Uckfield area

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Leisure

Bluebell Railway plans spectacular SteamLights show

The Bluebell Railway will be lighting up the winter nights with a seasonal lights spectacular this Christmas.

The new SteamLights event will see trains covered in thousands of colourful lights steam through the countryside between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes across the festive period.

Visitors will be treated to festive scenes among the clearings and a colourful light show orchestrated in time with music and narration.

Bluebell Railway marketing manager, Ruth Rowatt, said: “We are so excited to bring SteamLights to Sussex.

Christmas

“Steamlights will be a unique addition to any family’s calendar this Christmas with festive displays, music and narration, this is a steam train experience not to be missed.”

You can view a promo video for SteamLights here: https://youtu.be/qjIeDPY5nr4

Tickets are sold per compartment to allow for social distancing measures. First class compartments seat up to six adults and third class up to eight adults. Passengers can also order Christmas hampers full of seasonal treats to enjoy during the journey.

Tickets are now on sale for selected dates in November, December, and January. Please visit Bluebell Railway website to book tickets.

See also:

Ridgewood Post Office has been sold

Covid-19 remains suppressed in Uckfield area

Housebuilding: Mayor seeks to ensure Uckfield’s voice is heard

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Ridgewood Post Office has been sold

Sue and Jon Gothard pictured outside Ridgewood Post Office which they have run for 34 years. They move out ready for retirement on Thursday.

Ridgewood Post Office has been sold and will close from 5pm tomorrow while the current owners Sue and Jon Gothard move out on Thursday.

The sale came to a head quickly with contracts only exchanged on Friday and the couple will be carrying out a stock take with the new owners on Wednesday.

It is understood the new owners intend to keep the shop closed for a week while they prepare to take over.

Jon and Sue have lived and worked at the Post Office for 34 years bringing up two boys in the process.

Retirement

They will remain living locally during their retirement because Jon looks after his 94-year-old mother and they have a toddler granddaughter and newborn grandson to play with.

The couple have loved the Post Office, in Lewes Road, since they first saw it. To start with they both held other jobs outside it to help pay the bills but they are pleased to be leaving it as a sustainable business.

Ridgewood has grown hugely during their time in the village with new estates being built including New Barn, Sand Ridge, Harlands Farm, Fernley Park, and Castle Rise. And now 1,000 new homes are being built across the road from the Post Office at Ridgewood Farm.

Jon and Sue have enjoyed being at the centre of the community and working with their customers during the past 34 years. Now they are looking forward to retirement.

• Commercial agents Lawson Commercial handled the sale of Ridgewood Post Office. Follow the link to their website for their contact details.

See also:

Covid-19 remains suppressed in Uckfield area

Plans submitted for Barnsgate Manor Vineyard

Housebuilding: Mayor seeks to ensure Uckfield’s voice is heard

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Covid-19 remains suppressed in Uckfield area

Indicators show Covid-19 infections in the Uckfield area continue to run at a low level.

The number of lab-confirmed cases in the town and surrounding villages in the past week are too low (or non-existent) so as not to register on Office for National Statistics (ONS) data which only publishes when figures are at three or above for a specific district, such as Uckfield town and north, for example.

They are unchanged since this report.

In the wider Wealden area, deaths have only been one in each of the last three weeks and the number of new cases continues to run on average at fewer than one a day.

Low rate across East Sussex

It is a similar picture for East Sussex as a whole and the county has one of the lowest infection rates in England.

However, the message from health officials is that Covid-19 has NOT gone away.

People must not to drop their guard and continue with social distancing, washing hands regularly, wearing face masks as required and being vigilant for symptoms.

Covid-19 totals

This website updates Covid-19 cases in the district each Monday, based on data published the previous afternoon.

The latest total is 487 cases since the pandemic began.

Here is a table of cases, as reported by UckfieldNews.com:

  • Monday, August 24: 487
  • Monday, August 17: 481
  • Monday, August 10: 476
  • Monday, August 3: 471
  • Monday, July: 27: 464
  • Monday, July 20: 457
  • Monday, July 13: 446
  • Monday, July 6, 439

The July 6 figures saw the numbers rise to 439 from the previous week’s 231 because of the way the statistics were collated and presented by Government agencies.

The rate of infection since the pandemic began is now 301.6 per 100,000 of population.

A rise in the rate per 100,000 of population is inevitable because the number of cases is increasing while the population is static.

How we compare

On a list of 380 local councils, Wealden is now 79th, last week 73rd when it comes to the rate per 100,000 of population.

Hastings is 12th, Rother 25th and Brighton and Hove 72nd.

The council with the lowest UK rate per 100,000 is Na h-Eileanan Siar in the Outer Hebrides with a figure of 26.2 and only seven cases in total since the pandemic began

Compare and contrast Wealden Coronavirus cases with other areas

Here are the statistics for neighbouring areas (last week’s figure in brackets) with the rate per 100,000 of population since the outbreak began.

  • Brighton and Hove  847 (834) – 291.2 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Eastbourne 462 (457) – 445.3 per hundred thousand of population
  • Hastings borough 141 (140) – 151.1 per hundred thousand of population.  
  • Lewes district 382 (389) –  379.6.per hundred thousand of population.
  • Mid Sussex 628 (619) – 415.8 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Rother 195 (194)– 203.0 per hundred thousand of population.
  • Tunbridge Wells district  503 (501)– 423.7 per hundred thousand of population.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  1,677 (1,661) – 301.0 per hundred thousand of population.
  • West Sussex –   2,904 (2,857) – 336.1.
  • South East region – 36,978 (36,397) – 402.8 per hundred thousand of population.
  • England –  281,457 (275,000) – 500.0 per hundred thousand of population.
  • There figures show the total number of people with at least one lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 test result since the start of the pandemic in each area. The rates per 100,000 resident population give a fairer comparison of the number of cases in each area but they do not take account of the different rates of testing or differences in the age and sex of the local populations.
  • Our datasets use  published, particularly from the Office for National Statistics.
  • Generally we update week – the number of cases on a Monday and the number of deaths on a Wednesday.

See also:

Barnsgate Manor Vineyard plans

Aesthetics clinic offers free course of phototherapy treatment in competition

Uckfield Rotary Club and Sussex freemasons present charity cheques

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Aesthetics clinic offers free course of phototherapy treatment in competition

Glo. Skin Clinic is offering you the chance to win a course of phototherapy treatment.

Nurse Laura Buggy who runs an aesthetics clinic in Framfield is offering a course of Dermalux LED treatments free of charge in a competition running on Facebook and Instagram.

Laura, of Glo. Skin Clinic, says: “Dermlaux LED Phototherapy re-energises cells, helps combat acne, treat pigmentation, assists with healing and injuries, rejuvenates and enhances the complexion, and, most importantly, boosts mood.”

What to do

To be in with a chance of winning the course of six treatments, all you need to do is:

  • Follow Glo. Skin Clinic on Facebook or Instagram
  • Like and Comment “I need a boost” on the relevant post
  • Tag a friend

The first treatment must be booked and started before September 30, 2020, and the whole course must be taken by the same individual, though it can be gifted by the winner to someone else, 18+ only.

• Dermalux LED cannot be used in pregnancy, if you suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, photosensitive eczema or are taking any photosensitive medication, if you suffer from Lupus erythematosus, albinism or photosensitive epilepsy.

Read more

• Read more about Laura and the Glo. Skin Clinic in another Uckfield News story: Nurse launches aesthetics clinic in Framfield.

• Contact details for Glo. Skin Clinic can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Beauticians or Health and Well-Being.

See also:

Elton John album scene recreated at Bluebell Railway

Isfield artist to display their work in exhibition

Uckfield Pizza Express escapes axe

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

A view of some of the new houses being built at Ridgewood
Community, Local authorities, Planning

Housebuilding: Mayor seeks to ensure Uckfield’s voice is heard

Uckfield residents have bombarded town councillors with views on the large number of major housebuilding plans which have been announced in recent weeks.

A view of some of the new houses being built at Ridgewood

A view of some of the new houses being built at Ridgewood (file photo)

Now the town mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew, hopes to ensure opinions are brought together for a co-ordinated response and to try and make an impact with the decision makers.

Cllr Spike Mayhew

Data kept by this website shows that in Uckfield and surrounding villages more than 3,600 homes either have planning permission to be built, are seeking planning permission or want a “screening opinion” from Wealden District Council.

This number includes houses already built at Ridgewood Place, part of the Ridgewood Farm 1,000 homes project.

In addition to those homes, other plans have surfaced  for a further 1,100 new properties in Uckfield itself.

Major schemes brought forward in recent times include:

This website has its own housebuilding tracker which keeps watch on proposals in Uckfield and nearby villages.

Cllr Mayhew told a meeting of the full town council that members had been deluged since details of the applications became known. 

Strong approach

He said: “We have all been inundated with loads of comments, phone calls and emails from residents really concerned about the developments heading this way.

“I am looking into ways of putting our views across to the relevant authorities for a strong approach to get them to listen to us.

“It is an ongoing process but I think our voice does need to be heard.

“Hopefully, I will have an update for you at the next full council.”

Major change to planning system

The Government is proposing a major shake-up to the planning system.

The major change is that land will be “zoned” and it is that process where the major debate and discussions will come.

Planning authorities (in our case, Wealden District Council) will need to fully engage residents in deciding whether land is zoned as Growth, Renewal or Protected.

Once land has been zoned, the Government suggests streamlining the opportunity for consultation at the planning application stage.

The Government’s plans are out for consultation but if they go ahead as envisaged, it will mean the land zoning process will be the key moment and the best chance for people to make their views known.

You can read the Government proposals, Planning for the future, in full here [external link]

See also:

Coronavirus deaths in Wealden still in check

800 years since the name Uckfield first appeared in official document

Job vacancy – Bluebell Railway seeks Assistant Chef

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business

Job vacancy at Sky High Trampoline Gymnastics Academy

Sky High Trampoline Gymnastics Academy is looking for a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Find more details about the role, and how to apply, at UckfieldJobs.com.

See also:

Uckfield Pizza Express escapes axe

800 years since the name Uckfield first appeared in official document

Adult College launches Autumn online courses

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business

Uckfield Pizza Express escapes axe

It looks as if Uckfield’s Pizza Express restaurant has escaped the axe as it is revealed that 73 outlets elsewhere are to close with the loss of 1,100 jobs.

See which stores are set to close in this BBC News story.

See also:

Coronavirus deaths in Wealden still in check

800 years since the name Uckfield first appeared in official document

Job vacancy – Bluebell Railway seeks Assistant Chef

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Leisure

Adult College launches Autumn online courses

Courses ranging from printmaking to beekeeping, and belly dancing to French are among those being offered online by the Adult College for Rural East Sussex in the Autumn.

Postcards promoting the classes are landing on doormats across Uckfield and if you can see a full list of them on the Adult College website and in an interactive online brochure.

All the classes will be held online in small groups real-time using Google Meet.

The college says: “We pride ourselves in the high-quality courses we offer in the community. ACRES hope to return to your area with face-to-face courses as soon as we can.”

• Contact details for the Adult College for Rural East Sussex (Acres) can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Adult Learning, or Education.

See also:

Elton John album scene recreated at Bluebell Railway

The Beauty Spot opens again for all treatments

Uckfield firm offers discount on installation of EV charge points

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Food & Drink

Job vacancy – Bluebell Railway seeks Assistant Chef

The Bluebell Railway is looking for an Assistant Chef to help the Head Chef with the day to day delivery of food products throughout the company’s catering outlets.

Read more about the job, and how to apply on UckfieldJobs.com.

See also:

Elton John album scene recreated at Bluebell Railway

The Beauty Spot opens again for all treatments

Uckfield firm offers discount on installation of EV charge points

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, History, Leisure

Elton John album scene recreated at Bluebell Railway

Elton John pictured at the Bluebell Railway for his Tumblewood Connection album cover 50 years ago.

The scene on an Elton John album cover has been recreated for fans at the Bluebell Railway.

The singer visited the railway for the cover of his 1970 album Tumbleweed Connection. He and lyricist Bernie Taupin were photographed outside the museum at the heritage line’s Sheffield Park station.

And now there is the chance for visitors to follow in the footsteps of Sir Elton John and be pictured in the same spot as he was.

The Elton John scene recreated at the Bluebell Railway.

The original photograph was taken by photographer Ian Digby Ovens with the Victorian station used to represent the album’s rural Americana concept.

Bluebell Railway museum curator Tony Drake said: “Late one afternoon I was locking up the museum when a young couple came along and declared, ‘It must be here’. I inquired as to what was ‘here’ and they told me the story of Elton John and the cover for his album Tumbleweed Connection.

“They then proceeded to take photographs with the gentleman sat where Elton appears on the album cover.

Bluebell Railway visitor Hugh Stevenage takes up the Elton John pose at the Bluebell Railway.

“This year is 50 years since the album was released and the Bluebell Railway is celebrating 60 years of operating as a heritage line so we thought it would be a good idea to encourage Elton’s fans to come and take their picture at the scene.”

The railway’s museum team discovered some of the enamel signs that were outside the building in 1970 had been moved to other parts of the railway and so have put them all back in the same positions and cleaned them ready for the photo opportunity. 

They include signs for Sunlight soap, Rowntree’s chocolates, Mazawattee tea, Shelvey’s mineral waters and Rajah cigars.

The Nestle’s milk chocolate bar dispensing machine had also been relocated to another station on the Bluebell line since Elton John’s visit but it was “still standing”. It too was moved back into position and repainted by the museum’s volunteers. 

Visitors to the Bluebell Railway have now started posing as Elton John and recreating the album cover including using photo-editing software to produce black-and-white images to match the feel of the original photograph. 

You too can be photographed in the place Elton John posed for his album cover.

The railway is encouraging visitors to share their images on social media.

Tumbleweed Connection was Elton John’s third studio album and it reached No. 2 in the UK album charts even though there were no hit singles.

Sir Elton is just one of many singers who have visited the Bluebell Railway or used its period stations for promotional filming since it opened as a heritage line in August 1960. Others include Cilla Black, Ringo Starr, Sheena Easton and Pet Shop Boys.

Opening times

The railway reopened on August 7 this year after being closed for 20 weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Access to the museum on Platform 2 at Sheffield Park is restricted to people who have bought tickets for one of the railway’s train services. All tickets have to be pre-booked online.

Further details of the railway’s opening days and times are at www.bluebell-railway.com.

See also:

The Beauty Spot opens again for all treatments

Gentle rise in Wealden Covid-19 cases goes on

Uckfield firm offers discount on installation of EV charge points

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

The Beauty Spot opens again for all treatments

Maria Mann owner of The Beauty Spot pictured before lockdown. Now she and her team wear full PPE to protect themselves and their customers from Covid-19.

