Latest News


1 Mar: At the Rye Town Meeting  a summary of the Plan was available to attendees. During the meeting there was lots of discussion about the Plan. The matters discussed are HERE.    Two residents asked about the GREENWAY proposal on which work has started HERE with a feasibility study.

HERE for V8 of the Plan   Other related documents are below.

HERE for Appendices 1-4 and 7 – 8 

HERE for Part 3:  Appendix 5 Site Assessments

HERE for the draft SEA scoping report 

HERE for Part 4: Appendix 6  SEA

Basic Conditions Statement (of conformity) drafted HERE

26 Feb: After work by consultant and discussion with Rother DC,  scoping document for the Strategic Environment Assessment put (again – initially put out in early 2016)  for formal consultation to the Statutory Consultees: Natural England, English Heritage, Environment Agency and ESCC traffic policy.

8 Feb: There is a raft of government policy affecting local planning. The Housing White Paper HERE  which was pitched as a series of measures to sort the “broken housing market”. The launch of the Paper was rather overshadowed by Brexit debate.  There is early criticism of the Paper that it is too modest and fails to hit the mark. Early analysis would indicate that there is little to impact on Neighbourhood Planning, as we first feared.   We await further advice from Rother DC, particularly around the challenge of meeting the 3/5 year housing supply targets. Concurrent with the White Paper the Neighbourhood Planning Bill is being considered by the upper House.   Finally, and to some surprise, there is now a  review of the Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL).  Some points on all these three are enclosed with our last update for the Rye P&T Committee HERE.

7 Feb:  Locality has agreed a bid for a second grant to fund a consultant to complete the Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA).  Work is now underway to elaborate the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as we need to have a SEA which is robust and comprehensive.

16 January:  Rye TC P&T Committee accepts our draft response to Rother DC about the DaSA.

10 Jan:  First meeting of the Steering Group in 2017. Discussed progress since Rye TC adopted the draft Plan on 5 December. In particular covered traffic issues and Rye’s response to Rother’s Development and Site Allocation (DaSA) Plan.


5 December:  Despite the last minute wobble about potential impacts of the recently issued DaSA by Rother (see below) – resolved at the last Rye P&T meeting –   this evening Rye Town Council adopted V8 of the Plan as the document to form the basis of pre work for Reg 14 Circulation.  The vote was not unanimous.  Cllr Hughes voted against the adoption, arguing (again) that she regarded the core traffic theme ” too thin” (despite the recommendations of 2 consultants) citing greater content in other plans; further she disagreed with certain of the traffic aspirations (Theme 8)  such as “shared space”. Work to consider this will delay matters but following the adoption,  the Council accepted the  proposal that the RNPSG discusses again before going back to Rye Planning and Townscape (P&T) Meeting for endorsement. This further work will have to run alongside our consideration of the DaSA with a view to making recommendations to the P&T Committe (for Rye Council). Therefore our objectives in early 2017 must be:  to reach consensus on the traffic theme; to reconcile the DaSA with the RNP  and produce a first draft response;  to refine the RNP ready for pre Reg 14 circulation. There are graphics yet to be finalised. Once done the RNPSG will send the RNP to Rother DC for consultation.

21 November: A brief on the possible introduction of civil parking enforcement.

15 November:  Rother DC has just issued its draft Development and Site Allocations document.   This amplifies the Core Strategy and identifies sites across Rother District to meet the housing targets. All Neighbourhood Plans have been considered in the planning, so there are few surprises for Rye.

The document  also includes many draft policies to elaborate those in the Core Strategy.  All this is being considered in the context of the Rye Neighbourhood Plan and in due course Rye Town Council will comment.

1 November:  Lengthy meetings last evening at Rye Town Hall, first to address concerns by New Rd and Undercliff residents ( and later Military Rd) for the adverse impact of vehicle speed, HGVS and their loads.  There has been much discussion about all this during the work on the Plan, which is reflected in the V8 draft on the website.  At the P&T committee agreed to put the latest draft to Rye Town Council for agreement as part of its progress through to Referendum later next year.

