Harbour Petition

Long Rake Spar on Rye Harbour Road

Residents of Rye Harbour have come out strongly against a planning application by the aggregate business Long Rake Spar located on Harbour Road. Over 50 letters of objection have been submitted to Rother District Council in less than a week and a petition has also been set up to protest against the business’s expansion plans.

The petition reads: “Long Rake Spar are a large aggregate yard on the Harbour Road, immediately next to the Church of the Holy Spirit in Rye Harbour village. They have recently submitted a planning application to operate 24 hours a day, with unlimited HGV movements and floodlighting and the consultation period for the planning application is almost over.

Long Rake Spar at work. Photo: John Hornig

“Their activities can already be heard across the village and nature reserve very early in the morning right through to the small hours at night, often starting work before 6am and finishing at 2am. They are also running large lorries continually and generating a lot of dust and noise. The photo shows some recent concrete crushing works they undertook without any dust suppression.

“Their planning consent prohibits all of this, but they are ignoring their planning conditions and have recently applied for expansion of their operations, including 24 hour working, floodlights through the night, fans running through the night and unlimited vehicle movements! Many local residents have already lodged their formal opposition to this application on the Rother District Council planning portal.

“We want to demonstrate to Long Rake Spar that the community wants them to respect their existing planning conditions. We don’t want 24 hour working, constant noise, dust, floodlights and unlimited lorry movements!

“If you want to help oppose this, please lodge lodge a formal objection here – it only takes a couple of minutes.

“In addition, you can help by signing this petition, which we will also submit to the council. However, please also lodge a formal objection via the planning portal!

“If you are currently suffering from the noise, light pollution, dust or traffic from Long Rake Spar’s ongoing early morning and late-night operations in Rye Harbour, please contact Environmental Health at Rother District Council.”

Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy , John Hornig http://Change.org.


  1. I agree that businesses should not operate outside the parameters of their planning consent and pleased to see this is a fairly balanced article, but as I have stated elsewhere protest or objection is most effective when backed by accurate facts. John Hornig’s photo captioned Longrake Spar at work is not representative of Longrake Spars daily operation – I believe that the concrete crushing illustrated was as a consequence of works to the site, not as part of the daily production process.
    Fortunately for all those concerned the local government planning process allows for properly founded objections to be aired and considered, hopefully Rother DC will make the right decision.

  2. Since the writing of this article and up to today, 7 August, there have been more than 100 letters of objection to the Rother Planning Portal. There is a public meeting to be held about Long Rake Spar on Tuesday 11 August at 6pm on the green space close to Rye Harbour Church. Come along!

  3. I agree with Simon Parsons that planning consent rules should be stuck to! The concrete crushing isn’t a daily activity but there’s often dust from the site from the outdoor stockpiles and of course there’s regular out-of-hours noise from reversing sirens, aggregate being tipped from hoppers and the exhaust vents. Currently no out of hours activities are permitted, but they sometimes work as late as 2 am (including tipping, sirens etc) and noise and lighting can start before 4am. If they stuck to their planning consent there wouldn’t be an issue, but are currently lots of problems with the operations going on there.

  4. Signed the petition and objected at Rother Planning. Flouting of existing permission needs addressing too. In solidarity with wonderful residents of Rye Harbour. Respect for the peace of the Church of the Holy Spirit. In support of the wildlife and ecosystem of beautiful RHNR.

  5. I wish to object to the proposal and sign the petition against any development respect the peace of this lovely area .

  6. There have always been industrial activity here – Halls’ plant was even closer to the church. Night time activity must undoubtedly be limited but jobs count too – you can’t eat rare moths!

  7. Agreed. Jobs are so important, especially in these days of lockdown release. Not the point though. Only 10 people work there at present and they hope to increase to just 15. Fine by everyone, including all the residents of Rye Harbour. It has always been an industrial area and worked effectively with the local community and wildlife. The present flouting of granted permissions by RDC is NOT acceptable. RDC defended the environment of the village by putting in place these conditions. LRS has broken them regularly. They are making fools of the local borough council. LRS often have worked outside the hours they were granted – from 5 or 6 in the morning until, occasionally, 2 a.m. Noise and dust are ruining the lives (and health) of residents. No-one can exist with constantly broken sleep through noise and light pollution. The few extra eventual jobs created will be made void by the large number of locals who have to give up their jobs because of lack of sleep.

  8. Isn’t all this a non issue anyway. It will all be at the bottom of the sea in not too long anyway.
    Anyone with a home in Rye Harbour and low lying areas of Rye should be trying to ditch their worthless properties and run to higher ground. Everything in the surrounding area is financially worthless anyway. Surely worthless areas are those that should be used and abused by business for the short term gains that can be made before the fishes take over.
    Global warming.
    Sea levels rising.

  9. Presumably Zeus’s advice to flee to the hills (to his seat on Mount Olympus presumably) comes from his brother Poseidon!
    Can we look forward to another missive coloured by background info from the third brother Hades Dormer?

  10. I accept that Rother District Council should enforce planning , however Long Rake are willing to change some of the operations to appease local residents. But the harbour road has always been industrialised, some of the old industries were a lot more polluting than LRS, take a walk around the back of Bournes removals and read the danger notices relating to contaminated ground and water. Surely it’s common sense, if you move into a village with a working harbour and other industries you should expect noise and some disruption. It’s not rocket science is it ??? Today it’s LRS what’s it to be tomorrow or next week or month, the closure of the wharf.. As the industries were there before the incommers let them sell the properties and move back to London where most of them came from. Local harbourites have been priced out of the property market by smart money from outside the village and probably from outside the county

  11. Long Rake Spar have only been operating on the site in this way for about 2 years, and have been ignoring their planning conditions since day one. No one I’ve spoken to in the Harbour wants them to close, or has any problems with the wharf or any of the businesses that stick to the rules.

    Long Rake Spar don’t need to “change their operations” to “appease residents”, they simply need to adhere to their planning conditions like any other responsible business. They are plenty noisy enough during the day without expecting residents and visitors to put up with it out of hours. Even the old concrete plants never used to do that.

    It’s not job creation if they need to break the rules to do it. Any business could make more money by ignoring rules – but there are good reasons why we don’t let them, especially if ignoring the rules means adversely affecting the public or other local businesses. I can’t quite get my head round the idea that because industry was polluting in the past then that’s sufficient reason for it to be polluting in the future.


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