The owner of The Beauty Spot in Uckfield heaved a sigh of relief when she heard on Friday that the business was able to resume all treatments the following day.

Maria Mann said on Facebook: “I’m literally in floods of tears with relief, happiness and every other emotion that I can possibly have right now.”

She had never imagined when the salon was closed in March that it would stay shut so long while she could do nothing to stop the business she had built up over 15 years disintegrating before her eyes.

During lockdown she was quick to undertake Covid-19 hygiene training, refurbished the salon ready for social distancing, and eventually was allowed to undertake some treatments but not those involving the face so debts built up.

The newly refurbished Beauty Spot salon.

Maria knew that if the restrictions weren’t lifted soon she would have to start winding down the business. Now with all treatments allowed once more everything has changed and she is thrilled.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been by my side through this, everyone who has listened to me cry, moan or given me the strength to carry on when I haven’t had any. You all know who you are and I love you all so much.

“Thank you to my lovely loyal clients who has supported us so far. And thank you to my amazing work girls. We are back in business.

“So I can say we are taking bookings for all treatments I will work my way through our list and contact you ASAP to book in.”

See also:

Uckfield marks 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan

Gentle rise in Wealden Covid-19 cases goes on

Opening hours to be extended at Five Ash Down Post Office

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Uckfield marks 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan

Two Uckfield events commemorated the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2.

On Saturday (August 15) there was a “Cry of Peace” just after 11am and 24 hours later a bench was unveiled on the Manor Park Estate.

Ian Bedwell prepares for the Cry of Peace on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day

The events were a fitting tribute to the so-called Forgotten Army, who fought in the jungles of Burma and throughout the Far East.

Peace in Europe arrived on May 8 but it was another three months before the Japanese surrendered after suffering three hammer blows.

The USA dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, two days later the Soviet Union entered the war against Japan and the day after that a second nuclear bomb was dropped, this time on Nagasaki. 

Uckfield Town Crier, Ian Bedwell, performed the Cry of Peace at the Victoria Pleasure Ground to ensure social distancing was maintained.

Uckfield Town Council said the event was to “help us remember all those armed forces personnel who were still fighting the Far East after the war in Europe had ended”.

Town criers across the country, along with local churches around the world, joined the Cry of Peace, to ring their bells to mark the moment in history.

The Cry of Peace video can be seen on our YouTube channel

Commemorative bench unveiled

The bench unveiling on Sunday was organised by the Manor Park and Hempstead Fields Residents’ Association.

Deputy town mayor, Cllr Jackie Love, removed the Union Flags from the bench which is on a privately owned verge near the water tower in Browns Lane.

Deputy Town Mayor, Cllr Jackie Love, unveils the bench which is situated on the brow of the hill at Browns Lane with distant views towards Buxted

The land is owned by Mrs Beryl Peters, whose late husband Derek was a radar operator with the RAF in World War 2.

Mrs Peters’ son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Shelley, watched the ceremony.

Funding for the bench came partly from the residents’ association with significant contributions from Action in Rural Sussex, CPJ Field Funeral Directors and the Uckfield Town Council. Ric Mears of Mearsy Services installed the bench without charge.

Uckfield Deputy Town Mayor, Cllr Jackie Love (left) sitting on the bench with representatives from CPJ Field, Emma Naylor (centre) and Kerry Brown

Also present were the secretary of the Uckfield Royal British Legion, Norman Mayer, who gave The Exhortation and the Legion’s Standard Bearer, Eric Senior, as well as Emma Naylor and Kerry Brown representing CPJ Field Funeral Directors. 

The Association originally planned to install and unveil the new bench in May, on the 75th anniversary of VE Day. 

This would have included a flyover by a Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Flight, but lockdown intervened, and unfortunately, it was not possible to rearrange the flyover for this weekend’s event.

Attendance at the unveiling was by invitation only due to the coronavirus restrictions.

The bench in Browns Lane with the dove of peace

The commemorative bench in Browns Lane, showing its setting near the water tower

Paul Sparks, Chairman of the Association, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to provide another bench for the use and enjoyment of our residents. 

“We would like to thank the Peters family for allowing us to use their land. It was a pity that we could not go ahead with our original plans for the opening as that would have been a most memorable occasion. 

“However, when things return to normal, we will try to arrange a similar event for the enjoyment of our residents and to honour our service personnel.”

The new bench is a ‘cousin’ of one the residents’ association installed in Southview Drive.

The Lest We Forget bench in Southview Drive which was installed in 2018 to commemorate The Fallen of World War 1.

See also:

New temporary speed limit on Uckfield by-pass from today

A-level results from Uckfield College

Opening hours to be extended at Five Ash Down Post Office

Uckfield firm offers discount on installation of EV charge points

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Roads and rail

Uckfield firm offers discount on installation of EV charge points

VoltEV director Lazlo Suppel who is offering 10% discount to TN22 postcodes for the installation of electric vehicle charging points.

VoltEV, a company which installs electric vehicle charge points for home and business use is offering a 10% discount for TN22 postcodes.

The offer from the Uckfield-based business will run until the end of September.

VoltEV, are Government approved charge point installers under the OLEV scheme.

Director, Lazlo Suppel, set up the business a year ago and works across the South East installing charge points for home and business customers, including offices and hotels.

Options

He is keen to build up business in the Uckfield area and told Uckfield News: “I have noticed more local people driving electric vehicles and wanted to let them know about VoltEV and the different options available for charging points both at home and at work.”

Lazlo says that, in addition to the VoltEV 10% discount, Government grants are available towards the installation of charging points.

The grant towards a charging point at home gives you £350 off the cost of supply and installation, while the workplace grant scheme enables you to claim up to £350 per socket.

Free surveys

VoltEV offers free surveys to those considering installing charging points and if you would like to know more please call 01825 733154 or 07876 572964, email info@voltev.uk, or visit the VoltEV website www.voltev.uk.

• Contact details for VoltEV can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in the category for Electricians, or EV Charging Points Installation.

See also:

Commercial agent: Where will Uckfield’s new residents work?

Yet more homes proposed in Uckfield – 450 of them

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Bluebell Railway needs retail manager for gift shop

The Bluebell Railway at Sheffield Park near Uckfield is looking for a full-time retail manager for its gift shop.

Read more about the job and how to apply for it here on UckfieldJobs.com.

See also:

Cock Inn seeks full-time staff member

C J Thorne and Co is recruiting

Commercial agent: Where will Uckfield’s new residents work?

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Planning

Commercial agent: Where will Uckfield’s new residents work?

As proposals for hundreds of new homes in Uckfield pour in to Wealden Council commercial agent Chris Lawson asks: Where will all the new residents work?

The latest major schemes include 450 homes at Horstedpond Farm, Ridgewood, and 550 at Downlands Farm and you can see more in this Uckfield News story: New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’.

Chris, a partner at Uckfield-based Lawson Commercial said: “I wouldn’t mind betting that the vast majority probably will get planning, particularly as there is a new mood in the planning department to be a bit more flexible in their approach and to comply with the inspector’s recommendation.”

Chris Lawson, a partner in Lawson Commercial, pictured during the Coronavirus lockdown in his home office.

The agent was referring to a report from a Government planning inspector who threw out Wealden Council’s draft Local Plan saying more houses must be built.

Chris continued: “The problems that Gatwick airport are currently experiencing means there might be less of a draw for jobs there so we are going to need more opportunities in the immediate locality.”

He asked where the next Ashdown Business Park, which he has been marketing over the last few years, was going to be.

The Ashdown Business Park in Maresfield. Few sites remain there and commercial agent Chris Lawson says a new industrial estate is urgently needed in Wealden north.

And Chris pointed out that while a previous planning application for development at Downlands Farm included about 100,000 sq ft of new business space, the current screening application was only about housing.

He said: “What has been most fascinating during the lockdown period is the demand for industrial space in the general East Sussex area.

Demand

“Throughout most of the lockdown period I was carrying out viewings almost every day of vacant industrial buildings because that’s where the demand was coming from, and we were receiving two or three new enquiries every day, most exclusively for industrial buildings.

“I was even successful in agreeing a couple of deals in the middle of lockdown which have now been signed.

“Since lockdown was lifted we have been really busy on the industrial front with lettings agreed in:

  • Uckfield
  • Three at Palehouse Common
  • Shortgate, The Broyle
  • The Holmes Hill Estate on the A22
  • Two in Newhaven
  • 4,500 sq ft in Eastbourne
  • 4,500 sq ft on the Ashdown Business Park at Maresfield

“In most cases these are existing businesses expanding, apart from one or two start-ups. It is as though many businesses took the lockdown period to consider planning their future expansion.

Shortage

“There is now a huge shortage of space throughout the area, and we urgently need a new industrial estate in Wealden north.”

• Contact details for Lawson Commercial can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Commercial Estate Agents, or Commercial Property Management.

• Wealden Council is currently formulating a new Local Plan and assessing sites through the district which can be used to support future development – including economic development, including warehouses, factories and offices.

Read about their call for landowners to flag potential development land in this Uckfield News story: Wealden asks landowners to flag potential development land.

See also:

Uckfield gym club and members feature in film

Yet more homes proposed in Uckfield – 450 of them

How to take part in the Virtual Uckfield Carnival

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

C J Thorne and Co is recruiting

Uckfield-based civil engineering company C J Thorne and Co is recruiting.

It is looking for a Safety, Health, Environmental, and Quality Administrator. Details and information about how to apply can be found here at UckfieldJobs.com.

See also:

Wealden Covid-19 deaths and cases at low level

Uckfield Carnival Society appeals for donations

Yet more homes proposed in Uckfield – 450 of them

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Wealden Covid-19 deaths and cases at low level

Coronavirus deaths and Covid-19 community transmission are both diminished in this area, according to information drawn from datasets built by this website.

In the last six weeks, Covid-19 has claimed ten lives in Wealden and only one in each of the last two weeks.

Both those deaths were in hospital.

At the same time, as we showed in our report on Monday (August 10) there is only a slow rise in lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the district, going up from 439 on July 6 to 476 on Monday. More details in this report

Updated specific data on the number of Coronavirus deaths in Uckfield and surrounding communities is made known publicly by the authorities on a less frequent basis.

The latest data (up to the end of June) can be seen in the story at this link.

East Sussex

The situation in Wealden is similar to East Sussex as a whole.

Overall, the county and Wealden have seen a big reduction in cases from April and early May.

Public health advice

However, the key message from the authorities is that Covid-19 has NOT gone away.

East Sussex Director of Public Health, Darrell Gale, said:

“Whilst overall we have had lower rates compared with the national average, we continue to see new cases in East Sussex. 

‘As lockdown measures ease it is vitally important that we all:

  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Are vigilant of signs and symptoms (high temperature, new persistent cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste), and to self-isolate and order a test if they appear. 
  • Wash hands regularly.”

• The Blackboys Inn at Blackboys has closed so that staff can self-isolate, and the pub can be deep-cleaned, after one tested positive for Covid-19.

The pub said, on Facebook, that the member of staff who tested positive only came in for a team meeting last Wednesday morning. Public Health England recommended that a few staff members isolate as a precaution as they were classed as being in close proximity due to the length of the meeting even though social distancing was adhered to.

“We haven’t been asked to contact any customers as there won’t have been any contact with customers and the member of staff as they are still furloughed.”

The Facebook post said: “We thank you for your continued loyalty, cooperation and patience at this difficult time, and urge everyone to remain cautious, stay safe and follow our social channels for further updates on our reopening.”

See also:

Yet more homes proposed in Uckfield – 450 of them

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

Plans submitted for electric vehicle recharging forecourt

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Former Miss Bloomsbury shop on the market

A shop in Uckfield High Street which used to be occupied by florist Miss Bloomsbury is on the market.

It is at 166 High Street, almost opposite Pizza Express, and is being let by Lawson Commercial on a new six year lease at a rent of £12,500 a year.

The agents say: “There are not that many opportunities to find a small lockup shop in this busy High Street and we already have considerable interest. 

“It is well positioned and with a rateable value being under £12,000 there should be no rates to pay for a qualifying occupier.”

• Contact details for Lawson Commercial can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Commercial Estate Agents, or Commercial Property Management.

See also:

Wealden Coronavirus cases – a slow increase

Six-year-old waves green flag to re-open Bluebell Railway

Water company says thank you to people responding to appeal

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Wealden Coronavirus cases – a slow increase

Wealden Coronavirus cases continue their slow weekly rise in the latest data available.

The total of lab-confirmed Coronavirus cases in Wealden now stands at 476 – a rise of five since we last reported the figures a week ago.

The rate of infection is now 294.8 per 100,000 of population.

A rise in the rate per 100,000 of population is inevitable as the number of cases increases because the population is static.

On a list of local councils, Wealden is now 77th, last week 63rd. Data now includes Welsh and Scottish local councils.

It is interesting to note than in East Sussex as a whole, the number of Coronavirus cases has only gone up by 18 in the last week.

Our dataset, compiled from Office for National Statistics numbers, is up to teatime yesterday.

In the last week, NHS Test and Trace held a pop-up testing centre in Uckfield railway station car park from Monday to Wednesday.

Our graph shows the gentle rise in the district’s Coronavirus cases

Compare and contrast Wealden Coronavirus cases with other areas

Here are the statistics from our dataset from neighbouring areas (last week’s figure in brackets)

  • Brighton and Hove  824 (814). Current rate per 100,000 population 283.3.
  • Eastbourne 454 (449). Current rate per 100,000 population 437.6. 
  • Hastings borough 138 (135). Current rate per 100,000- population 148.9.  
  • Lewes district 379 (377). Current rate per 100,000 population 367.0.
  • Mid Sussex 613 (609). Current rate per 100,000 population 405.9.
  • Rother 191 (188). Current rate per 100,000 population 198.8.
  • Tunbridge Wells district  495 (486). Current rate – per 100,000 population 416.9.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  1,638 (1,620) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of per 100,000 population 294.0.
  • West Sussex – 2,826 (2,806) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of per 100,000 population 327.1.
  • South East region – 35,904 (35,539) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of per 100,000 population 391.1.
  • England – 268,312 (262,746) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of per 100,000 population 476.7 

There figures show the total number of people with at least one lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 test result since the start of the pandemic in each area. The rates per 100,000 resident population give a fairer comparison of the number of cases in each area but they do not take account of the different rates of testing or differences in the age and sex of the local populations

Details of Coronavirus cases in Uckfield and surrounding areas.

