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Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England

Where residents pay Annual Estate Rentcharges not "harbour charges" and unique-in-UK Environment Agency flood defence

By Keith A. Forbes. A disabled and formerly expatriate author, he lives in the harbour with his disabled wife. When they acquired their Sovereign Harbour leasehold property they were not informed in advance of the problems shown below. This basic, entirely non-commercial website is provided for and on behalf of the Sovereign Harbour Disability Association, an unincorporated nor-for-profit entity manned solely by volunteers and not publicly financed or sponsored in any way, in hope the facts and opinions it shows will encourage the elderly, disabled and vulnerable, if they have not already done so, to interest themselves in computing. Most are already halfway there if they already use a smartphone, tablet or similar. They may be feeling depressed from or after the present pandemic or may have experienced a heart attack or  lung cancer or stroke or a similar permanent infirmity. They should not be concerned about making their presence known on the Internet or World Wide Web. Shown above are various examples of what can be done by them in where they live or family history or their own special interests or skills. 

Sovereign Harbour scene

Sovereign Harbour is the only place in the whole of the United Kingdom where owner-residents incur a unique, triple-whammy annual Estate Rentcharge

Sovereign Harbour map 3Eastbourne's Sovereign Harbour is a private estate 2.5 miles east of Eastbourne on the A259 Pevensey Bay Road and part of Eastbourne Borough Council's Sovereign Ward, the easternmost of Eastbourne's electoral wards. 

It is both a marina and a 4-part seafront harbour. It is Northern Europe's largest composite marina complex.

 All the above are described below in some detail.

Prospective owner-residents are not told in advance by their estate agents about this expensive, unique and unjust annual Estate Rentcharge.  

Nor are they informed they also have to bear a grossly unfair additional and unique-in-the-UK Environment Agency (EA) sea flood defence charge, while all the thousands of people who live in the rest of Eastbourne and the 17,500 plus who live in the 9 kilometre area from Sovereign Harbour all the way to Bexhill on Sea - yet in the very same EA sea flood area - are exempted from such payment. 

Prospective new owners also need to know that Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council are the only local authorities area in the entire UK where councillors and former Resident Association chairs sit on the boards of directors of the private companies that levy the charge.

Other omissions by estate agents and others include that while Sovereign Harbour, as a private estate, makes the 3,400 Sovereign Harbour landowners alone pay these charges, they are are not applicable in any other UK harbour. Worse, the general public, at no cost to them at all, represented by 4.8 million visitors annually from Eastbourne and beyond, are encouraged by Sovereign Harbour owners to visit, eat, drink and use beach, harbour and leisure facilities and litter the harbour and beaches.

While there are other places with annual estate rentcharges in the UK, only Sovereign Harbour has one where all the factors above and below exist. Sovereign Harbour, as a marina also (as such one of the biggest in the world) the only combined harbour and marina, not just in the UK but also in the entire world where land-based (not water-based) residents alone - not the harbour/marina itself nor any of its businesses, not even ones not in the harbour/marina itself but serving it, pay both such an annual estate rentcharge. In all other places where annual estate rentcharges exist, sea defences are not paid as part of an annual estate rentcharge, as they are here in Sovereign Harbour. Also, in all other places with annual estate rentcharges, with the sole exception of Sovereign Harbour, when they are private they restrict visitors yet their pavements are provided with trees by their local councils.

The Wellcome Trust - via Premier Marinas - owns Sovereign Harbour 

Sovereign Harbour middleSovereign Harbour  is a private 330 acre estate owned by the privately-held The Wellcome Trust which owns Premier Marinas Ltd (of which Sovereign Harbour is one of many harbours). The Wellcome Trust has, in the past, denied ownership of another relevant entity. the Sovereign Harbour Trust (SHT) (which claims on its website to be a charity but it lost that status years ago) and the latter's subsidiary Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) Community Interest Company Ltd. (CIC).  The SHT levies the Annual Estate Rentcharge and its subsidiary CIC demands and collects it directly or indirectly (in the case of the most recent relevant home construction development) from every every relevant Sovereign Harbour freeholder and leaseholder, of which there are about 3,500. 

The sole purpose of the SHT's CIC, despite it calling itself a "community interest company" is NOT to benefit or bestow any community interest or largesse in any way to any of the Sovereign Harbour community of residents, but instead solely to CHARGE them as individual area landowners or co-owners the Annual Estate Rentcharge mentioned in detail below (the only Premier Marinas harbour to  do so).

The Wellcome Trust was created in 1936 by the will of Sir Henry Wellcome. 

It states it is a charitable foundation but this is not so for the 3,400 or so resident owners/leaseholders of Sovereign Harbour. Why not?

Because  to whom, uniquely in the UK, it charges in 2021 to Sovereign Harbour residents only - a £263.55 Annual Estate Rentcharge per house or flat irrespective of market value (5% are under £350,000) or £1.4 million (as 9 or so are).   

Its subsidiary, Premier Marinas Ltd, is also a private company, limited by shares. 

Premier Marinas was sold to the Blackrock UK Property Fund and became a wholly owned subsidiary, still trading (as it does today) as Premier Marinas, established as such in 1994.  

Later, it and eight Premier Marinas on the south coast in the UK, Sovereign Harbour and Brighton Marina in East Sussex, Chichester in West Sussex, Southsea, Port Solent, Gosport, Swanwick in Hampshire, Noss-on-Dart in Devon and Falmouth Marina in Cornwall, were sold to The Wellcome Trust. 

Sovereign Harbour flatsOf all these harbours listed above, only Sovereign Harbour has an annual estate rentcharge).

Sovereign Harbour provides harbour and marina facilities for Eastbourne which previously had none

Sovereign Harbour - it collectively includes four separate but interconnected-by-bridges residential (non industrial) harbours,  was developed by since-disgraced and liquidated Carillion Construction Limited  It had a huge and complex national and international (Canada, etc) corporate portfolio until January 2018.  It included being a major supplier to the UK government. It helped to maintain schools and hospitals and was also part of a consortium building the £56bn HS2 high-speed rail link. Carillion was finally involuntarily liquidated but there is still a Bermuda company by that name.

The Outer Harbour is tidal, whilst the Inner, South, North and West Harbours are entered through two high capacity locks, both manned 24 hours, 365 days a year, providing access to the sea irrespective of the tide. 

Opened in 1993 by the late Princess Diana, it has 800 permanent berths, with some 3,000 yachts visiting each year. All the many streets in the residential areas have overseas names from exotic places (for example, Bermuda) around the world. 

Deeds for all Sovereign Harbour properties - showing their individual - Annual Estate Rentcharge (AER) obligations are registered by the SHT and/or its CIC with the Land Registry

The Sovereign Harbour Village Waterfront harbour-front area has restaurants, bars and other business services. The Waterfront is owned by The Wellcome Trust's Premier Marinas. Also in Sovereign Harbour are the Harbour Medical Practice for NHS patients, with GPs, nurses and support staff, built in 2014 with about 7,300 patients and, from May 2018, finally a long-promised paid-for by Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council, the Sovereign Harbour Community Centre which includes a kitchen area but has no cooking facilities. Geographically in the Sovereign Harbour area but not owned by The Wellcome Trust/Premier Marinas Holdings Limited but by M&G is the adjacent Crumbles - also styled Sovereign Harbour Village - retail park shopping centre. Some of the latter's stores (for example, the supermarket ASDA) and restaurants are frequented by residents of other parts of Eastbourne and nearby including  Pevensey and Pevensey Bay, and Polegate, as far east as Bexhill-on-Sea.

Estate agents omit vital information newcomers have a legal right to know

Sovereign Harbour's flat surface for disabledIt is a legal requirement for estate agents to reveal - and sellers to disclose - clearly, fairly and unambiguously to homebuyers, all essential and significant consumer information about properties.  

Statutes introduced in 2008 and  2015, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) and Code of Practice for All Residential Estate Agents apply.  See The Property Ombudsman at https://www.tpos.co.uk and https://www.tradingstandards.uk/media/documents/commercial/codes-of-practice/tpo-sales.pdf

Also see The Property Redress Scheme at www.theprs.co.uk 

An estate agent  cannot disguise, hide, omit or withhold any  facts about any Sovereign Harbour property including whether a flat has cladding. (An estate agent who did not disclose this upfront has been prosecuted, causing national headlines). 

Yet on websites of estate agents - and marketing platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla, etc - listing Sovereign Harbour properties there is no mention of the Annual Estate Rentcharge. 

Nor is there any mention of a unique-in-UK  Environment Agency charge  that applies only to 3,400 residents of Sovereign Harbour but not to the 17,500 or so other residents in the same Pevensey-Bexhill flood zone scheme - and in some cases live closer to the sea than Sovereign Harbour properties - are exempted.  

Newcomers not informed by estate agents about these matters should file a formal complaint with the CPR agencyWhen found at fault, the estate agent concerned will have to pay significant financial compensation (up to £25,000) for omitting key information that might cause reconsideration  of the purchase.

