Derelict homes blight rye for over 10 years

UNCERTAINTY surrounds the future of a row of eye-sore homes that have blighted Rye for more than a decade

The derelict and boarded up cottages at Fishmarket Road were left uninhabitable following a landslide in 1998.

Since then they have become dangerous with roof tiles falling off and have also attracted rats and vermin.

The homes were acquired by the Chunnel Group but have remained empty and neglected despite being within Rye’s Conservation Area.

Now the terrace of ten properties is set to go under the auctioneer’s hammer as a job lot on December 13 with a price guide of £300- 350,000.

The terrace has planning permission for redevelopment comprising eight three-bedroom houses, subject to conditions.

Rye Conservation Society called for action to be taken to improve the appearance of the buildings.

Andrew Blyth, chairman of the society’s planning committee said: “The current state of the terrace of houses is of concern to the society.

“The society supported the planning application for eight replacement dwellings which was granted consent in September 2010.

“As part of the consent a programme of ground stabilisation was required following the failure of the rear block retaining wall and as a result of the landslip in 1988.

“Given the current economic situation we are aware of the difficulties that face developments but we are concerned at the appearance of the existing terrace.

“Until redevelopment we would expect the owners to undertake all necessary repairs to ensure that this area, part of the setting of Rye, is properly maintained.”

Rye councillor Sam Souster has fought for many years to get the houses improved.

He said: “These derelict and boarded-up houses are in a prominent position yet they have been allowed to rot and deteriorate.

“They are at the gateway to the town from the east and opposite the attractive Town Salts, which is used by visitors and residents alike.

“The rear of these properties has become a dumping ground and the weeds are as tall as I am. Vermin have been reported.”

Chunnel Group tried to sell the houses at auction years ago, but none of them reached their £18,0000 reserve price.