Harbour Development Sites
The Eleven Sites
The Eleven Sites were the remaining undeveloped parcels of land at Sovereign Harbour following completion of the main
stages of residential construction. Three of the sites now have
houses under construction on them.
Site One - Land at Langney Point
2.1 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Dominated by Martello Tower 66, close to the beach and next to the seaward entrance of the harbor.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site to be ideal for a sea front leisure area and the seaward two thirds of the site were allocated for this purpose. In order to fund this, it was agreed that a further 72 residential dwellings could be built, ten houses and 62 apartments, in two blocks. The development will be known as "White Point".
One condition of the consent was that an uninterrupted view of the Martello Tower must be maintained. Another was that access to the beach must be maintained for contractors removing shingle built up behind the harbour arm and for the trucks transporting it to the North Harbour beach.
Construction, which will be staged, with the houses being built first, started in January 2017.
Site Two - Berth holder car park at end of Atlantic Drive
0.2 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd with Premier Marinas interest. Opposite Daytona Quay, containing a fifty-five bay car park. Despite being rarely used, Sovereign Harbour Ltd insists that provision of this parking is a contractual obligation and change of use for this site is impossible. However, this did not prevent it from trying to get consent for residential development on the site.
Site Three - Fishing fleet area behind the 'Harvester'
0.3 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Currently used by the local fishing fleet to store equipment and land their catch. A planning application for residential development was refused, but Sovereign Harbour Ltd has made no secret that refusal has not dented its ambitions.
However, the Eastbourne Fishermen have put forward an exciting plan to develop the site as a "Fishing Quay" similar to the development in Hastings. The plan includes a visitor centre, a retail outlet for the sale of fresh fish and storage facilities for fishing equipment.
This plans received planning consent in 2015 and revised plans were granted consent in January 2017. Funding, including grant funding, is being sought for the purchase of the land.
Site Four - Boat sales display area.
0.4 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. The curved section of land opposite The Waterfront by the North Harbour Bridge. Currently used for the display of boats for sale. It offers open views of the North Harbour.
This site too was the subject of a planning application for high-rise residential development that would have closed off pedestrian access to the waterside and destroyed the public views of the North Harbour. Although the application was refused, as with Site Three, Sovereign Harbour Ltd still has ambitions for further residential development.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site to be ideal for an extension of the Waterfront leisure area.
Outline planning consent has been granted for additional restaurants with office accommodation above. There is also provision for a large area of public open space adjacent to the marina for use as a "Village Green".
Site Five - Old Sovereign Harbour Ltd offices
0.1 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. This small parcel of land was occupied by the disused Sovereign Harbour Ltd cabin offices which were demolished in 2015. This site is adjacent to the Waterfront car park and shares a boundary with Site Six.
This site was identified as the preferred site for the Sovereign Harbour Health Centre. However, in 2007, Sovereign Harbour Ltd withdrew the land from sale and offered in its place a piece of land on Site Seven (a) (See below).
Because of the nature of the buried waste, construction of any structure above a single story would be difficult as it would require the sinking of piles that would breach the membrane containing the waste with possibly disastrous consequences for the water table.
In 2013, the Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site to be the ideal location for the long awaited Sovereign Harbour Community Centre. At the public consultation on the SHL Master Plan outline planning application, a model was provided for approval. Residents were delighted with the design.
Even though the design was originated by Sovereign Harbour Ltd, when the reserved matters planning application for the community centre was presented, the design was said to be too expensive to construct and an alternative, cheaper, design was put forward. Although disappointing, the new design still offered sufficient space to meet the objectives of the business plan put forward by the Sovereign Harbour Community Association (SHCA).
However, during a meeting of the community centre project team in 2016, the project manager stated that the site had been withdrawn by SHL as there was "a high risk of unexploded ordnance". `Despite several requests, no proof of this has been provided.
No alternative use has been put forward for this site, but it is believed that it will be used to extend the Waterfront car park to support the development of Site Four
An alternative location for a community centre was offered on Site Seven, but this was totally non-viable and both the SHRA and SHCA resigned from the project team. At the SHRA AGM members expressed their anger and demanded that an alternative, more central site should be provided.
Site Six - Easter Island Place
3.2 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Previously known as “Commercial Site One”, this is the large parcel of land between Pevensey Bay Road and Harbour Quay at the entrance to the North Harbour. Many will know it as the “B&Q” site following two unsuccessful planning applications to build a DIY Superstore on the land.
This site was used to re-bury landfill refuse from other areas of the development area and is actively venting methane gas. The waste is protected by membranes and covered by a “shingle mound”.
