More than 10,000 people sign petition supporting Hove seafront venue

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition in support of a seafront venue in Hove.

Rockwater, on the promenade in Kingsway, Hove, currently has a temporary licence to sell alcohol in a series of igloos and shacks and wants to make it permanent.

The petition on the website 38 Degrees started by Maeve Davis, wife of Rockwater owner Luke Davis, said that 10 residents were trying to remove the venue’s igloos and shacks for “spiteful and disingenuous reasons”.

A licensing application was submitted on Friday 6 November for a variation to the existing temporary licence to allow for the sale of alcohol until 10pm in the temporary huts.

The current temporary licence allows for alcohol sales until Monday 14 December.

Mrs Davis’s petition said: “We are urging the council to listen to the overwhelming majority of residents, and wider community, who are incredibly supportive of Rockwater’s Shacks and Igloo Village, what Rockwater is doing for the community and what it brings to a long-neglected part of the Hove seafront.

“We are also asking them to consider the huge impact shutting the Shacks and Igloo Village will have on local employment in the hospitality industry as well the detrimental impact on a large number of local suppliers.”

As Rockwater is to the west of Sackville Road and Hove Street, it is outside the area where Brighton and Hove City Council operates stricter licensing policies.

Rockwater also submitted a planning application in August for a glazed first-floor extension above its existing flat roof, a new lift, a glazed pergola extension, lower ground floor booth seating, a fire pit with canopy and chimney and an area of decking with balustrade to the beach south of the site.

The application is part-retrospective because some of the work has been done.

There are currently 587 letters of support for the planning application on the council’s website and 38 objections.

As well as the hundreds of letters of public support, both the Hove Civic Society and West Hove Seafront Action Group support the scheme.

The Hove Civic Society wrote that the Rockwater development would improve the existing building without having a negative impact on the Sackville Gardens Conservation Area.

It said: “The recent improvements already made at ‘Rockwater’ have shown the potential to bring more energy and appeal to this section of the seafront.

“There should be a positive effect on employment opportunities and on recreational and community activities.

“This could be a catalyst for much-needed further regeneration to this long section of Hove seafront.”

West Hove Seafront Action Group, a partnership of businesses and 17 voluntary and community organisations, said that it “fully supports” the scheme.

The group wrote: “The success of the Rockwater Shacks has significantly increased footfall to the benefit of businesses and community organisations along the seafront.

“The provision of additional security has been most welcome, not least by beach hut owners concerned about increased vandalism.

“Similarly, intensive waste management has kept the immediate environs of the café and the adjacent beach free of litter.”

Mr and Mrs Davis were approached for comment.

The licensing application is available to view on the council website by searching for reference number 445/3/2020/03689/LAPREV at licensingregister.brighton-hove.gov.uk.

The planning application is also on the council website by searching for BH2020/02211 at planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk.

  1. Hove Guy Reply

    Good luck to them. They liven up what is a very dull part of the seafront.

  2. Barry parks Reply

    Surely homeless shud sleep in them and leave in morning for people to have dinner after Covid. This would mean less people on lawns and no need to nick bikes

  3. WRRA Reply

    I am member of the Walsingham Road Resident Association. WRRA represents 20+ neighbours who are the closest residents of Rockwater. The petition falsely refers to ‘ around 10 local residents who are trying to shut them both down for spiteful and disingenuous reasons. We don’t believe this small group, led by someone who tried to take over the View/Venue before Rockwater’s founder, should be allowed to destroy this community hub.’

    We find these comments deeply offensive and inaccurate. No member of WRRA has ever bid on the Rockwater site and there is no evidence of a personal vendetta against the Developer. Since when has it been spiteful to object to a late night venue with a 5am license to operate 7 days a week? The reality is most members of WRRA are supportive of Rockwater scheme but we would like to reduce the operating hours and not increase the existing capacity.

    Frankly many of our members feel bullied and scared to voice their opinion about Rockwater. Rockwater is working closely with the Hove Seafront Resident association and many of our members do not feel they can post any comments on the HSRA Facebook site without receiving abusive comments.

    The facts are the following; WRRA oppose the use of the Igloos on the green area because this is public park space and not under the demise of Rockwater. WRRA also oppose the permanent license for the beach huts because they are meant to be temporary structures until the Rockwater development is completed.

    WRRA has tried unsuccessfully to sit down with the owners of Rockwater to find a sensible solution. Our door remains open and we would welcome working with Rockwater in future. In the meanwhile we encourage everyone to please treat each other with respect and decency. In the end we all have to live together in this community and this sort of abusive rhetoric does not help.

