Row Over Rye Primary

Another Report From June 2007 Issue of “Rye’s Own”

Despite Rye Town Council’s approval of the plans for the new Primary School on ground adjacent to the Thomas Peacocke there are many who think the construction of the £6.5m. building on the proposed site is ill advised and detrimental to the education of Rye children.

The Picture Painted on the Stage at Rye Primary School
The Picture Painted on the Stage at Rye Primary School

Dr. Keith Taylor, who was the only Councillor to vote against the acceptance of the County Council plans, is adamant that much more public consultation is required and better reasons for not using the old Ferry Road school or even the Tilling Green Infants School, which is larger than the proposed site next to the Thomas Peacocke, are explained by the County Council.

The inadequate siting of the planned new school was underlined by Rother District Council’s Planning Department who have serious reservations about flooding, parking, traffic congestion, small site size and an earlier recommendation that the Lower School site (Ferry Rd) was included on the Town Plan for educational use. Despite these objections it is unlikely that East Sussex County Council will be swayed in the determination to force their plans through, even in the face of public criticism.

It is possible that the newly elected Rye Town Council may also have different ideas when they reconvene with new line up.

The County Council meeting that seemed set to rubber stamp the plans has been put back until 13 June at the very earliest and three representatives from Rye are to be allowed to address the meeting and voice their concerns.

A warning by a County Councillor that this £6.5m. plan was the only chance that Rye had of getting a new Primary School were refuted by the Young People’s Department at County when Rye resident Rosalind Collier rang them for confirmation. It seems that the money is available and awaiting a ‘suitable’ site.

The Fine New Primary School on Tilling Green The Fine New Primary School on Tilling Green A petition against the siting of the Primary School adjacent to the Thomas Peacocke has been signed by almost every resident in Rope Walk, The Grove and Love Lane. They claim that without extra vehicle axis and parking space the whole thing would be a disaster. To underline this point of view just take a look down these roads on a Sunday and compare with the scene that presents itself the following morning. Rye County Councillor Keith Glazier points out the Ferry Road (Lower School) site, could not be considered because there is no access for vehicles from Ferry Road. Locals are asking if this is the case then how come Tesco have taken the option on the ground and why was it put on the Town Plan for educational use?

There is also the question of the allotments. There is a question mark hanging over the right of County to change the use of certain areas to be used by the contractors to store plant and equipment. It is necessary to gain the consent of the Secretary of State. These allotments were the responsibility of Rosalind Collier and would have been passed onto the Town Council in 1974.

Whatever is decided the children should come first, it is their future that is important. Rye had three of the best schools in the South East, might it not be a big mistake to cram them all together on one small site with inadequate sports areas and access?

From “Rye’s Own” June 2007

The Fine New Primary School on Tilling Green
The Fine New Primary School on Tilling Green