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M&S At Ravenside

posted by T. Apps on 09 May 2011 at 9:49 pm

Just found out today that there are plans afoot to replace Ocean Bowling and the Bexhill Leisure Pool with a Marks and Spencer.

How horrible it would be to lose these two indoor facilities.

I've been told that there will be a model of the proposed changes on display at the De La Warr Pavilion this Friday, May 13th, from 10:00 to 4:00 and again on Saturday, the 14th, from 10:00 to 3:00. We would hope that there will be some way of registering our disapproval of these plans.

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Leisure Facilities

posted by Cary on 10 May 2011 at 9:48 am

If this is the case, it means the loss of one of the main swimming pools in the area.

The closeby Leisure centre is also woefully inadequate.

Surely, there must be some plans to replace these facilities for the local community?...or is that being ridiculously optimistic!

M&S Update

posted by Alastair (Webmaster) on 11 May 2011 at 11:18 am

An update for you all.

The plans for the M&S new store at Ravenside (to replace the Bowling Alley) will be on view to all, on Friday 13th and Sat 14th May 10am ? 6pm at The Studio, De La Warr Pavilion.

Swimming Pool

posted by Alastair on 13 May 2011 at 10:11 am

I can confirm, by the way, that the swimming pool at Ravenside will not be touched. It's only the Bowling Alley that is being looked at for replacement with an M&S.

Thoughts, everyone?

M&S Plans

posted by T. Apps on 14 May 2011 at 10:09 am

Yes, we went down to see the plans at the DLWP yesterday morning, too. I'm glad the swimming pool will remain, but still sorry to see the bowling alley replaced. Many people were making their feelings known on the comment sheets, but we noticed that the sheets were only going to Land Securities and M&S, so will be of very little consequence, unless they are "glowing recommendations" for the proposal, which will be used when the proposal is submitted for planning permission, which I'm guessing, will be "rubber-stamped" very shortly.

It would have been nice to see our 'newspaper' do more than their normal reprint of the press release and actually perform a bit of investigative journalism. They should have asked the owners of Ocean Bowling (a) are you really closing of your own volition; and (b) if so, is it because the rent was being raised in a possible bid to force you out? (Their 'article' had no mention of them even trying to contact Ocean Bowling.)

Also, the claim that 100 jobs will be brought to the city. Is this the net effect after the jobs are lost at the bowling alley? Are these full-time positions, or are they counting every part-time position to "pump up the numbers"?

A better position for M&S to actually benefit Bexhill, would have been to locate the store at the end of Sackville Road where the bed shop is. This, along with making the DLWP car park free of charge for the first two hours, would have been a real boon for the town.

Welcome To M&S

posted by Patricia Smith on 14 May 2011 at 1:12 pm

If the proposed planning application for M&S at Ravenside is passed, this will be the best thing that has happened to Bexhill for years. Apart from helping local employment to the extent of 100 jobs, a wider choice of shopping will be the result plus attracting other businesses to the area vitalized by the pulling power of M&S to trade. Plus it will keep the Ladies of Bexhill happy - what more can you ask !!

Letter To The Editor

posted by T. Apps on 16 May 2011 at 4:45 pm

Below is a copy of the letter I have sent to the Editor of the Bexhill Observer.

"Last week?s Observer had a report regarding Marks and Spencer?s plans for a new store at Ravenside.

What I would like to know:

Is it true, that in the original planning permission granted to build the Ravenside Retail Park, there was a stipulation that two leisure facilities be included? If so, what has changed in our community where they feel that is no longer a necessity?

Is it true that Land Securities offered Ocean Bowling a new lease increasing their rent by 90%? If so, what business could absorb that kind of increase? Why weren?t Ocean Bowling contacted and their comments included in the article?

Are M&S planning, once this facility is built (if planning permission is granted) to close down their store at Priory Meadow in Hastings ? as has been rumoured? If that is the case, what is the net effect of jobs gained and lost in the area? While we?re at it, what about the jobs at Ocean Bowling? Have those numbers been thrown into the mix?

The citizens of Bexhill (and the greater area) deserve answers to these questions."

M&S What A Waste

posted by rick burgess on 17 May 2011 at 11:36 am

M&s is a complete waste. Another sports facility is being taken away for a shopping facility which is an expensive place to shop.

Im sure it wont be long after the bowling facility has gone thats locals are complaining thats youths are hanging around and being anti social. Well whos to blame?

Do we need more shops or to look after our ever depleting sporting facilities?

