The firm Holland of Rye, at the junction of South Undercliff and Rock Channel (East), have put in a planning application to Rother District Council for a significant new mixed development.
They are proposing demolishing a cluster of buildings overlooking the Salts and erecting four houses, three flats and a fish restaurant on the ground floor. The four houses will be semi-detached and each contain four bedrooms over three floors. They also propose 2 two-bed flats and 1 four-bed flat above the fish restaurant, and an office.
The application lays out that the ‘development is a cluster of three blocks of contemporary design, that give reference to the built development at Bridge Point, delivering a distinct architectural coherency that provides visual relief, shadowing and strategic gaps between the houses and within the roofscape all of which contribute to the local distinctiveness and architectural character of the area.’
The application reinforces the changing nature of manufacturing in and around Rye. The application has been submitted by the owners of the building, a family-run joinery company which makes bespoke pieces of furniture and which has been based at the site for 15 years. ‘Unfortunately’ the applicant said, ‘custom-made furniture is now being made in Asia and transported to the UK and Holland of Rye are unable to compete with their prices’. They are therefore finding it increasingly difficult to make a living and cover their costs.
While the Hollands stress that they will be going to great lengths to clean up what is toxic land, it having previously been the site of the Rye Iron Works, East Sussex County Council (ESCC) are less convinced by the proposed development. They have been swift in lodging objections to the application on the grounds of access, particularly pedestrian access from central Rye across the busy A259.
ESCC also object to the lack of parking saying: ‘The parking provision on the block plan amounts to 14 spaces, and is not considered sufficient for the residential demand. Therefore for the whole development there is a shortfall of parking provision which warrants highway objection as overspill is likely to occur on land that is dedicated public right of way on Rock Channel and cause obstruction to other users.’ They go on to point out that the application fails to provide for cycle parking or for loading and unloading to the restaurant. Highways England, which has responsibility for the A259, has yet to comment, though it will be looking at the application closely because the A259 is the only way of accessing the site.
The full application can be found here and you can also submit comments on the application online.
Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy.