While RDC attached over 20 conditions on the approved application, the two areas of most local concern, namely the total lack of affordable housing and the loss of green space including, potentially, the home of rare turtle doves on the site, were absent from their final decision.
The granting of the outline planning permission is subject to the Council agreeing a final financial settlement in lieu of the developer providing affordable housing on the site. As part of the developer’s original application it had offered £77,948 as a contribution towards providing affordable housing off-site.
Other areas where the developer needs to provide further information includes how they will manage the allocation of parking on the site. The developer proposes to allocate 48 parking spaces to specific houses and a further 49 will be unallocated, to be used by residents and visitors alike. As part of their parking proposals, 22 charging points will be installed – which will be the first electric changing points in Rye.
While no mention was made of the rare and endangered turtle doves that are believed to be on the site, Rother has stipulated that the developers must submit detailed plans for how they are going to retain and strengthen the planting that abuts the railway line. This submission will need to include details of all the trees that will be retained on the site.
The Council have said that the developers will also need to resubmit their detailed landscaping proposals, which must include “the design, layout and appearance of structural and amenity green space, including verges; planting plans; schedules of plants, noting species, plant sizes and proposed numbers/densities where appropriate.”
This is the first major housing development in Rye approved by RDC since residents voted in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan. The development is subject to a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which in this case will be a payment of approximately £783,000 to RDC.
Under the Localism Act of 2011, Rye will be able to claim 25% of that CIL payment but what it will pay for has yet to be decided. The Neighbourhood Plan has quite a few projects classed as “community aspirations” including improvements to Station Approach; the Greenway link; Deadman’s Lane improvement works; and improvements to the walkway between Love Lane and the Cemetery.
If Rye’s CIL allocation is only in the region of £200,000 obviously not all these projects will get funded, and therefore two questions arise:
Who will choose what gets funding? And, more importantly, what happens to the remaining c.£600,000 in CIL payments that the developer will have paid to Rother?
Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy .