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News Archive

Latest news items appear first on our Home Page. We welcome submissions of news stories or information on Harbour issues. Please email the website editor: webmaster@shra.co.uk

29 Nov - Site 7a - Reptile Translocation Report. SHRA wrote to EBC seeking reassurances about the clearance work taking place on Site 7a that has included the relocation of wildlife. We await a response from EBC, but a “Reptile Translocation Report” document has just appeared on the EBC planning portal that gives further details of the work carried out on Site 7a (it also mentions our letter to EBC). The document explains that the site has been subjected to a “destructive search” and that it is important that the site is now left in its ‘cleared’ state to avoid re-colonisation. We have placed a copy of the report on our website - click here to view it...  

20 Nov - Site 7a Clearance - With members raising concerns about the manner of the clearance work taking place on the proposed Aldi site, SHRA has written to the head of EBC planning asking for further information and assurances that the work is properly authorised and managed. You can read our letter here…  As you will see, it has also been copied to the County Ecologist and Caroline Ansell MP, and forwarded to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Natural England and our Sovereign Ward Councillors.

07 Nov - Leasehold Reform - Major leasehold reform for house owners has been announced in the King’s Speech. An intersting and helpful article by the HomeOwners Alliance looks at the government plans, whether they go far enough, what may change and when - and what that all means for you. You can read it on their website here:  https://hoa.org.uk/2021/01/lease-extension-process/ Thanks to resident Keith Forbes for sending us the link.

20 Sept - B&M Illuminated Signs - B&M have made a retrospective planning application to EBC for the installation of the illuminated signs on the front, side and rear of their new store at The Crumbles Retail Park.  EBC's Planning Application ref. no. is 230607. To view full details and leave comments visit the following webpage:   https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/article/2087/?RefType=APPPlanCase&KeyText=230607 Comments need to be submitted by 19th October.

15 August - Site 7a Planning Applications -The three planning applications for an Aldi store, a care home and a block of retirement apartments on Site 7a are to be discussed and decided upon at EBC’s Planning Committee meeting on Monday 21 August 2023 from 6pm.

The planner’s recommendation to the committee is that all three plans should be delegated to the Head of Planning to tie up some loose ends, and upon reaching agreements on those outstanding issues to allow the Head of Planning to grant permission, subject to further S106 & S278 agreements on several additional issues.

 An agenda for the meeting along with the recommendations can be downloaded from: https://democracy.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=144&MId=3843&Ver=4

We think it is both ill-advised and premature to give the Head of Planning sole discretion to decide upon these applications when there are planning issues that are still undecided, including those in relation to S106 and S278 agreements that are often controversial. We strongly believe that it is the elected members of the Planning Committee that should take the final decision on such controversial applications and then only when negotiations and discussion are complete, and the plans and agreements finalised. Our Sovereign ward councillors are also concerned about the delegation of the three applications at this stage – please see their letter to residents here… www.shra.co.uk/pdfs/councillors7aletter.pdf

This Planning Committee meeting could be the last chance we get to persuade its members to reject these controversial proposals. To show the strength of our opposition we hope that all those who oppose the application will do their best to attend the meeting at the Town Hall on Monday 21st. Residents are urged to be at the Town Hall at least 30 minutes before the scheduled 6pm start of the meeting.

If you wish to speak at the planning meeting, you MUST make a formal request to do so by emailing: committees@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk by 12 noon on Thursday 17th August 2023. However, the number of speakers allowed is at the discretion of the Committee chair.   Further information is on our dedicated Site 7a webpage...  www.shra.co.uk/devsite7.html

11 August - Bid Farewell to RNLI 16-23 - Say farewell to Diamond Jubilee, our Lifeboat 16-23 this Sunday 13th August @ 9am lock out.  We’ll gather together, sending her off on a wave of love and gratitude for all it’s faithful service.

11 August - Cross-harbour Bus Corridor Consultation - East Sussex County Council have opened a consultation on their East Sussex Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), which sets out their plans to improve the bus network across East Sussex and provide a cleaner, reliable alternative to car travel.
The bus corridor plan differs from earlier plans in that it proposes that the current path and bike lane that runs along the edge of the boatyard becomes the bus corridor and a new pedestrian and bike lane is created within the retail park, “subject to discussions with the landowner”.
(i) The consultation webpage is at: https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/busprioritymeasures/
(ii) The consultation document (a PDF files) is at: https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/busprioritymeasures/user_uploads/escc---public-consultation-brochure_online-version-updated-280723-1.pdf Pages 17 & 18 of the document refer to the Sovereign Harbour bus corridor. The consultation webpage has details of two drop-in events in central Eastbourne where paper copies can be obtained.
(iii) Respond to the consultation by completing the online survey on this webpage: https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/busprioritymeasures/consultation/intro/
(iv) Closing date for comments to ESCC is 25 Sept 2023.

