OUT IN THE FIELD: A look at life in Eastbourne over the last seven days

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Our story last week about plans for a new Sovereign Centre being so delayed they had been relegated to the back burner certainly ruffled a few feathers at Eastbourne council. While we stand completely behind our story – no date has been forthcoming as to when it will be built, let alone open – the council has made it clear it remains totally committed to the project, which would see a new one built in the existing car park and the old and outdated – but very much still loved – centre demolished. With that in mind, and on a similar tack, a council committee is now considering options for the site when the old building is eventually demolished (see page 3). A hotel has been ruled out as hotels on the rest of the seafront would have kittens and not be happy at all; a supermarket is off the table as it is too close to Tesco, Morrisons et al; a theatre or arts facility is also a no go as the council has already spent an arm and a leg and more on refurbishing the Congress and Devonshire Quarter and offices are also out as the town centre is the main focus for economic growth. That leaves just residential, much needed flats and houses for the good folk of Eastbourne. It will certainly be an attractive prospect to those who like a sea view. I, no doubt along with some more ‘mature’ members of the council, remember the uproar 
when Monarch House was built on the seafront in the 1980s. But times have moved on and we need a good housing supply. Councils are under increasing pressure to allow developers to build houses to meet the growing need – especially in an expanding Eastbourne. Hopefully the new leisure centre will rise to the top of the political agenda and become a reality sooner rather than when those of us of a certain age will be pushing up the daisies.

Well done to all those ‘old faces’ who turned out on Sunday morning in sweltering heat for a game of footie and to raise some much needed funds for St Wilfrid’s in memory of Gavin Pearson, who died at the hospice in April. An incredible £4,000 was raised by family and friends which is a phenomenal amount.

My little find of the week– or should that be summer months – for food and drink has been what is now known as the Aqua Bar in Pevensey Bay. I can officially confirm the roast dinners are as good as you would cook yourself – and the fish and chips are the best in the Bay.

August is nearly over, A Level and GCSE results are in and the Little Treasures are back to school next week. In what will surely seem like only five minutes, the shops will be full of Christmas decorations and festive fodder. So enjoy the sunshine while you can and if you don’t like the heat, go and sit inside. Very soon, it will be dark at half past three in the afternoon and minus two degrees. I am off to the gardens at Glyndebourne this weekend during one of their very rare open days for belated 60th birthday celebrations with the fabulous Greg Allcorn and his even lovelier wife Jane.

See you next week.