Proposals to build a new petrol station at the top of Udimore Road have been critically reviewed by the Rye Conservation Society. In a letter to the Rother DC Senior Planning Officer dated July 16, Julian Luckett, chairman of the Society’s planning committee gives a detailed explanation of the reasons why the planning application should be rejected.
These take into account the proposed location, its site and setting, the design of building and the implications for traffic flows up and down Udimore Road. The proposals include a four-pump filling station, a retail shop and 28 parking spaces, and the area is to be surrounded by 1.8-metre (6ft) fencing and illuminated by 5- and 6-metre (16ft and 20ft) lighting poles. It is apparently planned to operate on a 24/7 basis.
The setting is outside both the current development boundary and that proposed in the emerging Neighbourhood Plan. The Society argues that it does not meet the Rother Core Strategy Policy (OSS2 iii). It is located on the Udimore ridge closely surrounded on three sides by the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). So exposed is it that the site can be seen from far around.
Objection is also taken to the design of the building with its canopy 5 metres (16ft) above road level. “As a gateway building announcing the entrance to Rye from the west, this development is inadequate and unacceptable” says the Society and “the 24/7 operation of the proposed filling station/shop will inevitably result in an increased use of Udimore Road throughout the day and night which will mean a loss of amenity for the residents of Udimore Road”.
A detailed study has been made of relevant RDC planning policies, leading to the conclusion: “The Society would welcome another filling station in the town but this is not the place. If we had to choose a location that would do the maximum damage to the setting of Rye and to the AONB this would be it.”
The application (RR/2017/1231/P) can be viewed on the Council’s website and comments made online or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to the Service Manager Strategy and Planning, Town Hall, Bexhill TN39 3JX during the period of 21 days beginning with the date of the notice July 21, 2017.
Kenneth Bird is a vice-president of the Rye Conservation Society