Are our allotments in danger?


As previously covered in Rye News, the Rye Neighbourhood Plan is out for consultation. Coming in at 108 pages, it’s not the easiest of reads but thankfully it has plenty of maps and photos.

As a keen allotmenteer one map took me by surprise (main image above). It shows the whole of Rock Channel earmarked for housing – including what is currently the very popular allotment site off South Undercliff.

While reading through the Plan it becomes clear that it was a mistake to include the map and that the allotments are to be retained but our concerns of being thrown off our allotments would not be wholly misplaced. Rother District Council developed its own plans for the South Undercliff allotment site in 2007 which laid out a number of options, including comprehensively redeveloping the allotments with housing.

To avoid confusion, and bearing in mind we will be asked to vote on the Plan at some point in the future, I would recommend that the planners clarify their plans for South Undercliff’s allotments and replace the map with the one that is also contained in the Plan (see below).

As Rye’s planners previously found when they earmarked Gibbet Marsh for a supermarket, people are very sensitive to loosing green space to development, especially when there is a busy and polluting A259 outside the front door, as the residents of South Undercliff have to contend with. The allotments to the rear of South Undercliff are an oasis of calm. Replacing the map to achieve greater clarity would cause a lot less confusion when we come to vote on Rye’s Neighbourhood Plan in the future.

Image Credits: Neighbourhood Plan .


  1. Allotments have always been in danger – and respected by neither RDC or ESCC. When the new Junior School was built, a hefty slice of the Love Lane allotments was surreptitiously passed from Rother to the County Council in an underhand transaction never explained to the public.

  2. Yes, it would be easier/better to correct this ‘mistake’ NOW rather than have to fight aagin and again for the SU allotments ….

  3. We will look at this aspect but P27 is clear. “It is intended that Site B ( on the referenced map) remains as allotments. The policy on p28 is also clear: only Site A (the western part of Rock Channel) is allocated for development. P72 and73 identifies the allotments, seen as important for the Community. Again we will look again at modifying this text for further clarification.

  4. As the body that is currently responsible for providing the allotments in Rye, we would encourage all plot holders and others with an interest in safeguarding the allotments and Community Garden, to provide feedback on the Neighbourhood Plan. We have already done so. Further details are available on our website. We would also like to thank Anthony Kimber for all of the work he has put in so far, towards safeguarding the green infrastructure of the town.


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