13/04/2018. SHRA member Mike Grant writes to SHRA about the litter problem we featured in Waterlines.
Dear Sir or Madam
Having read the April edition of Waterlines about litter in the retail park, I found Neighbourhood First's reasons or excuses to effectively kick the can down the road to be somewhat laughable. Spurious health and safety concerns were raised including possible hazard waste, rats and a brilliant get out, unknown hazards. Precisely what these might be makes the mind boggle. Disused mine shafts, live ordnance or adders perhaps.
I can assure Neighbourhood Watch's inspector from personal experience that these risks are somewhat over-stated. About three or four years ago a large group of residents came together and undertook a major litter pick in the Harbour. I was part of a team that tackled the rubbish in the bushes and verges opposite the car wash and the nearby mini roundabout. I can confirm we all survived the ordeal. As far as I am aware no-one came to any harm.
As correctly identified in the article much of the litter is wind-blown from the retail park consisting of paper, food wrappings, plastic bags and bottles and hardly hazardous. I encountered no rats during my intrepid ventures into the bush but if there are a colony in residence now all the more reason to tackle the food waste that is attracting them. Whilst avoiding walking in the road makes sense there are areas within the bushes or grass verges far enough away from traffic to allow safe litter picking. For sections close to the roads I would have thought a temporary lane closure very early on a spring or summer morning would inconvenience very few early shoppers with so little traffic about.
If the land is privately owned surely there are records to identify who the owners are. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005 permits litter authorities such as Eastbourne Borough Council to issue Litter Clearing Notices requiring the occupier (or if the land is unoccupied, the owner) of land which is defaced by litter or refuse to clear it, and, where appropriate, take steps to prevent it from becoming heavily defaced again. Neighbourhood First have no reason not to take action whether to clean up themselves or get the owners to do so. The litter problem in the Harbour is not new. It has been there for years. It contributes to the run down tired appearance of the retail park. The status quo is unacceptable if the Harbour is to improve and be a sustainable and pleasant place to live.
SHRA response. Thanks for sharing your view, Mike. We agree that the litter problem needs tackling and we continue to engage with Neighbourhood First about it. The issues pointed out by Neighbourhood First are real and cannot just be ignored. Land ownership records indicate multiple owners and precise boundary issues are to be resolved. Premier’s recent purchase of The Waterfront has further complicated investigations. We know that Neighbourhood First are aware of the powers they have under the various Acts because they have mentioned them to us as possible future steps. We are continuing to press for a clean-up of the areas.
03/02/2018. South Habour resident Bob Greenhead has written to SHRA about the bus lane.
Bus Route. I have lived here for seven years and found the present system quite adequate. I am a frequent user. I seem to remember the last committee stating that people in the north may wish to visit the south and vice versa. Several points spring to mind.
• The herb gardens along side of the cinema will have to be
decimated at some point to allow the buses to cut through.
• This I believe will cause a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists on the national cycle route.
• The buses stop at about seven in the evening so any visit can only be made during the day
• It would not be long before the route is open to all, causing a “rat run’. A danger, especially past the school in Atlantic Drive.
My solution would be to combine the two routes. This would provide a half hourly service. Most of the residents of the harbour that I have spoken to agree. This would mean each bus driving up Atlantic Drive and then Pacific Drive. I realise this may add a small amount of time to the bus route but I am sure bus companies solve such problems all of the time.
This would also allow people to visit the Crumbles and The Waterfront in an easier and more regular fashion.
Bob Greenhead JP
SHRA Response. What do other readers think about this? In the past, bus companies have said that a bus lane would allow them to run a viable, half-hourly, cross-harbour service serving both North and South Harbours rather than the current hourly service to each single destination.
However, it should be noted that on Sunday and Bank Holidays some buses do serve both the North and South destinations on a single route via the normal roads as Bob suggests. Buses starting at Pacific Drive travel to Langney Point then whizz up and down Atlantic Drive before heading into town. This adds e.g. only ten minutes or so to the journey time for passengers travelling into town from the North Harbour.
04/01/2018. South Habour resident Bob Greenhead has written to all our local councillors about the collection of rubbish from South Harbour residencies over the xmas and new year period. His letter is shown below.
