We know that there is shortage of homes and in particular affordable homes. This problem lies at the heart of the country’s housing crisis. With an increasing population (government estimates some 40,000 to 50,000 a year) this shortage will only get worse, unless we can increase the delivery of new dwellings.
Locally, Rother District Council, on the basis of population forecasts and land availability, has to match its own development plans with national targets. The estimate across the district has to reflect future changes in population, which may result in more people in the age groups over 75 and from 45 to 64, with some decrease in younger age groups.
Average home occupancy in Rother is below the national average of 2.4 people, with trends indicating that by 2028 the average could be closer to 2 people, with many homes occupied by single older people. Local demand is likely to be a mix of affordable homes and units for the elderly.
Rother’s research has led to a strategy for future development, on which officers have been working for 18 months. The strategy, if accepted by the councillors of Rother in September, will target 5,700 new homes across the district by 2028. In addition to homes there should be some 100,000 sq metres of gross additional business floor space.
This work has provided something of a backdrop to the first year’s work on the Rye Neighbourhood Plan, as the plan has to conform to the Rother strategy. Through detailed work with Rother officers, the Rye slice of the Rother totals is: 400 dwellings and 20,000 sq metres of business space by 2028. The Rye figures are grouped for historical reasons with Rye Harbour. The business development planned at Rye Wharf will account for most of the business floor space target. There is a commitment to build 200 new homes already; allowing for 40 new dwellings in Rye Harbour, the Rye target for new dwellings becomes 160.
The Rye plan survey [which closes this weekend, Sunday July 27] provides clues as to where the plan might locate these new dwellings: the former Tilling Green School site; the Winchelsea Road broad location, Rock Channel and the former Freda Gardham school site. It is not too late to complete a survey and have your say.
Details are available on the Rye Neighbourhood Plan website.
Photo: Anthony Kimber