The Martello Development’s arts complex at Bridgepoint received planning approval from Rother District Council (RDC) on Friday, May 22.
The scheme on Rock Channel involves the conversion of an existing warehouse into a new multi-purpose arts centre, which will include workshops, gallery space, mixed use art space and rehearsal space with three live / work artist accommodation units above.
The existing building overlooking the river Brede as you enter Rock Channel will be demolished and replaced with a new two storey riverside restaurant with holiday let accommodation above. The developers will also construct five new riverside houses to join the five previously built, and three new ‘mews dwellings’ will be created out of an additional warehouse building.
The final element of the mixed use scheme is the creation of a new landscaped public park and rerouting the road and two rights of way paths.
The developers though, have said they will not be providing any affordable housing on the site nor, for the foreseeable future, are they expected to contribute to the building of affordable housing elsewhere. Rother’s planners said, ‘The applicant argues that it would not be viable to provide affordable housing – either as on-site units or as a commuted sum – and a number of viability reports have been submitted during the course of the application to demonstrate this.’
Under normal circumstances, planners stipulate that 30% of ‘on-site affordable housing should be provided on schemes of 10 or more dwellings’. The proposed Bridgepoint scheme includes 12 residential units and therefore planners would have usually insisted on the developers providing a total of 3.6 affordable houses.
While the planners have agreed that Martello Developments do not need to contribute towards affordable housing they have said, ‘provision should be made for a review
of viability at an appropriate point in time (e.g. at the point that 25% of the residential properties have been sold).’
Rother District Council’s 41 page report on the Bridgepoint scheme, and the full list of conditions, can be found here.
Image Credits: Nick Forman , Martello Developments .