Housing to get green light

Former Thomas Peacocke / Lower School site awaiting housing

On Thursday, November 14 Rother District Council’s planning committee will formally discuss the application to build 63 homes on the Former Thomas Peacocke School / Lower School site on Ferry Road.

The application, which has been recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers, would involve the demolition of the Queen Adelaide pub and erection of 38 houses and 25 flats.

In their paper the council point out that the area has been identified for housing in the Rye Neighbourhood Plan and “considerable time has been spent by planning officers to negotiate an acceptable scheme with a particular focus on relocating the access away from the level crossing on Ferry Road, providing a layout that reflects the heritage of Rye and a good level of amenity for future residents, ensuring flood risks are mitigated and maintaining a landscape buffer along the eastern boundary.”

While the revised application has been approved by the main statutory bodies, such as Highways England, ESCC and the Environment Agency, it has been opposed by Rye Town Council and Rye Conservation Society.

Rye Town Council have listed their concerns as over development on the site and insufficient parking, while the Conservation Society are concerned with, amongst other things, the loss of trees and natural habitat adjacent to the railway line.

Both organisations have also expressed concern about the lack affordable housing within the development. Rother have responded to this particular concern with “the applicant has provided evidence that the costs of development, including community infrastructure levy (CIL), are such that the provision of affordable housing is not viable.”

The council expect the development to generate a CIL of approximately £783,405 and will be looking for the developer to contribute £77,948 towards the provision of affordable housing off-site.

The full planning paper that will be discussed at the meeting on November 14 can be read here.

Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy .


  1. Rye town council are opposed, well what a surprise?
    Conservation Society are opposed, well what a surprise?
    It’s not going to have any affordable housing, well what a surprise?
    No surprises there then?

  2. Rye Conservation Society fully supports the use of this site for housing as is set out in the Rye Neighbourhood Plan (RNP). It is actually the largest designated housing site in the Plan.
    The Society’s objection to the current application relates to two main issues.
    The first is the complete lack of any of the 30% affordable housing required under Rother Core Strategy and the RNP. If affordable housing cannot be provided on the largest housing site there is little chance of any affordable housing being provided in Rye.
    Our second objection relates to the virtual destruction of the woodland belt along the boundary to the railway line.
    The developer is being asked to pay £78,000 towards affordable housing which will provide less than one dwelling. Rother would gain 63 units which will no doubt help towards remedying their lack of a 5 year housing supply and potentially £1m in Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and New Homes Bonus.
    Rye gets 63 dwellings, although how many will be holiday lets and when it is built £196,000 in CIL funds when what the town asked for in its Plan was affordable housing and retention of green areas.
    That’s why we objected.

  3. One must agree with Rye Conservation Society, and Rye’s representatives on Rother district council, must insist to other councillors in the district, to refuse this application, if the 30% affordable housing is not included in this application, else it will set a precedence to other developers, to ignore any chance of local people getting on the housing ladder.

    • Wikipedia has the following definition
      “Affordable housing is housing which is deemed affordable to those with a median household income”
      A widely held view is that no more than a third of your income should be spent on housing costs – including utility bills and council tax if renting – mortgage interest and maintenance if owning.
      So a very rough calculation would be that if a median salary is £25,000 a year and other housing costs are about £4,000 a year then an average-sized house should rent for about £4,250 a year or £360 a month.
      Not very likely.
      The cost of housing has risen to unsustainable levels and needs to come down.

  4. Thank you Christopher. I was thinking more about the cost to buy an affordable house, the selling price, but your calculation for an affordable rent is interesting. As you say, it’s difficult to imagine a brand new house being let for £360 a month anywhere in the country really.
    The words affordable housing are bandied about, particularity in the press without proper consideration given to whether anyone on a low income such as the 25K median or above, could ever really afford to buy.
    Is Rother saying that affordable housing means rental so that landlords will buy the cheaper housing and rent them out? Does Rother (is it in their power?) impose a limit of the monthly rent in their policies? If not it makes a mockery of the term.
    I think we need to examine more closely the true meaning of affordable housing for Rye.


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