2014 Rye Neighbourhood (Community) Survey and Key Issues

The 2014 Survey 

During July 2014 a paper survey was carried out across Rye. In addition there was an E Survey established through this website.

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.

Background to the survey and the key issues which arose from meetings, conversations and communication are below.  

 YOUR TOWN – YOUR CHOICE

RYE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVE   To guide the strategic and coherent development of Rye, with a view to improving the economic, environmental and social well-being of its community – whilst taking into account its unique historic and maritime character; important role as a market town, fishing port and visitor destination; business and enterprise culture; community, arts and leisure sector; and risk of localised flooding.    

 

WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES AND WHY HAVE WE PROPOSED THEM?  

Housing 

 There are some 2050 dwellings in the Rye Parish (the Neighbourhood Plan designated area). Of these, 1300 are privately owned (half with single occupancy); 400 are affordable/social and 350 are private rented. The (draft) Rother District Local Plan requires that new developments over 10 dwellings include 30% affordable.

 The Plan has to meet the requirements of Rother District Council’s Local Plan for levels of development: around a total of 400 dwellings to 2028 (but with around 160 already planned and committed).

Responses (from the community) thus far demonstrate that demand should be met by a mix of: dwellings for older people (with an ageing population there are many residents seeking smaller dwellings into which to downsize); affordable-social rented dwellings for lower income families; and allowing large scale development only on the main identified sites.

Proposed Objectives:

  • Development should be confined largely to the main identified sites: the former Tilling Green School, Winchelsea Road, Rock Channel and the former Freda Gardham School.
  • Development should reflect local need.
  • Larger developments should include a mix of tenure (houses for sale, affordable social rented dwellings, shared equity) and a range of accommodation types – primarily 2-3 bedroom houses and accommodation specifically for older people.
  • Any contributions required to be paid by developers should be allocated to local infrastructure improvements.

Design 

The Plan has to take account of the Rye Conservation Area, within which specific regulations and guidelines apply to protect buildings and infrastructure.  Responses so far indicate that all future development should be in keeping with the town’s distinctive (and treasured) character – and that the scale and design of development should complement Rye’s unique setting.   There is widespread demand for high quality development as the norm.

Proposed Objective    All future development in Rye should:

  • Respect the scale, style and setting of the historic and maritime townscape of Rye.
  • Ensure all new buildings are of the highest quality design – particularly within the Conservation Area.

Flood Risk 

Experts are warning that there will be more frequent extreme weather with the possibility of combined high rainfall, high tides and high river, surface and ground water – all leading to an increased risk of localised and flash flooding. Being at the confluence of three rivers and the coast, with some 1400 dwellings categorised ‘at risk’ by the Environment Agency, it is important that all new development at flood risk locations in Rye should be specifically designed to mitigate risk.

Proposed Objective:  Flood risk should be managed by ensuring that:

  • There are no larger developments on any land unprotected by a flood defence scheme.
  • Any development must not disrupt the existing watercourses.
  • All larger developments must contribute to mitigating flood risk by restricting rainwater discharge and surface water run-off, re-using (grey) water and minimising foul drainage.
  • Where it is proposed that new builds are connected to existing combined sewers, the systems should be upgraded in line with prevailing regulatory requirements.

 Business, Enterprise and Employment 

Responses indicate to date that people want more local employment opportunities and stimulation of the local economy.

Proposed Objective:  The Plan should facilitate businesses and employment growth by:

  • Favouring the creation of mixed developments (commercial and residential).
  • Supporting appropriate home-based businesses.
  • Ensuring the dovetailing of the Rye component of the economic development plans of public bodies and regeneration partnerships.
  • Protecting the designated commercial and employment zones.
  • Supporting sustainable regeneration (including green tourism).
  • Enhancing the appeal of the town by providing visitors with ‘reasons to visit’.
  • Ensuring that a wide range of traditional groceries (including food and household goods) are available for purchase 7 days a week.

