Long Rake Spar’s Activities

New asphalt on the yard to reduce dust from vehicles

Last week Rye News reported on local opposition to a planning application by an aggregate business in Rye Harbour . The company has issued the following statement:

“Long Rake Spar are committed to being considerate operators in the locations that we work and welcome expressions of concern through constructive discussion. We have temporarily extended our working hours in order to protect the health and safety of our team and ensure social distancing on site. To achieve this we have extended our shift patterns to maintain production levels, safeguard jobs and continue to support the local economy.

During this period of economic uncertainty we have been fortunate to experience increased demand for our products to aid nationwide building and construction efforts. As a result of this we have created new positions and have widened our recruitment, providing long term, stable employment within the local area.

We have increased employee numbers from an initial three members of staff to 15 and with the permission of the local authority to extend working times we hope to employ an additional five employees.

A region of busy industry

Additional dust suppression on the screening plant

Rye Harbour is a region of busy dockside and manufacturing industry and the area as a whole is defined as B1, B2 and B8 classification with the movement of lorries a necessity to the viability of all businesses, including Long Rake Spar, in this location.

We aim to run our production activity as efficiently as possible and minimising the impact to the local environment and community is an ongoing concern and priority. We are committed to working with local authorities, planning committees and architects to minimise light and noise pollution and once a decision has been agreed on the best means to progress, we will carry this out with immediate effect.

It is our intention to run a clean, low dust operation site, not only for the benefit of local residents but for the welfare of our workforce. We have recently invested substantial amounts in cleaner surfacing across the site to minimise dust generated from vehicles running across rough ground. However this is an ongoing project and we will do our utmost to continue to improve.

We have already made considerable efforts to mitigate the impact of operations on local residents including additional dust suppression units on the plant, upgraded silencing equipment on drying machinery and have made provision for a bund perimeter boundary around the site with an additional tree planting scheme to greatly enhance the appearance of the site and reduce noise and light pollution which will take place in the autumn.

We aim to achieve a positive dialogue through the appropriate channels and are in constant communication with Rother District Council and local planning authorities”.

Source: Long Rake Spar

Image Credits: Long Rake Spar .


  1. The following paragraph in the article above rather understates characteristics of Rye Harbour.

    “ Rye Harbour is a region of busy dockside and manufacturing industry and the area as a whole is defined as B1, B2 and B8 classification with the movement of lorries a necessity to the viability of all businesses, including Long Rake Spar, in this location.“

    The area as a whole is not defined as B1,B2 and B8 planning classifications.

    Rye Harbour is so much more than that and is far better summarised on the Icklesham Parish Council website which I have copied below:

    “Rye Harbour is a small village and harbour sited at the mouth of the River Rother, in a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) which has an electorate of approximately 288.

    This unique harbour has its own fishing fleet, a commercial wharf handling the import and export of grain and aggregate, a public slipway, and a vibrant sailing club which during the summer months is used by visiting and local boat owners. There is a village shop, a social club and a village hall which plays a major part of the social centre of the village. Due to its uniqueness Rye Harbour also has a growing group of artists with studios, and a vibrant industrial area which is helping to provide employment for local people. The village has two public houses, and an RNLI Lifeboat Station with a long and noble history. This history includes the sad loss of ‘The Mary Stanford’ lifeboat and her crew of 17 Rye Harbour volunteers which capsized while on service in storm force conditions on 15th November 1928 to the Latvian steamer the ‘Alice’ of Riga. The iconic lifeboat house still stands on the foreshore, and is now Grade II Listed.

    Martello Tower (no 28, ‘Enchantress’) a prominent feature in the village was built during the Napoleonic wars and is one of the only towers to be named, instead of just numbered.

    The Church of the Holy Spirit stands in a beautiful location and has the distinction of having a very unusual roof in the shape of a ship’s hull. In the ground stands a memorial to all those who lost their lives in the Mary Stanford Lifeboat disaster.

    Rye Harbour has its own Nature Reserve with a network of footpaths providing fascinating walks along the sea shore, fields to the remains of Henry VIII’s Camber Castle, and over large areas of shingle as well as the beach. It also plays a major part in helping to maintain the natural environment of the coast and surrounding area. There are several hides provided around the reserve for those that like to bird watch.“

    Added to that is a thriving holiday park and several other small businesses which earn their living from the tourist and leisure industry.

  2. I first tried to engage with Long Rake Spar about their out-of-hours working in Spring 2019. This included being woken up in the small hours by noisy activities on site including multiple reversing sirens, noisy tipping of aggregate, front loading shovels rattling and scraping the ground, HGV tailgates slamming etc.

    None of the other businesses on the Harbour Road make anything like this amount of noise, especially not out-of-hours. I tried phone calls, many emails and a face-to-face meeting.

    By November 2019, at the end of my tether, I contacted Rother’s Environmental Health team. Fortunately for my sanity, the lockdown brought a period of calm. Since the lockdown ended in June myself and my neighbours have been subjected to round-the-clock crashing and bashing, finishing as late as 2am and starting as early as 4am on multiple occasions.

    Only since we started getting media coverage and Environmental Health visited the site around three weeks ago have we seen Long Rake Spar abide by their consented working hours – they’ve been breaching them for at least 18 months. The idea that this is a new issue brought on by Covid-19 needs to be challenged.

    Long Rake Spar’s planning consent has always been clear – to protect residents they are limited to working 08:00am to 18:00pm Mon to Fri and 08:00am to 13:00 on Saturdays. This seems entirely reasonable to the vast majority of residents.


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