Controversial homes proceed

A CONTROVERSIAL new housing estate in Rye will provide much-needed affordable homes for young people says Rye Rother councillor Sam Souster.

The Valley Park development entered its second stage of building last week.

The 132 home estate, on greenfield land off Udimore Road, was originally rejected by both Rye and Rother councils, but went ahead after a three-day Government enquiry overruled the local authorities.

Rye Mayor John Breeds snubbed an invitation to cut a ribbon to launch the second phase, claiming it would be double standards since he had opposed the development.

But the ceremony went ahead with Rother Council Leader, Carl Maynard, cutting the ribbon.

Developer Aroncorp claim Valley Park will provide much-needed new homes for families from all income groups. Cllr Maynard said he was impressed by the design and quality of the new buildings when he toured the site viewing some 35 completed new homes, many of which are already occupied.

The development will eventually provide 135 New England-style homes in a 27-acre parkland setting. Councillor Souster said: “I was against this development, as was the Town Council, but it is now a reality and provides affordable housing, which is much needed in Rye and which would not be available without these homes for sale on the open market.

“The quality of the build is good.”

Housing portfolio holder, Cllr Bob White, added: ‘I particularly like the way in which affordable homes have been seamlessly integrated with the private homes. You really can’t tell them apart.”

There have been concerns from residents at Tilling Green over potential flooding, caused by run-off from the hill-to estate.

But Cllr Souster added:; “I am confident that Tilling Green will not flood, I have seen the size of the water containment tank they have put in and it is the size of a football pitch.”

AronCorp’s Gavin Thomas said: “We are very pleased and honoured to see the councillors at Valley Park and grateful for their support.

“We have faced many challenges from the flood prevention works to the market itself where sales have been achieved in spite of adverse press reports. I am very proud of the Valley Park team who have produced an excellent product which people clearly want.”

Work started in February 2010 and completion of the last home is expected in December 2013.

Twelve of the first 15 private homes to be built have been sold or agreed to be sold.

Infrastructure works to Valley Park have cost £2 million, which includes a ‘state of the art’ flood prevention system designed to protect the Tillingham Estate.