There have been no changes since our story of a fortnight ago. See here

It is important to note that those figures do NOT mean there have been no coronavirus cases in the Uckfield area. If an area has two or fewer cases (including zero), the data is suppressed for reasons of confidentiality by Public Health England.

This data is up to week-ending August 2. 

See also:

Scorchio and water company asks customers to limit use

Owners bid to save Uckfield soft play centre

Plans go in for Uckfield electric vehicle recharging forecourt

Police seek woman whose dog savaged sheep at Duddleswell

Thirty studio flats could be built in Little Horsted

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Local authorities, Planning

Plans submitted for electric vehicle recharging forecourt

The favoured access to the proposed electric vehicle recharging forecourt – which would be built along with a solar farm on land to the west of the A22 by-pass – is from the Copwood Roundabout which can be seen in this Google Earth image.

Plans have been submitted for a solar electric forecourt on Uckfield by-pass along with solar farm, WCs, coffee shop, retail, seating area, meeting rooms/workspace and a display area.

A consultation on the proposals was held earlier this year. Read about it in an Uckfield News story here: Have your say on proposal for Uckfield electric vehicle recharging forecourt.

The latest proposals differ from the original scheme having taken account of feedback in the consultation.

Access

The application has been submitted by GRIDSERVE Sustainable Energy. It includes provision of car parking, hard and soft landscaping, and access arrangements off the Copwood Roundabout.

A statement submitted to Wealden Council with the proposals says the site in Uckfield would be one of the first in a network of GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourts and would be powered by clean, zero carbon solar energy.

The statement continues: “The forecourt would provide 24 rapid vehicle charging points beneath a forecourt canopy, three HGV charging points, eight branded charging points, six lower power charging points, parking for both customers and staff, a customer picnic area, and a storage area including bins.

Hub

“The Hub Building serving the facility is a two-storey building with ancillary accommodation to include WC facilities, a coffee shop, food/convenience retail, seating area, meeting rooms/workspace, and an area for the display of, and information about, electric vehicles.

“These areas, area all designed to maximise the customers’ experience whilst charging their electric vehicle.”

The proposed forecourt would have an area of 19 acres, on a site of 23 acres, currently agricultural land. 

Access is favoured from the Copwood Roundabout at the end of Bell Farm Road, Uckfield, on the A22 Uckfield by-pass. 

Change

This is a change from the original proposal which was the subject of consultation. The access then proposed was south of the roundabout.

It is envisaged that unlike at a traditional petrol filling station where the average time spent from arrival to leaving is about six minutes the time spent at the Electric Forecourt would range from between 15 minutes to an hour. 

The facilities proposed are designed to ensure vehicle owners have “an enjoyable and relaxing experience”.

An onsite solar farm would provide energy for the forecourt which could be fed either via a battery storage facility, by the solar farm, or via a grid connection.

Renewable

The statement says: “If via the grid connection, the power purchased will be virtually sleeved and renewable. This will provide certified and guaranteed, 100% renewable energy to the Uckfield Solar Electric Forecourt.”

The statement concludes: “The proposed development would support both the electrification of transport and the renewable energy industry in the UK, by providing a development that will directly enable the local provision of high-quality customer centric electric vehicle charging infrastructure and facilitate the anticipated growth in the uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.

Policy

“The proposed development is in accordance with national planning policy which provides a presumption in favour of sustainable development and seeks to meet the challenges of climate change. In addition, the proposed development is in line with the policies of the adopted Local Plan.

“As such, the applicant considers the scheme to be an acceptable form of development and full planning permission should be granted accordingly.

Town councillors

• Members of Uckfield Town Council’s planning committee were outspoken against the proposals during the consultation period.

Cllr Duncan Bennett said on the Uckfield News Facebook page on April 23: “A so-called environmentally friendly concept, proposed in a dreadfully damaging location.

“A blot upon the rural landscape to the west of the town which the by-pass was always regarded as protecting.

Cllr Duncan Bennett’s comments on the Uckfield News Facebook page about proposals for an electric vehicle recharging forecourt.

Mammoth

“A mammoth charging facility which could be split up and located throughout the town in far less damaging locations.

“A solar array can go anywhere and feed into the national grid and then you could tap off at various locations as necessary.

“This is a purely money-making scheme which shrouds itself in a saving the planet cloak.

“I’m all for electric vehicles, but fast charging points do not need to be located in a vast complex, as has been proven in so many other cases.

Floodgates

“Not only does this proposal drain people away from facilities in the town centre at a time that high street businesses need all the help they can get, it also has potential to open the floodgates for further development outside of the town’s western development boundary.

“There are much better ways to provide the charging facilities which would be far less catastrophic for our local environment and the economy of our town. Don’t be duped, folks …”

Wrong place

Another member of the planning committee Cllr Jackie Love said: “This is a good idea but in the wrong place. We need to keep our open green fields as just that. I think we’ve all come to know and love our open spaces over the last few weeks and enjoy the outstanding part of the Weald we live in and it would be awful to lose more of it.

“I know we have to move with the times and electric is the way forward but not at the loss of our green fields.

“We’ve lost Ridgewood Farm, the back of the hospital, they are still trying to build on the grazing land off Eastbourne Road. There is a new industrial estate planned for Ridgewood estate/development. Why not build it there?”

Comments from Cllr Jackie Love about the electric vehicle recharging forecourt as developers consulted on the idea.

• More details about the planning application, number WD/2020/1244/MAJ, can be found on the Wealden Council website.

See also:

Owners’ desperate ;bid to save soft play centre

Police seek woman whose dog savaged sheep at Duddleswell

Thirty studio flats could be built in Little Horsted

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Leisure

Owners’ desperate bid to save soft play centre

Louise and Asa Jago, owners of Barney’s Play, who are fighting to save their business. They are pictured with their daughter Amelie.

The owners of Barney’s Play in Uckfield are making a desperate bid to save their business which has been closed and without income for 145 days due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

There is still no indication from the Government about when soft play centres can open again. Asa and Louise Jago are finding it difficult to keep going without some hope of a date.

Louise told Uckfield News: “It’s so frustrating to not have any timeline or support and still be paying all our overheads and full rent.  

Overdrafts

“It’s been 145 days without income and we are expected to survive on loans and overdrafts to stay closed whilst other businesses can trade and take advantage of the great incentives being put in place to help them. 

“We unfortunately can’t take advantage of the 5% VAT, eat out scheme.  We are doing everything we can just to hold on.

“When do you get to a point when you say enough to the accruing debt and pack it in? We are determined to fight on, I’m not a quitter, but it’s exhausting and such a drain on us ,emotionally, physically and financially, as a family.

Petition

The couple have lobbied Wealden MP Nus Ghani, and signed and promoted a petition appealing for extra financial support from the Government for closed soft play centres and so far nothing has worked.

Now the couple have launched a Crowdfunding appeal Save Our Softplay – Barney’s SOS in the hope that people will pledge donations in return for rewards which will be redeemed when the centre reopens.

Rewards include an annual pass for one child and one adult if £100 is pledged, two hot drinks if £5 is pledged and one main meal and one hot drink if £10 is pledged.

Pledges

There are other rewards too for pledges of £25 and £50, a meal for a family of four, and 50% off a party booking respectively.

Louise says Barneys has always taken great pride in its cleanliness, operating to a very high standard over the past eight years and has already increased its safety and hygiene measures, to levels far and above the Government guidelines, ready for reopening.

A new sink for hand washing, and fun mural, has been added in the reception area at Barney’s Play.

She adds: “We feel, as a local family business, forgotten about and worthless. Despite the benefits we bring to our communities and children we have been cast aside by our Government.

Adventures

“We are pleased to be a place that children play safely, where they exercise in disguise and have adventures, where they develop social and cognitive skills.

“Did you know that one hour of indoor play can burn 150 calories and 16.6g of fat?

“There are so many hidden benefits of our play area that many many not be aware of:

  • Exercise – meets Government’s daily recommendations
  • Mental health – play has never been so important
  • Cognitive development – that is your child’s ability to think, understand, communicate, remember, imagine, and work out what might happen next
  • Aids coordination and proven to assist children with motor skills disorder (DCD).
  • Valuable resource for children with SEN
  • Social skills – learning how to interact and communicate with other children
  • A place for loneliness to be tackled, and where parents can meet friends and seek support
  • A safe space for those in domestic abuse situations.

“We are asking for our community’s support to weather through this. 

“We understand you may not be in a position to contribute and this pandemic has sadly impacted so many people. If you cannot contribute please do sign and share the petition for our industry to seek financial support from central government. If you can contribute even the smallest amount will be welcomed.

Photographs show some of the activities usually available at Barney’s Play.

Thank you

“A massive thank you to those that have contributed already, we really do appreciate it.

“Thank you for reading this, I hope that you can help our family, our staff, their families and our business survive this pandemic ; so we can continue to be the joyful community play centre.”

To support Barney’s Play please visit the crowdfunding page here.

The petition calling for extra financial support for closed soft play centres can be found here.

See also:

Police seek woman whose dog savaged sheep at Duddleswell

Uckfield councillors object to plans for nine homes in Regency Close

Classes start at Uckfield Yoga Studio again

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Uckfield councillors object to plans for nine homes in Regency Close

White Gates which could be demolished to make way for nine new homes. Uckfield councillors have objected to the proposals.

Uckfield Town Council has objected to plans for nine homes following demolition of a house in Regency Close, Uckfield.

Members of the planning committee say proposals for the site of White Gates represent overdevelopment.

They say increased traffic would be detrimental to the safe access and egress from Manor House Court and that a ‘parking court’ for 20 vehicles mentioned on a drawing is in fact private property belonging to the resident of Manor House Court.

Garages

Councillors say it is used for access to the garages, and signage states no parking opposite the garages.

They add increased traffic would exacerbate parking problems on the road and cause concern for the safety of pedestrians and drivers.

And they are worried about how emergency vehicles would access the development as the only access would be via Regency Close.

Privacy

Councillors also raise concern about privacy and noise disturbance saying it could cause loss of privacy into the ground floor bedroom window of Flat 2, Brewer Place, and loss of privacy, noise, and disturbance to Flat 4 on the first floor which faces the site.

They add that the plan is not clear on how construction vehicles will access a turning leading to the current property The White House.

“The road runs in front of the boundary to Manor House Court, with a hedge at the boundary on the right. Any lorries entering there will have difficulty turning in,” say councillors.

Consultation

They want Wealden Council to ensure that full consultation takes place with neighbouring properties and that all properties with a right of way over the part of the road up to the garages have been informed of the application.

There’s more information about this planning application in another Uckfield News story here: Nine homes could be built on Regency Close site.

The response from councillors was made outside the usual cycle of planning meetings because of the date that had to be met.

See also:

Thirty studio flats could be built in Little Horsted

Coronavirus deaths – weekly Wealden update

Classes start at Uckfield Yoga Studio again

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Coronavirus deaths – weekly Wealden update

Coronavirus deaths in Wealden declined during the week to July 24 in comparison with the previous seven days.

There was one death in the latest week for which data is available. The person died in hospital.

In the previous week to July 17, there were four Coronavirus deaths in Wealden.

This website’s dataset, built with figures published by the Office for National Statistics, shows there have been 119 deaths Coronavirus deaths in Wealden since the outbreak began.

Highest figures

The district saw a series of bitter weeks in April and May, when the highest weekly death toll (21) was recorded in the seven days to April 24 and 17 in the week before.

We update the Coronavirus deaths figure for Wealden each Wednesday. Last week’s report contains a graph showing all the weekly totals. See here

Deaths in Wealden this year from all causes total 1,131 with Covid-19 responsible for 10.5 per cent.

More Coronavirus figures

This website keeps its own datasets to track Coronavirus statistics for Uckfield, surrounding villages and Wealden.

Find out:

The latest number of cases in Wealden

The Covid-19 death toll in Wealden

The number of deaths in Uckfield and surrounding areas from Coronavirus and the number of cases locally

It is worth remembering that the more tests that are carried out, the more likely it is that more cases will be found.

Note:

  • Our information comes from our own datasets which are populated by figures from official sources. Data is released at different times by official sources and covers different time periods.

See also:

Pilot dies in plane crash near Heathfield

Uckfield man jailed for breaching Community Behaviour Order

Uckfield College looks forward to moving into new building

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Uckfield man jailed for breaching Community Behaviour Order

Lee Cummings, jailed.

Police say an 18-year-old Uckfield man has been jailed for breaching a Community Behaviour Order within two weeks of it being imposed.

They say Lee Cummings, unemployed, of Selby Road was banned, by Brighton Magistrates, from entering parts of Uckfield town centre following “persistent criminal and anti-social behaviour in the area”.

When he appeared in court again on Thursday (July 30) he was jailed.

Read more about this, and other charges he faced, on the Sussex Police website: Uckfield man jailed for theft and breach of Criminal Behaviour Order

See also:

Uckfield firefighters called to plane crash site

Uckfield College looks forward to move into new building

Uckfield Covid-19 testing under way

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Local authorities

Uckfield to get electric vehicle charge points

Electric vehicle (EV) charge points are to be installed at a number of Uckfield Town Council-owned sites.

A charging point for electric vehicles in use in Hailsham. Photo: Wealden District Council.

There are currently no commercial charge points in the town or nearby villages.

In fact, the whole of Wealden lags, as this website’s report last November illustrated.

The district council is looking at the possibility of having EV charge points in some of its car parks, such as the Luxford Field.

EV forecourt on Uckfield by-pass?

Gridserve is said to be near to making a planning application for an electric vehicle recharging forecourt on the Uckfield by-pass and held a consultation on the proposals earlier this year.

The town council agreed a year ago to support the Climate Emergency declared by Wealden council, has its own climate change working group and councillors have now agreed to go ahead with providing charge points.

Luxford Field car park

A number of sites are under consideration including the Civic Centre, Foresters Hall, Victoria Pavilion and Ridgewood Village Hall. West Park pavilion has been ruled out.

The town council will also contact Wealden about an EV point at the Luxford Field car park.

Users of the charging points will pay Uckfield Town Council on a contactless, pay-as-you-go basis for the electricity they have used.

The costs

One company has given prices for installing 7.2kW charging points, based on a monthly hire charge.

Four sites would cost £412 + VAT on a 60-month contract – just under £5,000 per year.

This financial year the town council has a budget of £7,500 for climate change initiatives.

See also:

Roundabout construction on by-pass about to start

Three homes proposed in backland development at Five Ash Down

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Wealden Coronavirus cases edge up

Wealden Coronavirus cases continue their slow rise, according to the latest data.

This website generally reports on Wealden lab-confirmed cases every Monday and the total now stands at 471, up from 464 last Monday and 457 the week before that. 

