Listening to the discussion in the Rye Town Council debate about the Tilling Green Centre, I understand some of the concerns of the public and Councillors but was disappointed that it was rejected rather than deferred for further scrutiny by Amicus regarding the problems raised. Yes I did hear the argument that it had to be either/or, but why?
Decisions have been deferred before depending on:
- Flood issues (we heard Amicus is addressing these)
- Block of flats too high (19 comments of opposition of course count, but this is not a majority of all the people who live in Tilling Green).
- Garages under flats are becoming fairly common as in the new development in Cinque Ports Street.
- No lift for the elderly in the block (yes , we need more smaller accommodation built for the elderly with appropriate facilities, but is Tilling Green the right place? (Is not the Rye Hospital at the top of the Hill looking at this need?)
- What about meeting the needs of young people who cannot move out of their parents’ home because of finances. One bed flats would be useful to keep them in the Rye community and give them a start in life to become independent.
Surely the most successful community living is a variable of families, young and older people mixed across the new build?
I do take the expressed concerns on board and they have to be addressed but my fear is that this outright rejection, asking Amicus to go back to the drawing board, will delay the start of building and with it the new community centre initiative, which would be very negative for the locals of both Tilling Green and Rye.
Many of the groups who used the present centre have by now found other accommodation for their activities, but are keen to see the new centre built as soon as possible.
Hopefully Amicus will act quickly, remedy the problems aired, and submit a revised plan again to Rye Town Council, though I assume it will drag on well into the New Year as the next full Town Council meeting is not around the corner.