Economic hard times puts shops plan in jeopardy

Ambitious plans to redevelop the Sovereign Harbour retail park with new shops, a new cinema, restaurant and cafes have been temporarily shelved.

The owners of the site PRUMPIM say wide economic factors and a changing local context mean the scheme – given planning permission by town planners in October 2011 – is no longer financially viable.

But the company says it is still confident another scheme can be taken forward and are updating proposals. And rumours are rife a designer label clearance store is set to announce plans to open in the former JJB Store in the retail park.

Andrew Dakin, the director of development at PRUPIM, said, “PRUPIM is committed to its investment in the Sovereign Harbour area. As part of PRUPIM’s investment, we submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of our Sovereign Harbour retail park in October 2011. The plans include a new layout for existing retail provision, a new cinema, restaurant and cafes and full planning permission was granted by Eastbourne Borough Council in January 2013.

“Unfortunately, between application and permission, wider economic factors and a changing local context have meant the scheme - as consented - is no longer financially viable. However, this does not mean that another scheme cannot be taken forward.

“PRUPIM is now exploring options to update our proposals including alternative designs and layouts, which would undergo local consultation and allow us to realise a redevelopment of Sovereign Harbour that responds to the needs of local residents and businesses.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support our continued investment in this area and reassure them PRUPIM is fully committed to Sovereign Harbour and Eastbourne.”