Taking action over ‘no ball games’ rule

Petition for play areas at the Sovereign Harbour Village by resident children. (L toR): Andrzej Dulemba, Ally Knell and Edward Lee. June 1st 2011 E22053M
Petition for play areas at the Sovereign Harbour Village by resident children. (L toR): Andrzej Dulemba, Ally Knell and Edward Lee. June 1st 2011 E22053M

CHILDREN are kicking up a fuss to try and net a green space where they can put down their jumpers for goalposts.

The young campaigners from Sovereign Harbour leapt into action after becoming frustrated with ‘no ball game’ signs and their usual beach football pitch being littered with broken glass. Led by 12-year-old Alistair Knell, the youngsters have already gathered 200 signatures for their petition, including local councillors and Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd.

“There’s nowhere for us to play really, there are just flats and there’s no thought for the kids,” said Alistair.

The children have been working to muster support for their proposal which would see space next to the new medical centre in Pacific Drive turned into a green space for residents to enjoy.

Mother Lucy Knell, of Caroline Way, said, “Three of them trooped into the house, went upstairs, saying how disgruntled they were. They came back down 10 minutes later with a letter saying they were going to send it to the council. I was quite shocked, my son moans about things sometimes but he never really does anything about it so I was quite surprised really.”

Overdevelopment of the harbour has long been a gripe for local residents and they have been tussling with Eastbourne Borough Council over plans to allow more houses to be built by developers Carillion.

Carillion owns the wasteland which the youths want to transform into green space.

Under current planning permission the site is designated for employment use and the council has said it wants to turn it into a business park.

A spokesperson for Carillion said, “We’re working with the council on a master plan for the development of those remaining bits of Sovereign Harbour and within our plans is an area of green space.

“So when those plans come to fruition they will hopefully get their green space.”