The rise of seven cases now means the rate per 100,000 of population is 294.1.

Wealden is 63rd on a list of lower-tier local authorities, 64th last time.

The rate per 100,000 inevitably increases as the number of positive tests goes up because the population is static and the availability of tests has grown over time.

Testing in Uckfield

Anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of Covid-19 can book to have a test in Uckfield either today (August 3), tomorrow or Wednesday.

Wealden District Council said that after booking an appointment, people will be able to walk or drive to the test site.

Book your test here

Compare and contrast Wealden with other areas

Here are the statistics from our dataset from neighbouring areas (last week’s figure in brackets)

  • Brighton and Hove  814 (797). Current rate per 100,000 population 280.3.
  • Eastbourne 449 (439). Current rate per 100,000 population 335.2. 
  • Hastings borough 135 (132). Current rate per 100,000- population 145.4.  
  • Lewes district 377 (376). Current rate per 100,000 population 366.9.
  • Mid Sussex 609 606). Current rate per 100,000 population 406.8.
  • Rother 188 (188). Current rate per 100,000 population 196.5.
  • Tunbridge Wells district  (482). Current rate – per 100,000 population 408.3.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  1,620 (1,599) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 292.1 per 100,000 population.
  • West Sussex – 2,806 (2,781) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 326.7 per 100,000 population.
  • South East region – 35,539 (35,096) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 389.1 per 100,000 population.
  • England – 262,746 (257,859) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 469.4 per 100,000 population 

Uckfield and district coronavirus cases

Covid-19 cases in Uckfield and the surrounding communities is running at a low level.

There have been no changes in the figures we reported last Monday, see story here

It is important to note that those figures do NOT mean there have been no coronavirus cases in the Uckfield area. If an area has two or fewer cases (including zero), the data is suppressed for reasons of confidentiality by Public Health England.

This website updates the number of Wealden Coronavirus deaths each Wednesday.

Here is last week’s report, which shows an uptick in recent weeks.

Note:

  • Our information comes from our own data sets which are populated by figures from official sources, including the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Information in this story covers varying reporting periods. This website strives to compare “like with like” and usually reports on a weekly basis.

See also:

Uckfield shopping tips for August

Butchers celebrate first anniversary

Work to begin on new roundabout on Uckfield by-pass

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Uckfield shopping tips for August

New pottery at Kilnwood Studio, silver jewellery featuring star signs at W E Clark & Son, and garden furniture at SG Home Interiors – some of the things you will find in Uckfield shops this month. Read more here.

Business picks up at Kilnwood Studio

Decorate at Home pottery painting packs are proving popular from Kilnwood Studio and more people are booking session at the shop.

Owner Gaynor Robson says she is getting used to the new Covid-19 safety procedures with scrupulous cleaning of everything, from paint pots to furniture, after visits.

New pottery is constantly arriving with the latest batch including yarn bowls – to contain your ball of yarn while knitting – and soup bowls.

A yarn bowl, and soup bowl, among new pottery waiting to be painted at Kilnwood Studio.

Coming soon to the studio is a range of handmade eco-friendly greetings cards.

Gaynor said: “They are big A5 cards stocked elsewhere in galleries and they are really beautiful so I am pleased to be able to sell them here.”

Garden Furniture at SG Home Interiors

There’s still plenty of time to update your garden and make the most of summer by choosing from arange of teak, rattan and outdoor fabric furniture at SG Home Interiors.

The store in Bell Farm Lane has solid teak chairs, tables and benches in stock. All is sustainably sourced and hard wearing meaning that it can be left outside all year round.

For a more modern look, see rattan or outdoor fabric furniture which is available to order.

Rattan garden furniture is built to last while outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand being left outside all year round.

There are numerous seating options perfect for any sized garden or patio and for the ultimate luxury, rattan sets are available with rising tables, in-built ice buckets, and fire pits ensure you can enjoy your garden from morning til night.

See the range on range on store’s garden furniture web site www.sussexgrangefurniture.co.uk or call in at the show room.

Face masks at Sew n Sew

Sew n Sew and Haberdashery has a big range of face masks to keep you supplied while wearing them is mandatory on public transport and in shops.

They include handmade three-layer masks, made by the shop’s own seamstress and boxes of disposable ones. There are also masks for children, and face shields too.

Some of the face masks available at Sew n Sew and Haberdashery in Uckfield. There are handmade three-layers ones too, and also face shields.

New in at Sew n Sew, which can be found in the Bell Walk Precinct, are crochet cottons in a variety of colours including variegated.

Crochet cottons at Sew n Sew in a variety of colours.

Kamsons sell face masks too

Kamsons Health and Beauty in Uckfield High Street stocks a variety of face masks too. There are masks for adults and children in fabric and disposable.

Face masks at Kamsons Health and Beauty, in Uckfield High Street.

A variety of hand sanitisers are available at Kamsons and new body and hand washes have arrived.

Hand sanitisers at Kamsons Health and Beauty. New in are Goodness soaps, body washes and hand washes, and Baylis and Harding hand washes.

It’s always worth looking at the £1 shelves at Kamsons. New there are bamboo cotton buds, Alberto Balsam shampoo and conditioner, and Medex hand wash.

New to the £1 shelves at Kamsons Health and Beauty.

Coloured gems at W E Clark & Son

A yellow diamond and pink sapphires are among coloured gems in a variety of settings – rings, earrings, and necklaces – which can be seen in the window at W E Clark & Son jewellers.

Coloured gems, including a yellow diamond and pink sapphires, at W E Clark & Son.

Look out too for a new range of silver jewellery featuring star signs. This is the Dew collection from Kit Heath and more items can be found in store.

Star signs feature in new jewellery collection at W E Clark & Son.

W E Clark & Son also has a sale running on Swatch watches with 20% off.

Swatch watches in a sale at W E Clark & Son.

Sale at Cole’s Menswear

Have you spotted the sale at Cole’s Menswear? There’s up to 50% off clothing including knitwear, trousers, jackets, suits, shirts, t-shirts, polo shirts, and shoes.

See some of the sale items in the photographs below.

Climbers, heathers and cyclamen at Staverton Nursery

Hydrangeas are looking good at Staverton Nursery, as are a specimen climbers such as Clematis, Ceanothus, Roses, and Pyracantha.

Clematis and other climbers at Staverton Nursery.

Also due in later this week are Heathers and Cyclamen. And next week spring bulbs, including Daffodils and Tulips are due in – how time flies.

Cyclamen at Staverton Nursery with flowers just unfurling.

Striking colour at the nursery at the moment is provided by New Guinea Impatiens.

Just two of the striking colours to be found among New Guinea Impatiens at Staverton Nursery.

Machines to tackle brambles at PP Estates

Brush mowers and wheeled streamers which are perfect for tackling brambles are attracting attention at PP Estates.

Machinery comes in different sizes suitable for work a domestic garden and up to a paddock. See examples below:

A brush cutter and wheeled streamers at PP Estates.

A field and brush mower available at PP Estates.

Plenty of choice at The Flower Shop

There are plenty of flowers to choose from at The Flower Shop in Uckfield and you don’t even need to visit in person to order gifts or treats for a friend or family member.

There are many bouquets to choose from at the online store along with candles and scents, soft toys and helium balloons.

And a phone call – 01825 765903 – is welcome too.

Blooms at The Flower Shop include Stocks, Sunflowers, Lisianthus, Roses, Companulas, Lilies and Delphiniums.

Photo frames at Something for Everyone

Photo frames are new in at Something for Everyone with a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and colour, to choose from.

Photo frames at Something for Everyone.

Social distancing measures are in place at the shop with a limited number of people allowed in at a time.

Temporary opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm and closed on Sunday and Monday.

Zero waste products at Best Health Food Shop

Best Health Food Shop at the bottom of Uckfield High Street, near the railway station, is always looking for ways of helping customers to cut down on waste.

You can take in your own bottles, boxes, and bags – they are also available in store if you don’t have them – to measure out the quantities you would like of products ranging from laundry, to washing up liquid, and shampoo and conditioner, and from nuts and seeds to rice and pasta.

Ecover and Eco D laundry liquid, fabric conditioner, washing up liquid and shampoo and conditioner.

Nuts and seeds, rice and pasta, at Best Health Food Shop where you can buy them in the quantities you choose.

Best Health Food Shop also has loose frozen fruit and vegetables, perfect for storing in small quantities. There are fresh fruit and vegetables too.

Loose frozen fruit and vegetables at Best Health Food Shop.

Fresh fruit and vegetables too.

A special offer running at the shop at the moment is a free on-the-go mug with every bottle you buy that will keep your drinks hot or cold.

Special offer at Best Health Food Shop – a free on-the-go-cup with every hot/cold bottle sold.

Spa Therapy pleased to be open again

Magda and Sam at Spa Therapy, the Uckfield day spa, are saying a big thank you to all their customers for amazing support and trust during this uncertain time.

The day spa reopened its doors earlier this month after Government Coronavirus restrictions were eased for beauty salons and they can carry out all treatments bar facial ones.

You can book your appointment online at www.spatherapy.uk, email info@spatherapy.uk, or call 01825 749434.

Are you a Level 2 or 3 NVQ beauty therapist keen to gain work experience? If so Spa Therapy would like to hear from you.

Please get in touch, using the contact details above, and email through your CV.

Garden games at Final Score

Summer garden games to help keep you entertained during the holiday season are available at Final Score Sports Shop. They include cricket sets, frisbees and boomerangs, and tennis rackets.

Garden games at Final Score.

From wetsuits to skateboards at PipeDreams

Whether you want to surf or skate this summer you will find everything you need at PipeDreams.

The shop has wetsuits, beach shoes, bodyboards for the sea, and skateboards and longboards for the land.

Julie and David Hobbs who own the shop say pretty much anything related to the outdoors is going fast.

All you need for fun on land or water at PipeDreams.

Best sellers at Diane Hutt Gallery

There continues to be a fast turnaround of stock at the Diane Hutt Gallery and gallery owner Diane Hutt has paused to look back at the best selling artists from July.

They were Dominique Salm, Aamina Snowdon, Sam Toft, and Gary Walton – and ever popular Stephen Hansen.

See some of their work in photographs below:

Specials at Hartfields

Hartfields is taking part in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

This gives you the opportunity to get a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks – to eat or drink in – up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner.

The offer will run every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, between August 3 and 31, as many times as you like.

You don’t need a voucher to use the scheme and you can use it at the same time as other offers and discounts. There is no minimum spend. Read more on the Gov.UK website.

On the specials menu at Hartfields at the moment are:

Drinks
Guest Coffee: Single origin ‘Colombia” La Cumbre Caturra. Tastes: Distinctive pineapple, red grape, cherry. Available a batch brew.
Pear, Blueberry and Banana Smoothie
Cold Brew Iced Tea, Hartfields special recipe

Brunch – all day
Smoked Haddock Kedgeree with curried rice, leeks, spinach and poached egg
Chestnut Mushrooms and Spinach on Sourdough, with pine nuts and poached egg.

Lunch – noon onwards
Breaded Whitebait and Garlic Aioli Light Bite
Hammoumi and Chickpea Salad with roast pepper, tomato, onion, herb dressing
Humous and Roast Veg Wrap with sun dried tomatoes, rocket (can add Feta)
Local Smoked Foresters Cheese and Ham Toast with red onion marmalade rocket.

Sides include crisps, hand cut chips and sweet potato fries.

All types of glass supplied and fitted by Superior Glass

All types of glass are supplied and fitted by Superior Glass whether for mirrors, shelving, windows, doors, kitchen splash backs, staircases or greenhouses.

If your double-glazing sealed units break down and go misty Superior Glass can replace the glass for you. If you need your greenhouse repaired the company can supply and fit the horticultural glass.

Superior Glass also repairs, supplies and fits traditional leaded lights.

Read more in the company’s Premium Listing in our Uckfield Directory.

Plenty to celebrate at Nose2Tail Family Butchers

Nose2Tail Family Butchers at Piltdown is celebrating its first anniversary. See how Luke Watson and Danny Martin are getting on and meet Tom Hewett who has joined them behind the counter in this Uckfield News story: Nose2Tail Family Butchers celebrates a year in business.

See also:

Work to begin on new roundabout on Uckfield by-pass

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

New play area takes shape on Luxford Field

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Nose2Tail Family Butchers celebrates a year in business

The team at Nose2Tail Family Butchers. From left are Luke Watson, Tom Hewett, and Danny Martin.

When farmer Luke Watson and butcher Danny Martin launched their family butcher’s business in Piltdown a year ago they had no idea how manic their lives would become.

There was no hint of a worldwide pandemic on the horizon. They were confident about the quality of the food they offered and looking forward to generating custom on that basis.

The provenance of their meat remains a matter of pride, with pork and beef coming from Luke’s Burgess Hill farm, and lamb from Luke’s father-in-law’s farm at Golden Cross.

Trade

And they know their trade. Danny had already worked for 15 years as a butcher in wholesale, retail and in farm shops.

They were enjoying the new challenge in their shop, at Ashgrove Farm, and then overnight on a Monday in March everything changed.

They opened on the Tuesday morning and barely managed to eat or drink all day long because the shop was so busy.

It was just before lockdown and people were panic buying, stocking up with food because they didn’t know what the future held.

Deliveries

For two weeks Danny and Luke worked 17-hour days. They ratcheted up deliveries because they wanted to help people who were self-isolating, and ended up doing 160 deliveries a week.

This was on top of going to market to buy vegetables and preparing the meat for sale.

Danny told Uckfield News: “Everything took longer. It was a two-hour journey to market in Brighton. We would be up at 4am, get home at 9pm then sit down and do the orders and go to bed at about midnight, before starting again.”

They realised they couldn’t keep up the pace and encouraged people to come back into the shop rather than have deliveries.

Behind the counter at Nose2Tail butchers are Danny Martin, Luke Watson, and Tom Hewett.

Pleased

They kept delivering but were pleased that more people came in to see them. Even better is that they have kept those customers.

“To start with people came to us when they couldn’t get what they wanted from Tesco and then they realised that for the same sort of money they were getting much better quality from us and so they keep coming back.”

Luke said: “It’s been a challenging few months but kind of enjoyable, particularly towards the end of our first year.”

Growing

The men said they wanted to carry on doing what they are doing and growing their business “in the right way”. They have now been joined behind the counter by Luke’s cousin Tom Hewett.

The butchers put together meat boxes each week, continue their deliveries, and keep their shop at Ashdown Farm, Piltdown, well stocked. New customers are welcome.

• Read more about Nose2Tail Family Butchers in their Premium Listing in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Butchers, and Shops.

