The Rye Neighbourhood Plan will include a series of policies supported by evidence.  It is expected that the examiner of the plan will wish to see this evidence.

Standing Policies 

This evidence will include EU, national, county and district standing policies as below.  The Rye Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (RNPSG) will benefit from a new website covering national planning policy.

EU Obligations.   What are the relevant EU obligations?    A neighbourhood plan must be compatible with European Union obligations, as incorporated into UK law, in order to be legally compliant. There are four directives that may be of particular relevance to neighbourhood planning:

  • Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (often referred to as the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive).    There is no legal requirement for a neighbourhood plan to have a sustainability appraisal ,  however, EU obligations qualifying bodies may find this a useful approach for demonstrating how their draft plan or order meets the basic condition. Material produced as part of the Sustainability Appraisal of the Local Plan may be relevant to a neighbourhood plan. Levett-Therivel and URS/Scott Wilson have produced draft informal guidance for those undertaking sustainability appraisal (SA) on neighbourhood plans. The draft guidance can be found at the following link.  Strategic Environmental Appraisal (SEA). This seeks to provide a high level of protection of the environment by integrating environmental considerations into the process of preparing plans and programmes. It may be of relevance to neighbourhood plans.
  • Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (often referred to as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive) Environmental Impact Assessment is a procedure to be followed for certain types of proposed development. This is to ensure that decisions are made in full knowledge of any likely significant effects on the environment and that the public are given early and effective opportunities to participate in the decision making procedures.
  • Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds (often referred to as the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives respectively). These aim to protect and improve Europe’s most important habitats and species. They may be of relevance to neighbourhood plans.
  • Other European directives, such as the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC) or the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) may apply to the particular circumstances of a draft neighbourhood plan.

The RNPSG will need to comply with the Rother District Council instructions for Neighbourhood Planning.    It will need to gather factual and statistical information about the community in the neighbourhood area, paying particular attention to topics and themes identified as the focus of the neighbourhood plan . The profile will build up a social portrait of the community which will help in understanding current and potential future needs. A key source of data will be the ESCC in figures; other sources are ONS Neighbourhood Statistics, summary statistics on Nomis website and a parish profile on the Rural Evidence Project website (access to parish profiles via your RCCE Community Engagement Officer).   There are several good websites for general resources, including this one at the PAS and this one at ACRE. 

Information about human population, human health, employment and jobs, education and skills and groups of people with specific needs will help describe the ‘baseline environment’ as required by the Sustainability Appraisal.    Key policy which governs Neighbourhood Plans includes the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) and the Local Plan (Rother DC Core Strategy).  The RNPSG must take note of the NPPF which calls for a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Any new development must be economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. It must not place any burdens on future generations.  Planning policies should avoid the long term protection of sites allocated for employment use where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose. Land allocations should be regularly reviewed. Where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for the allocated employment use, applications for alternative uses of land or buildings should be treated on their merits having regard to market signals and the relative need for different land uses to support sustainable local communities.   The Rother DC Core Strategy has yet to enter into force as it has not yet been found “sound” by the Examiner. Details are below, but it should be noted that the Core Strategy links Rye and Rye Harbour as a single planning unit. Therefore any numbers must be disaggregated between units and working within this constraint will require careful use of protocols.   Other key evidence should include:

Rye Conservation Area Appraisal    Rye Conservation Area was first designated in 1968 and subsequently expanded in 1974 to include additional areas of the town at Bridge Place and Military Road.   Rye is an ancient citadel town of national historic importance and high architectural value. The historic core of the town extends from Strand Quay and South Undercliff to the South, to include Town Salts and Middle Salts to the East, the Landgate to the North, and Cinque Ports Street, parallel with, and just outside of, the line of the old town wall, to the Northwest. This core forms the present extent of the designated Conservation Area.

Rye Local Action Plan  completed in 2007    The Rye Local Action Plan 2009-14 – essentially a statement of the community’s main needs and who will be addressing them – was formally adopted by the Town Council in August 2009 and published in September 2009.

Rye Town Council maintain lists of planning applications, showing land subject to development.  A guide to use class order  is here. 

Earlier Studies 

The Rye and Rye Harbour Study forms part of the evidence base to inform Rother District Council’s Core Strategy Development Plan Document. The paper focuses on Rye and Rye Harbour village and contributed towards refining the ‘place-shaping’ framework for one of Rother’s most distinctive settlements.

The Rye and Rye Harbour Development Plan sets out broad development policy.  There have been specific studies, of the development potential of Rock Channel and Rock Channel East,  in 2005 there was a study of the the potential of Rock Channel East (Rye Peninsular),  in 2006  the Regeneration Project – Harbour of Rye  HERE  and in 2007, the Rother District Council LDF brief and development options.  (Rye Rock Channel development brief HERE) These last two studies were never pursued, but nevertheless have much of relevance to the Rye Neighbourhood Plan.

The Rye Strand Quay study

The Rye Tourism Study by Tourism South East

Rye historical records and studies such as the studies into a possible bypass in the early 1990s, the many studies into the Rock Channel area and even details of the Rye-Camber tramway, which now provides a walkway between Rye and Camber.

