Planning rules a road to where?


One consequence of the Chancellor’s latest Budget will be the further relaxation of planning rules in urban areas. Planning regulation has already seemed pretty lax to many Rye citizens. The idea of even less control is alarming. So this week I would like to send open letters to two organisations that might be affected by this lessening of control.


Letter 1
To Brian Banks, road safety team manager
East Sussex County Council

Dear Mr Banks

At the Rye Highways Forum on July 7 you stated that ESCC Highways were not consulted on developments of less than 10 houses unless a specific question had been raised. Yet here in Rye we have been told that planning permission for the Lancaster Court development – comprising three houses – was granted only because Highways had raised no objections to possible dangers along Deadmans Lane, though presumably Highways insisted on conditions regarding a pavement in front of the houses and the eyelines from their shared drive exit back to Rye Hill.

There are three schools at the end of Deadmans Lane. The failure to insist on a sidewalk the full length of the lane will come back to haunt ESCC Highways should there ever be a serious accident there. Perhaps, under Freedom of Information if that is necessary, your team could give a full account of any discussion that did take place and how the decision was reached? Rye News is grateful for your attention and will publish your reply.

Letter 2
To Robert Wise, project manager
Environment Agency, Kent and South London

Dear Mr Wise

The Environment Agency owns many critical sites in Rye, several of them derelict wastelands that affect not only the appearance of the town but also its future development. I understand that your agency will not negotiate any lease longer than five years for these sites. If that is the case, you have established a virtual prohibition on any improvement along the town approaches and the river banks, since no one is going to invest serious money over such a short period of tenure.

A similar, if more logical prohibition exists on any new building to the east of the river until the river defences are revised. Since the agency holds so much of our town at present quiescent and lifeless, could you or one of your colleagues, under Freedom of Information if that is necessary:

  • outline the circumstances that might lead to a change of policy over short-term leases
  • and give a clear idea of when the river defences will be completed

Rye News will publish your reply. Thank you.

Photo: Tony Nunn

Image Credits: Rye News library .

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