Icklesham Ward

The village of Icklesham (population approx 900) sits astride the A259, roughly midway between Hastings and Rye. It enjoys much in the way of agricultural activity, as well as other industry, a fine Norman Church, an 18th century windmill, an extensive recreation ground and the Memorial Hall, which was recently the subject of an extensive refurbishment project. Many clubs, societies and sporting organisations make use of these facilities. Other features in the village include two pubs with restaurant facilities and a primary school serving both the village and the surrounding area.

Icklesham Ward

Winchelsea Ward

Winchelsea is today a small village of some 280 houses and about 600 residents. It is however the relic of a major planned medieval town and port founded in 1288 by Edward I to replace a nearby town of the same name that was overwhelmed by the sea. For 200 years, Winchelsea was one of main Channel ports, until its harbour silted up.

Accordingly, modern Winchelsea is the guardian of one of the most important historic areas in East Sussex. Among other things, Winchelsea uniquely preserves its original grid-iron medieval street plan and its landscape setting on top of a hill surrounded by largely undeveloped marshland. It retains part of a large medieval church and the ruins of three town gates, as well as other medieval, Tudor and Georgian domestic architecture in a picturesque village setting. Winchelsea’s heritage is officially recognised in its designation as a Conservation Area and an Archaeologically Sensitive Area, as well as the inclusion of four Scheduled Ancient Monuments and some 120 listed buildings. Winchelsea is also part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Most of the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust and is part of Wickham Manor Farm.

Many residents celebrate Winchelsea’s historic status as a town. When Winchelsea was absorbed into Icklesham Parish in 1886, its corporation ceased to be elected or hold civic authority, but was preserved as a charity in order to maintain the membership of the Cinque Port Confederation, of which the ‘Ancient Town of Winchelsea’ was a Head Port.

Modern Winchelsea has a largely retired, older and relatively affluent population. There is a high proportion of second homes (20-25%). However, Winchelsea is an active community, with many clubs and societies, and has retained many services and facilities that have been lost in neighbouring villages.  Facilities include a village hall, large parish church, Methodist chapel, primary school, cricket field, bowls green and three allotments. The facilities and clubs and societies have wide catchment areas, so Winchelsea, in many respects, acts as a local hub.

Winchelsea Ward

Here are the car park open posters if you would like to download, print and display them on your window or fence.


Car Park open poster 1

Car Park open poster 2

Car park re-opening poster

Rye Harbour Ward

Rye Harbour is a small village and harbour sited at the mouth of the River Rother, in a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) which has an electorate of approximately 288.

This unique harbour has its own fishing fleet, a commercial wharf handling the import and export of grain and aggregate, a public slipway, and a vibrant sailing club which during the summer months is used by visiting and local boat owners.  There is a village shop, a social club and a village hall which plays a major part of the social centre of the village.  Due to its uniqueness Rye Harbour also has a growing group of artists with studios, and a vibrant industrial area which is helping to provide employment for local people.  The village has two public houses, and an RNLI Lifeboat Station with a long and noble history.  This history includes the sad loss of ‘The Mary Stanford’ lifeboat and her crew of 17 Rye Harbour volunteers which capsized while on service in storm force conditions on 15th November 1928 to the Latvian steamer the ‘Alice’ of Riga.  The iconic lifeboat house still stands on the foreshore, and is now Grade II Listed.

Martello Tower (no 28, ‘Enchantress’) a prominent feature in the village was built during the Napoleonic wars and is one of the only towers to be named, instead of just numbered.

The Church of the Holy Spirit stands in a beautiful location and has the distinction of having a very unusual roof in the shape of a ship’s hull. In the ground stands a memorial to all those who lost their lives in the Mary Stanford Lifeboat disaster.

Rye Harbour has its own Nature Reserve with a network of footpaths providing fascinating walks along the sea shore, fields to the remains of Henry VIII’s Camber Castle, and over large areas of shingle as well as the beach.  It also plays a major part in helping to maintain the natural environment of the coast and surrounding area.  There are several hides provided around the reserve for those that like to bird watch.

Rye Harbour Ward

Winchelsea Beach

Update from Southern Water to the Parish Council about the recent wet weather and tanker deployment in Winchelsea Beach, received Friday 10th March 2017.

Regrettably, as a result of the recent wet weather, we have needed to deploy tankers in Winchelsea Beach to prevent sewer flooding and maintain an effective wastewater service for customers. That said, the period of time that the tankers need to be on site is generally now much shorter than in previous years, an indication that our efforts, together with those of others, are delivering a benefit. We did liaise with the village hall committee about any possible alternative arrangements for tankering, with them making some very helpful suggestions. Our local manager carried out a further review, with the conclusion that any changes to the current set up were not feasible for technical reasons. Importantly, our tanker contractors remain under strict instructions to not be in the village outside of the 8am to 8pm period, unless there is an emergency situation. This is to minimise the impact on local residents.

