Masterplan will ‘put Uckfield’s greenness back’

A tree-lined High Street, transformed Luxford Field, elegant town ‘plaza’ and ‘bringing the greenness back’ are aims of Uckfield’s newly-invigorated Masterplan.

A joint committee was formed this week which will oversee the ambitious project and bring it to fruition.

Cllr Mick Harker has been appointed chairman of the Town Centre Regeneration Joint Committee.

He said: “I am very excited. We will soon be able to begin the process of selecting development partners ready for the next chapter in the town’s history. We are now in a position to make the Town Centre Masterplan, which received widespread public support in our earlier consultation, a reality. It will bring many much needed improvements to the town through a phased approach. These include the potential creation of a Civic Square linking Luxford Field to the High Street as well as a number of initiatives to improve the town’s attractions as a shopping destination.

“It is our aim to create a contemporary market town with a reputation for quality. I am convinced a variety of retail and commercial opportunities is the way to ensure the future prosperity for my home town. We are keen to continue to keep residents and key groups informed and will be running a series of events from September onwards to ensure this happens.”

Cllr Harker explained the recession scuppered plans to move the Masterplan forward earlier. But he said an improving economy means the committee can identify a potential developer via an EU procurement process - which opens up the scheme to a range of international partners through a mechanism involving publication in the Eurojournal. It is hoped to attract a new grocery provider or supermarket to the town.

The regeneration aims to deliver improvements to the town’s use of its green spaces, better car parking and transport infrastructure. These will include new bus shelters and automated information boards in the High Street and an upgraded bus terminus. Major changes to town car parking are already underway with the creation of 170 spaces at the new station car park and Luxford car park time limitations, which aim to free spaces for shoppers.

Cllr Harker went on: “One of our overall aims is to bring the greenness back to Uckfield with a tree-lined and pedestrian friendly High Street. The way to counter the threat of internet shopping is to make the town a true destination with so much more to offer.”