Rother District Council Core Strategy 

Important evidence is the Supporting evidence documents underpinning the Main Modifications  to the Rother DC Core Strategy.  This evidence is below.


The Equalities Impact Assessment details the results of the Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) of the Rother District Council Proposed Submission Core Strategy. An updated Equalities Impact Assessment for the Proposed Submission Core Strategy incorporating Focused Amendments was published in August 2012.

A ‘Duty to Co-operate statement’, which sets out how the Council has complied with the duty to co-operate under the Localism Act, 2011.

‘Proposed Submission Core Strategy – Assessment of compliance with the NPPF’ indicates the extent to which the NPPF policies are complied with by the Core Strategy.

A Legal Compliance Self-Assessment has been undertaken by the Council to check, and confirm, that its Core Strategy has been prepared in accordance with the relevant legislative requirements and is legally “sound” to submit.

A Soundness Self-Assessment has been undertaken by the Council to check, and confirm, that its Core Strategy is positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy in order for it to judged  “sound”.

Consultation Statements

The Consultation Statement sets out what stakeholder engagement there has been to date. It specifically highlights comments made in earlier consultations, as well as the council’s responses. There have been four versions of the Consultation Statement published during the course of the Core Strategy. These are as follows, starting with the most recent:

· Supplement to the Consultation Statement relating to the Focused Amendments (Opens in a new window)– August 2012

· Submission Core Strategy Consultation Statement – June 2012

· Proposed Submission Core Strategy Consultation Statement – August 2011

· Interim Consultation Statement – November 2008

Spatial Area Studies

The Battle Town Study is part of the evidence base to inform Rother District Council’s Core Strategy Development Plan Document. The study includes a profile of the town (in terms of population, economy, services, housing and environment) and investigates some of the key issues facing the town in a planning context. The associated appendices can be found here.

The Bexhill Town Study forms part of the evidence base to refine the strategic policy direction of Bexhill. The study focuses on the challenges facing the town and contributed to the development of a framework to support coordinated growth of the town, in a way that makes it a stronger centre for jobs, community and services, with a clear independent identity. The associated appendices can be found here.

In respect of North East Bexhill, ‘A review of potential sustainable energy measures’ was prepared for the Council by Savills and AEA Energy and Environment in October 2007. This informed preparation of the North East Bexhill Supplementary Planning Document.

The Rother in Profile Document identifies the main spatial characteristics of the District, and sets the scene for the consideration of future development and change in Rother.

The Rye and Rye Harbour Study forms part of the evidence base to inform Rother District Council’s Core Strategy Development Plan Document. The paper focuses on Rye and Rye Harbour village and contributed towards refining the ‘place-shaping’ framework for one of Rother’s most distinctive settlements.

The Urban Options Background Paper, which elaborates on the context for the strategies for Bexhill, Battle and Rye, and on their respective strategic options for future development and change.


The Affordable Housing background paper details the evidence base which supports the affordable housing policies in the Local Housing Needs chapter of the Proposed Submission Core Strategy. It looks at thresholds, percentages and tenures of affordable housing, along with the methodology for affordable housing targets.

The Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople background paper details the evidence base and methodology for the provision of sites for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople. It outlines the appropriate level of provision for Gypsy and Traveller pitches within the District based on local need.

The Hastings & Rother Housing Market Assessment 2006 was undertaken jointly with Hastings Borough Council. It established a strategic vision of housing supply and demand over the next 10 years.

The Hastings and Rother Strategic Housing Market Assessment Update 2009/10 was undertaken jointly with Hastings Borough Council. The Update addresses the gaps in the original 2006 HMA report to ensure it complies with the Communities and Local Government Guidance (2007) and considers the effects of the housing market downturn.

The Housing Needs Study 2005 was carried out by David Couttie Associates (DCA) on behalf of the Council. The purpose of the study was to examine the housing requirements needs, aspirations and demands for the communities and household of the District.

The Housing Strategy 2007 to 2012 is produced by the Council’s Housing Division. It includes valuable research into the housing needs of Rother’s residents.

There are a number of relevant Housing studies on issues such as affordable housing, homelessness and gypsies and travellers.

The Overall Housing Provision in Rother District background paper reviews the national policy guidance, as well as the basis of, and assumptions behind, the housing provisions for Rother in the South East Plan. It considers their currency in terms of providing a strategic direction for the wider area as well as for Rother. The main body of the Paper concerns itself with determining the appropriate level of housing growth by looking in turn at the various factors that need to be carefully balanced.

The Rother District Affordable Housing Viability Assessment 2010 tests the District Council’s proposed affordable housing policies and ensures that they are consistent with securing the delivery of new houses within Rother.

The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2013 identifies sites with housing potential, both those that accord with current planning policy and further ones that would require a change in policies if they are to be pursued.

Following publication of the NPPF, an ‘Assessment of housing need in the Hastings and Rother HMA’ which reviews the relationship between housing growth proposed in the Core Strategy and housing need, drawing together information contained in existing documents (prepared jointly with Hastings Borough Council).   Updated Local Economic Forecasting Model (LEFM) Produced in 2010 [PDF] [164kb] (Opens in a new window) have also been published.

