Sainsbury’s checks out OK with planners

SAINSBURY’S looks set to get the go ahead to open a store in Rye.

Planners discussing the application yesterday (Thursday) were in favour of the supermarket giant’s application for the Lower School site.

If plans are approved it could see the station area of Rye being transformed with Sainsbury’s pledging to landscape areas of Ferry Road and Station Road and install works of public art.

It will also improve roads and pavements and bus-stops,

Sainsbury’s has said it will provide a new cycle and pedestrian link to Rye College and the sports centre at the Grove and has promised to actively promote Rye town centre within the new supermarket.

There were seven objections to the store but 107 letters of support from local people who said Rye badly needed a new supermarket.

Opening hours will be controlled to be within 7am and 11pm with the usual six hours of Sunday opening.

Rother planning chief Tim Hickling said: “The county council has investigated traffic generation compared to existing traffic volumes and does not consider the development will create a capacity issue along Ferry Road.

“The tourist season traffic is often counter-balanced by the lack of school run traffic on the roads.”

He added: “The requirement of additional retail floorspace is long-standing. Surveys indicate that Rye residents are travelling out of town to undertake the bulk of their shopping.

“Local surveys indicate up to 70 percent leakage to larger stores, taking money out of the local economy and creating traffic congestion.”

Commenting on the importance of a sensitive design for the store, he said: “The scheme represents a major development in this historic and very distinctive town and will sit as a design legacy for the future.

“It is therefore critically important that these design issues, and appearance of the building within its landscape, are resolved to create a design solution worthy of this development.”

Responding to concerns raised by Tillingham Avenue residents over the proximity of the proposed store to their homes, he said: “The impact of potential noise, new lighting and the overall hours of operation must be considerations.”

Max Whitehand, Sainsbury’s Regional Development Executive said “We are delighted that our application for a new store on the Lower School site is recommended for approval and hope that members of the Planning Committee can support it when it is considered.

“We are committed to delivering a new store on the Lower School site which would bring our exciting range of quality products to Rye for the benefit of local residents.”