A planning application has been submitted for the ‘ambitious’ £8m redevelopment of Rock Channel in Rye.
The scheme, which has been put forward by Martello Developments Ltd, involves the conversion of a large warehouse building into a multi-purpose arts centre, including artists’ studios and workshops, which will be named Bridge Point Studios.
An arts library, gallery spaces, office, retail space and a multifunctional rehearsal space with potential to seat 250 will also feature on the site.
The design will retain the industrial feel of the existing warehouses by exposing concrete frames and brickwork, while new glazed openings and a bronze folded sculptural roof would also be added.
An existing cafe at the site would be demolished and replaced with a new two-floor river-front restaurant, along with a small two-bed holiday let with views across the river.
A new deck and public walkway access will provide a pedestrian link from Rye to the site.
Developers intend to create a open public park with large amounts of green space, seating areas and an outdoor amphitheatre.
The plans feature two small pockets of housing, including five semi-detached river-front houses and a small terrace of three mews type properties all with river views.
The land, which is classified as a brownfield site, was previously used as a storage facility and auction room.
A spokesman said in the application: “The site is currently run down and with large derelict warehouse buildings which could be re-purposed.
“Developing this site will help to bring people back down to Rye’s river-front regenerating the area.”
In terms of access, the developers note that the Gibbet Marsh car park, which has 280 spaces which includes overspill area, is an eight minute walk away from the site and is currently underused – averaging at just 20 per cent capacity.
Residents would be encouraged to walk to the site or use public transport.
The scheme was presented to residents at a public exhibition held in September last year, which was ‘very well attended’, according to the developers.
A feedback form showed that 143 people were in favour of the scheme while only three were opposed, and 30 people were undecided.
A spokesman said: “The initial feedback from the public consultation was very positive, and proved to be a good opportunity to listen to any concerns so we could adapt aspects of the scheme to suit.
“The vast majority of the comments on the feedback forms were positive and supported the development and the scheme as a whole.”
The plans are now available to view in full on Rother District Council’s planning portal.
To view the application, search RR/2019/789/P on the planning website here.