Building North of Udimore Road 0ne Step Closer

From the December 2006 Issue of “Rye’s Own”
By Jim Hollands

Consultations are to commence on the proposal to build on the north side of Udimore Road.

“Rye’s Own” has learned that the Arun Corporation, who own the land, have commissioned an agent of ‘Green Issues Communications’ to first contact the local district, county, town and parish councillors in the area to ascertain their views to the plans proposed which he wishes to discuss with them,

The 'Soak' Field where Valley Park stands today
The ‘Soak’ Field where building is proposed
Marley Road is the first place to be flooded when there is a problem with High Water Levels
Marley Road is the first place to be flooded when there is a problem with High Water Levels

District Councillor Granville Bantick told Rye’s Own. ‘I am particularly concerned that any such development could be catastrophic for the Tilling Green Estate. In the event of heavy rain, at a time when the River Tillingham was tide-locked, wide-spread flooding could occur. Water running off acres of concrete instead of soaking into the earth will run down onto the Tilling Green

Flooding at Mason Road was a regular occurance
Flooding at Mason Road was a regular occurance
Strand Sluice Overflows
Strand Sluice Overflows

Estate leaving it nowhere to drain”.

It seems Arun want to build one hundred or so homes but the question must be asked, who are they building them for?

25% of Rye’s housing stock is now taken up as holiday homes, what percentage of the new build would be used for this purpose? They will say some of the dwellings are to be for ‘affordable housing’ whatever that means.

The truth of the matter is, Rye has only 4,500 inhabitants (if you don’t count those using holiday homes) less than there were here after the war. How many houses do we really need? Look around, there seem to be plenty up for sale and the new ones built on ‘brown field land’ do not seem to be going that well. Those by the Mill have been on the market for two years.

Why build on a ‘Green field site’ when it will cause a hazard for the houses already established on the level land below? The new houses will be for newcomers to the town. Why should Rye forfeit the beautiful countryside that surrounds it to accommodate holiday villas?

They will announce it will bring work to the area. The shame of it is, the workers come and go with the contractors, local people will get very little work from a project of this nature.

Our two District Councillors will no doubt call for a public meeting to fight the proposal but at the end of the day nothing will be achieved because Rye Town Council itself has no power over planning and should Rother decide the plans will go ahead there will be nothing that our two Rother representatives can do, because they are outnumbered thirty-six to two and will get no say in the matter.

The Primary School Building - Tilling Green
The Primary School Building – Tilling Green

There are plans to amalgamate the two Primary Schools by building a new school on the playing fields at the Thomas Peacocke. What will become of the Tilling Green School that serves the community so well? It will, no doubt, be bulldozed to allow for access to the proposed new building area and more houses will be put on any space left. Those that are regular readers of this magazine will remember we forecast this exact scenario three years ago.

Before it is all too late a massive protest should be called on Tilling Green to:-

1. Stop the school being demolished. If the school has to move this fine building could be used as a Community Centre and Youth Club.

2. Stop the Building of houses on the hill behind Udimore Road as this is bound to cause flooding on the Estate.

3. Support any group that attempts to get planning powers back for Rye Town Council.

4. Make sure that if the school is moved to the Thomas Peacocke, a cycle / footpath is constructed between the Estate and the new school, possibly using part of the old Ferry Road School site on the route. The people of Tilling Green form the largest part of the Rye electorate.  The take up of properties for holiday homes in most parts of the town have diluted the numbers of people on the electoral roll in those areas. Tilling Green is virtually untouched by the holiday home syndrome In reality, those that live on Tilling Green have become the majority voice of Rye and the future of the Ancient Town may well be in their hands.

December 2006 Issue of “Rye’s Own”

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