Supermarket design must be right.

Dear Sir,

There’s no doubt that the majority of Rye residents want a new supermarket as, probably, a majority want the allotments handed back by Rother, whose officers and ruling politburo are increasingly looking like a bunch of naughty children caught red-handed whilst scrumping and yet persistently deny their actions.

Now we have the County Councillor giving the Town Council a good kicking for rejecting the supermarkets’ plans for the Ferry Road site. But Rye Town Council realised it has just one chance to get things right for the people of Rye.

Councillor Glazier reported that ESCC is happy with the application subject to there being ‘improved pedestrian links to the town’, but also said ‘whilst in principle the Highway Authority would welcome pedestrian improvements, it is not something that the Council are directly involved in as the land belongs to Network Rail’. So who is in charge of ensuring the safety of pedestrians in Rye? Network Rail? It’s not good enough.

Last week’s article included both supermarkets’ artists impressions of their proposed stores. Sainsbury’s has achieved an amazing technological feat - the World’s first Stealth Supermarket. Where the hell is it? Or have they got their hands on Harry Potter’s invisibility Cloak? The reality is the usual dreary, off-the-peg, barn-like structure. If the design isn’t as presented, what else isn’t as first meets the eye?

Tesco’s haven’t borrowed technology from the US military or raided the props store at Pinewood Studios. But possibly they’ve been talking to Network Rail too much. Their proposed store might make a welcome addition to the miles of derelict sidings outside Sheffield as a train shed, but it does nothing to commend itself to Rye.

I support the Town Council’s action in seeking to stall the applications in order to get the supermarkets to come back with something a whole lot better in terms of design and logistics. And as for Councillor Lord Ampthill, I suggest that while the Town Council being served by 16 Vicky Pollards all saying ‘yes, but’ might make for great comedy on Monday nights in the Town Hall, it really isn’t the most sensible way ahead.

Yours sincerely, Andy Stuart, West St, Rye.