In April this year I wrote an article entitled Planning blocks change? which highlighted another consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic – planning delays and the effect on some of the empty commercial buildings in the town. The premises featured, the former Rye Shoes at 86 High Street, has been closed now for some time.
When the Cornish Bakery Company agreed terms with the landlord, their planning application was also subject to listed buildings consent, as they needed to install a new shop front and entrance doors, not only for the retail portion of the building but also for the existing residential units on the upper floors.
The number 13 is considered to be unlucky but not for all, as on 13 May 2021 The Cornish Bakery Company had their planning and listed buildings applications approved and will be starting work on the building very shortly. Their application met with quite a lot of opposition from many locals who made their feelings known via Rye News and many supporters also voiced their opinions, but the planners have decided that the business will open.
The landlord and tenant are like minded, they both wish to keep the building in character with the Rye townscape, consequently well in excess of £300,000 will be spent on 86 High Street, including a carefully considered internal refit which together with the new and approved shopfront will start to take shape very soon. Another prerequisite is to keep the fabric of the exterior of the building in first class condition.
Starting this August, the rear of this listed building is to be repainted, all the woodwork refurbished together with a long list of repairs and renewals. Next year, the woodwork to the front of the building will be dealt with, Tolletts builders will be carrying out the necessary works to the exterior of the building. The landlords have informed Rye News that “it is their full intention to keep the property in tip top condition, now and in the future for the benefit of the historic and ancient town of Rye”
The Cornish Bakery Company have stuck by their guns and despite long delays in the planning process, have achieved their objective. They could so easily have walked away but credit should also be given to the landlord for negotiating acceptable terms to enable them to proceed at all.
While there are many who didn’t want to see this business arrive on Rye High Street, there are also as many who must be relieved to know that one of the many vacant commercial properties in our town centre will soon be occupied once more. Rye town centre needs new businesses to invest in the town, we need visitors to spend money as well as just visit and once up and running, the presence of the Cornish Bakery on our High Street might attract other businesses to invest too and more of our many vacant shops will have a new lease of life and open their doors once again.
Image Credits: Nick Forman , Trip advisor .