Bridge Point transport troubles

Bridge Point on Rock Channel

Martello Developments, the company behind the redevelopment of Bridge Point on Rock Channel recently submitted a revised planning application.

As previously reported in Rye News, the original application had been criticised by Highways England and East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Highways division.

Both organisations had responded to the original planning application with concerns regarding visitors to the arts venue crossing the busy A259 at the junction of St Margaret’s Terrace and the proposed shared surface for vehicles and pedestrians that will lead into the development.

In their response, Martello Developments have dismissed these concerns and were at pains to point out that ‘the principal point throughout this response to the ESCC comments is that the development proposed will result in a reduction to the vehicle movements from the site, and the type of vehicles using the site will also result in a change to light vehicles rather than heavy vehicles’.

One of ESCC’s primary concerns was the location of the customer entrance to what will be one of the largest restaurants in Rye. At nearly 250 seats, both inside and out, the proposed restaurant opens out at a narrow section of single track road.

Their concern was large groups of diners spilling out of the restaurant onto a narrow road that will not have a pavement. Martello Development dismiss this concern by citing the crash history of the area (ie the number of car crashes that have taken place), saying ‘in this area shows the site works safely as a shared surface after reviewing 10 years of crash history’.

Martello Developments also dismiss ESCC’s concerns about the lack of pavement to the development by pointing out that they aim to create a new pedestrian link along the river Brede which will be separate from the road.

Unfortunately, as we saw in recent weeks, the section of new pedestrian path that has already been built by the developers along the river floods at high tide so can not be relied on as an all-weather pedestrian route into the new development.

To further defend their case Martello Developments have used the hypothetical scenario that the land could have been used as a parcel distribution centre rather than an arts venue, which would have meant that Rock Channel would be much busier.

What the developers have apparently failed to factor in is that many of the diners and concert attendees may arrive by car, unaware that there is no parking on the site, which could lead to a lot of confused drivers cruising around looking for parking on a section of road outside the new restaurant that is only wide enough to accommodate one-way traffic.

In their resubmitted application Martello Development have clarified one of Highways England’s concerns about pedestrians crossing the busy A259. They have outlined that their proposed pedestrian crossing will be located at the junction of The Strand and A259 (see diagram) and confirmed that they ‘will be seeking to provide funding towards delivery of the zebra crossing’.

Proposed pedestrian crossing on the A259

The developers have also confirmed that they would be resurfacing St Margaret’s Terrace and re-applying the white lines at the junction of the A259.

Click here to view the full revised plans, including information on the proposed new restaurant and images of the proposed landscaping of the public areas.

Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy , RDC planning application .


  1. Has Rye news correspondent Kevin Mc Carthy got anything good to say about the development of Bridge Point.
    It seems to me that the above article is very negative about the proposal to redevelop the area.
    I for one would back the developer to the hilt.
    It seems a bit wacky not to want this area to used to it’s full potential.

  2. Pat Pending’s results – 7th overall out of the 11 contestants in Wacky Races – suggests the Professor has work to do!

    [Moderator note: Prof Pat Pending is a character in an American 1968 Cartoon series about a fantasmagorical car race. His comment on this story had been approved earlier – in ignorance – and this subsequent comment has revealed the possible humorous intent]

  3. Putting up small development of high priced dwellings and a centre which by its own admission is only going to used 12 times a year and a 90 cover cafe when local businesses already have more than enough competition to survive … not using this area to its full potential.

  4. If the centre at Bridgepoint is only going to be used 12 times a year, then the organizers need to work with the community bus operators, to highlight they will pick up at gibbets marsh carpark only, and there will be no drop off point at the venue,else it will cause pandemonium on this narrow road, and will not be fair on others who need access to their homes nearby.


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