Four options for new bridge


Plans for a new bridge over the River Tillingham for pedestrians and cyclists between Tilling Green and Valley Park and the schools complex took a step forward at Monday’s Rye Town Council meeting on April 10.

Four options are currently proposed with two near the pumping station in Marley Road, which would involve an improved footpath along Butt’s Marsh (owned by Rother District Council) towards Love Lane, and two nearer Love Lane requiring a footpath across Rams Field owned by a farmer.

A 13-page feasibility study has been produced by architect Dominic Manning and Colonel Anthony Kimber and the likely cost will be about £125,000 – with £45,000 coming from the developer of Valley Park.

A large consultative group will need to be set up involving local residents, relevant landowners, the County and District Councils and other relevant bodies – particularly because of flooding, drainage and environmental issues.

Lottery funding may be available as Tilling Green is comparatively high in the list of areas suffering multiple deprivation.

Planning Committee chair Cllr Cheryl Creaser thought this “would be a good thing for the town” and former Mayor Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore said: “Anything that takes people away from traffic is a good thing.”


Photo: John Minter

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  1. I think I should point out that only this month it has come to light that ESCC has commissioned their own feasibility study.
    Tracy Vaks, the Principal Scheme Development Officer says:
    ‘If I may I wish to confirm ESCC’s position on the proposal. We have very much been aware of the Rye Greenway proposal that was prepared by the Rother Environmental Group in 2011. Up until 2016/17 we have not been in a position financially or from a resource perspective to progress such a scheme. However we see great local benefits for such a measure, linking local communities to schools, leisure centres and local businesses. Hence last year, the scheme formed part of our Capital Programme for Small Transport Improvements 16/17, and enabled us to instruct CH2M, who provide professional services as part of our East Sussex Highways Joint Venture, to undertake a feasibility study.
    The study report is currently being finalised by the Project Manager from our design consultants and we are expecting to receive this shortly. Upon receipt of the report, I will need to consider its recommendations, with particular focus on whether it can be delivered from a land-availability perspective, and what its financial implications are. Hence we have yet to go out locally on such a scheme until we have the confidence that the proposal can be delivered. Should this be deemed acceptable, I will then ask the Project Manager to discuss the scheme further with the District and Town Council, particularly with regards to land requirements. I anticipate that this will happened in late May. Subject to such discussions, engagement with stakeholders and interested parties, such as the Local Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group can take place as we very much seek local expertise and knowledge to help shape the scheme and help move the scheme forward.’

  2. I am also led to believe, that the former Rye Grammer School playing fields, are owned by East Sussex County Council,am I not being cynical but this land, if developed, would be worth a small fortune, to the council.

  3. This is good news story. Councillor Harkness does not mention that this project was started some years ago but has been subsumed by the Neighbourhood Plan. Dominic Manning has added valuable impetus and as he reports concurrently there is work by several agencies. The discussion at Rye Town Council last Monday was aimed at securing the option to steer the work locally so that Rye secures a sensible and practical outcome. Public consultation is most important and that is where we will be able to help. We will report, through Rye Town Council, progress as it is made and at an appropriate stage will pull together a public event so that citizens can influence the plan as we have done with the Neighbourhood Plan and with flood risk in the West of Rye.

  4. A map showing the siting options would be useful. Personally I would favour a bridge from the Tilling Green open space and childrens’ play area to the field opposite, with a proper footpath linking to Tillingham Avenue.
    There must be dozens of similar bridges in this country and across Europe. Again my preference would be a curved laminated timber structure, a bit like the swimming pool roof beams.


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