Vision: “a thriving town for the 21st Century”

What is a Neighbourhood Plan? Neighbourhood Planning was a key part of the Localism Act which received Royal assent in November 2011. The Act changes the planning system by allowing communities to develop their own local plans. Those who decide to do so – the process is voluntary – will draft a Neighbourhood Plan, which will be put to a local referendum for adoption. Once adopted the plan provides a local planning framework.

Why do we need a Neighbourhood Plan?  Rye Town Council, having taken soundings, has decided to develop a neighbourhood plan to provide the community with ownership of planning policies affecting the Rye area. The community will decide what it wants to achieve in the area.

How does it affect you?   To lead this work, Rye Town Council has established a Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to provide direction for the project, which will result in a neighbourhood plan. That Group will arrange events and forums from July 2013 to enable wide consultation with all citizens, who live or work in Rye and local organisations, to embrace views and ideas. The Steering Group will create a number of working groups to tackle the themes of the plan. Initially these will include: 

-Housing and townscape 

-Community related services and infrastructure: leisure, culture and health 

-Environment; flood risks, waste, recycling, energy

-Local Economy: tourism, enterprise and business. 

-Transport:  road, parking, rail, bus, cycle, pedestrian

What will be the process? There will be several key stages.

Stage 1: Deciding to Plan.Rye Town Council has registered its intent to make a plan and launched the process by establishing a Steering Group, comprising councillors and citizens. This group is meeting to agree objectives, decide the planning area and make a work plan with timelines.  

Stage 2:  Preparing the Plan.    There will be a period of learning to understand all the rules, taking advice and support from Locality and RTPI;  collecting evidence (existing policies and studies), ideas and agreeing the detailed process. The evidence will inform general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood. Citizens will be able to say, for example, where new homes and offices should be built, and what they should look like. The neighbourhood plan will set a vision for the future. The level of detail will be decided by local citizens. 

Stage 3: Independent Check. Once a neighbourhood plan or order has been prepared, an independent examiner will check that it meets the set standards.

Stage 4: Community Referendum. Once approved by the examiner, Rye Town council will organise a referendum to ensure that the community has the final say on whether the neighbourhood plan comes into force. Citizens who are registered to vote in local elections will be entitled to vote in the referendum.  If 50 per cent approve the plan then it will come into force.

Stage 5: Legal Force. Once a neighbourhood plan is in force, decision-makers will be obliged, by law, to take account of what it says, when they consider proposals for any development in the Rye area.  

If you want more information; wish to get involved in one of the working groups, or to seek more information, then please contact:

Secretary Rye Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group     C/o Rye Town Council, Market Street, Rye, East Sussex    TN31 7LA

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