A NEW Local Plan promises to protect and enhance Rye for future generations.
The Rye Neighbourhood Plan was unveiled at a public meeting at Rye College last Thursday attended by more than 100 people.
Rye Mayor Shaun Rogers, in introducing the concept, said: “This is a legacy for our children and grandchildren.
“We want to have a town where people want to live in, work and visit.”
The plan is a two year process which will include extensive community involvement and consultation.
The work is being carried out by a steering group comprised of five citizens and six Rye councillors.
Communities were encouraged to draw up plans by the 2011 Localism Act.
Steering Group vice chairman Colonel Anthony Kimber said; “The plan will set out the rights to build, challenge, buy and plan.
“We want to involve the whole community. This is about localism and taking a strategic holistic view.
“It is very much about intervention through the community. Once the plan is decided it becomes a statutory document and planner have to take notice of it.
“The plan has to be about growth and influencing development it is about shaping, not blocking development.”
Colonel Kimber explained that the plan is a five stage process which includes laying foundation plans, undergoing independent checks and consultation, including holding a community referendum.
It will be passed if approved by the majority (50 percent or more) of those voting to adopt it.
The plan will involve adjacent parish councils with Rye Harbour and Playden being particularly important.
The designated plan will go to Rother Council for approval in November. It has to include the Government’s building allocation requirement of 402 new homes between 2011 and 2028. Of this 235 homes are already accounted for with an expected windfall of another 167 homes.
There is also a requirement for 10,000 square metres of new business floor space but it is anticipated that Rye Harbour will soak up much of this.
Colonel kimber said that Rock Channel could become a focus for future development and commented: “Many of us feel Rock Channel could become one of the jewels in Rye’s crown if it is properly approached.”
He added: “Key issues for the plan could be derelict sites in the town, green public spaces and the lack of community facilities.
“We want to incorporate existing groups, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
“We want to encourage business, the creation of more green spaces and look at community needs. One issue could be affordable housing but it is very much what the community wants to see.
“Communication is the key and we shall be doing that through our web site, Facebook and Twitter.”