UPDATE: 7 December 2021 -The following statement has been received from Rother District Council

“We have had on-going discussions with Rye Hire for some time and fully understand why the business is important to Rye, both in terms of the services provided and the voluntary work the staff undertake with the local fire brigade.  As a result, we have recently been working closely with Rye Hire and our architects to look at whether we can develop a scheme where the business remains in Cypress [sic] Place, whilst still delivering much needed housing for the area. 

A planning application has not yet been submitted and before we reach that stage there will be further discussions with Rye Hire, the Town Council, and your ward councillors.

I hope this gives some assurance that Rother District Council are responding to the concerns raised by the Town Council and the community. I will be in touch again when further details are available in regards to the progression of this project.”

Ben Hook, Director – Place and Climate Change

Rother District Council

What is happening?
A housing company, Alliance Homes (Rother) – formed by Rother District Council – is preparing a planning application for consent to build 10 dwellings (including 4 ‘affordable’) on the site occupied by the family-run business, Rye Hire in Cyprus Place. The Rye Hire site is owned by Rother District Council.

Why does this matter?
Rye Hire has traded successfully from Cyprus Place for 27 years and wishes to continue to provide its highly valued services from this location. If Rye Hire was forced to close residents and trades people from Rye and surrounds would have to travel to Hastings or Ashford to hire machinery and equipment. Rye Hire also sells building materials.
The cycle hire service for visitors is conveniently close to the Railway station and bus stops – and its staff who are retained fire fighters are able to reach the Fire station quickly.

Can’t Rye Hire relocate?
No, despite a 2-year search Rye Hire has been unable to find alternative local premises that would enable it to provide a full range of services.

Why does Alliance Homes/Rother District Council want Rye Hire to move?
Local authorities are under pressure from the Government to build more homes. The Rother Local Plan Cyprus Place site assessment states that the location is suitable for 7 dwellings and some retail/commercial use. However, both the Local Plan and the Rye Neighbourhood Plan state that existing employment sites will be safeguarded if the business is viable and the site continues to be suitable for employment. Rye Hire meets both criteria.

Don’t we need more ‘affordable’ homes?
Yes, but the development would provide just 4 – whereas the former Tilling Green School playing field could potentially accommodate around 20.

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