Harbour Development Sites
Eleven undeveloped parcels of land remained at Sovereign Harbour following completion of the main stages of residential construction in 2009. These sites were untouched until 2016, partly as a result of the developer's plans for some of them being opposed and refused consent. Three of the sites now have houses under construction on them with completion due in 2018. This page should be read in conjunction with the Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SHSPD) published in 2013.
Site One - Land at Langney Point - "White Point"
2.1 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Dominated by Martello Tower 66, close to the beach and the seaward entrance to the harbor.
Initially, the site was earmarked for an hotel. Later, the SHSPD identified this site to be ideal for a sea front leisure area and the seaward two thirds of the site were allocated for this purpose. In order to fund this, it was agreed that further residential dwellings could be built, ten houses and 62 apartments, in two blocks.
One condition of the consent was that an uninterrupted view of the Martello Tower must be maintained. Another was that access to the beach must be maintained for Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd. contractors removing shingle built up behind the harbour arm and transporting it to the North Harbour beach.
Construction started in 2017 with the houses being built first. The development is being marketed as "White Point"
Site Two - Berth holder car park at end of Atlantic Drive
0.2 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd (SHL) with Premier Marinas interest. Opposite Daytona Quay, containing a fifty-five bay car park. Despite being rarely used, SHL insists that provision of this parking is a contractual obligation and change of use for this site is impossible. However, this did not prevent it from trying to get consent for residential development on the site some years ago. There are no current plans for development.
Site Three - Fishing fleet area behind the 'Harvester'
0.3 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Currently used by the local fishing fleet to store equipment and land their catch. A planning application for residential development was refused, but SHL has made no secret that refusal has not dented its ambitions.
However, the Eastbourne Fishermen have put forward an exciting plan to develop the site as a "Fishing Quay" similar to the development in Hastings. The plan includes a visitor centre, a retail outlet for the sale of fresh fish and storage facilities for fishing equipment.
Site Four - Boat sales display area.
0.4 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. The curved section of land opposite The Waterfront by the North Harbour Bridge. Currently used for the display of boats for sale. It offers open views of the North Harbour.
This site too was the subject of a planning application for high-rise residential development that would have closed off pedestrian access to the waterside and destroyed the public views of the North Harbour. Although the application was refused, as with Site Three, SHL still had ambitions for further residential development.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site to be ideal for an extension of the Waterfront leisure area. Outline planning consent has been granted for additional restaurants with office accommodation above. There is also provision for a large area of public open space adjacent to the marina for use as a "Village Green". However, no firms development plans have been submitted.
In April 2018 ownership of the site changed hands when Premier Marinas brought it as part of their deal to purchase The Waterfront area.
Site Five - Old SHL temporary offices
0.1 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd (SHL). This small parcel of land was occupied by the long-disused SHL temporary offices which were finally demolished in 2015. This site is adjacent to the Waterfront car park and shares a boundary with Site Six.
Because of the nature of waste buried beneath the site, construction of any structure above a single story would be difficult as it would require the sinking of piles that would breach the membrane containing the waste with possibly disastrous consequences for the water table.
Despite the above, this site was identified as the preferred site for the Sovereign Harbour Health Centre! However, in 2007, SHL withdrew the land from sale and offered in its place a piece of land on Site Seven (a) for the Health Centre (See below).
In 2013, the Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SHSPD) identified this site to be the ideal location for the long awaited Sovereign Harbour Community Centre. At the public consultation on the SHL Master Plan outline planning application, a model of the proposed centre on this site was provided for approval. Residents were delighted with the design.
Then in 2016, despite planning consent for the centre having been granted in 2015, the site was suddenly withdrawn by SHL as a survey had determined that there was indeed contamination and "a high risk of unexploded ordnance". Despite several requests, no proof of this ordnance has been provided. In late 2016 a corner of Site 6 was designated as the site for the Community Centre.
No alternative use has been put forward for this site, but it is believed that it may be used to extend the Waterfront car park to support the development of Site Four
Site Six - Easter Island Place
3.2 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Previously known as “Commercial Site One”, this is the large parcel of land between Pevensey Bay Road and Harbour Quay at the entrance to the North Harbour. Many will know it as the “B&Q” site following two unsuccessful planning applications to build a DIY Superstore on the land. The wooded area beside Pevensey Bay Road is a protected area.
Part of this site was used to re-bury landfill refuse from other areas of the development area and is actively venting methane gas. The waste is protected by membranes and covered by a “shingle mound”.
This site has been jointly acquired by Eastbourne Borough and East Sussex County Councils on a 999 year lease from SHL to develop a business park. In August 2015, the Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park (Pacific House) opened for business; a further four office blocks are planned for the site.
