John Stenning & Son were a major employer in
Robertsbridge for over 100 years until their closure in 1986. The
land was subsequently developed for housing - Mill Rise - with the
exception of approx. 10 acres of land which lay to the south of
Bishop's Lane and had been used by Stenning's for storing wood
supplies. This area was given Rother District Council as 'planning
gain' and with strict covenants attached so that it became used as
Public Open Space and was renamed, Bishop's Meadow.
A small part of the land had been occupied by
someone who was running a small wood yard but without any lease
and the developers wanted them removed. However, Rother DC
negotiated a compromise whereby the occupier could continue his
business with a non-renewable lease for 15 years at which point
they were to remove from the site which would then be incorporated
into Bishop's Meadow.
In 1995, Rother DC agreed to the Parish Council
taking over management of the Meadow and a 99 year lease was
granted but, a condition of the lease was that under no
circumstances was the lease on the woodyard to be extended
and at the end of it the PC was to take over the site and
incorporate it into the Meadow - this was subsequently done.