The Sovereign Harbour Annual  Estate Rentcharge (AER) is payable wholly or partly by all Sovereign Harbour freehold and leasehold residential property owners, at an average rate in 2021 of £261.80 per residential unit. This applies irrespective of whether a flat is worth £175,000 or a terraced or detached property or has a market value of £1.5 million (as a very few do). The only part-exceptions were the first 364 homes bullt at Sovereign Harbour (out of a current number now estimated to be over 3,400 that due to a legal or technical or historic quirk pay the SW charge but not the Marina Charge.

Sovereign Harbour overviewThe AER is not instead of but in addition to council taxes, property insurance, management fees and ground rents.  A further covenant requires owners/leaseholders of 369 South Harbour properties within the water feature precinct to pay an annual water feature charge of more than £260 per annum. 

If a flat has cladding, the estate agent must state this.  The owner may have to incur substantial extra cost.  

Because of the AER, mortgages on Sovereign Harbour properties, especially if cladded, may be unlikely to be obtained - or will cost extra to indemnify. Estate agents and their platforms  and sellers must state that the AER applies.  But instead, some estate agents and sellers have referred to the AER legally inaccurately as merely a  "harbour charge"  (No other harbour in the entire UK has such a harbour charge. Their harbour charges relate to the charges in their harbours for boats and larger vessels only, not for land-based properties).  

Because of the AER, owners of Sovereign Harbour properties may also be unlikely to qualify for a lifetime mortgage (Equity Release)

Yet despite this, residential estate agents selling Sovereign Harbour properties state applicants can obtain mortgages from them as they act as agents for mortgage companies.

Although Sovereign Harbour is a private estate and all property owners have to pay the AER they get no exclusive right to use Sovereign Harbour facilities.  

The general public, their cycles and dogs are permitted and encouraged by the private-estate Sovereign Harbour owners and developers to access Sovereign Harbour beaches, pathways and walkways at no cost to them - only to the 3.400 or so Sovereign Harbour owner-residents. 

This includes all other Eastbourne residents, tourists visiting the Eastbourne area by public transport or car, and persons who seasonally or year-round occupy hundreds of caravans in the nearby caravan sites of Pevensey Bay Holiday Park, Bay View Park and Grey Tower Caravan Park in the nearby Pevensey Bay area. 

Sovereign Harbour 03Presently, no residential estate agents marketing Sovereign Harbour residential property even show a link to the privately owned Sovereign Harbour Trust (SHT) - which levies the AER - see http://www.sovereignharbourtrust.co.uk/estate_rent_charge.asp.

Nor is it mentioned that a significant part (35% in 2020) of the AER paid by Sovereign Harbour owner- residents (but, significantly, not by The Wellcome Trust or Premier Marinas or any of their entities or any property developers/owners and other businesses that benefit much more than harbour residents) to the SHT is paid by the SHT to the Environment Agency for flood defence.  

The Environment Agency, instead of providing flood defence in front of and to the east of Sovereign Harbour. contracted it out to a privately-held corporate entity shown below.

It is the Pevensey Bay Sea Defence Ltd (PBSD), Coast Road, Pevensey Bay, Pevensey, East Sussex BN24 6ND, in the Environment Agency building. Phone 0370 8506506.  On the Environment Agency's behalf it employs a number of other privately-held firms involved in shipping, dredging and more. 

It is an arrangement that PBCD claims is the first of its kind and unique, but it is still the first and only one of its kind in flood defence.  

In the many years since it first began it has never been copied, does not exist in any other part of the entire UK. More details about this appear below.

The Deed and Grant of Covenant liability apply on the sale of Sovereign Harbour property

Specimen copies of the deed with the relevant obligations should be disclosed but on estate agents' websites marketing properties details are not made available in advance to potential buyers

All that is said by some estate agents, misleadingly, is that there is a "harbour charge". (All harbours have a harbour charge but in every case it is levied on marine craft using the harbour waters). 

 Harbour charges are not applicable to land owners, instead AER (see below) applies

Unfortunately, no estate agent selling or leasing a Sovereign Harbour land-based property, or the Eastbourne Borough Council or East Sussex County Council state that the two words " harbour charges" should not be used Why not? Because this misleads consumers. They should be stating that Annual Estate Rentcharges, not harbour charges, apply to local landowners, but this is avoided by estate agents with the full knowledge and approval of te two local authorities mentioned above as well as other local websites

Because they fail to state so accurately, it assumed - wrongly - by many new land-based owners or leaseholders that in Sovereign Harbour they will merely pay the normal harbour charges applicable to all harbours in the UK, Europe and world. But this is not the case. Harbour charges relate to boats or vessels of any kind using anchorage costs, car parking relevance, dimensions (size, length, weight) of vessels, dock charges, dock dues, freight and weights, harbour dues, mooring costs or fees, pilotage, port charges or dues,,towage, wharfage. In short, anything relating directly to the use by boats, yachts, vessels of all kinds entering, using and exiting harbours or marinas or ports. Typical of these are those applied in Chichester Harbour, see www.conservancy.co.uk

But here in Sovereign Harbour, while land-based owners and leaseholders without boats don't pay harbour charges. Instead, they pay a hidden Annual Estate Rentcharge.

 Annual Estate Rentcharges (AER) are payable by harbour owners/leaseholders

Sovereign Harbour North viewAs mentioned earlier, the Sovereign Harbour Annual  Estate Rentcharge (AER) is payable wholly or partly by all Sovereign Harbour freehold and leasehold residential property owners, at an average rate in 2021 of £261.80 per residential unit. 

This applies irrespective of whether a flat is worth £175,000 or a terraced or detached property or has a market value of £1.5 million (as a very few do). The only part-exceptions were the first 364 homes bullt at Sovereign Harbour (out of a current number now estimated to be over 3,400 that due to a legal or technical or historic quirk pay the SW charge but not the Marina Charge.

This AER does NOT exist in any other UK harbours.  

Property deeds show that the AER obligation not only applies to present owners but  passes to all subsequent owners. The basis for the charge is an agreement between Southern Water and Tarmac Construction in 1988. (At that time, Southern Water was responsible for coastal defences and Tarmac Construction, later Carillion, was the owner of the development land at Sovereign Harbour).

Components of the AER, covenanted in the deeds.

1. The Southern Water (SW) Charge

So-called because at the time Southern Water was recognised as a major player. It still is today but in a different context.  

The SHT covenants with the homeowner to apply the SW Charge towards the cost of execution of the Littoral Drift obligations and of the maintenance and improvement of the beach and sea defences within the vicinity of the Harbour, and towards Harbour maintenance. 

This was set at £75 on December 1,1987, the formula used is based on that date and varies in accordance with the change in the Retail Price Index (RPI).  

Since then. It has steadily increased since then and in 2020 is £210.64 per year per Sovereign Harbour residential dwelling unit, based on the RPI applicable on December 1, 2019

2. The Marina Charge

 The Marina Charge is all costs and expenses reasonably and properly incurred in connection with or incidental to the cleansing, repair and maintenance of the Harbour and the waterways.. It is payable based on the costs for the financial year ended September 30 of each year divided between the number of Sovereign Harbour properties (1,500 minimum). There were then 3,119 properties. It too has steadily increased and in 2020 was £52.91 per property. This charge and the one immediately above total £263.55.This Marina Charge is of particular significance because in the event of any possible reduction or ending of the Environment Agency charge, the Sovereign Harbour Trust has indicated that the Marina Charge will be increased at least proportionately if not more.

 3. The Berth Charge

 Only applicable to and payable by owners of boats moored at the private berths.

Payable to The Sovereign Harbour Trust (SHT)

A private company limited by guarantee, states it was set up to preserve and protect the environment along the (private) beach frontage in front of private Sovereign Harbour.  The registered office and correspondence address and those of its  wholly owned subsidiary Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) CIC is Number 22,  Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8AS. 

Sovereign Harbour sea viewThe SHT was originally registered as a charity but, in 2010, the Trust’s charitable status was withdrawn as it had never demonstrated any charitable activities.  (But its website claims it is still a charity). The Trust is now dormant. The SHT has since incorporated the Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) Community Interest Company CIC to demand and collect the Annual Estate Rentcharge (AER) from all liable holders of freehold and leasehold Sovereign Harbour-related property and manage the administration of the income.. 

To operate as a CIC, according to the government, a majority of its board members should be from the community and be appointed by the community it charges. 

This is not the case here, members were appointed by the Sovereign Harbour Trust without any pre-warning to Sovereign Harbour residents. 

On its website the Trust publishes A Guide to the Estate Rentcharge.  

Although the Government's Community Interest Company (CIC) regulations require a CIC to consult its stakeholders (i.e. the residents it covers) about its activities, and to provide high quality information rather than just the required minimum, this entity has for years completely refused both obey this edict and have a majority of the residents of this community as its CIC officers. 

