What’s your view on harbour plan?

SOVEREIGN Harbour residents are being urged to comment on new plans for further development in the area.

The council-led consultation runs until Tuesday, July 24, allowing residents to have their say on the draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The document provides guidance on the uses considered to be appropriate for each of the remaining development sites at the Harbour, including details of the size, scale and form and the specific community benefits to be delivered. A public exhibition will be held at Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club on Saturday, June 30.

The Supplementary Planning Document follows a series of workshops led by Stephen Lloyd MP, Cllr David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, and leader of the opposition Cllr David Elkin, together with ward councillors and the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association, to ensure Sovereign Harbour moves closer to seeing delivery of better community facilities.

Sovereign Harbour currently lacks a dedicated community centre and the SPD acknowledges this needs to be delivered before any further housing development.

The document, given the green light by Council Cabinet on April 18, is free to download from www.eastbourne.gov.uk/sovereignharbour and can be viewed at the council offices and Central library. More details are available on SHRA’s website at www.shra.co.uk.

Other issues the SPD will address at Sovereign Harbour include a lack of open space and children’s play areas, the provision of additional retail, leisure and employment uses, accessibility across the neighbourhood via a range of transport methods and the operational needs of the fishermen and boats.

In order to deliver the community benefits it is acknowledged some additional housing will be provided. However this would be a maximum of 150 dwellings - the majority being houses rather than flats.

MP Stephen Lloyd said, “Trying to move Sovereign Harbour forward has been one of my most challenging tasks since I was elected as t MP two years ago. We are all too aware of the lack of recreational space, absence of a community centre and justifiably strong feelings against the building of new homes.

“The SHRA, Council, respective political parties and the Sovereign Ward councillors have worked incredibly hard to find a constructive way forward; I think we’ve managed it and I hope you, the harbour residents, agree.”

Cllr David Tutt said, “Making sure we achieve the best possible outcome for Sovereign Harbour by achieving the much-needed community facilities is essential.

“Hearing the views of local people is an integral part of this process and I would encourage as many as possible to make the most of the consultation process.”

David Elkin, opposition leader, said “By working together we have been able to develop a positive plan which seeks to secure the facilities the Sovereign Harbour community urgently needs. It is crucial therefore t we now hear the views of local people.”

Rick Runalls, chairman of the SHRA said, “We hope Carillion, the principal land owner, will take the opportunity to partner this vision and I urge residents to make their views known.”

Comments can be submitted by post to Planning Policy, 1 Grove Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4TW, by email to planning.policy@eastbourne.gov.uk or online at www.eastbourne-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal