The Rye Conservation Society has today objected strongly to the latest proposals to develop the Thomas Peacocke School site by Plutus Developments. We recognise the need for new housing in Rye and the limited number of options. However we have two strong grounds for opposing this development.
Firstly there is no provison for affordable housing at all. The development would consist of 63 residential dwellings comprising 38 houses and 25 flats with associated landscaping, car parking and other infrastructure. The requirement that any housing development in Rye of over 10 units should provide 30% affordable housing is contained in Policy LHN2 of the Rother Core Strategy 2014 and was in place before the purchase of the site by the applicant. This has been supported by the recent Rye Neighbourhood Plan.
Secondly The Society does not believe that the statement in the officer’s report that ‘This part retention, part replacement approach can ensure that trees and shrubs continue to act as a buffer to the rail line, provide a defined edge to the development and ensure continuity (least 5m wide) of the wildlife corridor which runs along the rail line – albeit in a more limited form’ is achievable, given the proximity of some of the proposed flats and houses and the fact that a number of the trees will be in back gardens. What should have been sought and provided was a continuous strip at least 5 metres wide along the whole of the boundary to the railway line.
The Society is of the opinion that the applicant has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that affordable housing cannot be viably provided on this site. Furthermore, the wholesale removal of the woodland screening, the importance of which Rother acknowledged in 2016, is unacceptable. For these reasons the application should be refused.
If this consent is granted what does Rye get? Certainly not what it asked for in its Neighbourhood Plan.
Please click here for our full letter of objection CLICK