See also:

Uckfield shopping tips for August

Work to begin on new roundabout on Uckfield by-pass

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Roads and rail

Driver dies in A26 crash near Uckfield

A driver died at the scene of a crash on the A26 between Uckfield and Lewes this morning (July 29).

The accident involved a van and a lorry at the junction with Horsted Lane.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

The articulated lorry was travelling towards Lewes when it was in collision with the van at 10.48am. 

A police statement said:

“Despite the efforts of the emergency services, the driver of the van sadly died at the scene. 

“The lorry driver was not hurt.”

PC David Upjohn said: “We are appealing for witnesses to this fatal collision. If anyone saw it happen or has any dash-cam footage, please contact us.”

You can report online or call 101 quoting Operation Redwood.

Road closed

Horsted Lane leads from the A26 to Isfield village.

Police closed the road for several hours to allow emergency services workers to deal with the collision and to carry out an investigation.

The road is closed in both directions while emergency services deal with the collision and is likely to remain shut for several hours. 

Motorists are asked to avoid the area.

See also:

Rise in Wealden Covid-19 weekly death toll

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Leisure

New play area takes shape on Luxford Field

Uckfield News photographs show a new play area taking shape on Luxford Field, Uckfield.

Climbing equipment sections are looking good and frames are in place for more equipment too.

See progress in the photographs below.

The work is being carried out by HAGS-SMP, which also built new play areas at Hempstead Road, Hughes Way, and Ridgewood Recreation Ground.

An impression of how the new Luxford Field play area will look. This original plan has been amended to make the site ‘accessible for all’.

See also:

Wealden Covid-19 weekly death toll highest since mid June

Uckfield play areas: re-opening decision

Trampolining begins again at Fun Abounds, Uckfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Wealden Covid-19 weekly death toll highest since mid June

Covid-19 deaths in Wealden have started to creep up again.

Four people died in the week to July 17 – there were two the week before that and only one in each of the previous two weeks.

A dataset compiled and maintained by this website, populated by data from the Office of National Statistics,  shows this is the highest number of weekly deaths in Wealden since the seven days to June 12 when six people died from Coronavirus.

Three of the most recent recorded deaths were in hospital and the other in a care home.

The pandemic has claimed 118 of the 1,106 people who have died in Wealden this year.

It was in week-ending March 20 that the first Wealden death was recorded.

The following graph, which uses our own dataset, shows the weekly death toll.

On Monday, this website reported on the number of Covid-19 deaths in Uckfield, the latest incidence of Coronavirus in Uckfield and surrounding communities, plus the wider Wealden district.

Getting tested for Covid-19

You can help in the fight by:

  • keeping two metres apart from others where possible
  • regularly washing your hands
  • immediately self-isolating and arranging a test if you have symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, a change in smell or taste, or a fever). Arrange a test at  http://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Note:

  • Our information comes from our own data sets which are populated by figures from official sources. Data is released at different times by official sources and covers different time periods.

See also:

Trampolining begins again at Fun Abounds in Uckfield

Uckfield’s play areas: re-opening decision

Isfield Village Hall ready to open its doors again

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

RB Arts Academy launches summer school

RB Arts Academy will be holding a summer school three days a week during August and it is open to all, not just the academy’s own students.

The school launches on Tuesday (August 4) and will run each Tuesday/Wednesday, and Thursday throughout the month.

Fifteen spaces will be available all week and those interested in taking part are asked to book a minimum of two days, though efforts will be made to accommodate people requesting just one day.

Covid-19 safety measures will be in place and track and trace will be running.

Classes will include Acro, Lyrical, PBT and Cheer.

There will be chance to experience each of the styles, learn new skills and enjoy crafts too.

See also:

Trampolining begins again at Fun Abounds in Uckfield

Uckfield’s play areas: re-opening decision

Isfield Village Hall ready to open its doors again

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Leisure

Trampolining begins again at Fun Abounds in Uckfield

Fun Abounds Trampoline Centre which has reopened again with new rules to keep people safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Fun Abounds Trampoline Centre is in action again with new rules taking account of Covid-19 regulations to make the premises and equipment safe for use.

Head coach and centre manager Stella Jackson said they are very excited to be back.

The centre, which is the home of Sky High Trampoline and DMT Club, has been cleaned from top to bottom. A cherry picker and special vacuum cleaner were used to get right up to the ceiling.

The soft pit has been emptied and cleaned and every mat has been mopped and carpet cleaned.

Painting

Work has included painting the floors under the trampolines, and the skirting boards, and rewiring plugs. Outside has been tidied and cleaned too, and you’ll spot new parking lines painted have been painted.

A new set of rules has been drawn up covering every aspect of attendance at a class from what happens when you arrive, and during your class, to using the toilets, and leaving the centre.

There is also advice for parents and a request that they do not enter the building.

Disclaimer

Before attending class everyone will receive a disclaimer by email which must be signed in advance and returned to the centre.

Stella said they are very grateful to volunteers who helped with all the work and to everyone who has supported the centre during closure.

• Contact details for Fun Abounds Trampoline Centre can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Children’s Activities or Trampolining.

See also:

Uckfield’s play areas: re-opening decision

Confirmation of Uckfield Picture House opening date

Nurse launches aesthetics clinic in Framfield

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Uckfield Coronavirus deaths latest

New data shows the number of people who have died from Coronavirus in Uckfield and surrounding villages.

In this story we also update:

(a) new lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Uckfield and neighbouring communities; and

(b) lab-confirmed cases for the whole of Wealden district and surrounding districts.

We update deaths from Coronavirus in Wealden each Wednesday.

Uckfield and surrounding communities – deaths

There have been no deaths from Coronavirus in Uckfield since we last reported in mid June.

However, in the Buxted area the number of deaths now stands at six, up from three from just over a month ago.

The data, which covers the period from March 1 to June 30, splits Uckfield into two areas with the boundary being roughly the River Uck.

For the town as a whole, 16 people have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.

Coronavirus deaths – breakdown of figures:

Uckfield Town and North

  • Total: 7
  • March: 1
  • April: 6
  • May: 0
  • June: 0

Uckfield South (including New Town and Ridgewood)

  • Total: 9
  • March: 1
  • April: 7
  • May: 1
  • June: 0

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), whose data we analyse breaks down communities into similar sized populations for statistical purposes.

In surrounding villages the designations are:

Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron)

  • Total: 6
  • March: 0
  • April: 2
  • May: 1
  • June: 3

Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton)

  • Total: 3
  • March: 2
  • April: 0
  • May: 0
  • June: 1

Chelwood and Nutley

  • Total: 4
  • March: 0
  • April: 3
  • May: 1
  • June: 0

Coronavirus deaths in Wealden as a whole continue but are running at a low level.

For the last week for which data is available, there were two deaths.

The total for the district now stands at 114.

See our story here. A further update will appear on Wednesday.

Uckfield and surrounding communities – Coronavirus cases updated

The published figures we reported last Monday are unchanged for Uckfield and surrounding villages.

However, it is important to note that if an area has two or fewer cases (including zero), the data is suppressed for reasons of confidentiality by Public Health England.

Total number of cases in each area (with the caveat that data recording incidences of two or one cases is NOT published by the authorities).

  • Uckfield Town and North: 19
  • Uckfield South (including New Town and Ridgewood): 14
  • Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron): 3
  • Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton): 8
  • Chelwood and Nutley: 8

This data is up to July 24.

The first cases in the area, subject to the caveat, came in Uckfield Town and North in the week to March 27 when three were recorded.

There were four the following week and four the next week.

The worst week was to April 24 when there were five cases.

The first cases in Uckfield South, subject to the caveat, came in the week to April 17 when there were eight. There were three the following week with the only other cases in the week to May 22, when there was also three.

Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (includes High Hurstwood, Blackboys and Waldron) – the three cases, subject to the caveat, came in week to May 22.

Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (includes Maresfield, Piltdown, Isfield, Halland, East Hoathly and Laughton): There were four cases, subject to the caveat, in each of the weeks to April 24 and the following week.

Chelwood and Nutley: The first cases, subject to the caveat, were in week to April 17 (5) with three the following week.

Latest Coronavirus cases in Wealden and neighbouring local authority areas

There have been seven more lab-confirmed cases in Wealden since we last reported the totals a week ago.

The total now stands at 464, up from 457 a week ago. The new figure represents a rate a rate of 289.9 per 100,000 of population.

Wealden is now 64th on a list of lower-tier local authorities, 61st last time.

The rate per 100,000 inevitably increases as the number of positive tests goes up because the population is static.

Compare and contrast Wealden with other areas

Here are the statistics from our dataset from neighbouring areas (last week’s figure in brackets with the figure from two weeks ago):

  • Brighton and Hove  797 (785). Current rate per 100,000 population 274.5.
  • Eastbourne 439 (422). Current rate per 100,000 population 366.0. 
  • Hastings borough 132  (130). Current rate per 100,000- population 142.2.  
  • Lewes district 376 (370). Current rate per 100,000 population 360.1.
  • Mid Sussex 606 (598). Current rate per 100,000 population 404.8.
  • Rother 188 (186). Current rate per 100,000 population 196.5.
  • Tunbridge Wells district  482 (468). Current rate – per 100,000 population 408.3.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  1,599 (1,565) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 288.3 per 100,000 population.
  • West Sussex – 2,781 (2,739) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 323.8 per 100,000 population.
  • South East region – 35,096 (34,635) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 384.3per 100,000 population.
  • England – 257,859 (253,585) lab-confirmed cases with a rate per 100,000 population of 460.7.

Getting tested for Covid-19

You can help in the fight by:

  • keeping two metres apart from others where possible
  • regularly washing your hands
  • immediately self-isolating and arranging a test if you have symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, a change in smell or taste, or a fever). Arrange a test at  http://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Note:

  • Our information comes from our own data sets which are populated by figures from official sources. Information in this story covers varying reporting periods. This website strives to compare “like with like” and usually reports on a weekly basis.

See also:

Uckfield Picture House confirms opening date

Nurse launches aesthetics clinic in Framfield

Uckfield Framing Company seeks new owner

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Shop occupied by Goodwin Racing on the market in Uckfield

The Goodwin Racing shop in Bell Walk, Uckfield, on the market.

A shop occupied by Goodwin Racing at 1 Bell Walk, Uckfield, is on the market.

Lawson Commercial says a lease is available on the premises which have 1,245 sq ft of space and a rear service yard with one space.

The current rent is £21,000 a year.

• Contact details for Lawson Commercial  can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Commercial Estate Agents, or Commercial Property Management.

See also:

Uckfield council to consider latest guidance on opening play areas

Uckfield Coronavirus deaths latest

Nurse launches aesthetics clinic in Framfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Confirmation of Uckfield Picture House opening date

The Picture House Uckfield has confirmed it will be reopen on Friday, July 31, following four-and-a-half months of closure during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is only the third time that the Picture House has been closed before in its 104 year history. Once was for a brief period at the beginning of World War 2, and then it closed for a week when it moved from one screen to two in 1979.

The Picture House photographed earlier this year.

The cinema says nothing has threatened its survival like the recent pandemic – not even the dark days of the 80s and 90s when video rental shops and the VHS emerged.

2019 was the best year ever for The Picture House. Admissions were at their highest level since the heady days of the 1940s, and 50s.

The long closure for the pandemic has been a testing and worrying time for the family-run cinema and a hard decision to reopen as distributors continually move release dates.

Loyal customers

The Picture House is hoping its loyal customer base will help it ride out the storm.

Cinema owner Kevin Markwick has been recording a lockdown podcast with fellow film lovers, including Robin Ince, Peter Curran, and Francine Stock. He is currently recording a reopening diary for Radio 4’s Film Programme.

First films

The first films to be shown will be:

Onward (U), showing in the afternoons, at 1.45pm. This is set in a suburban fantasy world when two teenage elf brothers go on a journey to discover if there is still a little magic left out there.

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker (12A), showing each evening at 7.15pm. This is the final part of the ongoing Star Wars saga.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (PG), each afternoon at 3.45pm. Episode V of the saga.

Summerland (12A) each afternoon at 4.40pm and evening at 7.35pm. During World War 2 a reclusive Englishwoman opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him.

Trolls: World Tour (U) each afternoon at 2.15pm. Poppy and Branch discover they are but one of six different Troll tribes, all devoted to different kinds of music. When the Queen of Hard Rock Trolls tries to take over all the kingdoms, Queen Poppy and her friends must find a way to save everyone.

Unhinged (15), evenings at 5pm and 8pm. A psychological thriller starring Russell Crowe.

Follow the links, above, to the Picture House website to book tickets.

Read why it has been so difficult to pick a reopening date for the cinema in a previous Uckfield News story: Kevin Markwick announces cinema opening date.

See also:

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

Uckfield property market goes ‘ballistic’

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Nurse launches aesthetics clinic in Framfield

Nurse practitioner Laura Buggy has launched an aesthetics clinic in Framfield.

Laura Buggy at her Glo. Skin Clinic in Framfield.

She works with her doctor partner Leon to provide services using medical grade equipment and products, primarily to help people with skin problems.

Laura told Uckfield News: “Some people ask why I would use my years of medical training and acute nursing experience to carry out work which seems superficial, but what it does is help other people with skin problems that affect their lives.

“My clients have told me that what has been achieved in their care is life-changing. What could be more rewarding than that?” she asked. 

Advice

The Glo. Skin Clinic, at 28 Beckets Way, in Framfield, offers treatments which begin with skin care advice and are backed up with the use of Zo Skin Health products which are available only to medical practitioners.

The clinic also offers non-invasive procedures, such as Jett plasma Silverhead treatments, LED phototherapy, and minimally invasive procedures like microneedling (collagen induction therapy) with skin pen PRP, platelet rich plasma, for skin rejuvenation and hair restoration. Botox and fillers are available too.

Treatment follows a skin consultation where Laura establishes what the problems are, what the client would like the outcome to be, and where she manages expectation, outlining what can be achieved, depending on budget, and the course of action followed.

Science-based

“Everything we do is science-based. We have researched the treatments looking for proven results, been trained in their use, and we believe in what we do. We know the treatments work. We know the products are among the best in the world.”

Laura trained as a nurse at the Kings College Nightingale Institute and specialised in paediatrics before working in London teaching hospitals mainly in A&E and theatre recovery.

She carried on training to become a nurse practitioner enabling her to work more autonomously. 

She works as a nurse practitioner in East Sussex and has also worked in A&E from the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Travelling

Laura met Leon while working in A&E department at a South London hospital. She had returned from travelling in Australia and he had just arrived in the country from South Africa where he worked as a GP.

