Conversion plans for former Uckfield boarding school

The Belfry, New Town, Uckfield (photo from application to convert former boarding school into home).
The Belfry, New Town, Uckfield (photo from application to convert former boarding school into home).

Developers have submitted plans to convert a recently listed former boarding school in Uckfield into a home.

In an application submitted to Wealden District Council, developers are seeking consent to convert and extend a Grade II listed former boarding school known as The Belfry in New Town into a single family dwelling.

The developer is also seeking outline planning permission to build another home within the building’s grounds in a separate application. The developer says the sale of the new build home will help fund the repairs and maintenance work needed at the listed property.

In a design and access statement submitted as part of the application, a spokesman for the developer said:  “The background to this application is that the building has been empty long term and yet is a high quality building that has recently been added to the statutory list of buildings (Grade II).

“The applicant is confident ample information is provided in order to allow a favourable outcome on this case but remains committed to addressing any issues as they arise.

“Both with this full planning application to convert The Belfry back into a large family home with a modest extension, new access and garaging and the outline application for a new building plot to help fund the much needed works at The Belfry.”

According to the application, The Belfry was built in 1882 and was previously used as a boarding school and staff accommodation.

While Grade II listed, developers say, the building has been largely neglected for some time and now requires extensive repairs to bring it up to a modern standard. The conversion plans also include a new extension and garage.

Developers say the repairs and conversion are to be made viable with the construction of a new dwelling with the grounds of The Belfry, which is seeking outline planning permission.

However objections to the proposals have been raised by Uckfield Town Council’s planning committee.

The committee resolved to object to the application on the grounds it would adversely affect the street scene, be detrimental to the site as a whole and have an adverse impact on the uniqueness of The Belfry.

The committee also raised concerns it would set a precedent for further infilling and be an overdevelopment of the site.

For further information on the listed building application see reference WD/2018/2154/LB on the Wealden District Council planning website. For further information on the outline application see reference WD/2018/1789/O.