07 July -  Improved Bus Services from Sunday 23 July 2023 - many bus services in East Sussex will be improved and upgraded thanks to East Sussex County Council’s successful bid for UK Government funding for its Bus Service Improvement Plan.  There will be new timetables for most bus routes in the countyThese include improvements to the 5 and 5A services that serve Sovereign Harbour with an enhanced evening timetable and extra journeys running to and from the North and South Harbours, and a revised Sunday timetable. Click here for new timetable for 5 and 5A... 

26 June - Celebrating the life of Ian Weeks - A celebration of the life of Ian Weeks took place at Eastbourne Crematorium on Friday, 23rd June.  The tribute/order of service booklet can be read by clicking this link.   Jan Weeks has asked that we pass on her thanks to all those who attended the Celebration of Life and for the overwhelming number of condolence messages she has received.  Memories and tributes and a donation to the British Heart Foundation in Ian's memory may be left online at: https://ianweeks.muchloved.com

05 May - Sewage Connection - We have been made aware by the residents of Vancouver Road that Southern Water are proposing to connect Bay View Holiday Park to the existing sewerage system in Vancouver Road.  This does raise questions as to the suitability of such a move and SHRA have written to Southern Water with our concerns and asked for assurances about the capacity of the system. Click here to read the letter...    UPDATE: Southern Water and their contractors Cappagh Browne have cancelled the on-site meeting that was to have been held this evening (Tuesday 9th May).

01 May - Rentcharge Billing Errors - Recently, some residents received further demands from Cripps for annual rentcharge payment, even though they had paid earlier in the year.

Following complaints from residents, we brought this matter to the attention of the board of the Sovereign Harbour Trust. The SHT have now posted an apology notice on their website and Cripps will be writing to affected residents. The SHT website is at: www.sovereignharbourtrust.co.uk/ Scroll down the home page to below the map to find the notice.

This issue has caused some residents unnecessary stress, great concern and additional work. Contact to resolve the issue has not been easy. The SHT must ensure that the situation never happens again. 

30 Nov - Costa Coffee and McDonald's Drive-thrus proposed - The Prudential Assurance Company Ltd. have submitted to EBC a planning application for Unit 9 of the retail park involving the demolition of the two existing buildings (Defiant Sports/Blockbuster Video and the old Frankie & Benny’s), and the erection of two new buildings each with a separate drive-thru facility. The tenants will be Costa Coffee and McDonald's and the buildings and drive-thru facilities will encompass all of the car park directly in front of the buildings to be demolished. The application number is 220877. Additional applications cover lit totem signs and access, etc.. Comments need to be submitted by 24 December. See proposed site plan.... 

14 April 2022 - Harbour-based Diving Club - Serenity Divers is a BSAC scuba diving club based in Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne.  We regularly dive the local wrecks, usually 2 or 3 times a week during the dive season. Our boat is Serenity, an 8.6 metre catamaran which is a great dive platform and has a dive lift to make exiting the water easy.  Members range from ocean divers to trimix qualified rebreather divers.  Club subscriptions are kept to a nominal level and the only cost to dive is a share of the fuel costs for the trip.  We meet Wednesday evenings at the yacht club.  All trained divers are welcome to call or come and meet us. www.serenitydiving.co.uk
Facebook...

11 April - Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management Scheme Events - The Environment Agency have organised the following events to give residents the opportunity to view the initial ideas for the possible future of the coast and to meet the project team.
Exhibition at Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club - between 9am and 5pm on both Monday 25 April and Tuesday 26 April.
Project Presentation at the Yacht Club with Q&A Session - Monday 25 April 6pm until 7:30pm.
Coastal walk with members of the project team - Meet at the RNLI Lifeboat Station, Sovereign Outer Harbour on Tuesday 26 April at 10am for a short walk to the beach.
To view the Environment Agency flyer for the events please click this link... Please consider printing and displaying a copy in your development/lobby for those who may not acceess the internet.
Project Website:
https://www.pevenseyandeastbournecoast.co.uk/

05 April - Letter About Flood Defences - We have published a letter about flood defences we recieved from a North Harbour resident and SHRA member. Find it on our letters page

10 March - New Benches on Harbour Walkways - Earlier this week we published a letter from a resident about the new benches. SHRA has now posted its response to the letter. Update: We have now published a second letter and our response to it. See Letters page... 

09 February - Annual Rentcharge - Rentcharge bills for 2022 are arriving through residents' letterboxes. People are upset to find that the charge has increased from about £260 last year to £317 this year – an increase of over 20%. Looking at the reasons for this more closely, it would seem that there has been a major increase in Premiers Marinas costs for dredging, waterway repair and locks and bridges maintenance from around £420,000 last year to £542,500 in this year’s bill.  Note that this is not costs for sea defences but Premiers costs for maintaining the harbour.