Notice At Ocean Bowling

posted by T. Apps on 17 May 2011 at 1:43 pm

There is a notice on one of the boards in the bowling alley which reads:


As most of you are aware Marks and Spencer are interested in putting a store on the shopping centre. The site chosen is the bowling alley. The owners of the site intend to seek planning permission to change the original permission which had to include a swimming pool and a bowling alley, demolish the present building and construct a new building of approx. 50000 square feet for Marks and Spencer.

Please be aware that no matter what you have heard or read in the press. Is is not the intention of the owners of the bowling alley to close it down. Please do not ask the management to comment on this matter as due to legal reasons they cannot, but be assured that it is the intention of the owners to keep the bowling alley open.

If and when you see a planning notice displayed outside of the bowling alley, please be prepared to object to the plans on the grounds.

Please also note the only financial gain for this change of planning permission will only be in the fact that the owners of the site get more monies for the site, but in return we lose one of the only two leisure units in the Bexhill area.

Please also note that we would like to see a large store like Marks and Spencer in the area, but not at the expense of losing a leisure unit.

Concerned bowler"

I have no idea who wrote it, but I would assume that the management approved or it would not have been allowed up on the notice board.

Update Message Re Planning

posted by simon hoare on 18 May 2011 at 10:12 am

Dear All

I am one of the team working on the planning proposal. Might I address one or two issues raised here?

1 - the swimming pool is not affected by the proposal
2 - the existing M&S at Hastings and Eastbourne remain open
3 - I do not intend to go into the details of a commercial lease but suffice to say no rent increase has been demanded of Ocean Bowling's owners. The owners have released a very positive statement stating that they wish the planning proposal well. This has been issued to the local media.

Where Do Ocean Bowling Sit On This??

posted by Cary on 18 May 2011 at 6:21 pm

From Simon's last posting, this appears to raise one key question;

Are Ocean Bowling supporting the proposed M&S re-development of the site, as he suggests, or are they objecting to the development, as T. Apps has previously intimated.

Once we understand this fundamental issue, maybe we might understand the driver behind this Application.

I agree with some of the other posts, that the loss of the Bowling (a sporting facility) would be another blow to the Bexhill community.

Whilst we may therefore welcome (or not?) a new M&S store, it should not be at the loss of another valuable facility, that maybe used by both young and old.

Let's therefore see what support our Councillors and Planners are prepared to give to the Bexhill community on this, particularly since the site is clearly subject to a requirement to keep the bowling facility, or at the very least, some sporting facility on this site... or will they accept that M&S sell sports clothes and that will suffice!

Facts Not Fiction

posted by Patricia Smith on 18 May 2011 at 8:58 pm

Thank you Simon for putting forward facts concerning the above proposed planning application. It might have been more constructive for others commenting above on the case to check the heresay and rummours they have listed.

Facts Not Fiction???

posted by T. Apps on 19 May 2011 at 8:26 am

In regards to Simon's comments:

1. Yes, we are aware (see earlier posts) that closing the swimming pool is not included in the proposal.

2. Yes, they remain open. That was not the question. The question was WILL the Hastings Marks & Spencer remain open if this new facility is built and if it will not, has the loss of those jobs, as well as those at Ocean Bowling, been calculated into the "100 jobs" figure?

3. My question regarding the 90% increase in rent for Ocean Bowling was a direct result of speaking to a member of staff at the facility.

Unless Simon is prepared to identity what organization he is working for in conjunction with the proposed planning, then his comments are just hearsay and rumor.

I am a retired Bexhill resident who does use the bowling alley at least once a week, but more importantly, I am a resident who is concerned about the future of Bexhill.

Perhaps others are more concerned with keeping "the ladies of Bexhill happy" than anything else.

When you read or hear anything about this or other subjects, it's always best to ask yourself, who benefits from the way the information is presented. What is their agenda?


posted by Angela Miller on 19 May 2011 at 11:06 am

Bexhill has so very few leisure facilities that it would be criminal to close the bowling facility. Will the swinmming poo be next? Is it the thin end of the wedge? People complain about youngsters hanging around on street corners etc but if the leisure facilities are removed one by one what is left for them to do? The bowling facility is great for childrens parties (and adult parties) and treats.

Furthermore, if two leisure facilities were the condition on which Ravenside was given planning permission - what right do they have legally to go back on it now?