Good morning Councillor,
As you are
probably aware, the residents of Sovereign Harbour [South] have a Tuesday
rubbish collection. This has meant that the normal rubbish was not
collected for two weeks. On telephoning the Council we were told to
put rubbish into bags and that the bags would be collected along
with the bins. Yesterday the bins were collected but the bags were
In the case of
recycling rubbish, we are left without a collection for four weeks.
The bins are now full and we have to wait a further two weeks for a
collection. Next year Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday and it will
Considering that somewhere in the Borough, this happens every year, surely a plan should be put in place. Our Council Expert on waste is Cameron Morley. Sadly he is on holiday until the 8th January, the very day before the next collection of recycling waste. Best time to go on holiday…. the busiest time of the year.
I have sent this
email to all four Councillors in the hope that they will take up the
challenge and stop this non collection of waste by Kiers.
Bob Greenhead JP
SHRA Response. Having made some enquiries about this, it seem that the North Harbour, whose bin-day is on a Monday, received a special rubbish and recycling collection on Saturday 30th Dec to compensate for the loss of a collection on Christmas Day. South Harbour's collection day is Tuesday and the last recycling collection was Tue 12 Dec. The collection for both rubbish and recycling due on Boxing Day was, understandably, cancelled, but unlike North Harbour, no alterative arrangement was made. The next recycling collection for South Harbour is 9th Jan nearly a month after their previous one, and our recycle bins are overflowing.
Update: email of 6th Jan to SHRA from Cllr Paul Metcalfe MBE, Sovereign Ward
On receipt of an email from a resident of West Harbour with regards the bin collections over the Christmas period I immediately forwarded it on to the Chief Executive of EBC and informed the resident of this.
I have receive an acknowledgement and thank you from the CE. He replied that he would look into the matter and update me asap. I am looking forward to the update and will share with the resident accordingly.
You are welcome to publish this email along with the SHRA members' letter should you wish to do so.
Cllr Paul Metcalfe MBE
10/12/2017 from North Harbour resident and past SHRA chairman Jan Weeks to the editor of Waterlines
With reference to the paragraph below from your article regarding the campaign for a Community Council at Sovereign Harbour.
At its meeting in October the SHRA committee invited Rick Runnels, one of the residents calling for a new campaign, to give a presentation on the benefits of a community council. Following the presentation, the SHRA committee decided that it required a great deal more information on the subject. The committee undertook to find out more about the role, obligations and funding of community councils, and about the new campaign. It is planned that future editions of Waterlines will carry factual articles on the pros and cons of a community council, in the meantime we welcome any thoughts on the matter.
You say that future editions of Waterlines will carry factual articles on the pros and cons of a Community Council. Considering your previous refusal to publish a factual letter on the subject, who do you propose should be the arbiter of fact?
The inference, is that in 2007 the SHRA committee did not give enough factual information to the residents for them to make an objective decision on the merits of setting up a Community (Parish) Council.
During the period leading up to the petition for a referendum, information was published in Waterlines, from issue 25, June 2007, to issue 42, December 2008. In July 2007, an open meeting was held at the Haven School, where there was a very lively debate. Presentations by the clerks of Seaford Town Council and Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Councils shared their experiences of setting up and operating Parish/Town Councils. Residents and Ward Councillors also expressed their views.
At the end of the meeting there was a majority show of hands to take the process forward, and in April 2008 Rick Runalls (then chairman of SHRA) presented a petition to the Eastbourne Borough Council requesting the formation of a Community Council for Sovereign Harbour. This was followed with another open meeting in October 2008 at the Haven School chaired by the Editor of the Eastbourne Herald to debate the referendum.
The rest, as they say, is history. All of this information can be found on-line in archived editions of Waterlines, which at that time were in hard copy and delivered to every property within the Sovereign Harbour boundary.
So, for the present committee to say it now needs more information is disingenuous. I can only presume that the committee do not have the desire, or energy, to support the new campaign. Whatever, the SHRA needs to state its position; prevarication or fence sitting are not options.
Former chairman SHRA
Response from SHRA
In her final paragraph, Jan presumes that the new SHRA committee lacks the desire or energy to support a new campaign for a SH community council - this is NOT really the case (even though some of us are getting on a bit!). The issue is whether we should support a new campaign.
