New squeeze on seafront parking

MARINA could be halved in width, given pedestrian crossings and a cycle track and turned into a "social road" under £600,000 plans unveiled this week.

Thursday, 13th November 2003, 12:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:48 pm

The final phase of landscape architects Tim Gale Associates' report - the Sackville Road to Devonshire Road section - would replace lost on-street parking spaces with a revised De La Warr Pavilion car park layout.

Rother regeneration committee will be told at its meeting at Claverham Community College, Battle, on Monday that loss of parking space is likely to be unpopular with residents and that finding funding partners for the overall seafront plans could be difficult.

The consultants earlier proposed a 6.3m plan for dividing the 2.5 kilometres of Bexhill's seafront into five sections with their own distinctive characters. The western end of Marina forms one of these sections. The aim is to define each section strongly by constructing new focal points or building onto existing areas that need revitalising.

Members will be told in a report by director of services Tony Leonard: "The final scheme created a comprehensive exciting vision for the whole seafront with individual honeypot locations to provide a visitor attraction in its own right. The final cost was put in the order of 6.3m."

Revitalising the seafront is planned in context town regeneration measures which include:

*Refurbishment of the De La Warr Pavilion as a regional arts centre

*Redevelopment and expansion of Sainsbury's store and car park

*The county council's Local Transport Plan to improve pedestrian use of the town centre

*The joint county-English Heritage scheme for Devonshire Square

*Taskforce proposals to redevelop key sites in the town centre to provide high-quality commercial floorspace and a new hotel

Mr Leonard says: "During discussions, the concept of an all-purpose space linking Sackville roundabout and Devonshire Road would be designed so that vehicles entering it would feel constrained by their surrounding and drive more slowly.

"As a result, pedestrians and cyclists could move more freely between the town centre, down an enhanced Devonshire Road through to the Pavilion and seafront beyond; it would be a 'social road' and designed accordingly."

The consultants say changes have meant that building on the north side of Marina have little unifying details and lack the "visual character" of buildings to the east.

They say what should be a crucial point of contact between the town centre and the promenade is unstructured and uninviting."

Twenty-two kerbside parking spaces would be lost on West Parade if a cycle track were created along the Metropole putting green frontage and a further 22 along the north side of Marina if a cycle track were created along the pavilion frontage.

In compensation, the consultants say that by revising the pavilion car park layout and making changes to Marina Court Avenue and Channel View West, pavilion capacity could be increased from 87 to 107 cars.