 Transport Management and Accessibility 

Responses from the community indicate a desire for measures to aid the management of traffic in areas where there is a risk to pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users. It is considered generally that the historic fabric of the town centre (Citadel) should be better protected from the impact of heavy traffic – and that public/community transport should be expanded and, in some instances, made more attractive.  There are calls for improved cycle routes and secure cycle parking to encourage cycling – as well as making it easier to cycle (and walk) within Rye.  Inadequate parking provision for residents, visitors and delivery drivers is seen as a key concern, meriting a major review.

Proposed Objective: The Plan should promote effective traffic management and prioritise addressing the needs of vulnerable highway users – including pedestrians, cyclists and those with mobility difficulties.

Community Well Being 

There appears to be wide support for more facilities for younger people but few ideas (from older people) about how this can be achieved. Consultations – especially with younger residents and students – continue. It has been suggested that organisations providing activities for younger people experiencing declining participation should consider sharing their resources within a centrally-located, multi-purpose facility.    With three former education sites vacant – and despite the expansion of the Rye Academy Trust and Primary School – there is concern about the way The Grove and Love Lane campuses will meet future needs (forecast to increase because of local development and students travelling in to Rye from surrounding villages if their primary schools close).   Responses indicate a desire to improve community services and to maximise use of the disparate facilities around the town.   There is considerable support for the proposal to replace the former Tilling Green School with a new, energy-efficient community centre – as well as improving services for older residents.

With so many in Rye dependent on ‘visitor spend’, facilities aimed at visitors should be enhanced to ensure their experience remains positive. It is vital that sufficient numbers of public conveniences are provided and visitors are presented with a diverse range of ‘reasons to visit’.

Proposed Objective:   The Plan should support the provision of infrastructure to support a vibrant community of all age groups – as well as the town’s many visitors – and ensure that there are sufficient opportunities and facilities to cater for a broad range of social, leisure and cultural interests.

Green Space 

Given its size, Rye is blessed with an impressive amount of green/open space – including The Salts, Mason’s Field, marshland, allotments, the Railway Corridor, Freda Gardham playing fields and informal areas of grassland/woodland. There is ready access to surrounding countryside, with numerous rights of way over the Marsh and farmland – and to the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and the coast.   Responses gathered to date indicate a strong desire to protect existing areas of green space within the town and also access to the Nature Reserve and Marsh. There is a view that further areas of green space should be found within the town to create wildlife habitat, enhance residents’ quality of life and contribute towards the provision of a bio-diverse natural environment.

It is envisaged that the Plan is likely to embrace Rother District Council’s benchmark that everyone should be within a 10-minute walk of a green amenity space.

Proposed Objectives:

  • Existing areas of open and green space should be protected, maintained and enhanced.
  • New areas or open or green space should accompany larger developments.
  • To maintain Rye’s distinct profile and delineation, the ‘strategic gap’ (open marshland) between Rock Channel and Rye Harbour – and the green space at Hillcrest on Rye Hill (located in Rye Foreign) – should be protected.
  • The wood/shrubland immediately north of the railway line (‘Railway Corridor’) should continue to be protected.

Environment 

 With the benefit of being able to access local environmental expertise, as a small and ‘intimate’ community Rye is well-placed to build on widespread public awareness of ‘green issues’ – be it by way of sustainable construction design; reducing the need to travel through home-based businesses or working-from-home; establishing a community energy company; encouraging green tourism; or encouraging energy efficiency audits of public, community, commercial and residential premises.

Responses indicate broad support for using finite natural resources more efficiently, making greater use of renewable resources, and recycling and re-using waste material – contributing towards national carbon reduction targets in the process.

Proposed Objective:  The Plan should encourage a move towards a low-carbon economy – including measures to reduce energy usage and increase the use of renewable energy.