For several months we have been trying to meet with Premier to directly raise residents’ concerns.  A meeting is now looking likely and imminent, once a suitable date is agreed.  We will report back to members when this happens. 

In the meantime,  if you have raised the matter with the SHT CIC or Premier, SHRA would be interested in seeing any replies. Contact us at: info@shra.co.uk For more information on the rentcharge visit the dedicated page on the SHRA website at: www.shra.co.uk/rentcharge.htm

08 March - New Benches on Harbour Walkways - a letter from a Harbour resident about the new benches has been published on our Letters page.

01 March - Beach Work Update - Although Storm Eunice has been gone for more than a week, it is likely that a full restoration of the defences will take the best part of the next three weeks to complete. Always assuming there are no further storms to come.
Historically we have had some significant storms around the time of the spring equinox, so there is no certainty that the worst is behind us. Machines are currently working at Cooden, but as the month progresses will be heading west eventually reaching 'White Horses' and Sovereign Harbour.
It is interesting to note that the paper copy of 2022 tide tables I purchased locally suggests the highest March tide as being 7.3mCD.  My own calculations using Admiralty Tide Table data expects there to be 7.9mCD tides on or around 21st March.
Ian Thomas & Amber Carr
Project Managers
Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd

18 February - Beach Work Update - Storm Eunice has now thankfully passed through. Whilst the waves were at times quite ferocious, overall the damage to the defences was not as extensive as we feared it might have been.  Nevertheless there is still plenty to do to restore the beach to its pre-storm condition.
Today’s storm should be the worst of the weather we will see over the remainder of this set of spring tides.  Winds however look set to remain at, or close to, gale force from tomorrow through until Monday, when the highest water levels of the series are expected on the 14:00 high water.
Repair works have already started with bulldozers at 'White Horses' and Normans Bay East and a small recycling team at Beachlands.  They will all work this evening and start again at 06:00 tomorrow. Depending on how big the waves are on Saturday and Sunday, they may have to continue to work both low tides each day until such time as added shingle stays in place. Thereafter we will revert to normal 07:30 to 17:00 working.
Once the initial areas have been stabilised, we will look to re-establish the haul road along the top of the beach through Pevensey Bay before moving to Herbrand Walk and Cooden. Experience suggests it could take up to 4 weeks before things are back to normal – assuming there are no storms accompanying the spring equinox next month.
Ian Thomas & Amber Carr
Project Managers
Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd

09 February - Annual Rentcharge - Rentcharge bills for 2022 are arriving through residents' letterboxes. People are upset to find that the charge has increased from about £260 last year to £317 this year – an increase of over 20%. Looking at the reasons for this more closely, it would seem that there has been a major increase in Premiers Marinas costs for dredging, waterway repair and locks and bridges maintenance from around £420,000 last year to £542,500 in this year’s bill.  Note that this is not costs for sea defences but Premiers costs for maintaining the harbour.

For several months we have been trying to meet with Premier to directly raise residents’ concerns.  A meeting is now looking likely and imminent, once a suitable date is agreed.  We will report back to members when this happens. 

In the meantime,  if you have raised the matter with the SHT CIC or Premier, SHRA would be interested in seeing any replies. Contact us at: info@shra.co.uk For more information on the rentcharge visit the dedicated page on the SHRA website at: www.shra.co.uk/rentcharge.htm

29 January - Work on the Locks - Lock 1 (the lock furthest from the Marina Reception) will be closed between Tuesday 1st February and Friday 4th March 2022 for essential maintenance.  The pedestrian walkways surrounding Lock 1 will also be closed on the first date and on the last day, to allow our team to facilitate access for necessary equipment.  Whilst Lock 2 will be operational, there may be interruptions to service.
Premier Marinas


05 January 2022 - B&M store for cinema site - plans have been submitted to EBC for a B&M store ( www.bmstores.co.uk ) on the cinema site with a garden centre enclosed by a perimeter fence at the rear. The application can be viewed on the EBC planning website at:  https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/planning/application-summary/?RefType=APPPlanCase&KeyText=211058. EBC Application Number: 211058.
Location: Unit 7, The Crumbles, Eastbourne. Proposal: Change of use of former cinema (sui generis) to Class E(a) and erection of external garden centre.  (Sui generis is a Latin expression that translates to “of its own kind.” It refers to anything that is peculiar to itself; of its own kind or class). 
 

05 October 2021 - Should leasehold property be banned? - The government has pledged to give leaseholders in England the right to extend their leases by 990 years and end their ground rent payments once and for all.  The leasehold scandal has seen millions of homeowners saddled with unsellable properties due to escalating ground rents, uncapped service charges and difficulties buying their freeholds.  This article from Which? explains the steps the government is taking to reform the leasehold system.  The reform timetable is described in this piece by the House of Commons library.  Meanwhile, the ongoing Competition and Markets Authority investigation into the leasehold market has resulted in reforming commitments from large developers, including Persimmon.