Bewl Water Country Park is an integral part of Markerstudy Leisure’s portfolio. The proposals are consistent with the company’s strategy to ensure Bewl’s operation is sustainable, and supports the long-term economic success of communities in East Sussex and Kent.
Delivering a year-round attraction
Currently, the Boathouse Bistro and Visitor Centre operate seasonally. Markerstudy Leisure’s aspiration is to open them permanently throughout the year to meet the needs of visitors to the Earth Lodges, providing further employment opportunities.
The Visitor Centre has been refurbished but there is scope to further enhance it and continue to improve the attractiveness of Bewl Water Country Park.
Encouraging growing demand
Interest in outdoor activities, whether watersports, cycling or walking in the countryside, has been matched with a rise in holidaying at home – the staycation. The Earth Lodges would encourage the growing demand for short break, outdoor pursuit self-catering holidays with access to on-site restaurants and other facilities in Wealden.
With the Euro continuing to strengthen against the pound, many tourism experts are predicting the UK will be more attractive to overseas visitors.
Businesses also continue to look for new and exciting places to host staff development and training events, and our plans for Bewl Water could satisfy some of this local demand.
Future-proofing the visitor attraction
Southern Water has outline plans to raise the water level by a further 3 metres, increasing the yield by up to 30% to meet the growing water demand in the South East. Our plans only propose development above the potential new water level to future-proof the facilities.
Continuing to support Bewl’s watersports users
Markerstudy Leisure recognises there is a need to continue to invest in the leisure facilities on site and is working with sports clubs and recreational users.
A new watersports centre could be located on the site of the Fishing Lodge, which is in poor condition, and former wooden offices and storage sheds, with adjoining car parking space.
The fishing shop is currently in a temporary building and could be integrated into the future watersports centre.
The new centre would cater for visitors to the new Earth Lodges, as well as the existing clubs, through a purpose-built environmentally high performing building.
The brief for the architect is for a design that meets the needs of existing users, attracts new visitors, and is visually and environmentally sympathetic.
Our proposals for the new watersports centre will form a separate planning application when finalised, following discussions with current users and local authority, and consultation with the local community.