Plans which lay out the shape of Wealden towns in the future have now almost reached their final stage.
After last year’s consultation exercise - where people were asked to express their views about development sites in and around Uckfield and Crowborough - Wealden District Council has now produced its definitive planning document called the Proposed Submission Strategic Sites Local Plan - which sets out their preferred options.
The next phase is a round of exhibitions laying out details of schemes on Saturday, June 22 (10-1pm, Crowborough Community Centre) and Saturday, June 29 (10-1pm, Uckfield Civic Centre.)
People are invited to visit these exhibitions, look at plans online (www.wealden.gov.uk) or check hard copies at local libraries and parish council offices across the District. They are then urged to make their views known by June 29.
Wealden’s chief planning officer David Phillips said: “Your views will now be considered by a Go vernment Inspector rather than the council.” Submissions to the Secretary of State will be made early next year.
Planning cabinet member Cllr Ann Newton added: “These areas have already been identified for growth in the Wealden Core Strategy so changes in housing numbers and the sites where they will be built have been agreed.
“The documents outline policies which will dictate how these sites will be developed, now many affordable homes and what infrastructure is needed.”
The Uckfield site, including land at Ridgewood Farm south west of the town together with sites at the southern end of Lewes Road, is the largest development in the Local Plan.
It lays out a scheme for a large, mixed use urban extension with 1,000 dwellings, 13,495 square metres of employment floorspace and primary, early years and secondary school provision if necessary.
Main access is from the A22, new homes are at a density of 25 per hectare with 35 per cent affordable. About seven hectares of open space will provide children’s play parks or sports facilities.
About 18 hectares of green space - necessary to ‘mitigate the impact of the development on the Ashdown Forest’ - and areas of ancient woodland will be included. Chair of Uckfield’s Town Centre Steering Group Cllr Mick Harker said: “I hope this will not be a ‘stand alone’ gated community. It needs to be an inclusive development, integrated to Uckfield as a whole.”
In Crowborough four separate sites including Pine Grove, (currently a temporary car park and vacant offices;) between St John’s Road and Fairview Lane; between Eridge Road and Wealden Close; at Beacon Road and off Millbrook Road will provide about 110 new dwellings, (45 per cent affordable. ) There is a separate site at Jarvis Brook between the railway line and Forest Dean which should deliver about 27 dwellings.
Again green spaces will be provided to mitigate the impact of building on the 7km no-development zone around the Ashdown Forest.