Complaints over ‘hideous’ derelict building in Rye

The old Grist Mill site from Strand Quay. Photo by Archie White
The old Grist Mill site from Strand Quay. Photo by Archie White

A resident is calling for something to be done about a ‘hideous’ derelict building in Rye that has stood empty for nearly four years.

Archie White, of Strand Court, Strand Quay, Rye, lives opposite the former Grist Mill site on Winchelsea Road, which is now a skeleton of the old pine works.

Adverts for storage units in Rye Harbour adorn two sides of the building and the 92-year-old solicitor questioned the planning validity of the ads.

“I go past it all the time and it’s hideous,” he said.

“The building itself should have been completely removed and the site levelled, at least that would have been something. But they have left the girders up and it is now being used as an advertisement hoarding.”

Archie moved into his quayside apartment in Strand Court five years ago but for the past four, his view of the river has been ‘blighted’ by the building.

The elderly legal consultant also believes the ‘eyesore’ is damaging to Rye’s appearance and the posters should not be allowed.

Next to the former pine works is another patch of unused land – the old Total garage, owned by the Environment Agency.

When the pumping station was demolished, the ground was found to be contaminated and only cleaned up to commercial standards, meaning only businesses can go there at the minute, according to Rye Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group vice chairman Anthony Kimber.

Anthony sympathised with Archie and the other residents who have to put up with the derelict sites.

“Rye Town Council and the steering group have been talking extensively with the owners, pressing them at every opportunity to get on and come up with proposals.

“But that’s no consolation for those who live directly opposite who for the last four years have been looking at a bomb site,” he said.

A Rother District Council spokesman said advertising hoardings may need consent but not always, and encouraged people to report any concerns to them at www.rother.gov.uk/planning.

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