Is it boring to plan?

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The entrance to the Lower School site, currently the subject of planning discussions

With another Bank Holiday on its way I have been planning what to do in my garden – but was there a queue in the Town Hall on Tuesday night, I wonder, to sign up to be on the Planning Committee?

Possibly not, as the full council met 19 times last year, but the planning committee met another 16 times – a grand total of 35 meetings. Some planning meetings followed after the council meetings, but not always.

And there were also consultations by e-mail when the number of applications or their complexity did not justify a face-to-face meeting (though one could be called if there seemed to be problems).

Planning though, in any shape or form, whether it is my back garden or a housing estate, is not always a popular sport – and action is often preferable.

The devil, though, can be in the detail as one story in this edition shows.

And indeed the Conservation Society’s concerns about the school’s playing field lighting might be resolved by the school’s planners looking at the advice given in relation to the proposed indoor tennis courts’ lighting.

Similarly, while it is interesting to hear from the Conservation Society that a sewer may hold up new homes on the Lower School site by Ferry Road level crossing, this will give those developers more than enough time to look at how other developments have dealt with flood issues instead of flooding our town with dumper trucks.

However the Conservation Society appears to welcome the proposed Bridge Point development.

This is on both sides of a road that also serves a number of houses, industrial units, and the Sea Cadets – all of whom will need to use that road right through the middle of that site and past the proposed arts centre – a point not always very obvious in the drawings I have seen.

Hopefully though the Conservation Society will also welcome Rye’s Neighbourhood Plan which has been gestating over a number of years and will be voted on in a referendum at the end of next month by everyone in Rye who has a vote.

If the Plan is accepted, it gives the town more control over what developments take place, and it has been discussed in detail with Rother District Council, the local planning authority, at each stage.

Having such plans in place may seem boring, but they can ensure that unwanted developments can be stopped – as BP’s proposed garage on the edge of Rye was stopped by the long-planned Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Whether Rye’s outstanding architectural beauty can be protected from parking meters is another matter though, and the Conservation Society – and the Town Council – will need to be paying attention to the detail, however boring that might seem.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird.

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