Developers reassure Uckfield council

The scheme site
The scheme site

After the shock rejection of the 1,000 home Ridgewood scheme by Uckfield Town Council, developers Welbeck Land held an urgent meeting with members in an attempt to quell their fears.

Welbeck responded to specific concerns raised by councillors and town residents.

Replying to the main issue, the company insisted the county council’s highways department expressed ‘satisfaction’ that the by-pass could handle more traffic without increasing its capacity. No extra traffic measures are needed to handle access to and from the south west corner of the scheme onto the Lewes Road. The by-pass roundabout will be the same size at the Little Horsted roundabout.

As the scheme gets going, developers will discuss the amount of affordable homes for rent on the site with Wealden District Council officers. The council is also the body, they explained, which has insisted on car parking off Horsted Pond Lane to access the green space area on the other side of the by-pass.

They explained once the need for a GP surgery is proved, they have set aside two alternative sites and money is being allocated for road improvements.

Funds will also go towards extending Uckfield Community Technology College to meet increased demand from residents and also providing a one form entry primary school, possibly extending to two form entry.

The first new homes will be built alongside Lewes Road near the Little Horsted roundabout early next year.

A cycle path through Forge Rise into Victoria Pleasure Ground will be provided once the development extends in that direction.

Landowners will consider holding a meeting with residents and councillors to show more precise drawings of how the development might look, once the outline planning stage is completed.

A town council spokesman thanked the landowners’ representatives for their ‘openness and frankness’ at the meeting and said it was hoped this type and level of information exchange would be used in the future, as the development moves forward. Members also asked for a meeting with county representatives to clear issues about traffic movements and cycle paths.