So far, there has not been any official complaint about this either from our Member of Parliament or Eastbourne Borough Council or East Sussex County Council or local office of the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Thus this CIC is offensive to the only people it charges yet in no way benefits, the 3,400 Sovereign Harbour residents

The only people it benefits, by not charging them at all, are the 17,500 homeowners in Pevensey Bay and Bexhill-on-Sea, in the exact same sea flood defence scheme.  The Environment Agency and its private Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd CIC thus discriminates Sovereign Harbour residents.  

Sovereign Harbour residents, the only people who do pay, are not mentioned at all on the websites of the SHT, its CIC and Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd appointed by The Trust, marina operator, Premier Marinas and its Wellcome Trust owner, to undertake the flood defense work until 2025 and  thereafter as appropriate. 

Sovereign Harbour resident on a mobility scooter The latter contracts with a number of commercial companies to do its work. Interestingly, although it was lauded in 2001as a unique PPP/PFI, the first of its type, it has remained, not surprisingly, the only one of its type. Other local authorities pay their cost of flood defences without imposing any charge at all to their constituents.  

To end this unfairness, the Eastbourne Borough Council  and East Sussex County Councils and our Member of Parliament, should be calling for a revamp or revocation of the Eastbourne Harbour Act.

In early 2020, Sovereign Harbour had 3.4 million visitors in 2019 out of the 5.2 million experienced by the town

While other town attractions charge an entrance fee per visitor, Sovereign Harbour does not. 

Visitors are given free access. Instead of charging 3,400 Sovereign Harbour resident property owners £261.80 per residential property in 2021, Sovereign Harbour's The Wellcome Trust and Premier Marinas owners could more than recoup their costs by charging visitors £1.00 or so a head. 

In late 2020, after the floods that caused £ billions of damage, the BBC revealed that it will be future government policy that homeowners should no longer expect to be protected environmentally from river or sea floods. Under a radical policy shift drawn up by the Environment Agency, flooding will be seen as inevitable due to the predicted effects of climate change. 

Instead of spending millions on repairing as has been the case in the past, government will instead be helping people rebuild their sea water or river water damaged homes or move away from flood risk areas. But this will not apply where private flood schemes exist, such as in Sovereign Harbour. 

The 17,500 non-Sovereign Harbour properties in the same flood defence area will benefit while the 3,,400 Sovereign Harbour properties will not.

 3,400 Sovereign Harbour residents pay the 2021 £261.80 Annual Estate Rentcharge (AER)

Sovereign Harbour North private beachparagraphNowhere else in coastal Britain, Europe or other coastal part of the world does this unique annual Estate Rentcharge with its triple-whammy covenants occur. Not even where in other areas where there are flood zones, harbours and their coastal residential development, and littoral drifts or the very similar Longshore Drift (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longshore_drift)This has been thoroughly researched. This has never been stated by any local councils or public authorities or Sovereign Harbour Residents Association. In no other shingle or pebble beach, harbour and marina area in the UK or Europe or the world  do local authorities ask or make their residents pay for flood defences that go far beyond just this local community. 

paragraphOther areas in UK and worldwide with shingle beaches - but in all cases without any similar AER - include Alby, Sweden; Birding's Flat, New Zealand; Brighton; Broomhill Sands; Camber Sands; Cooden Beach (See Rother District Council Coastal Protection at http://www.rother.gov.uk/article/1470/Coastal-protection) ; Chesil Beach; Dungeness; Eastbourne (which should include the two Sovereign Harbour beaches north and south, but do not, presently); Hawar Islands, Bahrain; Hastings; Herne Bay; Nice, France; Osmussaar, Estonia; Pevensey Bay, Seaford Head Beach; Slapton Sands; St. Leonard's on Sea; The Stade; Sorve Peninsular, Estonia; Srce, Croatia.  

paragraph There are also Longshore Drifts in more remote parts of the world,

paragraphWhether a property is worth £170,000 or £1.35 million the charge is virtually the same. It is based on the number of Sovereign Harbour residential households, not their value. 

paragraphIn other parts of the UK, Europe and the world, charges (or taxes) are graduated, based on assessed or market value. 

paragraph Why has this flagrant unfairness been allowed to continue when Council Taxes have always, since 1992, in theory if not in fact been apportioned based to at least some extent on a property's value?

paragraphYet Premier Marinas elsewhere - all also part of The Wellcome Trust - do not have any similar estate rental charge.  There is no equivalent annual Estate Rentcarge at any of the the other marinas owned by Premier Marinas which is owned by The Wellcome Trust. 

paragraphOther Premier Marinas are as follows. Note that none have either an Annual Estate Rentcharge or Environment Agency flood/sea defence cost

paragraphBrighton, Chichester, Falmouth, Gosport. Noss on Dart, Port Solent. Southsea, Swanwick.

Estate agents also conceal unique-in-UK Environment Agency surcharge

Sovereign Harbour North areaparagraphThe AER mentioned above includes a compulsory annual payment by resident property owners into an Environment Agency (EA) controlled, private company administered coastal flood defence scheme operated by the Pevensey Bay Coastal Defence Ltd  (PBCD) consortium. Its previous names were Pentium Coastal Defence Ltd (1999-2003) and Shelfco (No.1686) Ltd (May to June) 1999. It is important to note that Pevensey Bay sea defences were not built specifically because of Sovereign Harbour but to reduce the risk of flooding to the low-lying land across the Pevensey Levels. In this way the Environment Agency reduced the risk of flooding and damage to property, railway, roads and the unique ecology of the Levels, and Pevensey Marshes. 

Pevensey Levels are a 3,603 hectare (8,904 acre) national nature reserve and Nature Conservation Review site of such importance, Grade 1, that it is a Ramsar site. Pevensey Marshes has an area of 150 hectares (370 acres) and is a nature reserve which is managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. it is a large area of wetland grazing meadows intersected by a network of ditches.

paragraphThe Pevensey Bay Coastal Defence Ltd  (PBCD) website states it was formed by the EA specifically to provide flood defence services for the Environment Agency. PBCD. 

paragraph It refers to itself as being the first of its kind.  (It is significant that it is also the last, has not been repeated elsewhere). It was formed as a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), a way of financing a public sector project through the private sector (in this case the principals shown elsewhere as directors with their companies involved). Under a PFI, the private companies handle the up-front costs instead of the government. The project is then leased to the public and the government authority (Environment Agency) makes annual payments to the private company (PBCD).

paragraph As we show above and below it detail it prejudices hugely against present and future Sovereign Harbour residents. But none of this is shown by estate agents selling Sovereign Harbour properties.

paragraphAlthough a new company when work commenced in 2000, all members of the consortium have worked for the Agency on many occasions. 

paragraphAll have different areas of expertise to bring to the scheme.

paragraphThe above presumably refers solely to the many private contractors shown on the PBCD website, not some of the directors. 

paragraphContractors listed in November 2021 are Boskalis Westminster, Balfour  Beatty and Mackley. 

paragraphNot shown on the PBCD website are its officers and directors, who are shown below according to the UK Government's Companies House:: 

Sovereign Harbour North eastparagraphIan Thomas, Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd, Environment Agency Depot, Coast Road, Pevensey Bay, East Sussex BN24 6ND. Tel 01323 761202. MOB 07884 234298. General Manager

paragraphPaul Maurice De Jong, Managing Director, Westminster House, 4 Crompton Way, Segensworth West, Fareham, Hampshire. England, PO15 5SS. Appointed 1 June 2015. Born October 1964.Dutch. Via him, Boskalis Westminster Ltd,, a private limited company according to Companies House, owns more than 50% but less than 75% of Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd

paragraphBenjamin Alexander Hamer. Director. Westminster House, Crompton Way, Segensworth West, Fareham. Hsmpshire PO15 5SS. 

paragraphShane Robert Ramsey, Secretary. Westminster House, Crompton Way, Segensworth West, Fareham. Hampshire PO15 5SS. 

paragraphBrian Roland Walker, Director, 350 Euston Road, Regents Place, London NW1 3AX. Born September 1955. British.

paragraphSurely, because it is involved in environmental (coastal defence) matters, PCDL is also technically  a (hybrid) public authority under Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). 

paragraph It does not just cover the one kilometre wide area of Sovereign Harbour with its 3,400 or so residents.

paragraph It extends from Sovereign Harbour to Pevensey Bay then nine kilometres east to Bexhill on Sea.

paragraphIt covers more than 17,500 other properties. 

paragraphBut the latter 17,500 get their flood defence coverage at no cost. 

paragraphOnly Sovereign Harbour residential leasehold and freehold property owners, no one else, pay for it

paragraphOther parts of Eastbourne, Sussex and rest of the world get their similar  sea or land and river defences at no further cost. 

paragraphNowhere else in the entire UK does the Environment Agency impose a similar obligation on residents of any area. 

