The Rye View

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Response to better flood protection for Rye

This winter has seen one of the wettest seasons on record. Rye has had its share but not nearly as bad as many other parts of the country.

We have been fortunate in not having had any disastrous flooding in Rye but there have been some wet spots which have given some concern. It is good to have seen reported that our coastline is to be better protected with the Government giving the green light for construction to start on defences this year.

For the Rye area it will see improvements carried out to the Rother tidal wall, and a coastal defence scheme being completed at Broomhill, Camber. These long needed improvements will at last unlock the economic potential of the Rye area by encouraging more businesses and industry to set up on brown field sites that had previously been at risk of flooding.

Recently, Rye Town Council and the Rye Emergency Action Team (REACT) have responded jointly to East Sussex County Council’s draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. As all types of flood risk apply to Rye, the Rye Town Council and REACT endorse the need for an integrated and inclusive approach to flood risk (coastal, river and pluvial) as they are aware that in extreme conditions of high tide or surge, heavy precipitation and high river levels, risks can potentially combine to pose a significant risk to a large number of homes and businesses.

We said we were concerned about the lack of funding and resources for a comprehensive plan which can impact in various ways. We drew attention to more professional expertise to tackle the related work, and the need to ensure there was regular maintenance such as drains, sewers, flaps and pumps some of which can cease to operate as was recently discovered in Marley Road.

Fortunately we have a very good group of willing volunteers, not only amongst REACT members, but by many others who are constantly keeping a watchful eye on any problems that might arise. By remaining alert for malfunctions and flood warnings a speedy response can be made by contacting the relative agencies.

It is good to see that Rye Town Council at its recent Special Planning meeting agreed to recommend approval of the cinema project in Lion Street despite some misgivings by a few who were concerned at its situation as far as access was concerned, and troubled somewhat by the design of the roof. Some rectifications have already been agreed and sensible conditions have been attached to the approval. If anyone had closely inspected the model on display and as I did, speak to the architect who was there on hand to give advice, would have been less troubled by the project. It will be a boon to the town and fill that gap in the day when the town is dead. I wish all those that have expended much time and financial resources to this project a fair wind. That the group has been awarded £100,000 from ESCC’s Rural Growth and Employment Fund was good news.