Uckfield works could damage trade

Uckfield High Street
Uckfield High Street

If improvement works planned for Uckfield High Street take the 32 to 36 weeks scheduled some businesses will have difficulty surviving, according to Chamber of Commerce president Fiona Monson.

Fiona, a chartered accountant and insolvency practitioner with Armida, told members at

last week’s meeting that assurances had been received on most issues.

The Chamber wants to ensure changes to long-term parking will not be put in place until the new station car park is open and that work wouldn’t continue around Christmas. Members would also like to see some restrictions in Bell Lane to deter commuters from parking for long periods.

She said: “We welcome the prospect of the improvements in the High Street but we are concerned such long works with the associated disruptions and contraflows will lead to seriously reduced footfall and the demise of many much-loved retailers.”

The Chamber has been invited to join a steering group including Uckfield Town, Wealden District and East Sussex County councils and other interested parties to discuss the works.

“If there are any businesses who will be particularly impacted by the works who would like to be involved in that committee please let myself or Chamber secretary Ian know,” she said.

Fiona added plans had been approved for the station car park and work was expected to begin in the autumn. At the Luxford Car Park, surface, drainage, signs and lighting are due to be improved with work already started. Removal of 23-hour parking is expected to tie in with the opening of the station car park.

Neil Edwards from The Marketing Eye said there had been 300 public nominations and 20 formal entries in the Uckfield Business Awards. Closing date is September 8 and entries are being sought in Best New Business, Tradesperson of the Year, Best Rural Business and Best New Product or Service categories.

New Chamber members are The Dental Barn, Ringmer; Sussex Plumbing Supplies; Candlelight Care; Elysium Engraving and Vacher Gardens, all in Uckfield.