Sovereign Harbour North sceneparagraphNor are any of the above points mentioned by chartered surveyors,  Eastbourne Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC), East Sussex County Council (ESCC) or Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (SHRA).  

paragraphThe Sovereign Harbour Beaches Sea Defence Deed parties were, at that time:: 

paragraphThe Environment Agency, Rio House, Waterside Drive, Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol BS12 4UD. (The Agency)

paragraphSovereign Harbour Limited (SHL). Company No. 2217605, Birch Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4HY.(Now liquidated).

paragraphEastbourne Harbour Company Limited (EHCL). Company No. 1141203, Birch Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4HY. (Now liquidated).

paragraphCarillion Construction Limited (Carillion). Company No. 00594581, Birch Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4HY. (Now liquidated).

paragraphSovereign Harbour Marina Limited (Harbour Company). Company No. 2732959, Birch Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4HY. (Now trading name of Premier Marinas (Eastbourne) Limited. Marina Office North Lockside Pacific Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 5BG). 

paragraphSovereign Harbour Trust. Company No. 4125834 of Windsor House, 6-10 Mount Ephraim Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1EE (Trust Company)

paragraph(Not revealed by any local entity to date is are who the new principals are who have replaced the entities now liquidated or any further developments. Residents have been left in the dark.

paragraphSovereign Harbour residents only - not any in Eastbourne or Pevensey or Bexhill - pay the Sovereign Harbour Trust, via its Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) Community Interest Company (CIC). 

Hamilton Quay, Sovereign HarbourparagraphThe neighboring residents who do NOT pay it but live in the same flood zone are in Pevensey, Pevensey Bay, Bexhill and all other areas of the UK.  

paragraphIn an extensive article published in September, 2010 the New Civil Engineer journal (see below) carried a misleading, inaccurate and incomplete article by freelance writer Margo Cole about how, at Pevensey Bay, the world's  only PPP/PFI sea defence contract celebrated its 10th anniversary of protecting East Sussex from coastal flooding. 

New Civil Engineer monthly journal's misleading article

paragraphThe writer deliberately omitted to mention the fact that Sovereign Harbour residents were (and still are) the only people paying for it, first individually via their Annual Estate Rentcharges to  the Sovereign Harbour Trust and its CIC, which then collectively pays the Environment Agency via the Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd a significant portion of the proceeds from the estate rentcharge, while all others who benefit from it pay nothing. 

paragraph Were any Sovereign Harbour residents consulted by the author? No. Were they consulted or told about the formation of the PPP/PFI entities? No. 

 paragraphIt has long been hoped, but in vain, that the New Civil Engineer would want to correct its errors by publishing an accurate piece which will include who and who does not pay for this sea defence; why the only people who do, 

paragraph Sovereign Harbour residents, are completely omitted from any mention that they alone have to pay for flood defence. 

The New Civil Engineer when approached by this author to publish a correction, refused..

Sovereign Harbour boat toursparagraphWhy do residents and  businesses in Pevensey Bay, Pevensey Parish Council, Wealden District Council, Bexhill and beyond get their sea defence for free while only Sovereign Harbour residents have been pay for it? 

paragraph Why has this been allowed to continue for so long without Members of Parliament, Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County intervention?.

paragraphThe Pevensey Bay Sea Defences website misleads the public by claiming wrongly the scheme is met from public money, as noted below

paragraphA quote from its website: "Because the 1 KM long (Sovereign Harbour) frontage is managed as an integral part of the 9 KM long Pevensey Bay frontage these costs can be mitigated since money spent here can be shown to add value to the coast as a whole. Pevensey Bay, Bexhill, Bulverhythe and Hastings all need a flow of shingle moving along the coast in order to maintain thyeirown beach alignments.Adding sediment to the system at Sovereign Harbour andd managing it as it drifts west to east maximises the length of coast to benefit overall. In this instance, using public money to help maintain the beach of a private development does make sense.

 Environment Agency unfairly makes only Sovereign Harbour residents pay

cost of Environment Agency surchargeEnvironment AgencyThe Environment Agency, via the Sovereign Harbour Trust and its subsidiary, requires only the 3400 or so owner-residents in the 1 kilometre sea frontage of Sovereign Harbour to bear the cost of containing the littoral drift.

Exempt from such payments are the 17,500-plus owner-residents in either the same flood zone areas stretching 9 kilometres east across Pevensey Bay to Bexhill on Sea. 

Nowhere else in the whole of the UK or Europe - or the world - is there a similar surcharge, paid as part of the annual estate rentcharge levied on all Sovereign Harbour property owners but no one else, by the privately owned  The Wellcome Trust and Premier Marinas Ltd.

The Sovereign Harbour Trust states that funds received under the SW charge heading are applied under the terms of an agreement on the part of the Trust and the CIC with the Environment Agency, and the Sovereign Harbour Marina Company, as follows:

The first £35,000 (index linked from November 2002) is paid to the Environment Agency in respect of the Littoral Drift. The balance is paid in equal parts to the Environment Agency and the Marina Company. The payment to the Environment Agency is to be expended by them on the maintenance of Sea Defences, including Rock Revetment, as the Agency considers necessary to avoid tidal flooding. 

The payment to the Marina Company is for such works as are considered necessary to maintain the outer harbour break water and associated structures, the inner and outer harbour and connecting locks, the West and North harbours, the harbour walls, bridges and associated structures and water ways. Harbour maintenance is to help the overall facility to drain the site quickly in the event of tidal or storm flooding.

Sovereign harbour residences left, paying while nearer-to-sea premises, right, are not

Sovereign Harbour properties - LEFT - pay for coastal flood defence but Pevensey Bay properties - RIGHT  - in the same sea defence flood zone,  much closer to the ocean as can be clearly seen and much more subject to sea flooding - all the way to Bexhill-on-Sea - do not.

Environment Agency discrimination and unfairness is shown above and below

Sovereign Harbour Environment Agency injusticeEnvironmental Agency unfairness. The Sovereign Harbour property from where this photo was taken is located well above Pevensey Bay. 

All the Sovereign Harbour properties similarly hundreds of yards from the sea pay for coastal flood defence pay.

But beachside Pevensey Bay properties - like the one shown below,  in the same sea defence flood zone,  much closer to the ocean as can be clearly seen and much more subject to sea flooding - all the way to Bexhill-on-Sea - do not.

It is included in the council taxes they pay.  

In everywhere else in the UK flood defence  is Is at no additional cost to council tax taxpayers. But not in Sovereign Harbour.

Sovereign Harbour's unique-in-the-~UK surcharge was approved by the East Sussex County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority as its Pevensey Bay Flood Plan, 2014, revised from the 2009 edition.

See it at https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/media/3382/pevenseybayareafloodplanfinaldec14.pdf

The East Sussex Flood Risk Management Strategy. See https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/environment/flooding/localfloodriskmanagementstrategy/ - applies everywhere in East Sussex except for Sovereign HarbourHere, alone in the UK, local residents are both excluded from the local/regional no additional cost (council tax included) flood risk management plan (in this case the East Sussex Flood Risk Management strategy) and have to pay for the separate private Estate Harbour Charge.

On 30 July 2021 it was announced by the Eastbourne Herald newspaper that 10,000 Eastbourne homes and businesses will be better protected as part of a £176.5 million funding invested by government into flood defence schemes across the south east. A flood defence scheme from Eastbourne to Pevensey Bay - see https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/solent-and-south-downs/pevensey-bay-to-eastbourne/ will see funding from the government initiative. The scheme was going through the design options phase in July 2021. As progress is made the Environment Agency and Eastbourne Borough Council say they will engage and consult with local residents and stakeholders. Investment in this scheme and others across the UK is part of the £5.2 billion plans taking place over the next six years to flesh out the government's Flood and Coastal Erosion Investment Plan.

But will the above include Sovereign Harbour, which is legally and geographically part of Eastbourne and also in Pevensey Bay? Will the 3,400 or so Sovereign Harbour residents finally get their flood defence for free, like all the thousands living in Eastbourne and further west and the 17,500 or so living east of Sovereign Harbour all the way to Bexhill and beyond?  Will it be in place of the present and controversial Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd, the private firm created by the Environment Agency mentioned earlier. We hope to know on 29 November 2021, during a presentation from the Environment Agency's Coastal Management team when they outline their plans for the future.

The Environment Agency surcharge was approved by councils

A  Deed of Covenant for Sovereign Harbour is on file at the Eastbourne Borough CouncilCouncillors who represent us in the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council have benefited immensely. Instead of objecting to and using their council powers to stop the charge they approved it. To add insult to injury, one of their number has for years joined the Board of Directors of the Sovereign Harbour Trust that that levies it.

