One of the main themes to emerge at the Rye town meeting was the shortage of housing in Rye.
It was notable that one of the Rother councillors admitted that he had no knowledge of the consents for Rother to build 2-3,000 new houses at the Bexhill end of the Hastings Link Road. That would make a huge difference to the housing pressure throughout the district as people opt to live in a brand new community rather than compete for the few available homes in Rye. The village could provide for all ages, all numbers and all incomes, houses and flats could be for purchase, rent, both private and social, and shared equity. The last thing that is needed is a boring repetitive house design of 2/3 bedrooms!
It is difficult to believe that neither Rother, who has principal responsibility, nor the county council are gagging to see the site developed so they can benefit from the increased council tax. Perhaps it is time for the residents of Rother to put serious pressure on our councillors to recognise the potential, even if the councillors cannot.
It is also difficult to understand why the site has not been put out to tender to masterplan the equivalent of a new large village in the district. The master plan would have to include provision for a primary school, shops, medical facilities, religious space, recreational, sports and play space, a community hall and other facilities. Some plots would be left empty for self-builders. That would ensure variety and, as self-builders tend to include cutting edge design and facilities, it would encourage the larger developers to match, if not exceed them.
The utilities like gas, electricity, water, telecoms would be designed coherently and not be added piecemeal. No huge disruption a few years down the line as one or other utility decide they need more capacity. They would be tasked from the very beginning with ensuring not only sufficient capacity but also the ability to expand if necessary. All utilities would also be undergrounded so the village would benefit from views uncluttered by poles for electricity and telecoms. The super highway could be brought to East Sussex and the village would benefit from few dug up roads or potholes as they would be specified to modern high standards.
The village would be as light on the planet as possible, with solar panels or tiles, wind turbines and effective insulation. Early buyers could work with the developers to give them the interiors they deserve within their price bracket.
Job possibilities already exist on the south western end of the Link Road where already offices and factories have been built with space for more.
Whoever is tasked with the masterplan should have lots of prior experience and have a proven track record in involving the local surrounding communities so that the outcome would be welcomed rather than resented or ignored.
What’s not to like!
Image Credits: John Minter .