Local people are asked to help shape future of Rye

Rye boat scene by Lorna Hall SUS-140527-150250001
Rye boat scene by Lorna Hall SUS-140527-150250001

TELL us what you want to see in Rye? - that is the question being asked to local residents by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

A survey is going out to every home in the parish with the July edition of fixtures and there is a £100 cash prize as an incentive to take part.

Residents will be asked their views on such important issues as housing, community facilities from leisure to education, environmental issues, business, enterprise, employment and transport.

The advantage of having a local plan is that, when agreed, it gives people a greater voice and influence over what they want to see in the town, including possible future developments.

Key areas the plan wants to focus on include Tilling Green, Rock Channel and the Strand Quay area and the western entrance to the town, which has been criticised for its tatty look in the past by concerned residents airing their views at the Annual Town Meeting.

Vice Chair of the Steering Group, Colonel Anthony Kimber, says that: “ The ability to make a Neighbourhood Plan was introduced by the Localism Act 2011.

“By opting to make a plan, communities can influence future developments in their neighbourhoods, where they live, work or study.

“Once adopted they form part of the formal planning process and those considering future developments must respect them.

“Our work has to conform to the National Planning Policy Framework and the Rother District Council’s Core Strategy.

“The final plan will then be subject to a formal consultation and a local referendum in 2015.

“It will need the support of at least 50% of Rye voters to qualify for official recognition.

Rye Mayor, Councillor Bernadine Fiddimore, who chairs the Steering Group emphasises that: “ We have consulted with landowners, developers and architects.

“We have received technical advice from Rother District Council (our Local Planning Authority) and Planning Aid. We have studied successful Neighbourhood Plans from other areas.

“Now, to move to the next stage, we are consulting the citizens of Rye and ask them to take the time to complete as much of this survey as they can.

“To encourage responses to the survey, we are offering the opportunity for returned surveys to be entered for a prize draw, with a £100 prize for winner and a £50 prize for the runner up.

“The names of the lucky winners will be announced in September.”

Anthony Kimber said: “To see the background to the plan and what is being considered, please go to www.ryeneighbourhoodplan.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @ryenplan.”

As well as going out in Fixtures, the survey is also available for download from the website and for completion on line.