Fishermen’s dreams come true after plans approval

Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne. The fishing fleet area. October 3rd 2013 E40145P
Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne. The fishing fleet area. October 3rd 2013 E40145P

A multi million pound fishing quay with a visitor centre at Sovereign Harbour looks set to become a reality.

Initial plans for the new development, behind the Harvester restaurant on the Waterfront, have been given the go ahead – much to the delight of the town’s fishing community whose members say it will be a permanent home for them to land their catch and sell it and store their equipment.

The site, currently occupied by the Eastbourne U10 Fishermen CIC and regarded as a complete eyesore, is used by fisherman to store their equipment with a fleet of up to 32 fishing boats moored in the water.

The new development, which is being funded by the fishermen themselves, also looks set to include a new harbour walkway between The Waterfront and Atlantic Drive in a bid to bring to bring more tourists to the area.

A council spokesperson said, “The development will provide purpose built accommodation to meet the needs of the fishermen within the heart of the Harbour and also provides enhanced facilities for local residents and visitors.

“There is an opportunity to provide better permanent facilities for the fishermen on this site with appropriate storage. In addition, the provision of a new pedestrian link between The Waterfront and Atlantic Drive, via a new harbour walkway is likely to result in the site becoming more of a destination.

“It is therefore envisaged that alongside the fishermen, net shops and a fresh fish shop could be provided, to the benefit of residents, visitors and Eastbourne’s fishing community.”

The plans were given the green light by Eastbourne Borough council’s town planners this week.