Tennis courts flood concern

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An artist's impression of the new facility

Following last week’s report on Natural England questioning the building of three indoor courts at Rye Tennis Club, Rye News has uncovered further objections, this time from East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and their concerns regarding flooding and water run-off.

In a letter to Rother District Council (RDC) dated September 26 2018 from Nick Claxton, team manager for flood risk management at ESCC, said “The information submitted by the applicant in support of their planning application has not satisfied the Lead Local Flood Authority and does not assure us that surface water and local flood risk have been adequately taken into account”.

The letter went on to point out that, “The new structure lies within the surface water flood plain with surface water being stored on the site during rainfall events”. ESCC is particularly concerned that rain water will be displaced by the hard surfaces of the new building and flood neighbouring areas.

A further concern laid out in the letter was the high groundwater levels on the site, which is adjacent to the River Rother, that are likely to be exacerbated by seasonal variations in rainfall.

ESCC’s objections will put further pressure on councillors at RDC to explain why they approved the development in the first place, especially when their own planners recommended that it be rejected and also against the vocal local opposition, including opposition from Playden’s parish and district councillor Paul Osbourne.

The latest objection from ESCC may finally sway RDC to reconsider the decision they made in May 2018. If they don’t, the councillors will have a lot of explaining to do to residents of Military Road who will be adversely affected by additional water run-off and potential flooding during times of heavy rain.

[Editor’s footnote: Planning procedures are quite complex, but Rye News believes the tennis court application is still formally “undecided” (though the district council has agreed it) because it can not formally be approved until all the responses have come in from all the relevant statutory bodies. Now that a number of statutory bodies have raised concerns, RDC will have to consider what to do.

The New England Lane housing development off Rye Hill in Playden, rejected at the same planning committee meeting which considered the tennis courts proposal, has appealed that decision]

Image Credits: Original planning application.

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