 

 Residents who pay AER and Environment Agency sea defence get nothing back

Sovereign Harbour costs not incurred by other Eastbourne residentsparagraphThey get no Insurance against flooding, nor any protection.

paragraphNo exclusivity of Sovereign Harbour facilities in return for their annual estate rentcharge and unique-in-UK Environment Agency surcharge.  

paragraphNo Community Interest benefits or advantages of any kind.

paragraph Millions of non-Sovereign Harbour visitors each year use (and often abuse the beaches), walk or cycle past. Many have their dogs not leashes and do not carry dog-waste bags. It has become well-known by Eastbourne residents in other areas of the town that while they cannot use other beaches to walk their dogs without leashes or dog-bags to collect waste, they can here, without fear of prosecution - which they would incur elsewhere in Eastbourne. Sovereign Harbour North Beach residents have discovered from talking to them that 75% of those walking by are not Sovereign Harbour residents at all but are instead visitors from the various holiday campsites in Pevensey Bay who believe, wrongly, they are walking or cycling along public, not private, land.

paragraph Visitors stand outside each building and use BT zones paid for by residents. This is particularly annoying to residents who pay dearly to live here and have to pay both the AER and Environment Agency surcharge as well as inflated Council Taxes. 

paragraphNo discount of council taxes from the Eastbourne Borough Council or East Sussex County Council.

 paragraphBoth councils involved already charge more in council taxes for a 2 bedroom Sovereign Harbour flat than for 3 or more bedrooms or more properties in rest of Eastbourne with much higher market value. 

paragraphNo Eastbourne Borough Council or East Sussex County Council-provided trees on pavements on any council-adopted Sovereign Harbour roads.

 

 Sovereign Harbour Trust (SHT) levies the annual estate Rentcharge

Eastbourne, Sovereign Harbour & Pevensey BayThe Sovereign Harbour Trust is private limited company. By the nature of the work it does in environmental matters, also a (hybrid) public authority under Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR

The entities that sealed, signed and executed it on 26 August 2001 were:

The Environment Agency

Sovereign Harbour Limited (SHL)

Eastbourne Harbour Company Limited.

Carillion Construction Limited, originally Tarmac, developed the marina through a wholly owned subsidiary, Sovereign Harbour Ltd (SHL) and operated it through another company, Sovereign Harbour Marina Ltd. Premier Marinas later bought the development from Carillion (which in January 2018 was being probed by the financial watchdog. Now collapsed, liquidated.

Sovereign Harbour Marina Limited.

Sovereign Harbour Trust

Since then. the charge above has remained in effect, increasing significantly in cost since its original £78 a year cost in 2004. It claims the right to increase the charge annually based on the Retail Price Index.

The SHT, without referral to or the consent of residents of Sovereign Harbour, got all local and public authorities to approve and sign - renegotiate - it. 

The revision is for a period of 25 years from 2004 as a legal liability for Sovereign Harbour homeowners. 

The Estate Rent Charge is The Sovereign Harbour Trust’s only income. But it is not used to protect the welfare and property of Sovereign Harbour residents, the only people who have to pay. The stated objectives of the Trust are to preserve the environment but in this context the environment does not mean either individual Sovereign Harbour residences or the development as a whole. The primary benefit must be for the public, not members of a specific group, such as the residents of Sovereign Harbour. So why are only Sovereign Harbour residents legally obliged to pay it? It seems clear  that the objectives of the Trust do not involve protection of the property and welfare of Sovereign Harbour residents who alone are paying for it. 

Only another legal Act of Parliament can stop or change it to right the wrong.

Claimed legal authority for the charge is the "Sovereign Harbour Beaches (Sea Defences) Deed 2001."

But those who have to pay it are only 3400 Sovereign Harbour residents in the one-mile-wide area of Sovereign Harbour, not the 17.500 + residents  living in all of Pevensey Bay, east of and beyond Sovereign Harbour, for over 9 miles far as Cooden Beach, Bexhill on Sea.

 

 Registered offices of Sovereign Harbour Trust and its Board Members

Number 22 Mount Ephraim Tunbridge Wells Kent TN4 8AS. The SHT is a private company limited by guarantee without share capital and exempt from using "Limited." It was incorporated on 14 December 2000. it is listed as having the nature of its business support service activities but is shown to be dormant during the year ended 30/09/16. The board meets 4 times per year or as otherwise agreed from time to time. Its task is solely, via its subsidiary, to collect and distribute rent charges due from residential owners within the Sovereign Harbour development. Board members are members of its subsidiary CIC and they include an Eastbourne Borough Councillor and a former chair of the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association. 

paragraphMr Geoffrey Andrew Collins FCA. Finance Director. Swanwick Marina Swanwick, Southampton, Hampshire, SO31 1ZL. Appointed 28 August 2012. Finance Director. Born March 1968.

paragraphMr John Mischa Cervenka. Operations Director, Premier Marinas Ltd Swanwick Marina, Swanwick, Southampton, SO31 1ZL. Appointed 7 December 2015. Born May 1968. Operations Director

paragraphMrs P di Cara. 20 Barbuda Quay, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 5TT. Since 4 September 2017.  Born October 1951. Appointed 4 September 2017, Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council Councillor and a current committee member of the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association.. .

paragraphMr Michael Charles Pursglove. 11 Tower Close Beachlands, Pevensey Bay, Pevensey, East Sussex, BN24 6SJ. Appointed 4 September 2017. Born February 1943. 

paragraphMrs Janet Anne Weeks. 1 Golden Gate Mews, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 5PS. Appointed September 2017. Born March 1945. A former Chair of the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association.

Company Secretary: Cripps Secretaries Ltd, since May 2002. Number 22 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8AS. 

Sovereign Harbour areaIt was emphasized to those appointed in 2017  that their duties are owed exclusively to the CIC. 

Its website contravenes present requirements because, with its environmental involvements described above and below it also qualifies as a public authority in addition to being a private company. Therefore it has to comply with the European Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004, which implements the European Council Directive 2003/4/CE on public access to environmental information in the UK. 

The main objective of the regulations is encapsulated in Regulation 4 of the EIR which requires the relevant data holders and entities of record that claim the legal right to levy the charge, in this case both the SHT and its subsidiary Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) CIC mentioned below, with the latter quoting the website of the former in its covering letter to flat owners/plot owners), to engage in a proactive exercise to make the information available for inspection by "electronic means" which inevitably requires the data to be made publicly available online or via an electronic device such as a computer and or a computer terminal. A principal obligation placed on holders of Environmental Information is public electronic dissemination. Environmental information includes information about air, water, sea, beaches, soil, flora, fauna, energy, noise, waste and emissions, also includes information about decisions, policies and activities that affect the environment so included. 

It still states, wrongly, on its website it is a charity (corrected except on the website where it is shown in two places, initially and in its mission statement. 

The Eastbourne Harbour Act of 1980 left the developers, either the Duke of Devonshire, or successor companies, with a legal obligation in perpetuity to remedy any depletion of shingle along the stretch of coast between Sovereign Harbour and Cooden Beach at their own cost. It was clearly expected or intended from this that those organisations who would commercially benefit from the sale of the land and the development of the marina and surrounding residential properties would contribute to any additional maintenance of sea defences required to compensate for the effects of the Harbour. But instead, the costs became payable solely by the residents who bought their property from the developers, not the developers themselves.

The SHT website above, on its front page, states "was set up to preserve and protect the environment along the beach frontage in front of Sovereign Harbour" and, to accentuate this, has a graphic that shows precisely the area of Sovereign Harbour. In defining the SW Charge it states "the Trust covenants with the homeowner to apply the SW charge charge towards the cost of execution of the Littoral Drift obligations and and improvement of the beach and sea defences within the vicinity of the Harbour and towards Harbour Maintenance or any one or more of such objects." In defining the Marina Charge it states the Marina Costs "are all costs and expenses reasonably and properly incurred in connection with or incidental to the cleansing, repair and maintenance of the Harbour and its Waterways."

The precise wordings of the SW Charge and Marina Charge stipulate just the Harbour and its Waterways (inner harbours). 

PCDL was given, not by residents or with their approval but without them being consulted. A 25 year contract was signed on 1st June 2000.  PCDL actually undertakes none of the work, having subcontracted all obligations to the four shareholders, who are  Westminster Dredging Co. Ltd; Dean & Dyball; Mackley Construction; and Mouchel Group. Each of these PCDL shareholders has a contract with PCDL,backed up by a similar direct agreement with the UK Government's Environment Agency, which would allow the Agency to continue to maintain the defences should PCDL fail to perform.

It is claimed the arrangement marks a first for the area, a unique combined public sector and private sector arrangement - yet nowhere else in the UK or Europe or the world has it and no other residents, only those of Sovereign Harbour, have to pay it.

 Collection of the Annual Estate Rentcharge

£250 2017 annual Cost of estate rent charge/harbour chargeIn no other organization or UK harbour or local government anywhere else in the world does this Estate Rent Charge/Harbour Charge apply!

This charge is the Sovereign Harbour Trust's only business, otherwise it is dormant.

