The changing town

Valley Park is the last Rye development to provide any significant amount of social housing
I grew up near Rye and have noticed that the town seems to be full of holiday homes, making the town very expensive to live in. There are also far too few affordable housing and council housing projects.
How do we control the buying of holiday houses? There are enough hotels in the area which employ lots of people, whereas holiday rents put money in a small number of people’s pockets, while also making it harder for people who work in Rye to buy a home there.
This has also happened as the High Street seems to have become full of useless expensive tat.

Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .


  1. Yolanda raises an issue which, for many months, was at the forefront of our discussions as we developed the Neighbourhood Plan. The supporting documents of the Plan reflect our collective views of the increasing number of second homes: perhaps from around 75 to 400 of a total stock of around 2500 during the planning process. The Neighbourhood Planners considered the sort of policies adopted in Cornwall and the Lake District where a percentage of new homes would only be available to first time local buyers, but Rother District would not support this as they considered that the overall numbers did not justify it.
    There are other issues. Defining a second home was problematic. Is a home bought for retirement but not yet occupied, a second home? What about multiple home owners who use their possession in Rye only periodically? Most importantly, “policing”any such policy was seen to be very difficult.
    All this focuses any planner on housing need. How can one calculate local need when a high percentage of homes are bought for second homes for income or pension provision? We are just about to input to the review of Rother District’s local plan and this matter will be raised again. Meanwhile it will stay on the local agenda despite the fact that finding answers are not easy.

    Anthony KImber PhD is the Vice Chair of the Rye Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

  2. I own a small cottage in central Rye which I let out as a holiday let, last year the cottage was occupied for about 3/4 of the year. I employ local agents for bookings and use local trade people for the maintenance of the cottage, the guest who come all year round put thousands of £s into the local economy. Rye derives a lot of it’s income from tourism, so one should think before shooting the goose that lays the golden egg.

  3. One must agree with Yolanda, the market town we all loved of yester year is sadly gone, along with many families that grew up here,but cannot afford to live here anymore, so we are a tourist town now, and the weekenders,buy to let,and holiday lets brigade have taken over, the high street died, when Woolworths went,and the large retail space was wasted on a library, as the developers move in and are allowed to build on flood plains,but mention social housing at Tilling green they are turned down,WHY? because it is deemed a flood plain,talk about the double standards in this town, and i despair for the local young people,who will be denied a place to live in their birth place,thanks too greed, and double standards that are rife in this town.

  4. It’s not all holiday homes. I’m looking to buy AND LIVE in Rye Citadel. I will be working in Rye and London, and using Rye shops and traders. Maybe vendors need to look at potential buyers. Recently at least a couple of houses which have sold have had several interested purchasers. The vendor can chose whom they sell to. Price of course matters, but isn’t everything. Whether a sale will actually complete is a consideration, and this links with the buyer’s commitment.

  5. I have to disagree here. For example, Rye Art Gallery is not full of useless expensive tat. There is even some work by an aspiring artist by the name of Yolanda McKean, don’t do yourself down. It’s all a matter of taste.

  6. If you want to get on in Rye, don’t call it a ‘Citadel’.

    It’s a phrase that only estate agents use to sell to those coming down from London, and also by those who have done the buying.

    No self-respecting Ryer would be caught dead using the phrase.

  7. Having been born in the Mint and lived in Rye for 68 years off and on I can only agree with GW regarding the word citadel, when I was a kid you either lived in the town or if you lived the wrong side of the tracks you went up the town.
    Today it comes across as snobbish, emphasising the importance of old Rye with the outlying areas rarely getting a mention of any importance.
    Rye is definitely a town of two halves, apart from a very few locals who else can afford to buy a house in the town?
    Most local youngsters have to leave the town and move to Hastings and the surrounding area because it’s the only way they can afford to get on the housing ladder, social housing appears to struggle past the planning teams whereas £1m houses can be built without too much of a problem.
    It’s the same old chestnuts, access and flooding that are guaranteed to Knock back any chances of affordable housing in this museum.

  8. But for a few exceptions, nobody needs a second home. It’s almost a contradiction in terms.
    The truth of the matter is, that when someone takes more than they need, someone else goes without.


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