The process stalled earlier this year and it was decided to find a way of making the project more attractive to potential development partners. Read more in an Uckfield News story carried at the time: Plans to redevelop Uckfield town centre have stalled
A report going to Uckfield Town Council on Monday (August 3) says those present at an informal joint committee briefing on July 6 said a ‘good’ project would include:
- An alternative large food store
- Retaining a variety of independent businesses and attracting new independent businesses into the town centre
- Existing retailers given first refusal
- Retaining the town’s character – to ensure it does not become a clone town
- Luxford Field providing improved social, sporting and recreational facilities (note while the field may change in shape it will remain in the same location with no reduction in the green space it affords)
- An open plaza
- A variety of retail and catering units around the plaza/Luxford Field providing social and entertainment opportunities
- Good open access to the High Street
- Holy Cross school relocated into new premises
Further advice is to be obtained on making the project more attractive for the market place so that developers will be encouraged to participate in the process.
“This might include introducing an incentive, or incentives, to reduce the front-end risks for potential partners,” says the report to the town council.
“There will be further consideration given to the appointment of a suitably-qualified and proven operator in this field of work for the procurement process and for property development.
“It could be possible to proceed, for instance, in a joint venture with a developer or by the local authorities establishing an ‘arms-length’ development company.”
The joint committee which is made up of representatives of Uckfield Town Council, Wealden District Council and East Sussex County Council is due to meet for another informal briefing before a joint committee meeting takes place on September 21.
Members of the Uckfield Town Centre Regeneration Joint Committee include:
East Sussex County Council: Cllr Claire Dowling and Cllr Rupert Simmons.
Wealden District Council: Cllr Helen Firth and Cllr Roy Galley
Ucktield Town Council: Cllr Keith Everett and Cllr Ian Smith
• The Project Board, which oversees Uckfield High Street improvement works and reports to the joint committee is due to make a recommendation for progressing Stage 2 works to a special meeting of the joint committee on August 10, according to the report to the town council.
A final decision on the improvements is due to be made in September. See our story: September date for final decision on Uckfield High Street improvements.
Members of the Project Board, which is chaired by Cllr Claire Dowling, include:
East Sussex County Council: Elaine Martin and Claire Warwick
Wealden District Council: Nigel Hannam and Kelvin Williams
Councillors:East Sussex County Council: Cllr Claire Dowling and Cllr Rupert Simmons
Wealden District Council: Cllr Roy Galley
Uckfield Town Council: Cllr Ian Smith and Cllr Keith Everett.