Uckfield can only dream of Next, M & S, Lidl, Aldi and the like, says Observer

Our independent columnist reckons the chances of Uckfield getting big names shops are slim; wonders what the delay is over the roadworks and warns the county council of a firestorm if those works muck up the Festival parade and Carnival night.

The wish list of new shops from Uckfield residents usually includes Next, Marks and Spencer and other popular High Street names.

That’s why there was again disappointment from some when news of Howdens move into Trading 4U was confirmed.

They are a respected, professional outfit who do what they do well.

However, even they would probably admit they are not a business name that sets people’s pulses racing.

Mall project has faced head winds


Personally, I would have welcomed Lidl or Aldi into town. They would shake-up grocery shopping and maybe persuade Tesco to think again about its Uckfield store.

It seems that the only likelihood we have of “big names” coming to town is if the redevelopment of the town centre goes ahead.

Since the ideas was mooted, the project has run into head winds which, worryingly, maybe getting stronger.

The economy has not encouraged grand scale developments in recent times and developers of shopping malls may consider Uckfield to be a marginal project.

Talking of the High Street – when will the roadworks start?

Like everyone else I was expecting to see the diggers and workmen in by now.

There were fears that the works would coincide with the rail replacement buses going up and down to Crowborough and back, causing more congestion.

We’ve had two weeks of rail replacement buses and as yet no announcement of roadworks.

Roadworks overlap with Festival and Carnival


It certainly means the works will overlap with the Festival and now it is looking more and more likely that the Carnival will be affected.

I’m sure the Uckfield Bonfire and Carnival Society and the Uckfield Festival committee will be talking to the county council to ensure these major processions are unaffected.

If they are, the firestorm the county council will face will make the last year’s row about the roadworks look like a church picnic.

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