The site known as Downlands Farm is located on the north western edge of Uckfield and is made up of a mix of fields and woodland.
The site (shown with the red line) is located to the north-west of Uckfield, within the Wealden District. It comprises a mixture of woodland and agricultural land, covering circa. 44 hectares in total.
The woodland blocks of Shermanreed Wood and Longwood Gill are located within the site, comprised of ghyll woodlands which are classified as ‘Ancient’. In addition, other areas of woodland are located along the boundary of the site with the A22, with part of this also being classified as ‘Ancient’.
The agricultural land between and around the woodland blocks is classified as a mixture of ‘Grade 3b’ and ‘Grade 4’ agricultural land and is therefore is not the highest quality, Best and Versatile agricultural land.
The site is bound by the A22 along the north-west boundary of the site, providing the ability for the future development to access the strategic highway network directly, without the need to traverse through Uckfield Town Centre.
Snatts Road runs along part of the south-east boundary of the site, with existing residential properties also along this boundary and beyond. From Snatts Road, existing pedestrian routes provide access into the town centre approximately 15 minutes walk from the site.
The development of the site presents a number of opportunities for the Town and district as follows:
To deliver much needed new homes including affordable housing in a sustainable location
To enable the delivery of improved walking and cycling connections for existing and future residents into the town centre
To secure public access to areas of open space currently in private ownership and enhance these areas for informal recreation, play, visual amenity and wildlife
To enhance the woodland and grassland habitats surrounding the site for flora and fauna, and secure their future management for biodiversity and arboricultural interests
To provide Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG) to increase capacity for informal recreation and to limit pressures on Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area (the SPA).