Lord Ampthill who represents Rye on the Rother District Council (RDC), established in 1974, has told the Town Council of his shock at the state of the Landgate after a recent visit.
“Nothing prepares the visitor,” he said “for the shock of the experience – the filth, the toxic fumes, the dilapidation – but it was possible to understand why this problem is taking so long to resolve.
“The structure could, and should, have been made secure many decades ago (long before Rother came on the scene) with an unobtrusive lead roof. Instead useless netting flaps in the breeze and there is a mountain to climb – both in terms of work and fundraising.”
He went on to say that essential works are currently being costed “for which funding is in place which can be completed before the onset of winter”. He added: “These will not require scaffolding or road closures.”
The work will include:
- Removing the timber flagpole and checking the condition of the modern flagpole
- Clearing bird detritus from the towers and clock housing
- Securing the clock and electric housing
- Disconnecting the uplighters
- Removing accessible vegetation from the parapets
- Replacing the netting and securing the area from further infestation
- Replacing the timber ladders
- Fixing safe access points for future maintenance.
Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore commented that it was not unusual for pigeons to get caught up in the netting (see photo above) and members of the public find this upsetting.
Lord Ampthill went on to say: “A forthcoming meeting of the Action Group partners will consider this programme and the costs involved, adapt if necessary and give instructions to proceed through Rother’s Economic Development Manager.
“Then comes the the strategic thinking and long term planning,” he added. “Do we wish to see a managed ruin; or will we work to afford a living building which can be used and explored by all?”
(Source: Rye Town Council Minutes)
Photo : Rye News Library