Council to explore more sell-offs

The open area next to no. 7 Wish Ward which the Town Council bought back from Rother Council in an earlier sell-off

To support its finances, much affected by Government cuts, Rother District Council (RDC), which covers Rye, may have to dip into its reserves and sell of some of the land it owns.

The RDC’s Cabinet was therefore asked this week to agree to detailed research (costing up to £250,000) to discover whether council-owned land at 26 locations in the area could be sold off or developed.

Two of the sites being investigated are in Rye and nine in all come from Rye and its surrounding villages.

The research will include suitability in planning terms as well as likely demand, environmental constraints, community benefits, potential uses, and a number of other considerations.

The Rye sites are land in Cyprus Place and land adjacent to Gibbetts Marsh Car Park.

The sites nearby include Northiam and Pett car parks, the former putting green in Old Lydd Road, Camber, and land adjacent to Sands End in Farm Lane, Camber.

Other sites to be researched also include land adjacent to Workshops in Float Lane, Udimore; land at Goddens Gill and Dixter Lane in Northiam, and land at Pett Road, Guestling, adjacent to Fairview.

Image Credits: John Minter .


  1. Why use a photo of an area once owned by RDC – but now by RTC, as the title in very small print explains – when a photo of a now-endangered site in Rye would have made the point better?

  2. Someone should be questioning Rother’s due diligence in this process – how many assets will they need to sell to recover the £250,000 cost of research !!

  3. Why on earth should it cost £250k to research 26 locations (£9.6k each). You would have thought that RDC’s own planning department would be able to say whether a site had development potential under the current Local Plan. Perhaps they would be better to spend £30-50k to employ an additional planner for a year rather than consultants.

  4. At the time Rye News published we did not have precise enough details from RDC to identify all of the now endangered sites particularly where the description just said “land”. Car parks and a former putting green were more easily identifiable – but in the available time we could not photograph these.
    The story does say that “up to £250,000” might be required for research, and the story identifies five areas of possible research (demand, potential uses, community benefits, environmental costs, and suitability in planning terms) to which can be added technical viability, ecological constraints, and financial viability “in order to prioritise these sites”.
    The report to Rother’s Cabinet said “abortive costs could be incurred should these projects not be able for development ; however this risk will be mitigated through thorough site assessment and appraisal”.

  5. Concerned to see a reference to the sell off of a car park in Northiam. As Chair of the Northiam and Broad Oak Patients Particiataion Group I need to express concern. At present the car park serves the Surgery among othe places. Planning permission has been achieved by the Surgery to expand. To do so we need the equivalent of two Parking places to enable the Northiam Surgery to expand the health care offer as urged by the Government. At the time of writing there is a degree of confusion about the cost of these two parking places. At present they seem to have been valued as housing development prices.
    Government wants GP provision to expand to provide the kind of care which often ends up in A and E. We will be able to do this if we can buy the two parking places. Rother has to cover its deficit, caused by Government policies on Local Government funding. We are caught between the two Government policies. We need progress for the sake of patients in the area.


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