Plan will give more power to people of Rye

2/1/14- Rye.  Ypres Tower ENGSUS00120140201141805
2/1/14- Rye. Ypres Tower ENGSUS00120140201141805

Plans for the future of Rye are taking shape with the Rye Neighbourhood Plan approved in principle by the Town Council.

The plan covers important issues such as housing, transport links, business and community facilities.

The community will decide the objectives and policies

Anthony Kimber

It came about as a result of the Localism Act 2011 which introduced new rights and powers to allow local communities to shape future development.

A special meeting of the full Town Council met for the last time before the elections and agreed unanimously to adopt the plan “in principle”.

They endorsed the Steering Group’s direction and emerging findings.

Steering Group vice chairman Colonel Anthony Kimber stressed: “Nothing is yet set in concrete.

“It is not expected that all will agree with the detail, but the aim is to strike a workable compromise which will pass inspection and referendum.

“It is acknowledged that more work will be needed to revise the text to make it acceptable to most.

“The meat of the plan is grouped into eight themes. There are some contentious areas; some affected by uncertainty. The lower school site is an obvious example.

“Transport was always going to be contentious as the Group is seeking to find compromise between those demanding “pedestrian priority” and others traffic anarchy.”

Colonel Kimber made the point that the average Neighbourhood Plan was costly, but Rye’s was cheap by comparison, because of voluntary effort and self help.

The plan also covers flood risk and climate change and has ‘community well-being’ as one of its eight priorities.

A number of public meetings on the plan have already taken place and a survey has been sent out to people seeking their views.

Colonel Kimber said: “The concept of Neighbourhood Planning is that it is “bottom up” with the community deciding the objectives and the policies.”