What is the 21st-century vision for Rye? Other than a bypass, parking enforcement and the Landgate renovated.
Rye needs and deserves a large purpose-built community centre for festival events, leisure use and exhibitions for the enjoyment of locals and visitors and also to act as a hub for the local rural community.
The community centre should be located in or near the town centre. The present facilities are all in converted buildings – old church, schools, old library, that are expensive to maintain and often have bad access.
It could be built on one of the car parks (Cinque Port Street car park, the market car park, railway car park, Jempson supermarket car park) but Rye cannot lose valuable car parking spaces.
Building the centre on stilts above a car park would be too expensive.
One site could be the police station if the station were to be closed or downsized, which has been suggested in the past. Another site is the Royal Mail depot building in Station Approach. The Royal Mail could move to another site in Rye, the existing building could be demolished and redeveloped as a well-designed community centre. This would make Station Approach more attractive than the ugly building that is currently there.
The old Ellis Brothers carpentry shop that was used as a Vidlers auction room, the old post (office now a betting shop) that is next to the Royal Mail building and the Estate Agent’s office could either be demolished or incorporated into the new community centre.
The site could include a tourist information centre plus a public toilet.