 

Key Issues  ( As at mid 2014) 

Priorities

Early tasks for the RNPSG have included the listing of key issues; the refining of the vision and the drafting of strategic and detailed objectives for the plan. Policies, supported by evidence will then flow from this early work. Key issues are recorded below:

General

Key issues are coming from the community and other agencies. They involve a detailed consideration of the character of Rye  and the need for strict conservation within the Rother District Council  Conservation Appraisal area.  Density within the Citadel is an issue; many complain that no development should take place to increase that. These issues arise within the designated Rye Parish planning area,  which are tackled in a series of themes:

1. a future housing plot to match numbers set by Rother District Council and only on sites which do not detract from the character of Rye;

2. good quality design in all new developments.  A set of principles are required?

3. with the experience of the 2014 floods, ways to mitigate  flood risks  and a detailed consideration of flood resilience.

4. spatial policies to encourage future business development especially to improve the trading situation in the Town Centre   and employment prospects.

5. a wide range of transport related issues, such as poor access, parking issues,  poorly connected foot/cycle paths and integrated public transport;

6. a review of community facilities to ensure that they meet community needs (old and young) in a way which is sustainable; with new homes there must be improved and related infrastructure;  all aspects of this need to be considered at every stage of the plan;  this should include a consideration of community safety in all developments, particularly for an ageing population;

7. protect specific sites or areas, such as green spaces and the allotments

8. environmental issues such as future energy policy, carbon reduction and the handling of waste;  ways of encouraging green tourism through spatial polices;

9.  sustainability, to ensure that no policy is regretted by our grandchildren!  

The Issues

These issues arise specifically from the public events, subsequent consultations and conversations. Surveys are also being conducted; the list of issues from this source is here.  –

The Rye Neighbourhood Plan will dovetail with relevant development and regenerative plans by partner organisations, such as Local Authorities, Rye Partnership and the Environment Agency ( for Harbour of Rye). Issues have indicated work themes as below.

Design: A key consideration is the conservation of Rye’s unique built environment with its striking heritage; its maritime character  as a working port and to ensure that any development around the neighbourhood enhances the built environment.

1. Housing Policy

–  This is fundamental to the plan. Of the 2050 dwellings in Rye there are some 400 in the affordable homes category.  Rother District Council stipulates that all new developments (the target is 160 new dwellings to 2028) of 10 dwellings or more should have 30% affordable for the young and sheltered single unit dwellings for the elderly.  Here is the housing requirement set by Rother District Council  and an analysis of sheltered housing in Rye. Rother DC suggest for rough order planning 35 dwellings per hectare (ha) = 10,000 sqm or 2.47 acres. Although football pitches vary in size one pitch is on average .7 ha.

–  All significant developments in and close to Rye are subject to  S106 agreements, which are here.  These indicate the contribution agreed to community benefit.

–  RNPSG is pressing for the need to maintain the “strategic gap” between Rye Rock Channel and the developments in Rye Harbour;  (Rother DC policy).

–  With many opposing further development just beyond the Rye Parish boundary in locations such as at Hillcrest (Rye Foreign) the protocol for working with adjacent Parishes has to be fully exploited. As development proposals come forward there is discussion about the weight the NP as it is developed as a material consideration, but before it enters into force.

–  Although Rother DC does not mandate developers to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes, the plan should encourage developers to do so.

Key Development Sites 

– Sites of community interest are being considered and registered as applicable. Development sites (those with potential for development) are being consideered as below.

