New look to Rock Channel

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Rock Channel as it currently looks

The long-awaited planning application for Rock Channel has been published by Rother District Council (RDC).

As covered in an interview last week, the application is essentially a wholesale redevelopment of Rock Channel Quay with:

  • the conversion of existing warehouse into a new multi-purpose arts centre, that will include workshops, gallery space, mixed-use art space and rehearsal space and three live/work artist accommodation units;
  • the demolition of the existing river cafe building and replacement with the construction of a two-storey riverside restaurant and single holiday let accommodation;
  • the construction of five new riverside dwellings along with three new mews houses;
  • the creation of a new public park and riverside walkway;
  • the repositioning of the existing private road and improvements to vehicular access and landscaping.

The application covers a large area that stretches from the A259 and along the River Brede (see plan below) and has been submitted by the local firm RX Architects on behalf of Martello Developments Ltd.

Before and after plans

The application is over 400 pages in length with the Transport Statement alone covering 85 pages. Increased traffic has been an ongoing concern since Martello Developments Ltd announced their intention of redeveloping the site.

The developers’ own assessment is that they expect an increase in traffic heading to and from the site but that the increase is expected to be minor. This is partly due to the fact that parking will be restricted to residents only and those attending the performance spaces will need to park in Gibbet Marsh, where it is expected a shuttle bus will transport visitors to and from the car park to the site. The application states: “This shuttle bus is likely to be provided by the venue to/from the car park during an event held at the gallery. The intended operation will be through a private hire-company appointed by the venue for the duration of the exhibition or event. This provision will therefore be estimated as a once-per-month basis.”

The developers will be providing mobility-impaired bays and cycle parking, to encourage residents, visitors and those working at the site to cycle to and from the venue.

A decision is expected on August 2 2019. In the meantime, comments on the application can be submitted via RDC’s website here.

Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy , Rother District Council .

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