Brief for the meeting is HERE

20 October:  Meeting of the Local Engagement Group for the Eastern Rother Tidal Walls flood defence scheme.  Detail on RNP Facebook.

19 October:  Public event in the Tilling Green Centre by Iceni to explain its proposals for the Lower School Site


24 May:  New website about Neighbourhood Plans.  HERE

14 May:  Cllr Jonathan Breeds as new Mayor takes over as Chair from Cllr Berni Fiddimore. Next meeting 25 May 2016.

29 April:  Update on Facebook.  RNPSG delayed by Rye TC because of other events including Mayor Making. Date of the next TBD.

7 March.  Versions 7A and 8 RNP :  on the advice of the AIRS Consultant, has been divided into Part 1 – Main Document and Part 2 -4  The Appendices.  Draft reflecting AIRS Comments (on the document is HERE)

6 March:  Planning Aid revised roadmap is HERE.  The comments by the Action in Rural Sussex (AIRS) Consultant have been received. These are extensive and are summarised HERE

3 March:  Town Meeting:   Several issues arose at the 2016 Town Meeting:

  • Aspects of Valley Park: “top site” state including flags; improved sewerage capacity; improvement to retention basins”
  • “Greenway”proposal cycle way – Lea Ave to the Academy – progress?
  • Tilling Green development; access and drainage?
  • Affordable housing: policy?
  • Dead Man’s Lane: footpath?
  • CIL objections

3 March:  Latest version and summaries of the papers.

30 January:  CIL will come into force on 4 April 2016:  details are HERE The differences between S106 and CIL are summarised by Planning Aid as below. 

Section 106 agreements are put in place to make it possible to approve a planning proposal that might not otherwise be acceptable in planning terms. For example, a section 106 agreement might require a developer to fund improving the access road to a site, to ensure that access will be safe once the development is completed. Or to ensure that the need for affordable housing is met, and that communities are mixed and diverse, section 106 agreements can require a developer to include a certain proportion of affordable housing on an otherwise market housing development. They are specific to the site that is proposed for development.   

CIL is a general levy on all development, designed to raise funds for infrastructure needed generally as a result of an increase in development in an area.

28 January:  Results of the open events ( 16 and 23 January) are  HERE  . 16 January and 23 January :  Two public events were held to allow the public to hear about progress and comment. The first was in the Tilling Green Centre; the second in St Mary’s Centre. Around 230 citizens attended (150 the first; 80 on the second).



16 December:  The Developer withdraws the proposals for the Rock Channel development. The Architect, JDA, will now reconsider the scheme.

15 December:  Latest from Planning Aid is HERE.  AECOM is featured; consultants there have already commented on the draft RNP; these are reflected in the version below.  AECOM comments on Version 5 are HERE.

12 December:  latest pamphlet on “conformity” is  HERE.  The Steering Group continues to work with Rother DC to ensure conformity of the RNP with strategic policies of the Rother Core Strategy.

17 November:  at the update to the Rye TC Planning Committee it was agreed that the next public events will be as below.  Two events are being planned to update the public on progress.

  • 16 January 2016 from 9am to 2pm with the Swap Shop in the Tilling Green Centre
  • 23 January 2016 from 9am to 2pm in St Mary’s Centre

7 November:  Amicus Horizon has proposed its scheme for the Tilling Green School development.  Details are on the Rother DC Planning Website.  RNPSG considerations are attached to the minutes of the last meeting.

  • RR/2015/2581/P Tilling Green Community Centre, Mason Road, Rye TN31 7BE The demolition and redevelopment of Tilling Green Community Centre to provide 6 x 2 bed and 14 x 3 bed houses, 9 x 1 bed and 3 x 2 bed flats and a community centre with associated parking, cycle and bin stores.

3 November:  News from Planning Aid  HERE

27 October:  reports on the proposed extension to the High Speed Rail through Rye  HERE

24 October:   Action in Rural Sussex website HERE

13 October:  RNP Version 6 Draft is HERE.   Work continues to refine the SEA and Site Assessment documents, which remain important evidence to support the decisions taken on policies.

10 September:  With a renewed debate about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)  HERE  is a website which plots “who is charging what”.  The background and some facts about CIL are HERE.

