Uckfield Town Council is not supporting approval of the outline planning application for 1,000 homes at Ridgewood.
Nearly 50 people were in the public gallery to see the plans committee make its decision tonight (February 23).
Details of the planning application appeared on UckfieldNews.com – the links are below.
Cllr Paul Sparks highlighted a number of reasons why the committee should not support Welbeck Land’s application, including:
- The inability of the A22 by-pass to cope with the extra traffic
- The need for a different access to the SANGS area
- The worry that there would there would be fewer than 35 per cent affordable homes
- The lack of information about the infrastructure required, including secondary school places and GP surgeries.
He also criticised the lack of effective consultation by Welbeck.
Cllr Sparks said there were good things in the plan including three play areas, use of solar energy, a much better access to the sewage works and employment space which would create 300 to 400 jobs.
‘Where the good news ends’
“That’s where the good news from my point of view stops,” he said.
He said 750 houses would access the A22. “We know from the experience of when the High Street improvements were done a few months ago that the by-pass cannot take additional traffic.” Cllr Sparks said.
He believed the developer would argue for fewer than 35 per cent affordable homes because of the cost of having to provide a 73-acre SANGS area.
Horsted Pond Lane
Access to the 28-space car serving the SANGS would be “down a little country lane” – Horsted Pond Lane – which, he said, was “totally unacceptable”.
Cllr Paul Meakin criticised the plan to use an access from the Victoria Pleasure Ground into Forge Rise which he said was “totally unrealistic”.
There was nothing in the plan about secondary education.”We should be providing the education our children expect in the future,” he said.
He felt the future was being left to look after itself.
Before the committee debated the proposal a number of people spoke from the public gallery.
They raised questions concerning the access to Forge Rise and how a 3m path would encroach on to their land, the issue of the public’s safety when using the route, the inability of the by-pass to cope with the extra traffic, worries over the development possibly causing flooding elsewhere in the town, provision of medical services and how UCTC would cope with the extra pupils which would come at the time of “baby boom” children going to secondary education.
Alan Blackford criticised the lack of proper plans for the public to see and suggested a model should be made.
Cllr Sparks thanked the public for their input and said it helped inform members of the committee.
• Uckfield Town Council’s comments will go to Wealden District Council which will determine the application.
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