Rother District Council (RDC) have successfully secured planning permission for the proposal for improved tourist infrastructure at Camber Sands central car park. The Planning application reference RR/2023/1743/P can be viewed by clicking here.

A sketch of the proposed extension with buildings on either side of a sandy path and people enjoying the beach
Sketch of the proposal by DK-CM
A sketch of the extension from the top of a dune looking at the car park

To date RDC have been awarded just under £1 million of grant funding to improve and expand these facilities and we are continuing to seek further funding opportunities to enhance and fulfill the project’s objectives.

The works include a much increased toilet provision and will support the running of our coastal services throughout the year and particularly during the Summer season, including a larger first aid space, RNLI equipment storage and separate staffing areas for coastal staff and Operation Radcott partners.. A new kiosk will offer opportunities to provide visitors with useful information, including nearby amenities and places of interest and details of local wildlife encouraging a better understanding of the unique sand dune environment, The intention is to also provide a small, healthy, and environmentally sustainable take-away food and drink offer, utilising local suppliers. Out of season, it is anticipated the kiosk can be made available for hire for community use, schools and by local residents. The proposed project timeline is as follows:

Key MilestonesMilestone Date
Planning Application Submitted18.08.23
Planning Committee Decision16.11.23
Contractor Procurement Start05/04/24
Contractor Procurement Complete13/05/24
Contractor Contract arrangements start14/05/24
Contractor Mobilisation Start12/08/24
Camber Sands Facilities Close30/09/24
Planned Start on Site Date01/10/24
Planned Completion (Easter 202518/04/25
New Facilities Soft Opening19/04/25
Community Space Opening Event (after
summer season)
19/09/25

Further Project Details

Rother District Council were awarded £943,301 from Community Infrastructure Levy Funding (CIL) in March 2023. With the significant CIL investment, these proposals will provide sustainable infrastructure for the foreseeable future. RDC have also been ringfenced for £15,000 of Shared Prosperity Funding for community engagement events that focus on collaboration and education.

Prior to submission and throughout planning RDC held several consultation events and amended our designs following community and stakeholder feedback. Information about these changes can be found in the planning submission, with a brief summary of the most prominent changes shown below:

IssueResponseChange Made
First Floor
Balcony
The Project Team understand neighbour concerns regarding the originally proposed balcony on the first floor of the welcome centre. Its intention was to create further welfare space for summer officers, and it would have had strict hours of operation.However due to comments made within the application and a cost review of the proposals, alongside increase costs of maintenance, the balcony has been removed from the proposal.
Water for community gardenThis will be included in the moving of the showers to the north side of the building.A tap will be included for community use and a water Butt installed specifically to feed the community garden.
Kiosk might impact current local businessThe intention of the kiosk is to hold other required uses such as Sea Safety Information and Dune education as well as a landing space for public queries upon arrival alongside a small takeaway offer.Further direct consultation with local and adjacent businesses will happen in Autumn to discuss more detailed concerns around the specifics of the offer and the running of the new proposed kiosk.
Flooding and surface water concernsThe project team are aware of the difficulties of surface water flooding in the carpark and from the footbaths, this project can only improve that related to the building itself and its uses.Sustainable drainage is being introduced into the scheme in the form of permeable paving to the exterior this will also house sand traps that are easily maintainable to reduce surface water flooding from the building and footbaths.
Concerns with Unisex ToiletsThree separate toilets are required for ongoing cleaning and maintenance which requires shutting toilets throughout the day, as well as meeting up to date equalities legislation.The names of the toilets will now be clarified as ‘Male Only Toilets’; ‘Toilets’; ‘Female Only Toilets’ and ‘Disabled Toilets and Baby Change’. To address concerns two ‘Superloos’ have been added to the third toilet facility which include basins within the cubicle.
Tide ClockSuggestions were made to move the tide clock to face the carpark. This has not been taken on board as the current position is deemed best for sea safety.The tide clock and arrow are designed to quickly highlight when the tide changes. It shows which direction the tide is moving alongside safety information, which will alert beach goers of the change from the beach.
Height of
Tower
The tower serves a number of functions including wayfinding and will act as a heat chimney in the summer reducing the need for mechanical cooling in the hot summer months.Following comments, the height of the tower was marginally reduced to enable it to still provide its core function alongside less impact for adjacent neighbours.

Camber was due to have a Changing Places Toilet installed as part of the works funded by DLUCH. However, due to the increase in cost of delivering these across the district the decision was made to remove this from the proposal.

Visual drawing of Camber by lead consultant DK-CM. A sketch of a child is pointing at a map of the Camber area which has pictures of wild birds on it
Visual drawing of Camber by lead consultant DK-CM
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