Nowhere in the Sovereign Harbour Beaches (Sea Defences) Deed 2001 does it state that only Sovereign Harbour residents must pay the charge

The Sovereign Harbour Trust makes the charge payable as a compulsory demand (to Sovereign Harbour residents only) via its Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) CIC. 

The latter does so by sending its demand by letter to each qualifying Sovereign Harbour residents according to their "unique plot number."  

There is no open-to-the public record of any advance knowledge being given to the Sovereign Harbour community at large about the planned formation of this "Community Interest Company."

The Sovereign Harbour Trust, via its Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) CIC contracts with Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd (PCDL), a private limited company. PCDL itself does not carry out any of the sea-defence-related work but arranges it via a brace of private companies. See them listed in "Sea Defences at Pevensey Bay" at http://www.pevensey-bay.co.uk/resources/pdf/Pevensey%20supplement.pdf - based or with operations in the area. 

The SHT via its Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) CIC takes action to rectify the non registration (at the Land Registry) of Estate Rent Charges. It asks the Land Registry to note the Estate Rent Charge is payable by the Sovereign Harbour unit-holders involved and to record if/when it has not been paid. See https://www.todaysconveyancer.co.uk/main-news/land-registry-notice-registration-of-estate-rentcharges/

The Land Registry records the entry as similar to an unpaid mortgage, meaning that those who do not pay it are effectively unable to sell their Sovereign Harbour property. Those who decline to pay it can also lose their homes. Oddly, this has never yet been objected to by any local county or borough counselor or member of Parliament or local community group, nor has the Land Registry itself ever questioned it.  (There is legislation in effect to prevent this happening to homes subject to rentcharges but it does not apply to those liable to Annual Estate Rentcharges).

 

Lawyers advise "beware of places (like Sovereign Harbour) with Estate Rentcharges" 

 

Because there is legislation in effect to prevent this happening to homes subject to rentcharges but it does not apply to those liable to Annual Estate Rentcharges, law firms galore have advised their clients to be very wary of buying any property subject to an Annual Estate Rentcharge.  A sampling of their comments appear below. There have also been numerous BBC and newspaper articles saying essentially the same.

Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004

beachside properties exempt from Environment Agency cost while higher-up properties pay itThe coverage of the Environmental Information Regulations is greater than that of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. EIR 2004 implements the European Council Directive 2003/4/CE on public access to environmental information in the UK. 

The Directive in turn has at its source the Aarus Convention. The main objective of the regulations is encapsulated in Regulation 4 of the EIR which requires the relevant data holder to engage in a proactive exercise to make the information available for inspection by "electronic means" which inevitably requires the data to be made publicly available online or via an electronic device such as a computer and or a computer terminal. 

A principal obligation placed on holders of Environmental Information is public electronic dissemination. 

Environmental information includes information about air, water, sea, beaches, soil, flora, fauna, energy, noise, waste and emissions. 

Environmental Information also includes information about decisions, policies and activities that affect the environment. 

Environmental Information Regulations, See https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-environmental-information-regulations/what-are-the-eir/ 

Guide to the Environmental Regulations 2004. See https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-environmental-information-regulations/ 

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004. See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/3391/regulation/12/made

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004. From Wikipedia, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Information_Regulations_2004 

Sovereign Harbour centreWhat constitutes a Public Authority?

Public Authorities Under the Human Rights Act 1998. See https://justice.org.uk/public-authorities-human-rights-act-1998/ S6 The Human Rights Act 1998 make it unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with a person's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Thus S6 The Human Rights Act 1998 imposes a duty on all public authorities to act compatibly with the ECHR. Definition of public authority: Any court or tribunal and any person certain of whose functions are functions of a public nature. However, in relation to a particular act, a person is not a public authority if the nature of the act is private, not public. Thus, under a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling,  even through in another context they may be classed as private companies, The Wellcome Trust, its subsidiary Premier Marinas and SHT, as well as the SHT's CIC, all by virtue of their Sovereign Harbour-related involvement that involves members of the public and charges them a fee or requires them to make payments under a public Act of Parliament, namely the Sovereign Harbour Beaches (Sea Defences) Deed, 2001, now all qualify as public authorities. 

Equally, the Environmental Authority, Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council also qualify. Surely a public authority cannot require by law some people - only Sovereign Harbour residents - to pay an Estate Rent Charge under the Sovereign Harbour Beaches (Sea Defences) Deed, 2001 but exempt all other 17,000 residents and all businesses in the nine mile area from having to pay it?. Thus The Wellcome Trust, its subsidiary Premier Marinas, its operating subsidiaries all used by members of the public who pay for their services and SHT, as well as the SHT's CIC, are all hybrid public authorities, unlike councils which are pure public authorities.

 This raises some potentially significant other issues, such as which other local entities should or should not be deemed as hybrid public authorities.  And should the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association, in view of its wide-ranging mission statement potentially affecting all residents, also be a hybrid public authority.

Press reports about Sovereign Harbour residents' complaints include:

Sovereign Harbour North pathway to harbourThe Eastbourne Herald newspaper report of a wave of anger in protests of 23 January 2014, 15 February 2014 see http://cllr-warner.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/fairness-for-sovereign-harbour.html - a plea for fairness by then-Councillor Patrick Warner at a Council Meeting; on 24 February 2014; 2 April 2015. It led to a further storm of protests, which led to a visit from Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and this report of 20 March 2015 at https://www.eastbourneconservatives.org.uk/news/elizabeth-truss-mp-visits-sovereign-harbour

In January 2016 a paper from then-MP Caroline Ansell, on the UK government's Environment Audit Committee, re the history, decisions, repercussions and gross miscarriage of justice of the flood harbour charge, and more. 

MP Caroline Ansell has said publicly that in her opinion the annual charge was unfair and unjust. Since then there have been further angry complaints from residents.

Councillors and MPs must help to get Sovereign Harbour's unique, triple-whammy Annual Estate Rentcharge ceased or eased under UK laws. It has been obvious that Sovereign Harbour injustices will be remedied by normal persuasion or legal means.

Why? Because it appears they sanctioned in a UK Act of Parliament. 

On 15th August 2017, in reply to this writer's Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 request, The Environment Agency's Tom Baker sent this writer a copy of the sealed, signed and executed Sovereign Harbour Beaches (Sea Defences) Deed of 2001. 

He also stated the SHRA have produced a comprehensive history of the deed and confirmed The Environment Agency has sought counsel advice on the validity of the charge and that it has been advised it is a legal charge. 

To fight it, the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (SHRA) - which uniquely in this caserepresents not only residents but developers of the buildings the residents occupy - claimed it would be an uphill, costly and useless legal battle that residents should not be asked to pay. 

It should have been resolved more than 17 years ago.

But what the SHRA has not said - perhaps because it represents developers too - is that might well be possible as a Human Rights discrimination case, especially if a group - such as the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (SHRA) that claims to represent all Sovereign Harbour residents is willing to take it up as a class action case. 

Why a Human Rights case? 

Because the Environment Agency requires Sovereign Harbour residents only, nowhere else in Britain, and their successors, to pay the charge. 

Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council, whose councillors represent all in Sovereign Harbour who have to pay the charge, should have long ago led and paid for out of public funds if necessary the fight to have the charge dropped for the simple fact that nowhere else in the world where there are harbours and marinas do such charges exist, not even where similar littoral drifts occur. 

Councillors  have not taken or offered to take such action to help cease this inequity. However, an MP for Eastbourne has publicly declared it unfair. 

 

Repeal of unfair-to-residents Sovereign Harbour legislation is sought

This is with particular regard to the Sovereign Harbour Beaches (Sea Defences) Deed 2001.

It is possible to apply to repeal an Act.

See https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/acts/

Changes to Acts:  Future changes to the law happen through the passing of another Act or delegated legislation. 

An Act can also be repealed so that its provisions no longer apply. 

Parliamentary committees examine UK laws and recommend the removal of out of date legislation. 

But this will require the cooperation and input of all estate charge/harbour charge residents, those who represent them, their local councillors from Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council. any others who may be affected and the area's Member of Parliament.

See https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/process_of_repealing_acts and Visit the Law Commission website: www.lawcom.gov.uk 

Some other Acts that have been repealed. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Repealed_United_Kingdom_Acts_of_Parliament.

Complaints to Law Commission about Annual Estate Rentcharge and hidden covenants

Sovereign Harbour North Hamilton QuayWhen the leases of Sovereign Harbour (and other) flats are assigned or sold, the subsequent leaseholder cannot effectively challenge the fairness of the term.  

Currently, only the original leaseholder can effectively challenge a term under unfair terms law. 

Thus, at this time, not only do we uniquely have to pay the hated Estate Rent Charge but also those who buy our leases.  

This is because under section 62(5) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, whether a term is fair is to be determined by “reference to all the circumstances existing when the term was agreed”.  

The purpose of the Law Commission's unfair terms project is to consider whether, each time a lease is assigned, this should be seen as creating a new contract between the landlord and leaseholder for the purposes of changing and improving the unfair terms law. 