In February 2017 a planning application was submitted for the
construction of the
Sovereign Harbour Community Centre on a
corner of the plot beside the road leading in to the Retail Park. Construction commenced in late 2017 with an expected completion
date of June 2018.
Site Seven (a) - Land alongside Pevensey Bay Road
2.05 hectares, owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Previously part of the huge parcel of land known as “Commercial Site Two” (in total 4.2 hectares), between Pevensey Bay Road and Pacific Drive West that was also originally reserved as part of the Business Park development.
The land has never been seriously marketed for the purpose for which it was intended, although development funding should have been provided from the profits from the development of the Crumbles Retail Park. SHL insists that development can only be funded by further residential development.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site to be ideal for employment use.
Following the withdrawal of Site Five as the location for the
Sovereign Harbour Health Centre, the proposed site was moved to
a corner of this site. Construction began in January 2011 and
Harbour Medical Practice
opened for business in December of
It is interesting to note that at the B&Q planning meeting Sovereign Harbour Ltd had stated that the land on Sites Six and Seven had "negative value", but it still charged the PCT £250,000 for the Medical Centre plot.
Site Seven (b)- Land alongside Pevensey Bay Road
0.8 hectares, owned by JWS Homes
Ltd. Also previously part of land known as “Commercial Site
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified that this site should be reserved as public open space.
The S.106 agreement for Site Seven (c) requires the developer to landscape the area so that it is available for use by the time the development of that site is complete.
Site Seven (c) - Land alongside Pevensey Bay Road -"Macaulay Place"
2.08 hectares, owned by JWS Homes Ltd. Previously part of land known as “Commercial Site Two”, and originally reserved as part of the Business Park development.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site as the location for "Macaulay Place" a development of 37 four bedroom houses, and 15 five bedroom houses, 12 two bedroom apartments, 2 three bedroom apartments and 4 three bedroom maisonettes; a total of 70 homes.
The construction of these homes will fund the development of the public open space on Site Seven (b). Construction began in early 2017.
Site Eight - Far end of North Harbour - "Port Moresby Place"
0.3 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. A narrow strip of land at the far end of the North Harbour bordering Pacific Drive. Consent was given for this land to be used as a berth-holder car park, and purchasers of adjacent properties were given assurances, before entering into contracts, that there would be no residential development on this plot.
However, the car park was never constructed and Sovereign Harbour Ltd has since been quite aggressive in its attempts to persuade the Borough Council that it should be used for high-density, high-rise residential development.
The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) identified this site to be ideal for a marina-side public open space. It was agreed that this would be funded by the construction of eight high quality homes, for which planning consent was granted under the name Port Moresby Place
The plan requires that 50% of the site, the land closest to the marina, will be paved and landscaped for public use. A condition of the consent is that the public open space must be completed before two thirds of the homes are sold. This conditions has not been met and although the properties have been completed the public space has not.
Site Nine - The Martello Tower No. 64 on North Harbour beach
The Martello Tower is a Grade II Listed Building and a Scheduled Monument. It is owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. who have retained access to the building from Caroline Way. The building is currently in a poor state of repair and is on the buildings at risk register. The Tower could in principle be converted into an alternative use, and because it is important to secure the long term repair and maintenance of the Tower, conversion could be supported subject to discussion with English Heritage. However, given its remote and exposed location, and due to its poor state of repair and the associated costs of refurbishment, conversion is considered unlikely.
Site Ten - Outer Harbour peninsula
1.5 hectares owned by Premier Marinas. Previously used by the local fishing boat operators to store equipment, it was purchased from Sovereign Harbour Ltd by Premier Marinas and has now been cleared. Premier has not published its plans for the site. Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd use part of the site for stockpiling shingle.
Site Eleven - Land at the end of Key West adjacent to the locks
0.1 hectares owned by Premier Marinas. As with Site Ten, it was sold by Sovereign Harbour Ltd to Premier Marinas. It has always been the ambition of the Borough Council that this area should be developed as a visitor attraction, and this is shared by residents.
Despite receiving substantial income from residents through the “Marina Rent Charge”, Premier Marinas has indicated in the past that it was not prepared to spend money on improving this area. Premier uses as an excuse the fact that residents successfully contested a planning application to develop the site*.
However, that application was submitted by Sovereign Harbour Ltd well before the sale to Premier and Premier purchased it in the knowledge that the site was designated as a tourist destination.
* Residents opposed the Sovereign Harbour Ltd application because it included a “turning circle” for the Dotto train, which would have run along the outer harbour promenade, close to the rear exits of a number of properties. Because of these exits and the number of pedestrians who use the promenade, many of them children, this would have been a safety risk.