Planning matters in Northiam

The letter penned by Mr. McDonald in the edition of The Rye Observer (November 23) regarding some recent planning issues warrants correction.

Officers at Rother District council gave advice to the applicant of the Spar shop, Northiam, however that advice was not taken up, the end result was that the planning application when it came to committee for consideration was rejected on planning grounds, namely the impact of changes to both the front and back of the existing building.

The outcome, if that advice had been taken could well have been different and supported the comments made by the committee in wishing the shop well.

Turning to the Post office facility awarded to Jempsons. It was earlier in the Year that the present sub postmaster at Northiam indicated his retirement in 2014.

That situation gave rise to both the Spar shop and Jempsons approaching the postal authorities in declaring an interest.

However, in the summer of this Year the Spar shop, for whatever reason best known to them, withdrew their interest, which left Jempsons.

Having gone through the rigorous requirements of The Post Office, Jempsons were awarded the facility.

With those outcomes it is wrong to say The Spar shop was poised to supply that facility.

It is correct to say that Jempsons were awarded the contract subject to gaining planning permission.

It is also true to say that if Jempsons were not given planning permission no postal facility would be in Northiam.

Any information that is appropriate to an application is available to members on the planning committee which is also in the public domain, and is taken into consideration when it comes to the final vote of those members at the planning committee meeting.

I hope this clarifies the specific issues which I feel have been distorted by Mr. McDonald in his letter published on the 23nd November.

Ian Jenkins