Editor’s note: The following letter was received just before Rye News was going to be published on Thursday evening.
On Saturday Rye will be crowded for one of its busiest nights of the year, with many visitors, and the Bonfire Night procession will pass The George and everybody will see for themselves the state it is in.
The writer raises important issues and questions which our councillors – both the Rother District councillors (who have planning responsibilities) and Rye Town Council – should be urgently seeking answers to.
David Wylson writes: “The practical rather than emotional response soon after the fire on the 20th July should have been the application of temporary tarpaulins to the damaged roof areas of the George.
“Instead of drying out before the end of the summer this historic timber framed building has been left open to the elements for nearly three months of relentless, saturating heavy rain. Old plasterwork, Georgian panelling and doors, oak beams and original floors will have suffered significant and possibly irreparable additional damage.
“I am now appalled to see that the mathematical tilework is beginning to buckle off the front elevation to the High Street. All this at the heart of the Rye conservation area.
“I understand the Georgian Group and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings have written to Rother District Council expressing their serious concerns. The advice set out by Historic England in “Stopping the Rot: A guide to Enforcement Action to save Historic Buildings” (2016) is explicit.
“Several questions need to be answered.
“Who are the architects/engineers responsible for advising the owners “that the water damage that was sustained during the fire means that the current wet weather is unlikely to do any further harm”?
“Why has the Local Planning Authority not used its Section 54 powers to ensure temporary protection of the building?
“Given the assurances in the recent press release, the full repair scaffolding should have been erected by the time this letter goes to press.”
Image Credits: Rye News library .