He went on to become a private GP in Harley Street, also working for the O2 arena where he treated some of the big acts and celebrities.

The couple grew interested in aesthetics to help Laura who was battling a variety of skin conditions, ranging from the effects of acne to lesions around her eyes and pigmentation issues.

They grew fascinated by evidence-based discoveries, liking the science involved, and were able to improve Laura’s skin, so went on to treat others.

Confidence

Laura said: “I know from my own experience what an effect treatment can have on confidence and that is what I want others to feel.”

She added: “Self-care is important for mental health and resilience. It is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.”

Laura and Leon moved to Framfield with their two daughters four years ago and are enjoying the feeling of space in the countryside and the small village school attended by their girls.

Now, to grow interest in their home-based clinic they are running a draw via the Glo. Skin Clinic Facebook page offering three Jett Plasma Silverhead Skin Treatments worth up to £500 as the prize.

The treatments are non-invasive and are designed to rejuvenate the skin. 

The winner will be drawn on Friday, July 31, and the first treatment must be started by October 31, 2020. To take part visit the Glo. Skin Clinic Facebook page, ‘like’ the post containing the offer, and follow the page.

• Contact details for Glo. Skin Clinic can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Beauticians or Health and Well-Being.

See also:

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

Martin Clunes features in Bluebell Railway Covid-19 film

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community, Shopping

Cole’s Menswear sale starts today

Cole’s Menswear in Uckfield High Street launches its summer sale today.

There will be up to 50% off clothing including knitwear, trousers, jackets, suits, shirts, t-shirts, polo shirts, and shoes.

See some of the bargains in the Uckfield News photographs below.

See also:

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

Uckfield property market goes ‘ballistic’

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

New owner sought for Uckfield Framing Company

Uckfield Framing Company which was put up for sale before the Coronavirus lockdown is being freshly marketed.

Owner Tim Benians is making plans to retire, and looking for someone to take over the business, which creates bespoke frames, display cases, and fun-house distorting mirrors for clients including galleries, hotels, artists, and photographers.

Tim Benians whose Uckfield Framing Company is on the market.

Picture framing and woodworking classes are held too, at the premises on the Bellbrook Estate.

Tim says the business might appeal to working people who enjoyed the furlough period at home with family and are considering a change of career.

He said: “Going back to the commuter grind again may just focus that thought. They may not have considered running a picture framing business, but could perhaps be tempted by the prospect.”

Tim writes about the sale of the business on the Uckfield Framing Company website, see Working towards retirement, and would be pleased to speak to anyone who would like to know more.

• Contact details for Uckfield Framing Company can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Framing, or Picture Framing.

See also:

Confirmation of Picture House opening date

Nurse launches aesthetics clinic in Framfield

Cole’s Menswear sale starts today

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Proposals for 550 new homes in Uckfield

A public footpath off Snatts Road runs next to the proposed development site. It is to the left (east) of the footpath in this photograph.

Proposals for 550 new homes at Downlands Farm, Uckfield, are before Wealden Council.

Developers have asked for a screening opinion for land on both sides of the A22 Uckfield by-pass.

It includes 167 acres to the east, between Snatts Road and the A22 by-pass described as site area A, and 33 acres to the west described as site area B.

Woodland

There is ancient and semi-natural woodland on both pieces of land and site area A includes agricultural land.

A full description of the land is included in an Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Report published on the Wealden Council website.

The report says outline permission is sought for up to 550 homes, with parking, infrastructure, landscaping and access, and Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space/Recreation within Site A. 

A view of another part of the proposed development site. The footpath which started in Snatts Road, pictured above, crosses an unmade road to reach the land. Travelling along the unmade road to the right would take you to London Road.

A statement says there would be “no built development on site area B”. Part of that is located in Flood Zone 3, at high risk of river flooding.

Back in 2006 Wealden refused a planning application for 750 homes on Downlands Farm. The application included employment space, neighbourhood centres with primary school, community hall, small shops and a managed country park.

The council’s decision was upheld after an appeal in 2009. Reasons included that the site wouldn’t be “particularly accessible” and exhibited signs of high car dependency.

Campaign

There was a strong ‘stop Downlands’ campaign, based largely on environmental issues.

That site faced the Uckfield by-pass and ran from the boundary of Lake Wood in an irregular shape towards Budletts.

Details of the request for a new screening opinion, dated July 20, appeared on the Wealden website this week.

As late as July 6, at an overview and scrutiny committee, Wealden Council’s planning and development portfolio holder Ann Newton denied any knowledge of a new planning application relating to Downlands Farm.

Roads

Cllr Helen Firth who represents New Town, Uckfield, had expressed concern about the town’s road network, saying it couldn’t keep up with development. She was particularly concerned about plans for development at the north of the town which she believed must be part of Downlands Farm.

Cllr Newton said there was a plan in many years ago for Downlands Farm and she was not sure of its status now, but she would look into that for Cllr Firth. She said she did know of a plan further north for 39 homes.

Read more here: Uckfield’s road network can’t keep up with development, says councillor.

The request for a screening opinion, number WD/2020/6507/SO can be found on the Wealden website.

• Ridgewood, Mallard Drive, Coopers Green, Eastbourne Road, Blackboys … all targets for new housing. And the list keeps growing. Read more here: New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

See also:

Martin Clunes features in Bluebell Railway Covid-19 film

Uckfield property market goes ‘ballistic’

Kamsons Health and Beauty now offers delivery and collection

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Kamsons Health and Beauty now offers delivery and collection

Kamsons Health and Beauty, in High Street, Uckfield, now offers a delivery and collection service.

Orders can be placed with the business over the phone, 01825 762959, and there will be free delivery for orders of £30 and over.

People can also place orders, of any amount, for collection, and they will be ready and waiting at the shop for pick up.

• Contact details for Kamsons Health and Beauty can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in the category for Health and Beauty.

See also:

Uckfield property market goes ‘ballistic’

Once-threatened Reading Room in Buxted to get new lease of life

School organises remote sports week

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Uckfield property market goes ‘ballistic’

Interest in the property market has gone “ballistic” according to Uckfield estate agents Peter Oliver.

The reason? The Government’s initiative to cut stamp duty on properties up to £500,000.

Peter Oliver director Nick Gulliver told Uckfield News more houses are coming onto the market and more are being sold so they have taken on an extra member of staff to cope with demand.

The team at Peter Oliver estate agents. Sharon Wallis who has just joined the firm is pictured centre. Also here, from left, are Kay Hart, directors Owen Badman and Nick Gulliver, Rebecca Everest, and Chris Lane.

Last week the estate agent conducted 177 viewings – with 97 appointments on Saturday alone – when normally they would expect between 70 and 100 in a week.

Nick says a lot of people are up-sizing as they work more from home and need additional space, and others are looking for more greenery.

Buyers from outside the area are attracted to the town because of the lovely villages around it, and the Ashdown Forest near by, along with very good links to the coast, and the railway line to London.

Stunned

The estate agents were stunned by interest in one property, put on the market at £900,000, with a sale price agreed at £200,000 above that.

The £900,000 valuation was higher than the owners had expected, but within three days there were 18 viewings and nine offers before one was accepted.

Nick said the cut in stamp duty which will run until March 31, means that having bought their home people have more money to spend on decorating and making it their own.

Save

Previously a property bought at £400,000 would have attracted tax of £10,000 and one of £500,000, £15,000. “That’s a lot of money to save,” said Nick.

He said first-time buyers were having a tougher time than before lockdown because fewer mortgage products were available but he was convinced banks would release more funds as they saw confidence in the housing market growing.

New to the Peter Oliver team is Sharon Wallis. She lives in Uckfield and has worked in estate agency for 11 years.

Sharon is married with two children, a son and a daughter, and enjoys the theatre and reading.

• Contact details for Peter Oliver can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in the category for Estate Agents.

See also:

New data shows Uckfield Coronavirus cases

Cricket – First match report of the season from Uckfield Anderida

Start date for work on Ridgewood Village Hall car park

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

New data shows Uckfield Coronavirus cases

Coronavirus prevalence in the Uckfield area is at a low level, according to new information.

UckfieldNews.com is monitoring various official statistics and has built its own datasets of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the town, plus Wealden generally.

New data of lab-confirmed cases has become available from official sources and we now have details of Covid-19 positive cases for the town.

It is important to note that if an area has two or fewer cases (including zero), the data is suppressed for reasons of confidentiality by Public Health England.

The Uckfield figures

Uckfield is split into two for reporting purposes with the course of the River Uck the general boundary.

Uckfield North: The last time there were more than two cases was in week-ending May 28 when there were three. In other words, since then the number of cases has either been zero, one or two.

Uckfield South (New Town and Ridgewood): The last time there were more than two cases was in week-ending May 21 when there were three. In other words, since then the number of cases has either been zero, one or two.

The two areas of Uckfield have roughly similar sized populations.

Surrounding villages

In surrounding villages, a number of communities are grouped together to give a comparable population.

In Chelwood and Nutley, the last time the number of cases exceeded two was in week-ending April 23 when there were four.

In Buxted, Framfield and Rotherfield (including High Hustwood and Hadlow Down), the last time the number of cases exceeded two was in week-ending May 21 when there were three.

In Five Ash Down, Horsted and Chiddingly (including Maresfield, Isfield and East Hoathly), the last time the number of cases exceeded two was in week-ending April 30 when there were four.

This data includes lab-confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) reported by July 15 with specimen date up to July 12.

Cases from pillar 1 (Public Health England and NHS labs) and pillar 2 (home tests or mobile, drive-through centres) of the Government’s testing programme are included.

It is important to realise that the virus has NOT gone away from Uckfield. People need to observe social distancing and other rules.

Deaths in Uckfield from Coronavirus

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has not updated the number of deaths for these areas since our report in the middle of June.

However, we are using ONS data to track the number of Coronavirus deaths in Wealden.

We update those figures each Wednesday.

Here is our last report

Latest Coronavirus cases in Wealden and neighbouring local authority areas

There have been 11 more lab-confirmed cases since we last reported the totals a week ago.

They now stand at 457 up from 446 a week ago  and 439 two weeks ago. The new figure represents a rate a rate of 285.3 per 100,000 of population.

Wealden is now 61st on a list of lower-tier local authorities, 57th last time.

The rate per 100,000 inevitably increases as the number of positive tests goes up because the population is static.

Compare and contrast Wealden with other areas

Here are the statistics from our dataset from neighbouring areas (last week’s figure in brackets with the figure from two weeks ago):

  • Brighton and Hove 785 (775, 766). Current rate per 100,000 population 270.3.
  • Eastbourne 422 (403, 383). Current rate per 100,000 population 409.1 
  • Hastings borough 130 (128,127). Current rate per 100,000- population 140.0.  
  • Lewes district 370 (368, 360). Current rate per 100,000 population 360.1.
  • Mid Sussex 598 (595, 591). Current rate per 100,000 population 399.4.
  • Rother 186 (185, 176). Current rate per 100,000 population 194.4.
  • Tunbridge Wells district 468 (453, 447). Current rate – per 100,000 population 396.4.

More comparisons

  • East Sussex –  1,565, 1,488) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 282.2 per 100,000 population.
  • West Sussex – 2,739 (2,710, 2,689) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 318.9 per 100,000 population.
  • South East region – 34,635 (34,247, 33,819) lab-confirmed cases with a rate of 379.2 per 100,000 population
  • England – 253,585 (249,510, 245,483) lab-confirmed cases with a rate per 100,000 population of 453.0

Getting tested for Covid-19

You can help in the fight by:

  • keeping two metres apart from others where possible
  • regularly washing your hands
  • immediately self-isolating and arranging a test if you have symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, a change in smell or taste, or a fever). Arrange a test at  http://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Note:

Information comes out from official sources on different dates. It also covers varying reporting periods.

This website strives to compare “like with like” and usually reports on a weekly basis.

Our datasets have been constructed using official sources.

See also:

Uckfield fire station plans modified after outcry

How the ‘roof tax’ money is spent

Court bans man from parts of Uckfield

Councillors make decision on East Hoathly 205 homes plan

Applause for resident who helps stuck lorry get out of Bridge Farm Road

Uckfield day spa opens its doors again

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Grants Hill Court retirement scheme wins innovation award

Grants Hill Court winner of a House Design Award.

Grants Hill Court retirement living scheme in Uckfield has won an innovation award at the national Housing Design Awards.

Wealden Council’s flagship development was opened a year ago and provides 65 apartments and two cottages for social rent.

It cost £11 million and was designed to provide independent living for those aged over 60 and to ensure their mobility needs are met.

Virtual ceremony

The award was announced by Jeremy Porteus, chief executive of Housing Learning Network, in a virtual ceremony published in a series of YouTube videos.

He described how the accommodation was built on land that was once the site of Grants Hill House where Lord Lucan was last seen while thought to be en route to Newhaven.

The house was demolished in 1980, with a sheltered housing block built, and then replaced with the current Grants Hill Court.

House prices

Mr Porteus said house prices in Uckfield – with its railway station connecting to London Bridge and city salaries – were way beyond the reach of locals and seven years ago Wealden Council began building council houses for rent.

Grants Hill Court was their second completed project and it has a grandstand view of Uckfield Bowling Club ground.

The aim was to offer independent living in an enabling environment to encourage local people to ‘right size’ with care in place when needed.

Mr Porteus said the brief by architects PRP was especially popular with the planning committee which wanted it minuted that members saw the scheme as “a jewel in the crown of Uckfield”.

See also:

New data shows Uckfield Coronavirus cases

Councillors make decision on East Hoathly 205 homes plan

Here’s how the £6m ‘tax’ on new developments was spent

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities, Planning

Here’s how the £6m ‘tax’ on new developments was spent

Developers paid more than £6m in ‘tax’ to help pay for infrastructure improvements across Wealden, including Uckfield.

The money has been shared across the district with a proportion of the money coming to Uckfield Town Council.

Boardwalk leading to the footpath underpass of the A22 which links the new Horsted Green country park with the Ridgewood Farm housing development and the rest of Uckfield

Here’s a breakdown of how that £6m collected in ‘tax’ – officially known as Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)  – was spent in 2018/19.

Uckfield Town Council

The town receives 15 per cent of the levy in respect of development within its boundaries.

During the financial year 2019/20, that amounted to £24,395.59.

In the same period, it spent £13,150 of the money to assist with replacement of old street lights in Keld Drive, Grange Road and Selby Rise – a £25,000 project in total – and on additional street lights repairs, including London Road, leading to a total spend of CIL money of £13,150.

The remainder of the money was retained by the town council for future infrastructure projects, as the regulations permit.

