Shape of things to come: Innovation Mall

An artist's impression of the innovation mall
An artist's impression of the innovation mall

Ambitious plans to build a state-of-the-art innovation mall at Sovereign Harbour look set to take a step closer to being a reality.

A blueprint for the building is expected to be approved by planners next week which will pave the way for work to begin on the site, on what is known locally as Site 6 – the corner of Pacific Drive and Pevensey Bay Road opposite the existing Harbour Medical Centre.

The building, to be known as the Harbour Innovation Mall, will have three storeys and will be home to a range of businesses. There will be car parking for 130 cars.

Planning officer Anna Clare said, “The delivery of employment space within Sovereign Harbour has been a corporate priority for a number of years. The design of the building is modern while respecting the surrounding area and will provide a landmark building in this prominent gateway site. The application proposed the construction of a three storey building providing business floor space with associated car parking and landscaping.

“The scheme is designed so the building can be potentially subdivided into spaces from 30m squared up to the entire building being let to a single tenant. Shared space is provided to allow integration between tenants and flexibility in that each tenant would not have to provide meeting rooms or breakout areas.

“Ground floor spaces are likely to be occupied by start up businesses, and as such they need to be nearer to business support and spaces that allow interaction. Larger spaces are available on upper floors for businesses which are more established or that have outgrown the smaller ground floor units.”

The plans have been welcomed across the political board at Eastbourne Borough Council and by the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association.

A spokesperson said, “This development is a very welcome start to the final phase of the Sovereign Harbour project, and the employment opportunities it will bring before, during and after the construction are very welcome, and will be a boost to the economy of the town and neighbourhood. The striking design of the innovation mall will form an impressive gateway to the harbour and its construction will hopefully be a catalyst for further development on this site and Site 7.”