MP welcomes plans for M&S and HomeBargains at Ashdown Business Park
Plans to build two new stores at a business park in Maresfield have been welcomed by the MP for Wealden.
Nusrat Ghani was among those who attended a public consultation on proposals for a new Marks & Spencer and Home Bargains store at the Ashdown Business Park, just outside of Uckfield
The land has been secured by Bride Hall Developments, which has agreed terms with both companies.
A public consultation was held by the developer at the Uckfield Civic Centre last week, with representatives from M&S, Home Bargains and Bride Hall on hand to discuss the proposals.
For both companies, this would be their first store in Wealden, bringing at least 125 new job opportunities to the Uckfield area.
The formal pre-application has been submitted to East Sussex Highways and Wealden District Council.
It is anticipated that if the formal planning permission is not delayed, work could start on site by the end of the year with a view to having the M&S supermarket open towards the end of 2022.
Nusrat Ghani said: “This is fantastic news for residents of Uckfield and surrounding villages.
“It would be great to have both Marks & Spencer and Home Bargains stores in Wealden to spare local residents lengthy travel to neighbouring towns.
“It is anticipated that M&S will create some 50 jobs and Home Bargains 70 full and part-time jobs, which is an excellent boost to much-needed part-time and full time positions.
“The site will be easily accessible with public transport links incorporated into the plans, helping to boost footfall and our local economy.
“I will be following the progress of this consultation closely and I hope we can welcome both brands to Uckfield next year.”
The proposals were also largely welcomed by Sussex Express readers.
Commenting on social media, Sharon Purnell said the plans were a ‘great idea’, while Claire Thorns said: “Can’t wait.”
Debbie Gardener said: “We desperately need another supermarket, more houses more people.”
However not everyone was supportive of the choice of stores proposed at the site.
Val Easton said: “Brilliant idea but would have preferred an Aldi rather than M&S, too expensive!”
Diana Hancock said: “Would prefer an Aldi or Lidl and The Range but M&S and Home Bargains is better than nothing in Uckfield.”
To find out more about the plans at www.elgplanning.co.uk/consultation/ashdown-business-park