Potential M&S Supermarket For Bexhill

posted by Maureen Noble on 20 May 2011 at 6:47 pm

May I add something as a complete 'newie' to the area of Bexhill...which I add at the outset, that I love! I do love M&S and whilst I agree that Bexhill would benefit from an M&S being opened here, it must not be at the detriment of the existing leisure facilities, which rightly keeps young and some of the 'not so young', entertained. So many hundreds of supermarkets are springing up around the UK (agreed, competition is great for the consumer's pocket), but planning of these stores should involve more feasibility studies being undertaken. A classic example of planning going ahead without the majority ruling, appears to be the seafront, which, from what I can gather, has been quite a controversial subject for a vast number of the Bexhill residents.


posted by giantyorkie on 22 May 2011 at 1:46 pm

I am a resident of bexhill on sea, i totally disagree with the proposed M&S Development. Why do we need yet another superstore when there are 7 within a 6 mile radius! It will cause alot more congestion, the main Bexhill Road is a nightmare for at least 4 hours a day. Smaller businesses that are located within Bexhill town centre will suffer if this plan goes ahead.

The expected 90% rent increase seems as it is intended for Ocean Bowling to move with choice.

So im one of the tiny % that doesnt agree with M&S at ravenside.

Road Chaos!

posted by Julie on 23 May 2011 at 7:38 pm

Now that the proposed by-pass link road has been 'shelved' (it is No 22 on a list of 22 national road schemes), can you imagine the chaos that will be created along with M&S if the plan goes through?
Try turning right out of Bexleigh Ave now...!

Whats The Point

posted by Hollie on 23 May 2011 at 9:51 pm

really. do you not have a clue??? M&S??? so no more bowlling alley... its been there for years and enjoyed by alot of people.
theres an M&S in Hastings and Eastbourne. no bowling alley in hastings or bexhill... so alot of us will have to travel far for these
amenities what about those who cant drive... or those with youger kids who cant afford to get to eastbourne.. just a swimming pool is not enough!!...WE have in bexhill. Tesco,sainsburys/ X3 co.ops. Budgens , alidi ,lidl iceland 2 tesco express's and now m&s?! was it Really needed?
tourism in bexhill isnt going to be very good is it? good job for half the sea front that looks decent anyway. atleast the town has done something right.

Bad For Our Town

posted by louis on 23 May 2011 at 10:19 pm

i am very disappointed that this is happening, not only do we have a wide range of supermarkets in bexhill but what about sport and social facilities? in the local paper residents are always complaining that the youth have nothing to do and resort to anti social behaviour and on the other hand young familes also are having these facilities taken away. it really does seem pointless, this does not benfit our town, this is purely is a money making scheme. no thought has been given to us. who live and for pay tax in bexhill. the council has spent alot of money on the seafront and kudos because its fantastic, but your never going improve quality of living, tourism if you just take these things away.

Marks & Sparks Or Bowling

posted by G Wilmshurst on 27 May 2011 at 8:23 pm

If they get their way and close Ocean, it will be a body blow for those who enjoy bowling, with the next closest lanes being in Eastbourne.
I did a straw poll around my office, asking those who lived in Bexhill what they preferred. I was somewhat surprised that most took the M & S option.
Even more suprised that, when I suggested that the council would never allow this if it was Primark who wanted to build there, just as many would be happy for Primark to be there.

If M & S get their way, parking's gonna be a bugger.
...Unless the plans include M & S building a railway stop at Ravenside????


posted by alexandra thompson on 04 Aug 2011 at 3:40 pm

how do you apply for a job at the new m&s store at ravinside

Not Happening

posted by T.C on 19 Sept 2011 at 4:42 pm

I can report that i have heard that marks and spencers it not being built as its not leisure.

land securitys have only suggested another leisure goes in its place although the bowling alley was good but the money for a 3game was ridiculous and hardly anyone uses it.

i think if some buisness man out there wanted to make money ! i suggest a cinema goes there a cineworld perhaps saves me travelling to the one in eastbourne or the odeon in hastings! besides arent we losing our orginal cinema ???

M&S - Previous Post

posted by Alastair (Webmaster) on 20 Sept 2011 at 11:09 am

@T.C - I'm afraid that what you have reported there is only gossip. The planning application for M&S was submitted to Rother District Council last week and there has been no news that it has been declined. In all honesty, I think it's highly unlikely that it won't go through.

