Transformation of Uckfield town centre begins

Cllr Claire Dowling, Uckfield county council member
Cllr Claire Dowling, Uckfield county council member

The latest stage of a £25-million redevelopment scheme to transform Uckfield Town Centre will be unveiled next month.

A drop-in session will be held from 3-7pm on October 3 at Uckfield Civic Centre so people can find out what is in store for the town.

The land involved in the scheme is owned by the town, district and county councils and a joint committee, headed by chairman Cllr Mick Harker, came into being last month. Several potential development partners have already been identified and must submit their bids by November 7. By early next year a detailed blueprint of the way the town will look will be revealed.

Exciting innovations include a ‘plaza,’ integration of Luxford Field with the heart of the town, tree-lined High Street, wider, pedestrian friendly pavements, public transport invigoration and potentially a new supermarket.

Work has already begun on the new 174 railway station car park and the next phase of the £2.5million southern High Street element of the highway improvement scheme (from Framfield Road to Bell Lane) begins on Monday, September 22 lasting for eight weeks. The next phase affects the section between Bell Lane and Church Street and will take about 30 weeks to complete.

County’s Uckfield member, Cllr Claire Dowling said: “The work has been deliberately timed to avoid Christmas and work on the larger portion of the High Street, including changes to parking, will only happen once the new station car park is open. Our contractors will work long days to ensure work is finished quickly and we want to assure everyone that Uckfield remains open for business as usual. Scheme contractors Colas will work from 7am-7pm Monday to Saturday with limited Sunday working. The improvements are those which residents told us they wanted during two consultatations we held on this issue.”

A free shuttle bus service will be provided, aimed at minimising the impact on southbound bus passengers living in New Town and Ridgewood, especially those who commute or need to reach Uckfield Community Hospital. The first two stages see high quality Yorkstone paving and high tech traffic signals which monitor and control traffic while a 20mph zone will be introduced incorporating Church Street once work is complete. The third and final stage of the scheme, dates to be confirmed, will see improvements to the bus station. Enquiries: Ring: 0345 60 80 193 or on Twitter@esccroads.