Bridgepoint development approved

Bridge Point with the planned new arts and performance centre

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 proposed development at Bridgepoint, Rock Channel

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 .


  1. very good news for the town, I think.
    again, your coverage of this seems one sided, three paragraphs about the lack of affordable houses, but nothing at all welcoming the prospect of having a multi-purpose arts centre, which will include workshops, gallery space, mixed use art space and rehearsal space in Rye. Surely a fantastic prospect for the town?

    However planning permission is only the start – a long way to go before this is actually built.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with the previous comment. Great news that this has been approved. The coverage from this particular individual relating to this exciting development has been shocking – incredibly bias, factually misleading and negative… missing the huge benefits that outweigh the few points that he continually pushes.
    A real shame that these views keep getting published by RN rather than focusing on the positives and a exciting opportunity this brings.

  3. Kevin McCarthy has merely posted the facts of the matter,nothing negative or bias,but the truth of the matter, its seems in this town all the developers are getting away with the affordable and social housing issues, and it is wrong if they want to make huge profits on expensive houses,which will not be for the local people, lets not cover up the true facts of the matter.

  4. I agree and fail to understand how developers continue to get away with ignoring affordable and social housing requirements. I notice prices of the riverside houses already on this site have fallen considerably and are still not sold. Why are those who have lived all their lives in Rye constantly told they must rejoice over these pretentious developments? Perhaps Rye News understands more about the concerns of its readership. Oh, by the way Jane, the word is ‘biased’

  5. One positive feature of this scheme – there are many – is the provision of improved public pedestrian access to the riverside. The Neighbourhood Plan reflected community views by including specific policy about this in the final document agreed by Referendum last year. Apart from adding another reason to enjoy Rye, such access will provide part of a connection between the new South Coastal Path, to the east and west of Rye.

    For RNPSG

  6. And as a minor but significant point, after all the fuss about the riverside path, it’s still not accessible behind the new houses at rock channel. Of course, the council do nothing.

  7. Could a condition of sale for the new properties at Rock Channel include a clause about them being lived in PERMANENTLY? No more second homes, empty for 50 % of the time.
    And the lovely landscaping would be better used as car-parking for disabled-badge users attending concerts or exhibitions.
    Are there any plans to improve St. Margaret’s Terrace road surface?
    Marion Lovell

  8. The prize for Rye is a new Arts Centre. That’s not going to happen unless it can be funded by some residential development, that’s just a fact of life- can’t have the one without the other. It’s the same for all civic projects.

    Do we want the development?

  9. It’s easy enough to form an opinion, less so to present the detailed facts and figures as in this well researched article.

  10. One must agree with Anthony kimber about the riverside walk,which the neighbourhood steering Group stipulated in the plans,but also sorting out the junction at Rye harbour road,should also have been on the agenda,for the safety of all,on the south coastal walk, and marion lovell is right about the serious parking issues, and more weekend homes,which will be empty, more than they are lived in.

  11. The development that has been approved should in my view be welcomed, it will improve the area both in appearance and facilities although concerns over some issues such as parking and road access are quite valid. The blame for the lack of affordable housing should not be placed on the developer, it is a result of local and central government planning policies. The developer of course could choose to go ahead and provide affordable housing nonetheless but has no obligation to do so under the current system. The unfortunate consequence for the public and the developer is of course that part of the community will be aggrieved and come to resent the developer rather than putting pressure on government to re-think the system. Perhaps the more interesting question, as Martello Developments continue to acquire land and property, is what is the grand plan ? – turn Rye into a Marina Town perhaps ? Would that ensure the future prosperity of the town or would it destroy its charms and appeal as a place to live ?

  12. I have campaigned unsuccessfully for a set of three way traffic lights at the top of Rye Harbour Road, This could be incorporated into the Martello plan as it would make the access to the cycle and walking path to Rye Harbour safer and liinked up with the Saxon Shore Way..

  13. I appeal for three way traffic lights at the top of Rye Harbour Road. Any development of a footpath should link to the one at the top of the road which is also a cycle path. At present nothing links up and the top of Rye Harbour Road is increasingly dangerous!


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