(Webmaster of Discover Bexhill)


posted by djdaveo on 15 Oct 2011 at 12:31 pm


M&S - YES!

posted by Pauline Turner on 28 Oct 2011 at 11:36 am

I wonder if the bowling alley was under-used. Lack of profit is the usual reason for change to another use. On the plus side, a quality store opening up in the vicinity can only be a good thing for Bexhill. I shall certainly be shopping at the new M&S as I hear it will be a larger store than the one at Hastings, with more to offer.

M&S + Bowling?

posted by Tony on 22 Dec 2011 at 11:56 pm

I heard that the bowling ally was finding it hard with the money (I heard this from a chap that goes there a lot, and spoke to the owner) but what I thought would be a fantastic idea would be to, half the first two floors as shopping (what they were already having, I believe) then the third floor have half as a bowling ally, whilst having the other half the caf?, which will boost there profits as people would travel through the store to get to the bowling (have fun, go to the caf? for lunch) and after they could shop (have a trolley bay on the second floor) ..This I believe would be a great idea, plus they don't have to run the bowling place, they could just rent it to the current people renting the one there now..

I was also wondering if there's any more news? (as I heard it got cancelled, but I hope it hasn't)

The Bigger Picture

posted by Caroline on 23 Jan 2012 at 8:55 pm

I can see by the comments and information provided on here that there appears to be no reason for plans to build a new M&S store not to go ahead.
Taking a positive standpoint, there will be additional employment and more revenue for the town, plus an opportunity for local people or those who cannot travel far to shop at a very popular store in addition to the adjacent shops already established at Ravenside.
However, obviously there is going to be a considerable increase in the volume of cars travelling along the frequently congested busy main roads leading towards Glyne Gap. (More noise and even more pollution = potential increase in people becoming asthmatic).
Therefore, I am hoping M&S have looked at the bigger picture, and have plans to provide a free 'park and ride' bus service when their new store opens in order to address this problem.
(I'd personally like to see another train station built at Glyne Gap!)
The car park at Ravenside has limited parking spaces available anyway, particularly at weekends ~ my elderly father cannot walk far and the small number of disabled parking spaces are often already occupied ~ so parking for the disabled is another problem that needs to be taken into consideration.

M&S Proposed Store

posted by Peter Pyett on 21 Dec 2012 at 4:45 pm

Question, why can't M&S open a store on the old Comet site?

M And S

posted by dave on 26 Dec 2012 at 4:51 pm

That is a very valid point peter, the old comet site would be a great idea, also remember that a good town isnt just about retail space, its also about having other things to do , such as swimming and bowling etc. both of which also create employment and enjoyment,2 things that keep a town alive,a station at glyne gap is well over due.

Able To Apply

posted by Anita Hunnisett on 11 Apr 2013 at 1:11 pm

When and hoe will people be able to apply for jobs at the ravenside bexhill Marks and spencer?


Webmaster's note: I'm pretty sure that they will do some kind of local advertising and recruitment drive in due course, once development of the new store has reached a certain stage.

Vacancies M&S Bexhill On Sea

posted by ELaine Wright on 01 Aug 2013 at 1:35 pm

Please can you let me know when the new store in Bexhill is likely to open.
When will vacancies be announced

Jobs At New M&S Store

posted by Kaye Gabriel on 19 Sept 2013 at 10:37 am

Can you tell me if they are recruiting yet? How will M&S advertise the new jobs?

M&S Bexhill Vacancies

posted by S Dean on 23 Sept 2013 at 7:32 pm

The vacancies for the new store will be being releases from today and can be accessed through the m&s website at the bottom of the main page on the careers link.

P Time Work At M S

posted by david reed on 08 Oct 2013 at 4:29 pm

looking for work 2 p t days I been in shop retail for 30 years'


posted by b on 22 Oct 2013 at 1:59 pm

how do you apply for jobs for e new marks and spencer opening at glyne gap??


posted by stephanie on 10 Nov 2013 at 12:30 pm

how do you apply for a job in glyne gap? there is no vacancy on the m&s website

The Latest Re M@S

posted by tony on 20 Nov 2013 at 1:22 pm

heard at conquest " somewhere in Rother council is a rather embarassing amount of bug for the waveing of the original planning consent for Ravenside and two leisure facilities" Questions are starting to emerge

Car Parking

posted by Chicana on 22 Nov 2013 at 12:25 pm

The question still remains to be answered. What parking provision has been made for the increased traffic? Does the swimming pool have it's own allocated spaces? Will regular users of the pool get their own permits? I would appreciate a reply from somebody in authority who actually knows the answers.

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