See further below for more details on Uckfield’s street lighting arrangements.

Wealden District Council

In a statement issued in February, the district council said the biggest beneficiary from the £6.12m collected from the year’s Community Infrastructure Levy would be future road improvements to the Ersham Road / Diplocks roundabout, Hailsham, and other highway schemes in the south of Wealden.

These are receiving an allocation of £4m.

Wealden’s parish and town councils share £769,000 to support infrastructure projects which are important to their local areas.

A view of the Ashdown Forest

Tranquil heathland of the iconic Ashdown Forest

A further £167,000 will go to support the continued environmental monitoring and management of Ashdown Forest, the major Special Protection Area in the District.

Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, said: “We have always insisted that major development with the district must be accompanied by necessary infrastructure improvements.

Cllr Ann Newton

“The improvements do not just benefit the residents of new homes but everyone.”

The council said the CIL levy is paid by developers on the area of the property they are constructing.

The money is collected by the district council.

Some of the money is distributed to parish and town councils and the county council for use on their infrastructure projects, and some retained for use on infrastructure improvements by Wealden.

CIL money has helped pay for two new country parks, which provide Suitable Alternative Natural Green Spaces near to the new developments.

These are the 70-acre Walshes Park in Crowborough and the 74- acre Horsted Green Park on the outskirts of Uckfield.

The 2018/19 allocation of CIL funds has left a carry–over of £826,000 which will be added to CIL funds held by the council and used for future infrastructure projects.

Uckfield’s CIL money

Town and parish councils (such as Uckfield Town Council) receive 15 per cent of the CIL cash.

It is capped.

Where a town or parish has a Neighbourhood Development Plan, the amount passed to to the town or village is 25 per cent, with no cap.

At present, Uckfield does not have a Neighbourhood Plan, although a project team is working on proposals. Work began in the spring of 2014.

Uckfield street lights background

The majority of street lights in the town are the responsibility of East Sussex County Council. 

However, Uckfield Town Council does own about 230 street lights in various locations throughout the town which are maintained by the County Council – source Uckfield Town Council website.

The website shows the council has lights in: 

  • Baker Street
  • Bell Lane / Streatfield Road
  • Belmont Road and Church Walk
  • Cambridge Way
  • Campbell Close
  • Cedars Close
  • Church Street
  • Copwood Avenue
  • Eastbourne Road
  • Footpath from Tesco to Holy Cross School
  • Grange Road
  • Harcourt Close
  • Hempstead Gardens
  • Hempstead Rise
  • Hempstead Road
  • Highlands Avene
  • Highview Lane
  • Hunters Way
  • Keld Avenue
  • Keld Close
  • Keld Drive
  • Lealands Drive
  • Lime Tree Avenue
  • Linden Chase
  • London Road
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Norfolk Way
  • Oaklea Way
  • Old Timbers Lane
  • Olives Meadow
  • Pudding Cake Lane
  • Rocks Park Road
  • Selby Close
  • Selby Gardens
  • Selby Rise
  • Selby Road
  • Snatts Road
  • Streatfield Road
  • Vernon Road

See also:

Residents fight Coopers Green homes plan

Luxford Field play area work under way

It’s going to be a virtual Carnival this year

Picture House cinema opening date

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Uckfield fire station plans modified

Contentious changes proposed for fire cover in Uckfield have been re-shaped following consultation with the public.

East Sussex Fire Authority has come up with a new set of proposals after its original plans were heavily criticised by residents, councillors and the Fire Brigades’ Union.

Uckfield Fire Station (file photograph)

The overall plan, which covered East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, has been re-cast.

For Uckfield, the modified proposals means the “day crewed” system by full-time firefighters with immediate on-station response will be available at weekends, as well as week days

Original proposals was to have full cover just on weekdays. Weekends would have become the responsibility of ‘on-call’ firefighters.

Second fire appliance

One of the complaints of that plan was the difficulty in recruiting ‘on-call’ firefighters who usually have full-time work outside the fire service.

Uckfield will also retain its second fire engine. Its removal had been proposed.

The engine will, however, be deemed to be a Service-wide asset, providing part of the East Sussex spare appliance fleet, as well as being operationally available at the station for response to incidents.

Uckfield comment

Uckfield Fire Station commented yesterday on Facebook saying: “Keeping the second appliance as a spare means that it will rarely be available at Uckfield.

“More importantly however whole time cover will be kept at the weekends. This is a cut in service, but not as significant as originally proposed.”

Final decision

A final decision on the plans will be made the full fire authority at a meeting on September 3.

In a statement the East Sussex Fire Authority thanked  partners, members of the public and organisations that made responses and also attended forums. 

“We had the highest response rate ever to a consultation and we would like to assure all contributors that each response will be considered.

Parallel discussions

“The Service also welcomes all the feedback that has been received from staff and our representative bodies,” the statement said.

It said that while the public consultation had been running, in parallel, senior officers had been engaged in meaningful and constructive dialogue with staff representative groups and trade unions.

“The modified proposals will reduce impacts on our workforce and mitigate a number of the concerns presented to the Service through the consultation. 

Integrated Risk Management Plan

“It is a statutory duty for Fire and Rescue Authorities to have an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) and our current plan expires this year. 

“It remains vital then that our available resources are used in the most effective way to mitigate the risks our communities face, the statement said.

From our files

Significant changes expected to fire service restructure plans

No confidence vote in fire authority plans

Uckfield Town Council protests and rejects fire proposals

In-depth analysis of how Uckfield fire cuts could affect you

See also:

Court bans man from parts of Uckfield

Councillors make decision on East Hoathly 205 homes plan

Applause for resident who helps stuck lorry get out of Bridge Farm Road

Uckfield day spa opens its doors again

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Applause for resident who helps stuck lorry get out of Bridge Farm Road

Gathered residents watch as Morrisons lorry reverses out of Bridge Farm Road, Uckfield.

There was applause for a resident of Anvil Close, Uckfield, last night after he helped a Morrisons lorry reverse out of Bridge Farm Road, near the sewage works.

It is understood the lorry driver went off course and got stuck while following police directions. The helper was said to be a former HGV driver himself.

Residents moved their cars to avoid damage and to create more space for the manoeuvering.

The incident happened at about 11pm.

See also:

Gas company closes by-pass

Decision expected on 205 homes plan

Uckfield day spa opens its doors again

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Roads and rail

Uckfield A22 by-pass open again after gas leak

The A22 Uckfield by-pass has re-opened after being closed for gas main repairs.

However, temporary two-way traffic lights are in place.

Our earlier story

The A22 Uckfield by-pass remains closed in both directions this morning so the gas company SGN can repair third-party damage to its network.

The closure was put in place yesterday between the Lewes Road roundabout and Bell Lane due to emergency SGN works.

The repair is expected to take at least 24 hours to complete and motorists were asked to allow extra time for journeys this morning (Thursday).

The road was closed after residents across Uckfield reported a strong smell of gas.

Signed diversions were in place to guide affected drivers.

Routes through Uckfield town centre are heavily congested.

See also:

Decision expected on 205 homes plan

Uckfield day spa opens its doors again

Residents join forces to fight plans for 39 homes at Coopers Green

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Uckfield day spa opens its doors again

Spa Therapy, a day spa in Uckfield High Street, has reopened its doors to clients with online booking available.  It also has rooms available for therapists to rent.

The entrance to Spa Therapy in Uckfield High Street.

New Covid-19 safety procedures are in place and you can read about them on the Spa Therapy website.

Facial treatments are still not allowed at the moment because of Government restrictions, but you can make appointments for body and massage treatments, nails and waxing.

After booking online you will receive confirmation by email with details of everything you need to know and what to bring with you.

Sam Hartley and Magda Stone who own the business say they have rooms for rent which would be ideal for chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, nutritionists, NHS practitioners, chiropodists, dieticians, sport massage therapists and more.

One of the rooms available to be rented at Spa Therapy.

Another room for rent at Spa Therapy in Uckfield High Street.

They say clients would have access to a waiting room on the same level, rates are competitive and the spa is well placed on the High Street with windows overlooking cafes and shops.

A waiting room which can be used by clients of therapists renting rooms at Spa Therapy.

Get in touch with Sam and Magda by calling 01825 749434, or email info@spatherapy.uk. Read more by visiting the Spa Therapy website.

• Contact details for Spa Therapy can be round 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Beauticians or Spas.

See also:

Covid-19 deaths in Wealden – latest news

Uckfield’s road network can’t keep up with development, says councillor

Residents join forces to fight plans for 39 homes at Coopers Green

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Uckfield’s road network can’t keep up with development, says councillor

About 100 responses have been received so far to Wealden Council’s call for landowners to come forward suggesting potential sites for development – and more are expected.

The council’s planning and development portfolio holder Ann Newton told a meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee last week that some of the sites were already in the system, and more were potentially new ones.

Those for the Uckfield area were mostly for the south, she told Cllr Helen Firth, who represents New Town. The local councillor was concerned about infrastructure, particularly roads. Cllr Newton agreed  with her that the town’s road network needed looking at seriously.

Cllr Helen Firth

Cllr Newton was answering questions about her report to the committee which said development management was on notice of likely submission of large housing schemes in and around Uckfield.

It said officers were in discussion about these schemes, including with the East Sussex County Council highways and education authority.

Cllr Firth said Uckfield was a one-road town and the way things were, with more and more development – especially one being brought in at the north of the town, which she believed must be part of Downlands Farm – it couldn’t keep up with the volume of traffic coming into it and going through it.

She added that the by-pass didn’t help at all.

Cllr Newton responded saying Wealden relied very heavily on the county council on infrastructure issues, particularly schools and roads.

Cllr Ann Newton

She stressed: “Planning applications will not be approved if there is deemed to be a serious road issue with the county council.

She added: “I do feel for Uckfield. They are going to have to look very seriously at the road network.”

In relation to Downlands Farm, Cllr Newton said there was a plan in many years ago and she was not sure of its status now, but she would look into that for Cllr Firth. She said she did know of a plan further north for 39 homes.

Cllr Newton told the committee it was difficult for Wealden at the moment because it didn’t have a five year land supply or a local plan.

That meant more applications were coming in. “If we had a local plan all that would very much be on paper ahead of the game, instead of which it is having to be put together as it goes along.”

• Uckfield News has reported previously about large-scale housebuilding schemes looming in the town and listed land which has previously been the subject of housing development proposals. See: Uckfield housebuilding alert: large-scale schemes loom.

See also:

Covid-19 deaths in Wealden – latest news

Residents join forces to fight plans for 39 homes at Coopers Green

Luxford Field play area works get started

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Covid-19 deaths in Wealden – latest news

Two Covid-19 tracker datasets built by this website show encouraging news on the Coronavirus pandemic in Wealden.

The latest week for which the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has supplied data (to Friday July 3) show there was one death in the district in that period.

It brings the total number of deaths since the outbreak began to 112.

The previous week, there was also one death.

When deaths were at their highest

Our tracker of lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases is also just edging up. 

See our latest weekly report

The bitterest time in Wealden came from the second week of April through to the end of May when 92 people died of Covid-19 in that eight-week period.

The peak for hospital deaths came in week-ending April 17 (13 deaths) and the peak in care homes was the following week (11 deaths).

The first Covid-19 death in Wealden came in week-ending March 20 (1).

Deaths by setting:

  • Hospitals 58
  • Care homes 50
  • Hospices 4

All told this year, there have been 1,051 deaths from all causes within Wealden with Covid-19 accounting for 10.6 per cent.

The latest data for deaths relating to Uckfield itself has not been updated by the ONS since mid June and relates to the period up to the end of May. See our story here.

This website’s datasets are populated by data provided by the ONS.

See also:

Residents fight Coopers Green homes plan

Luxford Field play area work under way

It’s going to be a virtual Carnival this year

Picture House cinema opening date

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

Luxford Field play area works get started

Clearance work for the new Luxford Field play area has begun. Equipment and other structures are being broken up.

All the play equipment and other features have been removed from the Luxford Field play area in preparation for works to build the “people’s choice’.

Uckfield Town Council agreed the work for the “people’s choice” in February after competing bids were displayed at a public exhibition.

The old play park had been blighted for many years by proposals to redevelop the town centre.

Those plans eventually hit the buffers and look highly unlikely to ever be revived.

Preparations for the new play area at the Luxford Field

The play area works are being carried out by HAGS-SMP, which also re-built the play areas at Hempstead Road, Hughes Way and Ridgewood Recreation Ground.

How it was before new build was agreed

The Luxford Field Field play area pictured in mid November last year

An impression of how the site will look

The winning design for the Luxford play area came from HAGS-SMP. This original plan has been amended to make the site ‘accessible for all’.

Clearance work under way

A view of the play area from the south as the site is cleared ready for the new build.

From our files

Uckfield ‘castle’ playground gets green light

Extra money for Luxford Field play area kit

See also:

It’s going to be a virtual Carnival this year

Wealden Coronavirus cases edge up

Kevin Markwick announces cinema opening date

The Beauty Spot reopens in Uckfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Planning

Nine homes could be built on Regency Close site

Plans have been submitted to demolish a house in Regency Close Uckfield and build nine homes on its half acre site.

A statement with the planning application for White Gates says the land, at the end of a cul-de-sac, is predominantly flat with well defined boundaries and is “surprisingly low density for its local context”.

White Gates in Regency Close, Uckfield, which could be demolished to make way for nine new homes.

To the north is Brewery Place a development of one and two bedroom flats, to the west and south are garage blocks, and to the east is tree planting within the adjacent Conservation Area.

The statement says pre-application feedback from Wealden Council indicates the site is within the Uckfield development boundary and the principle of new residential development would be acceptable.

The developers say they have considered a number of ways of developing the site, including flats and housing.

Flats

They rejected a scheme for 18 flats because, coupled with 24 parking spaces, they thought there would be too much hard standing and it would feel cramped.

They say the site is capable of accommodating nine homes, in a mix of styles and tenures, together with open space incorporating key existing trees.

The propose a development in the form of a courtyard, focussed on a green set around an existing mature tree in the north east corner of the site.

Terrace

There would be a terrace of three, three-bedroom, townhouses; a pair of two-bedroom dormer cottages, a pair of one-bedroom cottages, a double-fronted detached Georgian four-bedroom family house, and a two-bedroom flat over garages, which would be built in the form of a stable block.

Each property would have a private garden, and there would be 20 car parking spaces – including two visitor spaces – and 18 secure cycle parking spaces.

The statement says: “Although this application is outline, the proposed scheme will seek to deliver a sustainable development in its broad sense.

Sustainability

“The design has sought to include a range of sustainability principles in terms of layout, natural resources, and minimising environmental impacts.