A ‘Housing Land Supply and Housing Trajectory at April 2012’ which indicates the anticipated delivery of housing proposed in the Core Strategy and the current position on the supply of deliverable sites.

Summary Appraisal of Sustainable Housing Growth Potential July 2013

Letter From Hastings & Rother Councils to Neighbouring Councils Regarding Duty to Co-Operate on Housing Provision July 2013

Hastings and Rother Strategic Housing Market Assessment Update: Housing Needs Assessment June 2013

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment June 2013

Housing Delivery in Bexhill and Hastings Final Report June 2013

Rother Core Strategy Housing Numbers – Habitat Regulations Implications Analysis July 2013

Housing Land Supply and Trajectory as at April 2013

Economic and Commercial

A ‘District-wide Shopping Assessment’ prepared by GL Hearn, is available. The purpose of this assessment is to inform and guide retail planning in the District.

The Hastings & Rother Employment Strategy Review (incorporating Employment Land Review) has been prepared jointly with Hastings Borough Council. It provides the evidence base for the development of spatial economic strategies in the Authorities’ respective Local Plans. The Hastings & Rother Employment Strategy Review Update (incorporating Employment Land Review) has been prepared jointly with Hastings Borough Council.  It updates the evidence base for the development of spatial economic strategies in the Authorities’ respective LDFs.

An ‘Employment Land Supply and Trajectory April 2012’ which indicates the anticipated delivery of employment land proposed in the Core Strategy and the current position on the supply of deliverable sites.

Review of Employment Land Requirements in Light of Proposed Revised Housing Targets July 2013

Rother Shopping Assessment Update Report 2013

Recreation and Leisure

Hastings & Rother – Leisure Facilities Strategy (2009-2020) was prepared by Capita Symonds for Rother District Council and Hastings Borough Council. The final report, dated August 2009, has been adopted by the Councils.

An Open Space, Sport & Recreation Audit and Assessment has been completed with the assistance of PMP consultants and in accordance with national planning guidance (PPG17).


The Green Infrastructure Study is a background evidence study for the Local Plan (2011-2028). Its purpose is to draw on relevant sources to identify spaces that contribute to green infrastructure in the district and to identify potential opportunities for future green infrastructure provision.

Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) – The purpose of a HRA is to assess the impacts of a land-use plan, in combination with the effects of other plans and projects, against the conservation objectives of a European nature conservation site, also known as the Natura 2000 network; and to ascertain whether that plan would adversely affect the protection or integrity of such a site.

Landscape Assessments have been carried out for strategic development areas around Bexhill and the Hastings Fringes and for the Market Towns and Villages in order to assist consideration of the development strategy.

A ‘Low Carbon & Renewable Potential Study’ has been prepared for the Council by Scott Wilson in association with Drivers Jonas and Thameswey Energy to help in the development of policies for a low-carbon future.

A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment has been prepared by the council, together with its consultants, Scott Wilson and in consultation with the Environment Agency.

Transport and Infrastructure

The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) (July 2012) identifies key pieces of infrastructure needed to achieve the objectives and policies in the Core Strategy, and identifies broad locations where the infrastructure will be located. The IDP is a ‘live’ document and will be periodically reviewed and updated as infrastructure providers assess their investment plans.  The previous Infrastructure Delivery Plan was completed in August 2011 and can be found here.

A ‘Transport Capacity Assessment’ prepared by East Sussex County Council, which draws together the conclusions of two transport assessments affecting development in Bexhill and Hastings undertaken by Mott MacDonald, namely a LDF Sensitivity Assessment – March 2013 and a Glyne Gap Development Assessment.

LDF Sensitivity Assessment July 2013

LDF Sensitivity Assessment – July 2013, LDF Sensitivity Assessment, Appendix C – July 2013

Other Relevant Websites

–  Harbour of Rye Advisory Committee – management plan

–  Rye Chamber of Commerce   website

–  Rye Partnership

–  NAO report on Rye Partnership

 Rother Voluntary Action website and list of members


The RNPSG will need to carry out surveys and needs assessments (or invite Working Groups to do so). This stage is about engaging with residents, community groups and businesses to ascertain their views and opinions about the area, as well as their needs and aspirations for the future. A variety of techniques and approaches should be used to maximise opportunities for involvement. These could include:

• Questionnaires (hard copy or web based)

• Interviews • Workshops

• Exhibitions

• Focus groups or discussion meetings

• Tailored techniques to suit particular circumstances.

Landowners and developers should be invited to comment on site specific issues. Relevant organisations and protected groups should be invited to comment on matters where they have a particular interest.

For each community involvement exercise, the RNPSG must gather basic demographic data to show some information about who took part. In addition, the steering group should continue to gather the contact details of anyone interested in the Neighbourhood Plan so they can be kept informed and invited to comment at later stages. When selecting and designing methods to gather information, the RNPSG must also consider how responses will be processed and the costs involved.

All the collected data will be recorded in a spreadsheet to provide key evidence to support the plan.

Public consultations will be recorded here.