Business space in Rye may be disappearing

BUSINESS space in Rye town centre could be under threat with another application to turn a shop premises into a private residence.

The owners of 58 Cinque Ports Street want to convert the empty shop into a home.

But planners at Rother District Council were expected to refuse the application when the committee met yesterday (Thursday).

The premises were used as an architect’s practice until July 2011 and then became a bridal shop, which closed in November last year.

Planners have already refused one application for change of use to residential in December last year.

There have been letters of objection to the current application with objectors claiming it would set a precedent for the loss of other commercial premises in the town and have an adverse effect on surrounding shops.

Rother planning chief Tim Hickling said: “The property is located within the main shopping area of Rye.

“This area is the main focus for retail and other related town centre development, which local and national planning policies seek to maintain and enhance.

“It could be sub-divided with a shop on the ground floor and a residence above.

“The proposal would result in the loss of potentially viable retail floor space. Therefore it is recommended that planning permission is refused.”

The property has been empty since November last year and has been marketed as rentable office accommodation.

Only recently Rye Town Council objected to an application to convert an empty shop in Ferry Road to residential housing.