Plans submitted for major leisure complex in Bexhill

An illustrative artists impression of what the former Bexhill School site could look like
An illustrative artists impression of what the former Bexhill School site could look like

A planning application has been submitted for a major new leisure complex and housing development in the heart of Bexhill.

Outline proposals to redevelop the former Bexhill High School site have been submitted to Rother District Council’s planning service.

The plans include a new leisure centre, a 70 bedroom four storey hotel including ancillary restaurant, car parking and up to 52 dwellings, including affordable housing, on 2.42 hectares of land next to Bexhill Down.

The existing leisure centre will be demolished, along with the neighbouring Drill Hall, to make way for the new development.

Rother District Council says the new leisure centre will include swimming pools, a sports hall and gym, but it is not yet clear whether a bowling alley will feature in the new centre, following the closure of Ocean Bowling in 2012.

Cllr Carl Maynard, RDC leader and portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “These are ambitious plans for Bexhill offering an exciting opportunity to create a development to benefit the whole community.

“The existing leisure centre is 28 years old, outdated and reaching the end of its lifespan.

“A new facility for Bexhill will ensure the needs of residents, now and in the future, are properly met.”

In December last year, 166 people attended a public consultation at Bexhill Leisure Centre and an online consultation was launched before Christmas.

A total of 27 responses were received following the consultation process.

Concerns were raised over traffic problems, including congestion at the junction of Little Common Road into Downs Road, and the potential for the proposed development to exacerbate these existing problems.

Others branded the plans ‘a gross over-development’ and expressed concerns that the new homes could overlook existing houses.

But seven responses were described as ‘positive’, raising no concerns or objections to the scheme.

The outline application seeks to establish whether the scale and nature of the proposed development is acceptable.

If approved, the leisure facilities offered at the new centre and detailed design of the housing will be subject of future consultation, giving the local community, centre users, local clubs and schools the opportunity to share their views before being submitted for consideration.

Members of the public can view the application documents and comment on the plans at http://planweb01.rother.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/planningDetails?reference=RR/2019/430/P&from=planningSearch