Supermarket design must blend with precious heritage

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Supermarket pic attached.


Regarding the Rye Supermarket saga.

Surely one of the most important things in this whole sorry story is the fact that no Planning Authority appears to be remotely interested in the eventual supermarket designs being suitable and worthy of Rye with its strong distinctive roof line and its unrivalled & varied architecture dating back over 900 years both within and without the Citadel.

In Ludlow, another highly distinctive medieval town with a long history of quality architecture, their planners continuously refused planning permission to Tesco in the early 1990’s and suggested instead they should approach The Royal Fine Art Commission for advice and help in finding an architectural practice who could design a modern development which would be in keeping with the existing townscape. This took several years but resulted in a new supermarket building which though modern, related to existing buildings and indeed the whole landscape in which it was built. Take a look at Hastings to see some 80’s and 90’s developments along the front which were NOT made to blend into their wonderful seascape heritage.

Rye with its unique and precious townscape must be worthy of similar treatment, even our existing Budgens had to change its roof lines while the McCarthy Stone development on the Strand Quay was sent back to the drawing board endlessly until a design was produced which bore a strong feel and relationship to Rye’s existing beautiful medieval town. Yes we certainly do want a supermarket, but not one just dropped into a series of one size fits all sheds. We should insist on a building whose design will actually add to Rye’s uniqueness and continue to play a valued part in our town’s architectural heritage for years to come. This must be paramount in any planning decision.

Yours sincerely. Tarquin & Biddy Cole, Rye.