SHRA's current position is as stated in Waterlines; and there is no inference. The main reason for that position is because the unsuccessful campaign in 2007 was ten years ago. Since then, I would guess that perhaps half the SHRA membership is new, and probably about half the harbour residents also. Various relevant laws have also changed (e.g. Localism Act 2011 introduced). The SHRA committee cannot commit to something, nor recommend it to its membership, without first properly investigating the pros and cons; especially something that will cost residents money. Members rightly expect up-to-date information. I imagine that the SHRA committee will be in a position to jump off the fence in the not too distant future.
26/11/2017 from South Harbour resident Marj Pratt - copy of letter sent to Premier Marinas.
How depressing that once again Premier Marinas are trying to
chase away the starlings on the Harbour. Many residents appreciate
their antics and are pleased to see an increase in wildlife on their
doorsteps especially by creatures whose natural habitats are
constantly being removed by human intervention.
I imagine that you are aware that long term monitoring by the British Trust for Ornithology shows that starling numbers have fallen by 66 per cent in Britain since the mid 1970s and that because of the decline in numbers the starling is red listed as a bird of high conservation concern. Starlings are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 which makes it illegal to intentionally kill, injure or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its’ contents. Further, the RSPB on its website, states that in their opinion, nuisance or damage to property are not legitimate reasons for control.
I understand that as a commercial company you want to keep your clients happy but a few dirty decks are a small price to pay for the pleasure of watching these and all the other species trying to coexist in our neighbourhood. I hope you will reconsider your decision to fly the falcons.
26/11/2017 from South Harbour resident Viv Hope - copy of message to Premier Marinas
I understand the Premier Marinas, are going to employ the use of a hawk to chase away the starlings and pigeons from the marina because of the mess they make. The Hawk allegedly has been trained to differentiate between Starlings and pigeons and other species of birds and that the Hawk is fed and therefore not hungry, before they are freed to do this job, so will not harm them, just chase them away to greener spaces.
It has taken years for any sort of winged wildlife apart from gulls, to settle amongst the concrete of the marina, and I and others encourage these happy, funny starlings, by feeding them along with sparrows, blackbirds, robins, blue tits and even the occasional thrush, plus a variety of migrant birds that pass through.
How awful that people's boats are made a mess of, (shock horror) but what came first, the yachts, Sovereign Harbour or birds? It's just wrong. I wonder is it just me that is appalled at the thought of this. I think Premier Marinas thought if doing this a couple of years back, and everyone was cross about it then and it never happened.
27/11/2017 Response from Premier Marinas
Subject: RE: Starlings
Dear Mrs Hope
Many thanks for your email. We have a diverse wildlife within the marina and I understand your concerns regarding the starlings. The hawks are good at selecting species however this is a humane way of keeping the birds away from our customers boats which can cause considerable damage, time and money.
The hawks are used as a deterrent only during the winter months.
05/10/2017 from North Harbour resident Ray Blakebrough
I referrer to the 31 August letter by Carole Penney on cycling on the
Councils have been asked to deliver equal investment and planning of safe walking and safe cycling routes. To date 2012 to 2017, ESCC have purely focussed on cycling schemes, the majority of which has been imposing shared areas on pedestrians and sadly taking away safe comfortable leisure walking areas such as the harbour strand to the benefit of cyclists.
Finally, it would seem our elected representatives David Elkin and our Boro councillors will not campaign to maintain safe walking space. In this instance the suggestion is a "share with care" style of approach which is both meaningless and dangerous. Bexhill have a pedestrian priority ruling in shared areas quite why we cannot have the same is baffling. Having said that the key point is - Our County and Boro councils are neglecting pedestrians by failing to deliver safe walking strategies. In fact they are actively making it less safe to walk.
01.09/2017 - from Noth Harbour resident Ivor Rumsey
I couldn't agree more with the recent letter from Ian Weeks regarding the meeting between SHRA and Stephen Lloyd MP. It succinctly summarises the state of limbo that exists for us all in Sovereign Harbour.
Unfortunately, we have always been the poor relation of Eastbourne and although Mr Lloyd represents all in his constituency, I believe he will always default to serving the interests of Eastbourne first (as shown in Ian Week's letter).
