I AM amazed at our county councillor’s reaction to our town council’s decision to
reject both supermarket applications.
By selling off part of the application site, the lower school site, to Sainsbury’s, with another part, the Queen Adelaide pub, already belonging to Tesco, the county council effectively fabricated the current stand-off between the two supermarket giants.
Given that one of the two is guaranteed to fail in their objective, understandably neither applicant has been prepared to commit adequate resources to coming up with an exceptional design that might be suitable for Rye.
Instead we are presented with insipid, up and down the country, off the shelf, overdeveloped dross.
The county council has only ever been interested in best value for itself, not
what is in the best interests of Rye.
County had a legal duty to sell off the lower school land as soon as it became redundant, yet inexplicably delayed doing so by more than ten years, when there was an urgent need for a new doctor’s surgery, a primary school, new housing.
Since then, these have now all been built on inappropriate locations on greenfield land, often against the wishes of the townspeople.
County’s only objective was to see the obstacles preventing the development of a second supermarket removed.
It could and should have carried out a compulsory purchase order of the Queen Adelaide and chose not to do so.
The issues relating to access from the supermarket to the town remain wholly
As a minimum, I would expect to see a widening of the level crossing and the introduction of a footbridge.
Given that the level crossing can be closed for up to ten minutes in the hour, good pedestrian flow is essential if visitors to the supermarket are also to be encouraged to shop on the High Street.
This it not just about safety, but about supporting the local economy.
Once again, county are taking a very blinkered and unhelpful view on this issue, rather than considering the wider urban planning picture.
I am disappointed to see senior local politicians bullying us to be content with
mediocrity and salute Cllr Adam Smith and Rye Town Council for taking a
principled stance on this matter.