  • the Strand (West Side) and Rock Channel Broad Location. This includes a consideration of the unauthorised encroachments on the south bank of the Rock Channel with the junction of the River Rother.  There have been many development studies of this area in the past (HERE  2005 to 2007) and as part of early work by the RNPSG, there have been considerations of the broad location along the Winchelsea Road to the west of the Strand. These are now being reviewed and fresh plans produced for prospective developers. The Steering Group is reviewing the studies to see if any principles are applicable.  The Environment Agency own several sites and their need to accrue income for the port of Rye by leasing (often short term) conflicts with the RNP objectives of needing longer term development, pointing to a discussion to examine all options. The Agency has already pointed out that as all disposals go back to central Government,  there is an obvious reluctance to dispose. The issue for the Plan is that short term leasing generates revenue for the Port but risks more car washes, open storage and car lots.   Many want imaginative mixed development on the West side of the Strand (Broad Location) with bold design to enhance the area; some want more green spaces; many want improved and accessible riverside walks.  There are issues such as “permeability” of views along any development; roof heights so that the location remains on a “human scale” and whether buildings should be perpendicular of square to the road.  In other places, riverside walkways have been the trigger for good quality development.  Planning proposals are  coming forward including for sites such as Grist Mill,  Bridge Point, the former Total Garage , 28 Winchelsea Rd  and the warehouses of Bourne and Son. The RNPSG is talking to developers and gathering evidence with a view to influencing these proposals. ESCC has indicated that it wishes to dispose of its former ESCC gritting depot   (originally the station for the Rye to Rye Harbour railway  [owned by  ESCC] alongside the Harbour Road junction. The RNPSG is considering development options which draw on earlier studies and will not result in piecemeal development.  REACT wants no development to adversely impact on flood risk, and with all new designs resilient to flood impacts.

 

  • Although there remains uncertainty about the future use of the former Lower School Site, the Rye Academy Trust has now stated that it intends to seek use of the site for development of new academy buildings. It is negotiating with Sainsbury’s agent. The RNPSG notes this aspiration, but with emerging community views, there would be local support for the proposal. Meanwhile the Steering Group is studying all the factors affecting the educational (from Early Years to post 16) and other establishments in the broad location bounded by Grove Lane-Love Lane – the railway line – River Tillingham (known to some as the “Rye education quarter”. Other factors affecting the broad location include the future of the Rye Leisure Centre, which faces the prospect of a cessation of the Freedom Leisure contract in early 2016, as part of the Rother DC desire to cease the £180k subsidy. A new arrangement will be necessary to ensure continuation of the facility. If the Lower School Site is acquired by the Rye Academy Trust then the RNPSG would need to consider any knock on effects for the emerging RNP, which might include:   verification that the community does seek a second supermarket;  agreement about an alternative supermarket site (and the required “sequential tests” necessary).  In addition there may have to be a review of the existing housing and commercial sites to ensure that any new development proposals conform to the Rother DC core strategy.

 

  • The former Freda Gardham school site  (this site is to be disposed of by ESCC, but has been retained and was leased (expired Feb 2014) to B&R Productions for use as an Arts Creative Centre. From 1 February 2014, the Activities, Respite, Rehabilitation, Care Centre (ARCC) has taken the lease from ESCC, as it has been located there since leaving the Memorial Care Hospital some years ago. ARRCC provides a range of support, advice and training opportunities for physically and sensory impaired adults aged 18 +. It helps its members to develop abilities, learn new skills, encourage social inclusion and enable people to live independently.  In addition to ARCC, a  self employed manager retains the admin of the numerous individual users who are mostly arts related. ESCC is on record as saying that the site will remain as now until 2019. The Freda Gardham site is on the flood plain and there are environmental (similar to those assessed at Valley Park) and flood risks to mitigate.  The Environment Agency is developing a plan (Eastern Rother Tidal Walls project) to improve the flood defence walls on the East bank of the Rother for completion in their major works programme for completion in 2019.  There is an area of river bank opposite the Fishing Quay which wears badly because of the scour of the river and the Agency has carried out some emergency repairs in the short term.  All this work could benefit from any  S106 agreement (CIL after 2015) resulting from Freda Gardham development.  The Environment Agency advises that should a developer come forward and contribute, then any flood defence project could be brought forward (those with contributions rise in priority). ARCC has said that it wishes to remain in the Rye area and is looking at various options for re-location.  The Steering Grouping records this as an issue. Many want to retain the Rye Rugby Club ground adjacent, which is leased on a long term basis to Rye Town Council. On any land disposed of, many want to see predominantly domestic development, with related flood defences on the east side of River Rother, but some would like to see a supermarket with garage (the Fishermen are against any supermarket as they see significant retail threat) and others have suggested a budget hotel/motel.

