Care home plan ‘concerns’ doctors


My personal view on this controversy is that a nursing home is needed in or near Rye, but that the environmental and planning constraints affecting the proposed development site make it an entirely inappropriate location. Other more suitable sites exist and should be considered. My own comments on the proposal, letter dated 28.11.17, are available on the RDC website under planning application RR/2017/2097/P.

Doctors in Rye’s biggest medical practice have dealt a major blow to the plans.

In a letter sent to Rother District Council’s planning department all six GPs working at Rye Medical Centre expressed “grave concerns regarding the impact of a new nursing home” and said their own resources were already severely stretched.

“Our concern is that a nursing home unit will stretch those resources, further placing health provision to the local community under further pressure . . . Our concern is that due to the proximity of the proposed site to our surgery that the clinical burden would fall mainly on our practice, which is at present acting at full capacity.”

The practice, located in Rye Foreign, already spends an average of an hour a day caring for up to 19 patients in the neighbouring Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital, which is one of the two developers behind the nursing home project.

The 60-bed nursing home — rumoured to cost £8m — would accommodate more than three times the number of patients as the Memorial Hospital. The hospital had long been depending on the doctors’ support for its ambitious care home project.

With the deadline for public comments on the care home planning application now closed, a number of ‘neighbour letters’ have been lodged on the RDC website. Anyone can comment, but it’s been pointed out that several support letters came from individuals closely affiliated to the Memorial Hospital. For example, ‘neighbour letters’ were sent by the Memorial Hospital’s vice-chair, a board member of the hospital, an honorary president and a former trustee of the League of Friends of the hospital.

Among others, an opposition letter was received from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

There were further problems for the nursing home developers, as it emerged that they had to resubmit the planning application form as the wrong name had been given for the site landowner. Detailed drainage and sewerage design plans also had to be resubmitted after East Sussex County Council and Southern Water found fault with the developers’ proposals.

“The application presents an unacceptable on site/off site flood risk”, said ESCC’s head of planning and environment [on top of a hill? – editor.]

There seems to be general acceptance that Rye and the surrounding area need a nursing home to cope with the increasing number of elderly people with dementia and other ailments. However, the debate continues over whether the chosen greenfields site above Rye is appropriate, especially as it is also designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Image Credits: Architects plans .

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