This site has been jointly acquired by Eastbourne Borough and East Sussex County Councils on a 999 year lease from Sovereign Harbour Ltd.
The councils' plan is to develop the site as a business park and, in August 2015, the Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park (Pacific House) opened for business; a further four office blocks are planned for the site.
In February 2017 a planning application was submitted for the
construction of the Sovereign Harbour Community Centre on a
corner of the plot adjacent to the Waterfront car park.
Site Seven (a) - Land alongside Pevensey Bay Road
2.05 hectares, Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Previously part of the huge parcel of land known as “Commercial Site Two” (in total 4.2 hectares), between Pevensey Bay Road and Pacific Drive West that was also originally reserved as part of the Business Park development.
The land has never been seriously marketed for the purpose for which it was intended, although development funding should have been provided from the profits from the development of the Crumbles Retail Park. Sovereign Harbour Ltd insists that development can only be funded by further residential development.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site to be ideal for employment use.
Following the withdrawal of Site Five as the location for the
Sovereign Harbour Health Centre, the proposed site was moved to
a corner of this site. Construction began in January 2011 and
the Harbour Medical Practice opened for business in December of
It is interesting to note that at the B&Q planning meeting Sovereign Harbour Ltd stated that the land on Sites Six and Seven had "negative value", but it still charged the PCT £250,000 for the Medical Centre plot.
Site Seven (b)- Land alongside Pevensey Bay Road
0.8 hectares, owned by JWS Homes
Ltd. Also previously part of land known as “Commercial Site
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified that this site should be reserved as public open space.
The S.106 agreement for Site Seven (c) requires the developer to landscape the area so that it is available for use by the time the development of that site is complete.
Site Seven (c) - Land alongside Pevensey Bay Road -"Macaulay Place"
2.08 hectares, owned by JWS Homes Ltd. Previously part of land known as “Commercial Site Two”, and originally reserved as part of the Business Park development.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site as the location for "Macaulay Place" a development of 37 four bedroom houses, and 15 five bedroom houses, 12 two bedroom apartments, 2 three bedroom apartments and 4 three bedroom maisonettes; a total of 70 homes.
The construction of these homes will fund the development of the public open space on Site Seven (b).
Site Eight - Far end of North Harbour -"Port Moresby Place"
0.3 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. A narrow strip of land at the far end of the North Harbour bordering Pacific Drive. Consent was given for this land to be used as a berth-holder car park, and purchasers of adjacent properties were given assurances, before entering into contracts, that there would be no residential development on this plot.
However, the car park was never constructed and Sovereign Harbour Ltd has since been quite aggressive in its attempts to persuade the Borough Council that it should be used for high-density, high-rise residential development.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site to be ideal for a marina-side public open space. It was agreed that this would be funded by the construction of eight high quality homes, for which planning consent has been granted.
The plan requires that 50% of the site, the land closest to the marina, will be paved and landscaped for public use. A condition of the consent is that the public open space must be completed before two thirds of the homes are sold.
The development, which is due for completion in 2017 will be known as "Port Moresby Place".
Site Nine - Martello Tower on North Harbour beach
Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Martello Tower no. 64
Site Ten - Outer Harbour peninsula
1.5 hectares owned by Premier Marinas. Previously used by the local fishing boat operators to store equipment, it was purchased from Sovereign Harbour Ltd by Premier Marinas and has now been cleared. Premier has not published its plans for the site, but indications are that it will be used for boat storage. However, owners of surrounding properties have serious concerns about the logistics of moving large boats to this location through residential developments.
Site Eleven - Land at the end of Key West adjacent to the locks
0.1 hectares owned by Premier Marinas. As with Site Ten, it was sold by Sovereign Harbour Ltd to Premier Marinas. It has always been the ambition of the Borough Council that this area should be developed as a visitor attraction, and this is shared by residents.
Despite receiving substantial income from residents through the “Marina Rent Charge”, Premier Marinas has indicated that it is not prepared to spend money on improving this area. Premier uses as an excuse the fact that residents successfully contested a planning application to develop the site*.
However, that application was submitted by Sovereign Harbour Ltd well before the sale to Premier and Premier purchased it in the knowledge that the site was designated as a tourist destination.
* Residents opposed the Sovereign Harbour Ltd application because it included a “turning circle” for the Dotto train, which would have run along the outer harbour promenade, close to the rear exits of a number of properties. Because of these exits and the number of pedestrians who use the promenade, many of them children, this would have been a safety risk.