 

  • The former Tilling Green school site, (for disposal by ESCC), to include a replacement “community facility” for Tilling Green residents and should incorporate a re-routed drainage channel along the edge of the site to improve water flow from the Pottingfield Petty Sewer to Gibbets Marsh. Rye Partnership has announced that it is the preferred partner (by ESCC) with social housing developer Amicus Horizon. These two organisations will lead the plan, including the design of any new community facility, for which there will be a long period of  consultation. Initial proposals suggest a community centre of around 500 sq m and up to 30 dwellings (12 affordable and 18 for the open market) on the site. In January 2015 Amicus explained that the community centre might be 475 sqm and the housing mix of 30 as 6 open market and 24 for affordable rent and shared ownership. To aid the proposal the developer has been addressing 5 questions as below.  The Steering Group has responded with its own views.

 

 

Summary Questions

 

1

The proposal includes the development of a community facility that will be owned by the community partner but would leave the site with a nil value:  It would be helpful to understand if a smaller facility and an increased residential development scale was considered that would have left a capital value for the Council and what alternative ownership solutions may have included.

 

2

The proposal refers to the need for Flood mitigation and the potential for raised accommodation:  Is it possible to summarise the measures that have been identified and their associated effect on the value of the site?

 

3

In the proposal the potential income generation from the community facility will just cover anticipated costs, but does not provide an allocation for maintenance and repair:  What measures will the Rye Partnership take to ensure the level of income generation from the facility allows full cost recovery and will be sustainable?

 

4

Use of the facility by local residents account for under a third of centre users and the sustainability of the facility will be reliant in part on the recruitment of local volunteers:  Is there any supporting evidence that reflects the availability of enough local users who will volunteer to meet the facility needs?

 

5

The range and level of use of the facility does not appear to change with the creation of a new facility:  Can you provide details of the services that will be attended by local residents and the levels of usage of the various areas included in the new facility?

  • On 23 July 2014:  ESCC reported that Amicus Horizon have been identified as the preferred bidder.  The Rye Partnership had been identified as their community partner.  Proposals were shared at the Rye Partnership 2014 AGM. 
  •  On 28 November Rye Partnership announced that “Heads of Terms” had been agreed between ESCC and a partnership of Amicus Horizon/Rye Partnership for the development.  No recent details have been announced but there is an extant drawing of one proposal (see below)
  • Mid Jan 2015, meeting with Amicus Horizon to hear about latest proposals.  RNPSG commented on behalf of Rye TC on issues about design, density, parking, community centre design, flood risk.
  • 6 November 2015:  Launch of planning proposal for the development scheme. HERE

–  Future development in the West of Rye, between Tilling Green to the west to the Parish boundary.  Valley Park (VP)  some in Udimore Road want more planting to separate new homes in VP from Udimore Rd.  Developer Aroncorps has secured planning permission for additional homes (on top of the original 135) to a new total of 160. He is now proposing a small development at the very top of Udimore Road for a linear commercial development.  RNPSG is reviewing the S106 project Ferry Road to the Grove and new S106 proposal for project linkage to Tilling Green via Cooper Rd.

 

–  Other work by the RNPSG includes: 

  •  Gibbet Marsh:  this site is owned by Rother DC and is used for parking (210 spaces) and as a green space.   The parking is under utilised because it appears to many visitors to be well removed from the Town Centre.  Is there any scope for alternative use?  What should its future use be?
  • with the Monastery (Conduit Hill) back on the market with National Heritage stipulating future use which allows public access, what will be its future?  It does require significant and sympathetic development, but could it be linked (actually or virtually?) to the existing community centre to provide an enhanced centre for the whole of Rye?  In the same area what is the long term future of the Community Centre?  the former St John Ambulance station? and eventually Rye Lodge?
  • What is the future of key sites such as the Boys Club in Mermaid Street,  the Post Office sorting office and Rye Hire?

