Residents welcome £14m Crumbles plan but snub name

An artist's impression of the new Crumbles retail park from the car park

An artist's impression of the new Crumbles retail park from the car park

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SOVEREIGN Harbour residents have welcomed plans for a £14 million facelift of the Crumbles but snubbed a proposal to change its name.

The ambitious plans included eight new restaurants, improved access for buses, a new state-of-the-art nine-screen cinema, and re-branding Sovereign Harbour Retail Park as Sovereign Central.

This week a formal planning application has been made to Eastbourne Borough Council, but without the unpopular suggested name change, which the developers say ‘requires separate consideration’.

The application has been made by PRUPIM, a subsidiary of The Prudential Assurance Company, which owns half of the retail park.

Adam Birch from PRUPIM said, “We believe that the planned regeneration will make a real contribution to the area and the strength of support from Sovereign Harbour residents has shown that they share our vision for the future.

“In particular, our proposals will deliver improved shopping and leisure facilities, create jobs and facilitate the cross-harbour bus link.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the local community during the development process’.

“The proposed name change – to Sovereign Central – attracted a much more mixed response, with 34 per cent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing, 46 per cent disagreeing or strongly disagreeing and 20 per cent ticking ‘no opinion’ or none of the options.”

Sovereign Harbour Residents’ Association, which represents around 600 households on the harbour, has praised the blueprint.

The revamp was first proposed during the summer and the developers carried a public consultation with harbour residents.

Both the residents’ association and PRUPIM said the plans were well received, with more than 200 people agreeing the changes would have a positive effect on the harbour.

Ian Weeks, a spokesman for the residents’ association, said, “Generally speaking people are very supportive of the plans.

“It looks like it will bring some very good facilities to the area.

“The traders have been supportive too and think the new restaurants will bring more visitors to the harbour.

“PRUPIM has involved us at every stage of the process in the past two years and we have been very impressed with how they work.”

lThe full planning application can be viewed at www.eastbourne.gov.uk/planningapplications www.eastbourne.gov.uk/planningapplications/ and type in the application number, EB/2011/0633.