Rye is set to get two new shops in town centre

PLANNERS at Rother Council look set to give the go ahead to two new shops at Tower Street despite objections from Rye Town Council.

The plans involve partially demolishing a warehouse at 14 Tower Street and creating two ground floor shops with flats above.

But Rye councillors labelled the proposed development as ‘overbearing’ and said it would have an adverse impact on people living in neighbouring residential properties.

Officers at Rother Council were recommending that permission be granted when the committee met this Thursday.

Plans to convert the warehouse have twice been refused by Rother Council’s planning committee in 2009 and 2012 as members were not happy with the design.

But the new plans have been amended in a bid to address the concerns of the planning committee.

Agents GLS Design Partnership said: “In recognition of concerns of neighbours in Rope Walk, regarding loss of daylight and potential overlooking, a previously submitted pitched roof has now been amended to a flat roof and the height of a rear wall reduced by approximately 1.5 metres.”

There have been letters from residents for and against the proposal, with some saying the flat roof will provide a nesting site for seagulls and others pointing out that Rye needs more jobs and affordable housing.

Rye Conservation Society is not objecting.

Planning officers at Rother have said the main criteria the application has to meet is design in relation to the Conservation Area and the impact upon adjoining residents.

Planning officer John McSweeney said: “The window details and alterations in roof design are simple solutions which would not be at odds with the appearance and character of the locality.

“The close relationship with residential properties in Rope Walk has been considered in the design process with mitigation measures sufficient to prevent the proposal from causing demonstrable harm to their residential amenities.

“The site occupies a central location with the provision of two retail units likely to bring economic benefits to the town centre economy while residential usage above is characteristic of this part of Rye.”

Planning officers have said that while it is likely the proposed shops and flats may generate a slight increase in vehicle movements, it would not be enough to refuse the application on highways grounds.