2. Design

The RNP should  raise the overall design quality of the area – buildings and public spaces – consistent with the setting of the nationally important conservation area and its context. It should make more efficient and effective use of land through selective redevelopment.  It should improve public access into and through the area, and particularly to the riverside. Improvements could make it a more attractive and coherent link between the Strand Quay area to The Salts.  It should rationalise conflicting land uses. At a recent meeting with Rother DC planning officers it was advised that Rye needed a design statement to guide future development and inform policies in the RNP.

There should be additional elements such as public art and exhibits.  The former Rye barge Primrose has been offered to Rye by Hastings Shipwreck Museum.  Can this be fitted into the RNP as an attraction perhaps on the Strand East Side?  If so, what about a project team and funding?

3. Flood Risks

Given that the Environment Agency identify some 1500 dwellings in Rye as at flood risk (in Flood Zones 2 and 3) and dependent on flood defences; should we be building on the flood plain at all?  There will be lessons from the 2014 floods in Somerset and along the Thames.  New designs are now being exposed for building on flood plain (see below), such as the LIFE concept HERE.

All proposals will be considered by the Local Authority for flood risks.  Planning Officers will take advice from the Environment Agency, which is the authority for all flood risk mitigation.  For large developments separate flood risk assessments are required.  As an example, the assessment for the now cancelled Sainsburys supermarket is HERE. The East Sussex County Council Flood Management Strategy is HERE. The Rother DC strategic flood risk assessment is HERE.   To handle floods as they occur, the Local Authority maintains a flood plan.  For Rye Bay, this is HERE.

The Environment Agency define a floodplain as any area that would naturally be affected by flooding if a river rises above its banks, or high tides and stormy seas cause flooding in coastal areas.  There are two different kinds of area shown on the Environment Agency Flood Map for Planning (rivers and the sea). They can be described as follows:

Dark blue  shows the area that could be affected by flooding, either from rivers or the sea, if there were no flood defences. This area could be flooded:  from the sea by a flood that has a 0.5 per cent (1 in 200) or greater chance of happening each year;  OR from a river by a flood that has a 1 per cent (1 in 100) or greater chance of happening each year.   (For planning and development purposes, this is the same as Flood Zone 3, in England only.)

Light blue  shows the additional extent of an extreme flood from rivers or the sea. These outlying areas are likely to be affected by a major flood, with up to a 0.1 per cent (1 in 1000) chance of occurring each year.  (For planning and development purposes, this is the same as Flood Zone 2, in England only.)

These two colours show the extent of the natural floodplain if there were no flood defences or certain other manmade structures and channel improvements.Where there is no blue shading, this shows the area where flooding from rivers and the sea is very unlikely. There is less than a 0.1 per cent (1 in 1000) chance of flooding occurring each year. The majority of England and Wales falls within this area.(For planning and development purposes, this is the same as Flood Zone 1, in England only.)

The Environment Agency is developing a plan (Eastern Rother Tidal Walls project) to improve the flood defence walls on the East bank of the Rother for completion in their major works programme for completion in 2019.  There is an area of river bank opposite the Fishing Quay which wears badly because of the scour of the river and the Agency has carried out some emergency repairs in the short term. This work is key to mitigating flood risks in the east of Rye.

Monkbretton Scour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Business

The Business Group is considering measures to encourage business and enterprise (and to create more employment and increase economic resilience), both through measures to encourage High Street trading and for micro businesses in other areas of the Town.

It is important for Neighbourhood Plan work to dovetail with other studies, particularly those being led by ESCC   Enterprise Partnerships.  This group will also look at encouraging spatial policies to encourage business development and providing support for the fishing industry and the Port.  Key issues are below.