  4. Mr Andrew Camper Reply

    I agree a rather uninspiring part of the seafront given a suitable facelift. It is not harming anyone and providing employment and business.

  5. Lou T Reply

    Maybe use a homeless shelters

    Maybe owner should donate to homeless charity

    It’s makes sea front looks bit better

    the owner is planning to build nightclub out back

    It will make area more popular with hen dos tourist etc which is good for economy

  6. Teresa Lipson Reply

    As someone with a beach hut nearby I was very supportive of the venue until I read the last post. The thought of stag or hen parties descending on our relatively peaceful seafront is horrifying. I signed the petition in support of Rockwater and I still support it, particularly the shacks, but feel that the drinks licence should only be until midnight at weekends only (otherwise 11pm) and that the owners should give a guarantee that there will be no stag or hen parties. Meanwhile, I admire the energy and commitment that has gone into the project so far and look forward to its opening

  7. Besidethesea Reply

    It made the seafront a no go area for many local residents due to the lack of social distancing around the huts. It would be nice to see a useable daytime venue here, but there is no need to drag night life this far out of the city centre. This venue has already proven a noise nuisance with a late licence in a residential area when used as a student venue by previous owners. I think it’s petition is a massive publicity stunt.

  8. Chaz Reply

    How many of the 10,000 are local residents? Very few I bet.
    Petitions are abused like the OSR cyclists one.
    MAMILs from as far away as Newcastle signed their support for cycle lanes and of course the numpty council here took it all into account.
    Quality not quantity is the key.

  9. Chim Reply

    I literally live opposite the igloos on the seafront and fully support the igloos the plans Rockwater have for this area with the exception of a late licence. This venue has all along suggested it’s aim was to be a unique experience, all encompassing, well managed and responsible. Almost holistic, encouraging exercise, wellbeing, good food, fresh air and community. As much as I’m all for people enjoying themselves I think a late license will just render this place the same as every other seedy seafront bar! What a shame

  10. Rudiger Reply

    Live up the road from that place. I can’t remember what that venue was previously called but it was popular with foreign students who got extremely drunk and would stand around the streets nearby drunk to the early hours of the morning.. no thanks!

  11. Theo Reply

    I would not want to live near this place wasted people shouting every day. Nightmare. I stand house price devaluer

  12. Billy Short Reply

    I live very close to Rockwater and very much welcome what they are doing there.

    If you look at the plans and see how they currently operate you can see that it is not their intention to run a late night bar. What we have had so far is very family and daytime orientated and the interior refurbishment will enhance that with indoor seating and function areas.
    I’m particularly looking forward to being able to have a nice lunch on the seafront with a sea view.

    But it’s a big venue and has always had functions there, so of course they want to keep their late licence to have that flexibility on the rare occasions it’s needed, maybe for weddings etc. .
    Like all licences venues they will still be under scrutiny over the clientele attracted and over noise issues.
    It’s about time we had a place such as this on our stretch of beach.

  13. Amelia Reply

    I love it. It’s a bit like a cross between Marbella and Mykonos vibe. Gonna have my 21st here will be lit

  14. Shirley Reply

    As a local resident I use Hove seafront everyday for exercise as do many of us. As mentioned in a previous comment it is becoming very intimidating trying to navigate safely through the crowds at the huts. I am sure the new venue will be a great improvement for this area and I would ask those running the huts to please spare a thought for those of us who just want to have a safe walk along the promenade and
    try to control their customers. It is after all a public walk way.

    • Milly Reply

      I was under the impression that where
      the igloos are is council land and the residents of Hove used this land, so how come Rock water has taken over this land???

  15. Tich Reply

    I’m not a local seafront resident nor connected to the development but I live in Hove. I’m happy to have a decent place to go along the Hove seafront; I used to drive to the Perch. I don’t like the developers vilifying the local residents as it’s bound to be tougher on the seafront dwellers than the rest of us. Seafront developments in Brighton are fringed by hotels but here in Hove, family homes back onto Rockwater. Neither will I sign a petition run initiated by the developers; it’s a bit like MPs asking us to vote for their pay rise. However, I don’t like NIMBYism either. I suppose there’s someone sensible in the Council who can forward a compromise which concentrates on measures to limit noise, licensing hours, littering, and unsocial behaviour. Rockwater has to be Hove-friendly and Resident-friendly.

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