I cannot see how this situation will change anytime soon and therefore it's so sad to see that the laudable objectives and vision statements as contained in the Sovereign Harbour SPD, will remain what they are - Utopian aspirations.
31/08/2017 - from South Harbour resident Carole Penney
Ok I want to know what the legalities are for cyclists on the strand. That's the stretch of walk way/promenade that goes from the lock to the first Martello tower [The outer harbour prom].
My house backs on to this walkway and I have almost been run over as I have exited my back gate. Over the weekend of the airborne there were so many near accidents one was a small child about 18 moths where the cyclist had its front wheel pushing the child's backside. I need to know where I stand against these uncaring cyclists.
SHRA Response - It's a good question Carole. I'm not the expert on this, but I know that the Outer Harbour prom is not a designated cycle route. Whether cycling on it is actually prohibited, I don't know.
29/08/2017 - from North Harbour resident Ian Weeks
I was very pleased to hear that the SHRA has engaged with Stephen Lloyd MP in respect of the ongoing issues that continue to affect the sustainability of the Sovereign Harbour community. I was, however, astonished to hear that Mr Lloyd “was particularly annoyed by the length of time it is taking to provide the proposed bus lane linking the North and South Harbours”
Back in August 2011 (see Waterlines Issue 60) Prupim, the then owners of the Sovereign Harbour Retail Park (SHRP), put forward proposals for a £14million regeneration of the park. This included a number of new restaurants and a nine-screen cinema. In the light of this, Sovereign Harbour examined how the new development could be linked to the Waterfront to create an exciting out-of-town leisure complex.
Central to these plans was a new route for the cross-harbour bus link which would bring additional visitors to the centre and, more importantly, vastly improve bus services from the harbour to the Town Centre. These plans were endorsed by residents at a very well attended public consultation and were given planning consent.
However, before work could be started, Legal and General (L&G), the owners of the Arndale Centre, challenged the classification of the SHRP in the Local Development Framework (LDF) Core Strategy as a “District Shopping Centre”. If successful, this challenge would have put severe restriction on the usage of a number of the retail units. This challenge was fully supported by Mr Lloyd who said the extension of the Arndale Centre was more important to Eastbourne, and nothing must be done to jeopardise “HIS Town Centre”
Despite the challenge, and the added opposition of planning officers, who argued against the council’s policy, the District Status of the SHRP was endorsed by the Planning Inspector at the LDF Examination in Public. L&G, however, sought Judicial Review of the inspector’s decision in the High Court, but the Court upheld the decision and confirmed the District Shopping Centre status. However, the legal process took so much time that Prupim decided to use their £14million on other projects that would bring a quicker return.
As a consequence of this action not only was the new nine-screen cinema lost, but also the existing cinema. (See Waterlines Issue 71). Also, having had its plans thwarted, Prupim’s successor in ownership of the retail park, M&G, remove permission for the bus link to pass over its land until such time as a decision was taken on the retail park’s future.
Had this challenge not been supported, Sovereign Harbour would now be an important and thriving centre for leisure, tourism and retail activities, and an important generator of income for Eastbourne. Instead, the Town Centre continues to decline, a process that is unlikely to be reversed by the Arndale Centre extension, which looks to be second-rate, at best.
You will, I hope, see why I am so astonished at Mr Lloyd’s statement.
If they meet Mr Lloyd again, the committee might like to ask him how hard he really tried to engage the Environment Agency on the subject of the Rent Charge when he was previously our MP, and just how the Sovereign Harbour SPD, which he promised would provide “cast-iron” guarantees for the provision of the missing social infrastructure before any further residential development, was made totally worthless by a very bizarrely negotiated S.106 agreement.
----------------------------------SHRA Response - SHRA will, when necessary, continue to ask difficult questions to those we engage with, but we see little benefit in revisiting past differences; instead we will try to move things forward in a positive manner in order to obtain results that will benefit the SHRA membership.
21/08/2017 - from North Harbour resident J Bradnam
For many months now mostly Friday and Saturday nights large gatherings of teenagers are causing distress to the residents of Sovereign harbour.
They gather along Macquarie Quay and onto the spur of land opposite Midway Quay. Large amounts of alcohol are consumed there by under aged youngsters which in turn leads to unsociable behaviour. Vandalism, fights, very loud shouting and swearing all occur which goes on until early hours of the morning.