Supermarket Issue:   Having worked for a Long term resolution of the supermarket issue,  Sainsburys and Tesco have both now withdrawn their proposals HERE.  Various options are now being examined for the site, with the Rye Academy Trust seekinbg to register the site as of “community interest” under the Localism Act , with a view to reserving the right to bid for 6 months. This is under way.  But what now for the requirement?  Many in the community seek a second supermarket to provide wider choice, quality and 7 day access.  Will an operator be interested and if so,  where and when? This is a focus for the RNPSG.  There are a series of possibilities.

–  first option would be to partner with Jempsons with a view to improving range, price and service.  The recent Budgens-Jempsons was disolved when Jempsons opened new stores to the north of Rye.

–  the former Lower School site (owned variously and jointly by Sainsburys, Tesco and National Rail and vacant) if the Rye Academy Trust aspiration fails by autumn 2015. This site has the advantage of planning permission and related developer contributions already agreed.

–  the former Freda Gardham school site (owned by ESCC; mostly leased to ARRCC) .  This is subject to flood mitigation being planned (Eastern Rother Tidal Flood Wall) by the EA for 2019.  If a developer comes forward then the EA has said that it would look forward to working with a developer partner to agree contributions to the project.

–  the eastern end of the Rock Channel (also known as the Rye Peninsular), owned by the EA and leased to Rye Partnership.  Earlier development briefs, studies and proposals have failed to bring investment to this location.

–  a greenfield site to be announced in the public domain in the west of Rye. Work is under way with partners to seek community views.

–  a site at Rye Harbour, which would have to be negotiated with a major landowner such as Rastrum.

Tourism:  is not just a business but is an important aspect of Rye;  “green” tourism should exploit Rye’s unique  environment.

The High Street needs attention;  units are becoming vacant as businesses close. Many cite high rents and business rates as a reason.  Studies elsewhere   such as the Portas Review, indicate that there has to be a “reason to visit” the High Street; in other places there is serious consideration of the issue.  Battle has a Town Study HERE. There has to be a mix of leisure, retail, restaurant and cafe facilities and dwellings.

The Port of Rye is vital to Rye,  for tourism, for jobs and for the environment.  The Environment Agency owns pieces of land along the river systems and these are being considered as part of the business development of Rye.

5.  Transport 

Traffic issues remains high on the agenda.   With traffic levels rising,  the Transport Working Group is addressing a wide range of strategic and local traffic issues HERE (linking in with the work of the Rye Traffic Forum) including:

  • re-consideration of  the various proposals for a  bypass for the A259; the feasibilty of a link road  (there are early (1991); studies to improve the Strand (previous studies 2007 – A259  cut across river?) ;
  • ways of giving priority to pedestrians;
  • ways of improving the town road circuit;
  • reducing the impact of Rye Harbour development  (continuing development for up to 1000 jobs with related traffic) on the key Rye Harbour Road/Winchelsea Road junction;
  • taking a holistic view of parking across Rye;
  • looking at the scope for additional access restrictions to the medieval parts of the Town;
  • making improvements to links across Rye, with cycle tracks E-W across the lower Town, linking the Monkbretton Bridge to the west of Rye, including the now completed bridge over the Pottingfield Petty Sewer;
  • the just completed improvements of the cycle-way at the top of the Harbour Road;
  • considering the GREENWAY proposal as part of the connectivity plan with a consideration of earlier proposals for cycle ways and additional bike parks in key places.

The Station Approach as a communication hub with adjacent parking on Railtrack land and the private Market Area.  ( The supermarket development had a related S106 to make improvements to the Station Approach)

The RNP is likely to reflect a majority view that HS1 (Fast Javelin)  proposals should be supported but that it should stop at Rye HERE.  The background is shown HERE. 

