Crumbles revamp destined for scrapheap?

Sovereign Harbour Retail Park (also known locally as the Crumbles retail park) August 18th 2011 E33235M
Sovereign Harbour Retail Park (also known locally as the Crumbles retail park) August 18th 2011 E33235M

Plans to improve the Crumbles shopping centre could be scrapped under a new proposal from the borough council.

Sovereign Harbour Residents’ Association, which represents more than 700 people living in the area, is angry with Eastbourne Borough Council for downgrading plans to develop Sovereign Harbour Retail Park.

This month borough council planners have suggested the Crumbles should be classified as an “out of town shopping centre” rather than a “district shopping centre” as it had previously been classified in the Eastbourne Plan in January.

The residents’ association has said this will restrict the types of shops which can be opened at the harbour.

Ian Weeks, a spokesman for Sovereign Harbour Residents’ Association, said, “This reduction in status will place significant restrictions on the sort of retail outlets that will be permitted in the retail park, and is already causing problems for the planned regeneration, that could possibly result in the abandonment of the project.

“The park owner, Prudential, has already been forced to modify the application, resulting in further delays.

“The application will not now be discussed at the March meeting of the planning committee as scheduled, and it would seem likely that we are to have yet another summer without the cross-harbour bus link.”

Mr Weeks said the harbour plans have been downgraded because the council is more concerned about the planned town centre regeneration.

He said, “Since the plan was submitted, and in response to concerted opposition by organisations with interests in the town centre regeneration, it would seem that this vision has been changed and, once again, Sovereign Harbour will be the loser.”

A spokesman for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “This issue is currently subject to a period of consultation that will end on April 20.

“The findings and representations made will then be presented to a government inspector.

“A final decision is expected in the autumn.”