Another Report from November 2003 Issue of “Rye’s Own”
A Marina Plan put forward by Millwood Designer Homes at the instigation of Rye Partnership has a fatal flaw.
The actual proposed Marina for 100 moorings and 100 homes on a site south of the River Brede opposite the stretch of river from Philips Boat Yard to the old Rother Iron Works Buildings, is quite feasible, but the idea of building a lock in the Rother Ironwork Areas to keep enough water in The Strand for boats to float at all times is a non starter and has already caused concern among knowledgable local folk, including Rye Fire Chief Andy Polly.
The problem with building a lock or any obstruction, even a weir, that allows water to be held in the Strand when the tide is out, will make the flooding of the Tilling Green Estate and other areas around an almost certain eventuality.
The recent admission that on one occasion two years ago a six inch higher water level, caused by heavy rain being carried down the Tillingham, would have flooded the Tilling Green area to a depth of at least two feet, highlights the deficiencies in the plan.
Common sense tells us that the water must drain out of the Tillingham and Brede for the whole period that the tide is lower than these rivers when they are in flood. The sluice gates are closed at the last possible minute when the new tide comes in and fingers are kept crossed that the water building up against the gates from both rivers does not exceed the height of the banks. Any delay in draining at these times would result in flooding. Water in the Strand would cause both rivers to raise to levels that could not be released. Imagine, if the Strand had held only four feet of water on that night two years ago, there would have been more than enough delay to cause both the Tillingham and the Brede to flood, and it would not have been just for the one tide, succeeding tides could have added another two feet to the already drowned Tilling Green.
There is no real advantage to having water in the Strand at all times, it would look nice of course but boats in the Marina would still be trapped in port for the seven and a half hours that the tide is out. The Marina could float it’s boats just the same with a lock gate into the Brede but the Strand must always remain tidal.
The only problem with the 100 homes on the proposed Marina site would be that they would be high priced dwellings and would attract a good proportion of second home buyers. Much of Rye is already filled with second homes and this explains the reason that the official population of Rye stands at 5,000, exactly the same as it did in 1950! Second home owners are registered in their first home area and do not go on Rye’s electoral roll. This has resulted in the town losing one of it’s three seats on the County Council.
The project would mean a lot of work but it seems that large works in the town are now done by outsiders, the chaps who put in the new water main came from Newcastle. Local architects and builders take pride in their town and should be chosen above all others.
If the Rye Partnership really wants the support of the people of Rye this should be a prime consideration in all they do.
After all, it was Rye people that built Rye and made it the unique place it is. Can there be any wonder that projects like this, devised by outsiders who obviously do not understand the workings of it’s rivers, are not supported?
From November 2003 issue of “Rye’s Own”