“The scheme seeks to deliver a range of enhancements with respect to issues such as the quality of surface water runoff, the ecological and recreational value of the site.”

More information about the planning application, number WD/2020/1054, can be found on the Wealden Council website.

See also:

Wealden Coronavirus cases edge up

Kevin Markwick announces cinema opening date

The Beauty Spot reopens in Uckfield today

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Business, Community

Kevin Markwick announces cinema opening date

Uckfield Picture House which could reopen on Friday, July 31.

Uckfield Picture House owner Kevin Markwick is hoping to reopen the cinema on Friday, July 31.

He has previously announced that the restaurant will reopen on Wednesday, July 22, but choosing an opening date for the cinema has been more tricky, and even when making an announcement in an audio diary aired on the BBC Radio 4 Film Programme on Thursday Kevin was wary.

Kevin Markwick

He finished by saying he thought he was going to say the cinema would open on July 31. “You have heard it here first. We are going to open on July 31 … unless we don’t.”

One of the reasons for Kevin’s dilemma is the release date for two films which he wants to show, Disney’s Mulan, and the spy film Tenet.

Mulan was originally due to be released in March but the date has been postponed repeatedly because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The latest date given is August 19.

Tenet was initially expected to arrived in cinemas on July 17, then postponed until July 31. Now it is due to show from August 12.

Kevin says he is not even confident of those two dates and he is concerned about new spikes in the Coronavirus. The last thing he wants to do is open the cinema only to close it again.

Old films

Other cinemas opened on July 4 but Kevin thought that was too early. They have been showing old films and while Kevin thinks that would work for two weeks he doesn’t think there would be enough support for six to eight weeks of them.

He is working on the basis of opening with 25% of usual capacity but fears even that figure could be optimistic.

Kevin recorded his audio diary in one of his empty cinemas saying they were on zero income after the best start to the year they had ever had.

Star Wars was ending when lockdown began, 1917 had been huge for the Picture House and Military Wives had just started.

Upsetting

“It is very upsetting to wander around the empty cinema which is normally echoing with people enjoying themselves. This is a busy cinema, busy all day, every day. Suddenly everything has been taken away.”

He said there was a very high degree of uncertainty in the cinema industry generally, trying to second guess what people want to see

His father bought the cinema in 1965 and Kevin had been running it since he died in 1994. “I feel the weight of it a bit. I don’t want to be the one who presides over its eventual demise.”

He reflected on the massive refurbishment undertaken five years ago, buying the restaurant across the road, and working to integrate the two businesses, building them up and designing a complete night out.

Shock

Now he had the two businesses most affected by the pandemic. They had gone from a good income to no income whatsoever. That was a shock and he was not sure when it would come back.

The Picture House had been reaching out to its customers and members and it seemed people did want to come back, the issue now was making the businesses financially viable.

• The Picture House Restaurant opens on Wednesday, July 22, and tables must be booked in advance online.

It will be open from 4pm on weekdays, and from noon Friday to Sunday. The final table time will be 8.30pm.

A maximum of eight people from two households will be allowed with table slots of 90 minutes to enable thorough cleaning between bookings.

A pre-order full takeaway menu will be available from 5pm until 8.30pm.

• Contact details for The Picture House Cinema and Restaurant can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Cinema or Restaurants.

See also:

Fletching pub could be turned into a dwelling

‘Significant changes’ expected to fire service restructuring proposals

Bluebell Railway sells 60th anniversary souvenir tickets

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

 

Business, Community

The Beauty Spot reopens in Uckfield today

The Beauty Spot in Uckfield, ready to reopen today.

The newly refurbished Beauty Spot reopens today in Uckfield. Everything has been organised to take account of Coronavirus regulations and protect clients and staff.

Owner Maria Mann says all soft furnishings have gone, along with a waiting area, and everything in the salon has been chosen to be easily cleaned.

Pleased

Services are restricted, the salon isn’t allowed to do any work on faces, but Maria says they are pleased to be back in business.

Clients will be asked to wait outside until invited in by their therapist – there is a slide covering in case of rain. Temperatures will be taken and they will be asked to sanitise and wash hands.

Then they will be taken to their treatment station and all further transactions will take place there, from treatment to payment.

The new look Beauty Spot. All soft furnishing have been removed to make it easy to keep the salon clean and all transactions will take place at treatment stations.

UV sterilisers will be used to keep the air clean and each station will be thoroughly cleaned between clients.

Maria says the number of people allowed in the salon is restricted so she asks clients to come alone, not bringing children or babies.

Staff will work in two teams and Maria says appointments are sacred. She still has many messages requesting appointments to respond to, and she appeals to clients to arrive on time, or give notice if it is not possible to attend.

She adds: “I’m looking forward to seeing you on Monday and I hope you like the salon.”

• Contact details for The Beauty Spot can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in the category for Beauticians.

See also:

Fletching pub could be turned into dwelling

Uckfield Rotary Club inspires others with fund-raising efforts

Village roads included in surface dressing programme

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Local authorities

‘Significant changes’ expected to fire service restructuring proposals

“Significant changes” are to be made to proposals to restructure East Sussex Fire Service which caused uproar in Uckfield and around the county.

Members of the community, and firefighters, were concerned about proposals which would have seen the removal of one of the two fire engines at Uckfield, and a reduction in the number of full-time firefighters serving the town and surrounding villages.

Uckfield Fire Station

Weekend and night-time cover would have been in the hands of on-call firefighters.

County councillor Roy Galley, who chairs the East Sussex Fire Authority, announced the rethink at a full meeting of the county council on Tuesday.

He said that since the conclusion of a formal consultation “detailed, meaningful, and constructive, discussions” had taken place between senior officers and stakeholders, including the Fire Brigades Union.

Responses

And, he said, whilst a full analysis had to be completed, the discussions had taken into account the responses to the consultation.

“As a result an amended set of proposals is currently being drafted to be discussed initially at a briefing session for fire authority members on July 13.”

Cllr Galley said there would be a revised plan in September which would make “significant changes” to the original proposals.

Liberty

He added: “At this stage nobody is at liberty to discuss any of the details because they have not been discussed by the fire authority.”

Phil Scott, a county councillor and fire authority member, asked whether there was any understanding of the level of response to the consultation, “not just the usual suspects” but also those who were harder to reach. He said a number of the proposals were “clearly not acceptable to our communities”.

He asked whether there would be a further consultation when the new proposals were put forward in September.

Extensive

Cllr Galley said he didn’t have the latest figures but there was a “very extensive” response to the consultation, well over 700 responses. There would be further communication to make people fully aware of the detailed level of responses.

He said there wouldn’t be further consultation. “The whole point of consultation is to take views on initial proposals. They have been taken fully into account and significant changes are likely to be made.

“Legally we need to have an Integrated Risk Management Plan in place next year and onwards.

“We will be coming forward with new proposals and I look forward to comments from colleagues on that at the appropriate time.”

More information about reaction to the initial Integrated Risk Management Plan proposals can be found in these Uckfield News stories:

Union’s unanimous ‘no confidence’ vote in fire authority shake-up plans

Uckfield fire cuts – protests grow

In-depth analysis of how Uckfield fire cuts could affect you

Cuts proposed for Uckfield Fire Station 

See also:

Wealden Covid-19 deaths total updated

Tributes paid to Martin Eastwood – ‘a thoroughly decent man’

Next stage of Ridgewood Farm works clearly in view from footpath

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community, Music and arts

Tributes paid to Martin Eastwood – ‘a thoroughly decent man’

Tributes have been paid to Martin Eastwood, engineer musician, artist, and environmentalist, who died earlier this year aged 73.

Martin was well known in Uckfield for his involvement in the town’s festival, art trail, Bridge Arts, and as a member of the medieval music group Reflections, and of Holy Cross Church choir.

Martin Eastwood – remembered by many in his role as Picasso inspiring children to create masterpieces in a gazebo on the Luxford Field. (Photograph via Eastwood family)

He died in February, after a battle of more than a year with a brain tumour. Sadly, because of the Coronavirus, only his closest family members were allowed to attend a cremation but they are hoping eventually to organise a memorial concert and would like to hear from anybody who would like to take part.

Martin leaves his wife Jane, daughters Sarah Gauntlet and Sophie Joel, son Tom, and six grandchildren, Isaac, Lily-May, Lucy, Emily, Amy and Kitty.

Martin was described by his family as a “thoroughly decent man – a concept somewhat alien in this fraught new world”. 

Here’s Martin building a giant egg for a dance show his daughter Sophie was performing in. (Photograph via Eastwood family)

They told Uckfield News: “He was a renaissance man with interests in a multitude of human endeavours both technological as well as artistic. 

“He was a family man with a deep and abiding love and responsibility for his wife and children.

“The most impressive aspect was the solution that Martin brought to every creation. Never conventional and always unexpected.

Martin tinkers with a car at the Uckfield Grand Prix. (Photograph via Eastwood family)

“Building things was his passion and it was always a feature of Martin’s creations that they were undertaken in a way that was utterly unique.

“You may have seen his incredible church tableaus for the Holy Cross Christmas tree festival

“He was a calm man with a strong community spirit and would always muck in and lend a hand within the community.”

The current chair of Uckfield Festival, Dorothy Sparks, said Martin was a great asset to the festival and the community of Uckfield.

Martin Eastwood had many and varied interests. Here he is with daughter Sarah Gauntlet playing the flute. (Photograph via Eastwood family)

Friends Martyn and Vivien Stenning said they met him when he joined the musical group Reflections, playing the flute and singing. He joined many other local choirs, singing bass.

Martyn and Vivien said membership of Reflections led on to other things, such as producing amateur dramatic productions, including plays called ‘The Vigil’, ‘Androcles and the Lion’ and children’s productions for which Martin worked creatively with teams producing stage props and clothing and also acting some parts.  

The couple went on to say: “Martin was a competent tailor and dressmaker.  He was also an active member of an early music ensemble playing, among many other instruments, a variety of crumhorns.”

Martin helps out at Framfield Farm. His daughter Sophie is in the background. (Photograph via Eastwood family)

“Martin was also a congenital environmentalist.  His father was Professor Eric Eastwood, a pioneer of RADAR technology who wrote a landmark book with the unlikely title of ‘RADAR Ornithology’.  

“Although an engineer by trade, Martin devoted his professional life to sustainable energy generation by developing the idea of waste to energy, thus avoiding the necessity for using both landfill as a means for rubbish disposal and fossil fuels for producing electricity.”

Martyn and Vivien said: “At the time Martin joined Reflections, we were running a conservation project to rid a Woodland Trust nature reserve of alien invaders which were swamping the vegetation and preventing the natural regeneration of biodiversity.  

“On learning this Martin became an unstoppable and faithful force in this project, attending the monthly Saturday task-days at Lake Wood.  

Martin helps plant a tree at Framfield Farm. (Photograph via Eastwood family)

“It took us 15 years of winter task-days to rid the reserve of these interlopers from abroad.  Martin also helped with the management of Lime Tree Avenue with other Lime Aid volunteers.

“In summary, Martin was kind and generous.  His family, to which he was devoted, music, conservation and sustainable engineering were the focus of Martin’s life and everyone who knew him are now deeply saddened at losing him so prematurely.”

Tim Benians got to know Martin Eastwood around 15 years ago when they put the first Uckfield Art Trail together. 

Tim said: “He was keen to add visual arts to the Festival’s repertoire of music and theatre, so we collaborated closely from then, through many years of Art Trails and into Bridge Arts. 

Martin relaxes at home with his wife Jane. (Photograph via Eastwood family)

“Martin could always be relied on for his brilliant organisational and diplomatic skills, and to find time to keep us all on track despite his many other interests.

“Uckfield will miss his willing and welcoming manner in all that he turned his creative mind to. 

“I will always remember him in his Picasso outfit encouraging children to create masterpieces in a gazebo on Luxford Field.”

Martin was born in Stafford and grew up at Little Baddow, near Chelmsford in Essex, where his father was director of research with the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. 

He was sent to boarding school at the age of eight, Felsted School, then went on to University College London where he was awarded a degree in Mechanical Engineering, the first step in what became a lifelong interest in the generation of electricity from waste. 

Martin’s family said: “In retrospect it is perhaps surprising that Martin ended up an engineer. 

The bobble hat duo are Martin Eastwood and his daughter Sophie Joel. (Photograph via Eastwood family)

“His creative talents would perhaps have been better deployed in a non-engineering forum. But Martin was a highly responsible individual and the choice of engineering for a career ensured that he was able to earn a comfortable livelihood and take care of his family.”

From the age of 21, on leaving university, he already saw the problems of waste and entered into the work of solving fuel problems with renewable energy. He was part of the team which designed the first machines for de-inking newspaper, so the paper could be used again.

Prestigious

Martin worked for Black and Veatch, a prestigious engineering, procurement, consulting and construction firm with its headquarters in Kansas City, USA. 

As chief engineer for the UK subsidiary Martin enjoyed a significant role furthering Black and Veatch’s expanding interests in waste to energy projects worldwide.

He came to East Sussex in 1987 to work on a project with East Sussex County Council on the generation of electricity from waste. He was responsible for overseeing the development of a plant in Pebsham, Bexhill, to convert waste and rubbish into fuel pellets to sell to the grid.

Two months before he became ill he travelled to India and China to help deal with, and advise on, their huge refuse problems.

Music

Music was a driving factor in Martin’s life. He loved medieval instruments, in particular the shawm – a forerunner of the oboe – which he played in his medieval performance group ‘Loud Winds’ and ‘Schola Noctis’. He played in Medieval Concerts at Bridge Cottage & Medieval Weddings and Festivals.

Martin was also a member of a male voice choir in London, was learning ancient Greek, and played flute around the pubs for the Holy Cross Carol Singing, he gave blood, and performed with Uckfield Theatre Guild.

See also:

Wealden Covid-19 cases rocket: we explain why

Uckfield Festival Club to meet online

Next stage of Ridgewood Farm works clearly in view from footpath

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

Community

Teenager charged after two said to be assaulted in Uckfield

Police have charged a teenager after two people were said to have been assaulted – but not injured – in an altercation in Uckfield.

The incident was said to have happened at the junction of Mill Lane and High Street around 8pm on Thursday, June 25.

A 16-year-old boy, who police say cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested and charged with battery and common assault.

He has been released on court bail until July 27, with conditions not to enter Uckfield and to remain at a specific address between 8pm and 6am daily.

See also:

Drinks and homemade snacks now available at Staverton Nursery

Safety fears delay opening of Uckfield play areas

Highlands Inn and Picture House announce reopening plans

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com