Work on the Marina has come under fire with East Sussex County Council and Rother District Council accused of “letting down” Bexhill by failing to deliver promised footways.
Doug Stevenson and Roy Watts of the Bexhill Alliance are dismayed that RDC has “failed to maintain and enhance” Bexhill as promised in the Town Centre Strategy approved by the Town Centre Steering group in June 2013.
Originally, in a policy statement in 2004 Rother District Council accepted that there has been a “gradual and remorseless” erosion of character in the streets and public spaces in the town centre.
Subsequently The Town Centre Strategy in June 2013 promised to encourage restoration of original character by reinstating appropriate cast iron lamp columns, street trees and footway paving slabs.
Bexhill Alliance is now criticising the council for laying asphalt instead of paving on the south footway in Marina and say this fails to comply with this key policy.
ESCC had told Bexhill Alliance that the south footway will resurfaced in hot rolled asphalt because that has happened in Devonshire Road - but their feeling is that “the footways in Devonshire Road have now deteriorated badly and are a sorry mess.”
The group responded: “What is strange is that ESCC confirmed that there is to be a section of paving leading to the zebra crossing, to match the new paved walkway in the Marina Court Garden. This looks good and we just cannot understand why it is not being used throughout the Marina scheme on both the North and South footways. Proper paving has also been used around the De La Warr pavilion and we just feel it is so bad that paving has been removed from the original specification for the pavement.
Apart from a much better look this granite paving is also much easier and cheaper to maintain than asphalt which helps to keep our council tax lower.”
A RDC spokesman said: “The majority of the pavement on the south footway of Marina is being replaced with red asphalt, to match that in Devonshire Road and elsewhere around the town.
“This option was chosen after careful consideration by the Town Centre Steering Group, having taken into account visual appearance, safety and ongoing maintenance, with the aim of creating a cohesive transition between Devonshire Road and Marina.
“The red asphalt was originally chosen in 2003, and used subsequently, as an attractive way of providing a continuous, safe and trip-free footway, and was very well supported by the public at that time.
“In accordance with the Bexhill Town Centre Strategy, the council is working to develop a code of practice with the aim of ensuring future footway repairs carried out by the county council and the utilities companies are in keeping with the overall appearance of the pavements in this area and to improve on this maintenance programme.”