30 August:  Rother DC intend to improve communication in the planning process  HERE

25 August :  latest news from Planning Aid HERE

15 July:  RNP Version 5 draft is HERE;  comments can be found HERE.

On 6 July,  Rye Partnership and Amicus Horizon held a public event from 3 to 6pm (image below) in the Tilling Green Community Centre to allow the public to look at the proposals for the Tilling Green School development proposals.  In addition they have issued FAQs HERE.    It is important for all interested parties to comment to Amicus Horizon as soon as possible.

Amicus Horizon TG

It is planned that after the next (30th meeting on 14 July 2015)  Steering Group meeting there will be links here to the housing plot, draft design statementsite assessment and settlement boundary papers.

On 26 May 2015 Rye Town Council reformed its Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. This will now comprise 7 Councillors, 7 citizens and the Town Clerk.  The first meeting of the new group will be in early June.  Planning Aid news is HERE. 

On 20 April, the full Rye Town Council agreed unanimously the Version 5 draft Plan “in principle” and endorsed the Steering Group’s direction and emerging findings. Work continues on the basis that nothing as yet is “set in stone”.

After a debate about public release, the Council agreed that the Version 5 draft HERE should:

– go onto the website and link to the Facebook site with clear caveat that the document remains work in progress. The draft will also be watermarked and have header and footers indicating its status.

– hard copies with similar markings will be lodged with the Library and Town Hall.

– anyone can comment on Version 5 (to Rye Town Hall by any means) and these will be considered for future drafts.

All comments can be found HERE.

Please note that Appendices 5 to 8 have yet to be drafted.  Work on Version 6 has commenced and will pick up after the elections and once the future composition of the Steering Group is known. Some have asked what can be included in the Plan. Some guidance is HERE. Other tasks remain as agreed at the last Steering Group meeting.

Updates will be found on the Facebook site and Twitter account    @ryenplan


The Localism Act,  (easy guide HERE ) which received Royal Assent in November 2011, introduced new rights and powers to allow local communities to shape future development by preparing neighbourhood plans  to cover the future development such as housing, businesses and community facilities. This is a real opportunity for local communities.  Such as to:
 Give local people greater ownership of the planning policies in their area;
 Allow a community to set out where development should go and what it should look like;
 Bring the community together to share ideas and build consensus about the needs and priorities for the area;
 Help create lasting partnerships to take forward actions that may arise from the process;
 Raise awareness and understanding of planning;
 Improve relationships between the community and the Town council;
 Provide a detailed evidence base about the community;
 Help raise funds/grants
 Inform local authority strategies

After considerable groundwork by Councillors and the Steering Group in early 2013, with meetings with Rother District Council and adjacent parishes, the designated planning area was agreed as Rye Parish, (Rother District Council Cabinet approved on 4 November 2013) but as development within the parish and in adjacent parishes may have impacts on each other, there is a protocol in place to enable debate across boundaries.

Members of the Steering Group attend seminars and other events to keep up to date with regulations and advice from professional bodies such as RTPI, Planning Aid and others. There is also a mountain of advice on the web, such as the Planning Portal, which is accessed regularly.

Of the two types of local body allowed to take forward voluntary neighbourhood planning – town/parish councils or ‘neighbourhood forums’ – Rye Town Council opted for the former, but decided that a Rye Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (RNPSG) comprising six volunteer councillors and five co-opted citizens, (from 26 May this was increased to Mayor and 6 Councillors and 7 citizens, with Town Clerk in attendance = 15 ) will steer the process. In turn, this group will draw on the detailed work of some specially convened working groups, which will have their own Terms of Reference covering the requirement to consult and plan in specific themed areas.

The RNPSG will keep Council updated and will refer back for key decisions including the approval of funds, all drafts and the final plan. It operates to specific Terms of Reference.  The minutes of all its meetings are in the drop down menu from RNPSG; key papers will be found in the evidence page.

The concept of Neighbourhood Planning is that it is “bottom up” with the community deciding the objectives and the policies. To achieve this, public consultation is a key requirement on the Council and Steering Group and will be subject to a separate plan, involving meetings, publications and the use of electronic platforms such as Facebook.

