While we all agonize over a disappearing new supermarket and future housing needs, East Sussex County Council have managed to gift themselves and the town yet another planning headache. The successful Junior School on its new and inadequate Love Lane campus is already full to the brim, and, apart from illegally appropriating yet more land from the allotments, unable to expand in any direction.
While many of us would agree with Christopher Strangeways (‘New Houses on Rye Supermarket Site’ in last week’s paper), would our supermarket no man’s land not be better used by East Sussex for its original educational purpose – and the construction of a Middle School. This initiative could form around the attractive ‘playing field campus’ a 4-18 year College incorporating the existing Junior School, this new Middle School and the expanding and highly praised Rye College (formerly Thomas Peacock) – a lasting legacy to leave our town and surrounding villages.
The Freda Gardham site (suggested by J. Bussbridge in a letter last week) would become the new supermarket for whichever of the major contenders agreed to finance (by gift or loan) the necessary river defence work. Similar and even larger scale ‘public works’ have been facilitated by supermarket giants in the recent past.
The existing arts centre at Freda Gardham would unhappily be sacrificed but, regretfully, they were only ever going to be temporary residents of such a cash-rich piece of public property. ESCC would end up financially to the good, and Rye, with improved infrastructure and flood defence, would be better able to address through the Neighbourhood Plan the still vexing question of where to build the required quota of new houses.
Chair of the Campaign for a Democratic Rye.
Love Lane, Rye