The project reflects feedback to the Commission from stakeholders about many potentially unfair terms in leases, including ground rents which increase exponentially, fixed service charges and fees on assignment of leases. These types of terms in leases are currently unregulated and cannot be challenged by leaseholders under landlord and tenant law. 

However, it may be possible to use unfair terms law amendments to fill this gap. But it will be up to residents both collectively and likely individually to give appropriate details that will support their contentions. 

It is manifestly unfair to Sovereign Harbour residents that while many other areas of Eastbourne, Meads as merely one, now being marketed, offer flats at 999 years lease or similar, with manageable annual management fees and nominal or no ground rent, the great majority of Sovereign Harbour residents have far more expensive annual management fees, long leases of 120 years or less, ground rents often exceeding £120 annually.

Sovereign Harbour streets alphabetically with postal codes

Sovereign Harbour centreLocated in North, South and in-between harbours. The tidal Outer Harbour is only used for entrance to the marina through twin sea locks, which are operated 24 hours a day. It needs frequent dredging to keep the access channel from the sea to the locks open and deep enough for vessels. 

The local RNLI lifeboat has its own mooring there.[3] The entrance is beside Martello Tower No.66. All the harbours (Inner, South, West and North) are artificial and were dredged one after the other, after 1991. Behind the locks is the main marina called Inner Harbour. This is the central body of water and was the first harbour in use. It contains berths for both visiting and resident berth holders, as well as provides access to the other three harbours via lifting bridges. The other three are used mostly by resident berth holders as well as the local fishing vessels.

The North Harbour was later than the other harbours shown above.  This body of water is larger than the initial Inner Harbour. The two remaining harbours West and South are much smaller and in use by local residents owning a house/apartment around these waters. 

The three latest developments are Port Moresby at the easternmost point of North Harbour; White Point, beach front on the westernmost part of Sovereign Harbour and Macauley Drive, off Pacific Drive and the A 259, the easternmost part of the Sovereign Harbour. Note that even when properties are freehold owners still have to pay the annual estate rentcharge.

 

Admiralty Court BN23 5PN. North Harbour.  Residential units. Managed by Admiralty Court Flat Management Ltd. Company number 04171938.
Admiralty Way BN23 5PP, 5PW. Properties are freehold
Anchorage Way BN23 5BE
Anguilla Close BN23 5TS
Antigua Close BN23 5SZ
Arequipa Reef BN23 5AG
Atlantic Drive BN23 5SW. Main road in Sovereign Harbour South.
Auckland Quay BN23 5AN
Barbuda Quay BN23 5SX, 5TT
Barrier Reef Way BN23 5PE
Belvedere BN23 5NJ
Bermuda Place BN23 5TE
Boston Close BN23 5RA
Brisbane Quay BN23 5PD

Callao Quay

BN23 5AA, 5AB
Campbell Mews  BN23 5AH
Canary Quay  BN23 5UT
Caroline Way BN23 5AX. 5AY
Chatham Green BN23 5PQ, 5PY
Christchurch Place BN23 5AP
Coral Reef Close BN23 5PF
Daytona Quay BN23 5BN
Dominica Court BN23 5TR
Ensenada Reef BN23 5AF
Eugene Way BN23 5BH. Part of Chatsworth Strand 5 buildings development.
Falmouth Close BN23 5RN, 5RW
Galveston Close BN23 5RH
Golden Gate Mews BN23 5PS
Golden Gate Way BN23 5PR, 5PT, 5PU
Grenada Close BN23 5TJ
Hamilton Quay BN23 5PX, 5PZ. North Harbour. With brick car parking area underneath. The most central of the harbour areas and with some of the most expensive homes.
Harbour Quay BN23 5QF, 5QG. The most common council tax band is E. Housing types are typically flats/apartments. 78% of house sales here since 1995 have been new builds.
Havana Court BN23 5UH
Hobart Quay BN23 5PB
Howland Close BN23 5AJ
Hudson Close BN23 5RB
Jamaica Way BN23 5UA

Johnston Place

BN23 5AS

Kensington

BN23 5NH
Key West BN23 5TD
Kingston Quay BN23 5UP
La Serena Place BN23 5AE
Leeward Quay BN23 5UD
Long Beach Close BN23 5QA
Long Beach Mews BN23 5NF
Long Beach View BN23 5NA, 5NB, 5NE
Macauley Drive Stratton Sovereign Harbour developmentBN23 5BU. Approached via A259 and Pacific Drive, Sovereign Harbour North.  

The northernmost part of Sovereign Harbour.  A large development by J W. Stratton, possibly the largest to date in Sovereign Harbour. 70 homes including  2 bedroom apartments leasehold 3-4 bedroom detached and semi-detached homes, being sold as freehold with car port. Freehold is not in fee simple. All are subject to a management fee covering an Annual Estate Rentcharge equivalent. The builder/developer paid a premium to the local authorities to ensure there no social/affordable housing included in this development. Still being constructed in the latter part of 2021.

 

Madeira Way BN23 5UJ, 5UL, 5UQ, 5UN. 5UG
Macquarie Quay

Macquarie Key also showing harrbour-side penestrian footpath BN23 5AT, 5AU, 5AW.  Originally Victoria Quay. The most central of all Sovereign Harbour properties. In North Harbour it faces the Inner Harbour.  Completed around 2005 by Persimmon Homes. 175 properties (147 apartments and 28 town houses). Later renamed Macquarie Quay, but the management company name (see below) has remained the same. Victoria Quay Management Company Ltd. 

Macquarie Quay walkway photo below

Martinique Way BN23 5TH, 5TR, 5TS
Midway Quay BN23 5DD, 5DE, 5DF, 5DG. The Boardwalk Management (Sovereign Harbour) Ltd.  Company No.05185116. A Fell Reynolds-controlled entity. 
Monterey Wharf BN23 
Ocho Rios Mews BN23 5UB
Pacific Drive BN23 5BJ, 6DW. Main road in Sovereign Harbour North, connects with A259 at a roundabout and after 6 further roundabouts ends at Macquarie Quay.
Palmyra Place  BN23 5AD
Phoenix Drive BN23 5PG, 5PH, 5PJ, 5PL

Pierpoint Mews 

BN23 5NL
Pitcairn Avenue BN23 5BB
Plymouth Close BN23 5RL
Port Moresby Place 

Port Moresby, 8 residences, 4 buildingsBN23 5BL. A semi-detached harbour front development of eight houses with panoramic sea views over the inner harbour.  Residents tenants opposite this development on the other side of the road were cheated by the Eastbourne Borough Council and Sovereign Harbour Ltd out of their earlier-promised unrestricted view of the harbour when the local authority and Sovereign Harbour Ltd reneged on their promise and the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association did not come to their defence. Sliding fully-glazed doors from the principal rooms lead to a terrace, with two upper balconies that fully exploit the glorious views. Design features include gas under-floor heating, bespoke kitchen units with work surfaces. Other benefits include a utility room, double garage and additional visitor parking. Both this Port Moresby Place in Eastbourne and Port Moresby in Papua named after Admiral John Moresby, Royal Navy. Moresby was born in Allerford, Somerset, England, the son of Eliza Louisa and Admiral of the Fleet Sir Fairfax Moresby. He joined the navy at an early age as a Volunteer 1st Class in HMS Victor, and rose to be in charge of the 1,031 ton paddle steamer cruiser HMS Basilisk in which he made hydrological surveys around eastern New Guinea. During the survey of the southern coast he discovered the harbour which he named Fairfax after his father. The town established there, based on already existing native villages (principally Hanuabada) was named Port Moresby and is now the nation's capital. Admiral John Moresby was also searching for a shorter route between Australia and China and on the eastern tip of the island he discovered the China Strait. He continued exploring along the north west coast as far as the Huon Gulf. On 29 September 1876, Moresby took command of HMS Endymion, remaining in this position until 6 March 1878. He was later promoted to rear admiral and died on 12 July 1922 in Fareham, Hampshire, England.