As  Sustainability is a key issue the Steering Group considers environmental and sustainability  issues in its work. In October 2015, after scooping, Rother DC has decided that a Strategic Environmental Assessment  is required. Work on this to record formally informal considerations since 2013 is well under way.

The proposed Rye Neighbourhood Plan has to be approved by the majority of voters of the neighbourhood to come into force. If proposals pass the referendum, the local planning authority is under a legal duty to bring them into force.

There will be a cost, particularly for publicity, consultation, the secretariat and eventually a referendum, but these will be kept to the minimum. Bids for funds will be passed initially to Rye Town Council. The RNPSG will work to a two year programme (provisional project plan) ending in Spring 2016. During this time it will meet regularly; provide regular updates to Rye Town Council and hold periodic public meetings to advise progress and consult the community.

The public meetings, the working groups and other elements of the public information strategy will provide ample opportunity for individual members of the public and community groups to influence the plan.  Periodically the RNPSG will seek community views by survey.

Public meetings have been held: 5 March 2014 and 26 April 2014.  We have held a public survey.

Have your say

NP Survey

Rye News reports HERE

Rye Observer reports it HERE  and HERE.

Issues can be sent into Rye Town Council by post or E Mail via the contact page below.

On 27 August 2014 the Steering Group compiled the 217 results from the paper survey returns HERE.

The comments from the paper returns have been extracted HERE.

These add to the 61 e returns summarised HERE.

Work continues to secure views of young people on the NP.

 One of the most important points raised at public meetings, was to ensure that there is an ACTION PLAN (Locality provides guidance on this) at the end to provide Rye Town Council with the structure to progress the Neighbourhood Plan.

For those who are unfamiliar with Rye, you can see the nature of the place here.



Conservative Housing Bill proposals and the “Right to Buy”

Greg Clark MP, the minister who ushered in ‘localism’ for the Coalition Government, has returned to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to take on the top job. The new Minister played a key role in the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework and C

End 2014 – What progress?

The start point is the many issues about Rye which concerns the community. The list comes from many contacts at events, meetings and numerous conversations. Not all the issues are being reflected in the Plan because they are not “spatial”, (concerned with land, buildings or related in

Government commitment to flood defences

At the confluence of three tidal rivers, the community of Rye should welcome the announcement today by the Chancellor about funding for flood defence projects (£2.3bn to help prevent £30bn of damage in high risk areas; 1400 projects to protect 300,000 homes) is already generating deba

Sainsbury’s: more Questions than Answers

On October 16, GKA (for Sainsbury’s) reported a statement from Sainsbury’s: “We fully recognise that many people in Rye would like another supermarket in the town. As such, we are approaching alternative food retailers in the first instance and will only consider other alternatives if

Who decides how many new homes should be built in Rye?   

We know that in England there is shortage of homes and in particular affordable homes. This problem lies at the heart of the country’s housing crisis. With an increasing population (in 2014, the government estimates some 40-50k per year) this shortage will only get worse, unless we ca

Co-Working: where coffee shop meets working space

We usually consider people working either in workspaces or in home spaces. The latter may operate from home or mix of home and car.  A relatively new concept is “co-working” within common work facilities. This combines the appeal of a relaxed work environment but alongside

Neighbourhood Plan – What’s in it for Rye?

Since December 2011 the Localism Act has enabled communities, which opt to do so, to have more of a say about how neighbourhoods can develop.  This is a major change from the present system where key decisions are generally in the hands of the developer and the Planning Authority, Rot

What weight – an emerging neighbourhood plan?

One key question for those preparing Neighbourhood Plans is “What weight can be attached to an emerging neighbourhood plan when determining planning applications?  The government (DCLG) guidance is here.  It states that, Planning applications are decided in accordance with the d

Market Towns – Town Centre Study

The RNPSG will be asking the business working group to consider what development or planning measures could be adopted for keeping the Rye Town Centre vibrant and thriving. It may advise a third party town centre study along the lines of those completed by other market town neighbourh