Question 21/17


Question 21/17

Q. About the draft Rye Neighbourhood Plan. This well prepared document is however quite clearly written by a small well-intentioned group with a particular mindset. For example, it opens with the statement that 'Rye is positioned on a rocky sandstone outcrop' which refers only to the so-called Citadel. I know that there have been public consultations in which less than 10% of RDC voters resident in the whole of Rye have participated.

I would like to know when our elected Council - I mean RDC as opposed to the Town Council, the members of which appear to have absented themselves from much of the detailed work - will initiate a meaningful consultation. My main detailed concern is that the draft Plan has not given sufficient attention to the developments in Rye Harbour, which is in Rother District but not in Rye, causing serious traffic problems at the junction with the A259. It might be better to promote light industry in areas which do not contribute to this problem. But more generally, I think that the RDC needs to take control of this process, possibly, although this is your area of expertise, appointing some working members to the group which has taken responsibility for drafting the Plan. (14/08/2017)

A.  Rye Town Council has taken advantage of the provision in the Localism Act to prepare its own Neighbourhood Plan for the Civil Parish. It is currently preparing a draft Plan; what you may have seen is "work in progress". However, you will have the opportunity to comment as part of the Town Council's public consultation on the published draft Rye Neighbourhood Plan (RNP) in due course.

Preparing a Neighbourhood Plan, especially for a town with the wide range of issues that Rye has, is a major undertaking.  The District Council, through its Planning Policy team, support and advise on this process and is in dialogue to ensure that the drat RNP meets the basic requirements of plan-making, including consistency with strategic and national policies.

It will be for the residents of Rye, ultimately through a local referendum, to decide on the form of the RNP.

To get to referendum, there will be two rounds of consultation, followed by scrutiny by an independent examiner; hence, there will be the several proper opportunities to contribute to the process. The District Council itself will contribute more formally through these stages.

In relation to your specific point about the relationship between Rye and Rye Harbour in terms of traffic, you should be aware that Rye Harbour is outside of the scope of the RNP, but is covered by the District Council's emerging Development and Site Allocations Local Plan.  There was public consultation on an 'Options and Preferred Options' version over a 10-week period around the beginning of this year. Rye Harbour is covered at pages 290-299. A further consultation, taking account of comments received, is planned for next Spring.

Finally, the District Council has just appointed a new officer to support Neighbourhood Plan work. Helping the Town Council move the RNP to formal consultation is a priority task.  (07/09/2017)

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