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Independent Examiner Comments on Rye Neighbourhood Plan

Looking up The Mint. Photo by David Bookless

The Rye Neighbourhood Plan following extensive consultations has been in the hands of the Independent Examiner, John Slater, who has now issued his Report. He makes a number of suggested changes which if implemented means that the NP can proceed to the Referendum stage. His Executive Summary is as follows:

"My examination has concluded that the Rye Neighbourhood Plan should proceed to referendum, subject to the Plan being amended in line with my recommended modifications, which are required to ensure the plan meets the basic conditions. The more noteworthy include –

• All allocation policies refer to a minimum level of development and incorporate consistent wording relating to flood risk assessments and removing the requirement for allocation sites to submit ecological impact assessments.

• Reference to comprehensive development be changed so that phased development should not prejudice the development of the adjoining sites.

• That the extent of Winchelsea Road (West) allocation be extended to reflect the land currently in commercial use.

• That access arrangements for the Freda Gardham School site should serve both the petrol station/convenience store and the residential development to the rear.

• That the extent of the former Lower School site is reduced, and is shown on a revised plan omitting from the allocation, the land protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

• Clarifying that in terms of flood risk policy, the allocation sites do not need to pass the sequential test when a planning application is submitted.

• Widening the extent of employment and business development to be supported.

• Requiring that the petrol station on allocated site E3 incorporates measures to prevent the pollution of groundwater.

• Deleting the policy imposing a higher car parking standard.

• Amending the community facilities policies to identify specific early year facilities and removing sports facilities that are already protected as open space.

• Amending the development boundary of the town to include Rye Primary School and to reflect the enlargement of Site Allocation H6. It will also require the insertion of a map showing the extent of the strategic gap.

• Removing reference to the designations as local green space, as the policy has not been supported by appropriate evidence. The extent of the Green space at Gibbert Marsh be enlarged, if required, to include land adjacent to the river and the railway line which needs to be shown on a revised map.

• Removing the policy protection relating to tree roots as this is covered by the requirements of the Local Validation Checklist.

• Removing the requirement for the submission of an energy statement but replacing the policy with one that supports low carbon and renewable energy.

The Full Report can be read here

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