New supermarket planned next to Uckfield pub

A developer has put forward plans to build a supermarket next to a pub in Uckfield.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:03 pm
Artist's impression for new convenience store in Uckfield

In an application submitted to Wealden District Council, the pub chain Greene King and developers PH Land & Developments are seeking planning permission to build a convenience store next to the Highlands Inn in Eastbourne Road.

A similar application was refused by council planners in 2015, due to concerns around its design, with the proposed store considered to be too large and to have too great an impact on the surrounding area. 

This decision was taken to appeal, but was dismissed by a planning inspector.

The existing pub

The applicants say this scheme, which has a significantly reworked design, is intended to overcome the previous reasons for refusal.

In a planning statement, a spokesman for the applicants said: “The application now submitted (supported by a national retail operator) is for a local convenience goods store and associated car park, landscape and access at the Highlands Inn public house in Uckfield. It addresses the concerns which the inspector had in dismissing the appeal in 2015. 

“In accordance with National Planning Policy Guidance and, as accepted by planning officers in pre-application correspondence, there have been no material changes in circumstances in terms of particularly planning policy or other technical matters since the appeal decision. 

“Therefore, the matter which needs to be considered primarily by the planning authority is whether the changes now proposed to the scheme address the design concerns raised by the inspector. 

“It is important to emphasise [the inspector] considered matters such as highways/parking as well as policy in his appeal decision even though the council did not pursue reasons for refusal on those matters.”

While not part of the application, Greene King says it intends to carry out improvement works to the pub garden should the convenience store plans be approved.

This would involve some new decking being laid as well as the removal of some existing trees. It would also potentially involve the relocation of a war memorial within the site.

For further details of the proposals see application reference WD/2021/2663/F on the Wealden District Council website.