Occasionally police pay a visit and conviscate the alcohol but they simply produce more when the police leave.It is not wise for any resident to approach these youths as verbal abuse and threatening behaviour takes place.
We need a security patrol put into place to stop this unsociable behaviour taking place so we can enjoy living in such a beautiful place once again.
12/06/2017 - from North Harbour resident Keith Forbes (Keith was a SHRA committee member at the time, but writes here in a personal capacity).
I write in part-response to the interesting letter of 21 February 2017 (below) from North Harbour residents Ivor and Nina Rumsey about dogs on the beach and their sad summary that "most tragic of all is the collective resignation and acceptance that there is absolutely nothing that we or anyone else can do about this blight on our community."
In my view, the blight referred to and others below I now mention, can and should be dealt with by our Sovereign Ward Councillors. In vital respects our Sovereign Ward clearly does not get the same recognition from either the Eastbourne Borough Council or East Sussex County Council as other parts, not only of Eastbourne but also the rest of the UK, do.
Five examples highlight this:
First - no tourism accommodation. Sovereign Harbour is now one of the most attractive parts of Eastbourne scenically, and unique in having both a splendid harbour area and the largest sheltered marina in northern Europe, and the busy “Waterfront” area of shops and restaurants and late-night bars. As such it attracts a wide range of local residents, visitors from other areas of the town and tourists from regional, national and international areas, who often arrive by coach. It also has the important and strategic The Crumbles shopping centre that attracts customers from across town, Bexhill and beyond.
But Sovereign Harbour is not included in any of the present or planned Tourism Accommodation areas of Eastbourne. There, they are confined to the town or nearby on its western side, see http://planningpolicyconsult.eastbourne.gov.uk/consult.ti/TAR_SPD/viewCompoundDoc?docid=8089684&sessionid=&voteid=&partId=8090292 . Unlike places with similar features in other parts of the world that offer tourism accommodation within their complexes, there are none in Sovereign Harbour, now one of Eastbourne's major tourism and visitor attractions.
Some local residents believe that both Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council should be actively encouraging the building of a new 4-star hotel also offering business conference facilities and the establishment of a new Sovereign Harbour Tourism Development group. They deem it more important than or at least as important as the building of a community centre.
Second – non-listed beaches. Although Sovereign Harbour is in this Eastbourne electoral ward for Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council for collection of Council Taxes, neither of the two Sovereign Harbour (North and South) beaches are among the listed Eastbourne beaches. Listed Eastbourne beaches only go as far as groyne number 94 at Langney Point. See: www.eastbourne.gov.uk/_resources/assets/inline/full/0/209207.pdf.
The Eastbourne beach list should have long ago been extended to include these two Sovereign Ward beaches in Eastbourne. Presently, because they are not included in Eastbourne's beaches despite being in the EBC Sovereign Ward area, they do not get the same level of supervision, oversight, dogs and leashes controls, usage rules and maintenance as Eastbourne’s other beaches. No other localities in the UK with beaches in their council tax area deliberately omit beaches from their council jurisdiction.
Third – flood defence charge. While some residents of the Sovereign ward - those in the residential areas of Langney Point and Kingsmere and homes on the south side of St. Anthony's Avenue and the Queen's Crescent - are not liable to pay the harbour water/flood defence charge on top of their regular water charges, those in the Sovereign Harbour area are liable.
Only the owners or long-leaseholders of the 3,700+ homes in Sovereign Harbour, no one else in Eastbourne, have to pay, annually not just once, for the flood defence scheme that surrounds the harbour and Eastbourne. They are legally required to, in effect discriminated against, under an East Sussex County Council and Eastbourne Borough Council-approved Deed and Grant of Covenant which the two Councils' Sovereign Ward Councillors have never challenged, as a condition of the sales contract that obliges the purchaser of the flats or units (but not the owners of the buildings) to pay for the flood defence rent charges.
Yet a failure of the flood defence scheme anywhere along this length of coast would affect over 10,000 homes, far more than just in Sovereign Harbour and cause them damage possibly amounting to billions of pounds. No other harbour and marina in the UK or Europe or the world or local authorities make only this local community pay for flood defences that go far beyond just this local community.