 Sewer levels in Winchelsea Beach continue to be monitored remotely by our Regional Control Centre, particularly when a period of wet weather is forecast, with tankers deployed proactively to prevent sewer flooding when a specified trigger point, based on analysis of previous flooding incidents, is reached. Equally, the tankers are stood down once levels have dropped to a given point.

 In terms of other news, we have now carried out a survey of the sewer leading into our Morlais Ridge wastewater pumping station (WPS) using new Electroscan technology – you can read more on our website about the benefits of using this approach. This is in addition to conducting a sewer survey using a CCTV camera system. We are awaiting the full results from the Electroscan investigation, but the initial findings have identified a breach point in the sewer pipe which is allowing groundwater into the system. This leak is now scheduled for repair, together with another infiltration point in a manhole chamber which was pinpointed by the CCTV survey. We are hopeful that resolving these issues will help protect this important section of sewer from infiltration and so maximise the pumping station’s capacity. The repair work will be carried out by our contractors as soon as possible, but it is weather dependent, with the drier summer months being the optimum time.

 As ever, we continue to liaise closely with a number of partner organisations we are working with, most notably the Winchelsea Sands Caravan Park. I am advised that the park has now completed work to improve its on site surface water drainage, which will help minimise the amount of run off which makes its way into the wider public sewer system during wet weather. Additionally, as part of their contingency planning, the park’s management team will now switch their pumping station to ‘Manual’ mode, rather than ‘Automatic’, during heavy rain, enabling them to better control and regulate the flows being pumped off site into the public sewers.

 Finally, my colleagues in our technical team are currently updating the dedicated Infiltration Reduction Plan (IRP) for Winchelsea Beach, which sets out all the progress and actions around tackling sewer flooding in the village – the current version is available via our website. This work is due to be completed soon, with our colleagues at the Environment Agency then reviewing the updated document. Of course, we will happily share the further improved IRP with you and other key stakeholders in due course.

 We would be happy to attend a future parish council meeting to provide a further update, perhaps later in the year once the IRP is fully revised.

 With best regards


 Joel Hufford

Stakeholder Engagement Manager (Sussex)

Southern Water


An open public meeting with Amber Rudd MP was held on Saturday 31st January 2015 at 11.30 at the Village Hall in Winchelsea Beach. Amber was there to listen to residents’and Councillors concerns about the flooding problems. The Parish Council would like to thank all the residents who attended the meeting. It was wonderful to see nearly 100 people attending in support of those people affected by flooding.

Since the meeting Southern Water has given us this update (received on 24th February.)

Just a quick note to update you that we have now instructed our contractors, Clancy Docwra, to carry out £45,000 of sewer sealing work in Winchelsea Beach, with the work to be completed by 31 March. As discussed at the 31 January public meeting, this will help protect the sewers from groundwater infiltration and so reduce the risk of flooding. Clancy Docwra will be making contact with East Sussex highways team and customers as appropriate to ensure residents are aware and that any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.

Our work continues on the dedicated Infiltration Reduction Plan (IRP) for Winchelsea Beach which we are aiming to share with you within the next few weeks. IRPs for a number of other locations have already been published and can be viewed via our website at www.southernwater.co.uk/flooding. These IRP documents will help give you an idea of the content of the developing plan for Winchelsea Beach.

We are also finalising a revised operational approach for how we respond to / deal with sewer issues reported by customers in the village and I will update you on that as soon as possible. We have already changed the way we deploy tanker lorries, with no tankering taking place after 7pm at a particular location where customers had complained about noise and inconvenience. Our Customer Care team are also liaising closely with a number of customers who raised issues at or following the 31 January meeting.

Finally just a reminder that any sewer issues should be reported by customers to our 24-hour Contact Centre via tel 0330 303 0368 / 0845 278 0845. That way we can respond as appropriate and also the issues are added to our records to help provide a history of where problems are occurring.

 Riparian Owner Letter Are you a riparian owner? If your property backs on to a waterway you should read this letter.

Southern Water Letter November 2014 Please click here to read a letter from Southern Water about reporting flooding incidents at Winchelsea Beach.

Southern Water Flood Advice Please click on this link for the most up to date advice from Southern Water about what you should do if you’ve been affected by flooding. It is important that anyone affected by flooding calls Southern Water on 0845 278 0845  and quote the dedicated reference number 3481429. This will automatically trigger a member of Southern Water operations to be dispatched to investigate urgently.  A letter from Southern Water about this is attached. Please do not leave it to a neighbour to call as it is important that every incident is logged.

Winchelsea Beach

The village of Winchelsea Beach is a major centre for tourism.  As well as enjoying the advantages of pleasant walks, both inland and coastal, and items of historic interest (much of the village has been under the sea at one time or another), the village is also well supplied with shopping and refreshment facilities.   As with the other wards, there is a range of clubs and societies contributing to community life.

Winchelsea Beach Ward