6.  Community Well Being:  Infrastructure and Amenities 

This group is considering the needs of the community and the sites/buildings for community activities, leisure and other amenities. An issue is how all the present centres, such as the Conduit Hill community centre, the Tilling Green centre, the Rye College Theatre and St Mary’s Centre/Fletcher Theatre relate to each other?  Should there be a concentration of facilities in Conduit Hill, perhaps embracing the existing Community Centre and the Monastery?  Should there be concentration of facilities? If so, where?  The group is  considering social issues where they impact on development or vice-versa and in the West of Rye as a priority, because that is where large numbers of residents are.  In particular, the group is considering coherent proposals for:

–       additional facilities to be located in one of the community centres: Housing Association/Purchasing Co-0perative/Bank – Credit Union

–       community safety by ensuring that any development incorporates natural surveillance of public places;

–       access to adult educational and extra mural facilities:  the RNP will address issues affecting the Rye “educational campus”:  the land occupied by the Rye Academy Trust, the Rye Primary School and the associated nursery ( Captain Pugwash) and  the child centre; the Freedom Leisure Centre and “lodger” organisations such as Rye Scouts. Importantly the RNP supports the plan by the Rye Academy Trust to develop the “Education Quarter”.

–     Rye Leisure Centre faces the prospect of a cessation of the Freedom Leisure contract in early 2016, as part of the Rother DC desire to cease the £180k subsidy. A new arrangement will be necessary to ensure continuation of the facility.

–        improved health facilities   (Rye Foreign)  (need for a minor injury unit in the Memorial hospital? )

–       establishing a community radio station (where? How? Who? Funding?)

–       what is there for the young? Could facilities for youth be reviewed?  Is there scope for concentration of assets in a purpose built accommodation?

–       will the Rye cemetery facility cater for future requirements?  Rother DC has been asked to examine.

7. Green Spaces

What is Gibbet Marsh for?  Could it be used for better purpose:  park and ride?

Rye’s allotments  are now managed by a Rye based Amenities  CIC.  There are two allotment sites, one at  Love Lane (Formerly Butt Marsh) and a second behind the South Undercliff (Formerly Factory Marsh).  These cater for local needs as there is no waiting list. The RNP should retain the allotments as valuable green spaces.

There are also proposals for the establishment of a community garden on the former allotments site known as the “Love Lane frontage”.  During the recent (Nov and Dec 13) spring tides there have been complaints about flooding (“ponding” ) on the Rye allotments. Holders have been advised that both sites are on a flood plain, do comprise heavy soil, and therefore ponding will occur during high water and after heavy rain. Is this management model (Amenity CIC) applicable elsewhere in Rye?

Some ask for improved green spaces; benches, parks, paths and children’s playgrounds.

Some in Udimore Road call for improvements for housing areas such as Valley Park:  more planting? Sound deadening?  Sight screens?

8. Environment  

Existing groups Transitions Rye and Rother Environmental Group are considering future energy use, perhaps by establishing a community energy company (RX). The Groups are also considering waste policy, including for bulk waste  and measures to reduce energy useage. 

9. Sustainability.

Some ask whether the RNP will conform to Rother District Council’s Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)) for its Local Plan (2011-2028).   As Rother District Council is recognised for its high quality of life where there is a strong emphasis on community life. This has been achieved by continuing to support and further develop vibrant, safe, balanced and inclusive communities.  The RNP will commit to a more sustainable future and a responsible, positive approach to helping address climate change issues and impacts on the environment. .

10.  Other – Adjacent Parishes 

Rye Foreign – many are against further Hillcrest development of “green areas”, west of Old School Close.  There may be impacts on Rye of the future development at Rye Memorial Hospital, such as on facilities such as Rye Community Transport.

Rye Harbour – the proposed development by Rastrum at the “Saltings”  HERE will have impact for infrastructure in Rye;  many are against proposal for a Churchfields Drag Racing track at the Rye Harbour Rd;

Many want Winchelsea Road/Harbour Rd improvements.

  RNPSG