Fourth – bland planting. Sovereign Harbour public roads, in an otherwise very pleasant area, have a unique negative distinction of being completely devoid of any council-provided tree-lined pavements. The main thoroughfares of Atlantic Drive and Pacific Drive in particular, and all their side streets, instead of showing off the public highways, landscape and harbour to best advantage, can presently be compared to bland and flora-deficient military bases or some residential areas immediately adjacent to prisons. In all other nice neighbourhoods their councils both plant trees and roadside shrubs and pay the cost of maintaining them and these costs are included in their council taxes. This should be the case in Sovereign Harbour also.
Fifth – high council tax. In addition to the above four disadvantages, Sovereign Harbour residents must endure, they also pay overall the highest council taxes in Eastbourne, far more than some properties worth considerably more in market price but with lower Council Tax bands. It is manifestly unjust that for a small two-bedroom apartment on the beachside that some of us have we have to pay council taxes not only much more than many bigger properties with a higher market value locally, but nearly twice as much as huge London properties in Band H worth millions, with rooms galore.
If you feel as I do, that ALL these five significant blights on our community should be corrected by our County and Borough councils to right these wrongs so as to give our Sovereign Ward parity with other Eastbourne and further-afield areas, I urge you to contact your local councillors; Councillor David Elkin, Councillor Penny di Cara, Councillor Gordon Jenkins, Councillor Paul Metcalfe
Keith Forbes, resident, Sovereign Harbour North.
21/02/2017 - to SHRA from North Harbour residents, Ivor and Nina Rumsey
How gratifying to see the welfare of dogs being taken into account in the recent Waterlines articlearding reg palm oil deposits on Sovereign Harbour beach and the potential harm it can do to them. What a shame that the human species (especially the younger ones) do not attract the same level of concern to rid ourselves from deposits of the dog variety!
Amongst the usual multitude of dogs that frequent our beach everyday are two people with 10, yes 10 dogs between them, with most of them off the lead. I know the majority of dog walkers pick it up, but there is a sizable minority who don't, especially when off the lead, with their owners blissfully unaware of what their dogs are doing.
If all dogs were kept on a lead whilst on the beach, I am convinced this would dramatically reduce the problem. I know this is unenforceable, but even if only a few comply, it would be a step in the right direction.
I'm sure that most dog owners would say that if we don't like over looking a beach used as a dog toilet and clearing up other person's dog poo, we should shut up and move. Perhaps they are right, as the problem is getting progressively worse as each year passes (notices and extra poo bins make little or no difference).
Most tragic of all, is the collective resignation and
acceptance that there is absolutely nothing that we, nor anyone
else, can do about this blight on our community.
Ivor and Nina Rumsey
28/10/2016 - to SHRA from South Harbour resident, Edward Maher
I am writing to you in response to the recently circulated parking restriction proposals with regards to Martinique Way in the South Harbour. Plan number EB 16 052
I am, along with the ACTUAL residents of Martinique Way, disgusted and outraged that once again our standards of living and needs are being totally overlooked. The proposal to remove all but a few feet of parking space outside our homes is outrageous.
As I look outside my home at this moment I see and count 12 cars belonging to RESIDENTS which are parked legally outside our own homes. This proposal would deny us any parking or access and leaves enough parking for possibly half the cars here at this moment. In the proposal outline it states that these proposals are in consultation with and at the behest of residents and business’ requests??
There are NO businesses in the proposed restricted area and NO LOCAL RESIDENTS have requested these restrictions which are ludicrous to say the least. I have, along with other residents of Martinique Way voiced my objections at the website and via email and wish this ‘Residents’ association to also voice its objections in line with the affected residents views.
Tens of thousands of pounds have already been taken from property values in this area with the planning ‘sell-out’ and building works now taking place. I refuse to now lose my ability to park my taxed and registered vehicles at my home address.
I am disgusted with any support for this pointless exercise and question the motives of anyone supporting these proposals.
Archived letters - 2015-2011 subjects - cycling, Harbour
Development, dogs, litter.
Archived letters - 2010 subjects include housing development, LDF.
Archived letters - 2009-2010 -Subjects include gritting, surface water, Harbour heroes.