Admiral John Moresby All the 8 homes in these four buildings have four bedrooms, three bathrooms, access to terrace on each floor, uninterrupted harbour views, fitted kitchen with integrated Neff appliances, under-floor heating, double garage. Front door. Entrance hall. Kitchen - 22'0" (6.71m) x 22'0" (6.71m). Terrace - 22'6" (6.86m) x 17'6" (5.33m). Cloakroom. Bedroom 2 - 14'6" (4.42m) x 10'0" (3.05m). Ensuite shower room. First floor. Living room - 22'6" (6.86m) x 23'0" (7.01m). Balcony. Bedroom 3 3 - 15'6" (4.72m) x 8'9" (2.67m). Jack & Jill en suite. Bedroom 4/Study - 10'9" (3.28m) x 8'3" (2.51m). Second floor. Master bedroom- 17'0" (5.18m) x 11'0" (3.35m). Terrace. Dressing room - 11'0" (3.35m) x 7'6" (2.29m). Bathroom. Lower ground floor. Utility Room. Double Garage. Visitors Parking. Leasehold, 999 year lease. Ground Rent, Peppercorn. Council Tax: H. All 8 properties were sold in 2017 and 2018 for prices ranging from £750,000 to £784,000. This development is on 0.3 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. It is 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 that there would be no residential development on this plot. However, the Eastbourne Borough Council allowed this to be reneged. The car park was never constructed and Sovereign Harbour Ltd acted aggressively to persuade the Borough Council that it should be used for high-density, high-rise residential development. The Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) had identified this site as ideal for a marina-side public open space. It was agreed between the EBC and Sovereign Harbour Ltd  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 required 50% of the site, the land closest to the marina, to be paved and landscaped for public use.  A condition of the consent was that the public open space was to be completed before two thirds of the homes are sold.  This conditions was not met and in July 2018 EBC enforced the condition resulting in the sale of the final property being put on hold for four months.  With the open space almost complete the sale was eventually allowed to go through in December 2018. The open space was not fully completed until late 2019. Sovereign Harbour Residents who live further down Pacific Avenue are really annoyed that cars and vans are constantly parked outside, blocking one side of the road, yet there is plenty of parking within the development. An Australian family who visited Eastbourne recently and viewed this development commented that there are very similar-looking buildings in Australia but they are not private homes, instead a prison farm headquarters buildings. Anyway, the name has stuck and when some local residents pass by this development with its buildings so unlike those of other properties, they refer to them not as Port Moresby Place but because they look more squat and white and not ordinarily residential, as Prison Farm HQ buildings.

Quebec Close BN23 5RJ
Rapala Court, Midway Quay

BN23 5DB

Salvador Close BN23 5TB
Samoa Way BN23 5BA
San Diego Way San Diego Way flats BN23 5BG. Chatsworth Strand Jones Homes 5 buildings development of leasehold flats and terraced or similar homes. Of the apartment buildings comprising 12, 14 and 16  San Diego Way, while 12 and 14 have Council Tax in D band, 16 - of the same value as 12 and 14 - has the more expensive E band. 16 San Diego Way thus has the dubious distinction of being Sovereign Harbour's only 2 bedroom apartment units with Council Tax banding E. Some of the flats, including all those 25 at 16 San Diego Way, have unobstructed views of the sea. The Chatsworth Strand seaside developments are on land that includes car park areas, stretches across the footpath and goes all the way to the high-water mark.
San Juan Court BN23 5TP
Santa Cruz Drive BN23 5SS, 5ST, 5SU, 5TA, 5TU, 5TW, 5TX, 5TY, 5TZ
Santos Wharf BN23 5UR
St. Kitts Drive BN23 5TL, 5TN
St. Lawrence Mews BN23 5QD
St. Lawrence Place  BN23 5QB
St. Lawrence Way  BN23 5QE
St. Lucia Walk BN23 5SY
Silver Strand East  BN23 5NN
Silver Strand West BN23 5NP
Sovereign Close BN23 5BD
Southampton Close  BN23 5RP
Tambora Square BN23 5BT
Tasmania Way BN23 5PA
The Boardwalk Various. The Boardwalk Management (Sovereign Harbour) Ltd.  Company No.05185116. A Fell Reynolds -controlled entity. Has six tall apartment buildings with cladding. Between Sovereign Harbour's inner and outer harbour. The six residential blocks vary in height from 6 to 8 storeys and provide 260 residential units.  In the centre is The Boardwalk, a steel and timber  pedestrian footway that provides access-way. Car park has 518 spaces. The  6-building project for Redrow Homes was completed in 2006.
The Piazza BN23 5TG,  5TQ
The Portlands BN23 5RD
The Waterfront BN23 5UZ
Trujillo Court, Callao Quay BN23 5AB. Managed by Trujillo Court Ltd. Company no 0564090.
Vancouver Road BN23 5BF
Wellington Close BN23 5AR
Wellington Quay  BN23 5AQ
Windward Quay 5UE, 5UF
White Point

5 White Point buildings, each with two homes BN23 5BP. Off Martinique Way. Part of Site 1 in original listing of Sovereign Harbour sites. Sits adjacent to the seaward west end Harbour entrance, and adjacent to the junction between Prince William Parade, Atlantic Drive and Martinique Way. 

A contemporary new development right on the beach at the west end Sovereign Harbour South. The development comprises 10 four bedroom houses with panoramic sea views.1 hectares owned by Sovereign Harbour Ltd. Dominated by Martello Tower 66, close to the beach and the seaward entrance to the harbour. Initially, the site was earmarked for an hotel, with plenty of parking. 

Later, this was withdrawn, much to the disappointment of Sovereign Harbour residents who object to having to go not close by but all the way into town in usually heavy traffic to find a hotel with limited or no parking. Instead, site was identified as 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. Flattering photo below.

  In reality, the place, still unfinished, looks like a builder's yard, with no tarmac road in front of it, only an uneven gravel path. One condition of the consent was that an uninterrupted view of the Martello Tower had to be maintained.  Another was that access to the beach must be maintained for Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd, contractors of which removing shingle built up behind the harbour arm and transporting it to the North Harbour beach. Construction started in 2017. Each residential unit is subject to Annual Estate Rentcharges.

 

 

Beaches in Sovereign Harbour North and South are private, not public

Sovereign North Harbour BeachMembers of the public not Sovereign Harbour residents use these beaches every year, believing, wrongly, they are publicly owned. Bay View Holiday Park, adjacent to Sovereign Harbour, tells its customers the Sovereign Harbour North beach is public. It is not. 

In fact, it costs owners of each Sovereign Harbour flat or house £263.55 a year as an annual Estate Rentcharge in 2020 to live here and enjoy the beaches. 

It is deeply resented when non-residents of Sovereign Harbour who are not guests of residents use these beaches at no charge.

If they were indeed public beaches they would be listed in the same way as other Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) and East Sussex County Council (ESCC) beaches. 

There would be be no Annual Estate Rentcharge  and the EBC would be providing some types of beach furniture. They do not. 

While they regularly clean and maintain other Eastbourne beaches the EBC will not do so on any Sovereign Harbour beaches. 

The beach is nominally maintained not by any of the private landowners of the land stretching down to the beach high water mark but by the private company Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd

Who owns the beaches?  The companies that own the apartment buildings opposite. Their properties extend all the way to the high water mark. Although responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the beach up to the high water mark, the developers concerned do not undertake any maintenance or upkeep, or enforce any requirements with regard to dog fouling and litter. You use the beach area entirely at your own risk. The developers not responsible for any land or see accident, injury or death.

Martello Tower 64Many non-residents abuse the beaches by littering, leaving broken glass from bottles, vandalizing signs and plants or allowing their dogs to run free, fouling the beach. 

Far too many fail to pick up their dogs’ faeces.

 In the hottest months of June 2020 when 2 metre Covid 19 pandemic social distancing was in effect, this was routinely ignored, risking not only those who swam or cavorted or gathered or had picnics but residents in private properties nearby. 

Who pays for this non-residents' misuse? Residents. At times in June, July, August and September, it is so bad that residents of the properties opposite the beaches, who live on properties that include the beachfront across the walkways and surely have or should have some exclusivity but do not, were unable to use areas of the beaches because they are occupied by non-resident members of the public.

Non-residents also misuse the walkways above the beaches by cycling! The walkways are for pedestrians. On no cycling maps of cycling organizations are they shown as cycling approved. Nor do they show any council cycle markings. The walkways are accessible to wheelchair and mobility scooters but not cycles. When a person is injured by a cyclist on a beach walkway the cyclist is liable, also the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.

Because they are private beach not a public one there are no benches or seats for passers-by to sit on, bins for dog and other waste, life buoys, signs, railings or toilets.

Martello Tower 64 North Harbour photo by author

Beaches cannot be used by the disabled or those with balance or walking difficulties. Why not? There is too much of a downward and upward slope of the pebbles for those with either mobility or walking problems or in a wheelchair.

Martello Tower 66These beaches are legally, geographically and physically in the town of Eastbourne's Sovereign Ward area and residents pay their council and council-tax-related taxes to both Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex Borough Council

This surely should mean that the present arrangement whereby the Pevensey Bay entity that presently exclusively both controls these beaches at the behest of the Sovereign Harbour Trust and Environment Agency and gets 3,400 local residents (but no one else) to pay for the sea flood defences.

After all, the sea flood defence area also cover a much wider area than merely Sovereign Harbour with its 3400 properties. It also involves more than 17,500 residents all the way to Bexhill. 

This injustice to Sovereign Harbour residents only should be abolished, with these beaches at long last fully incorporated into Eastbourne's listing of public town beaches. T

hen and only then should the general public be allowed.

In 2007 Natural England designated these beaches a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.

Beaches below the high water mark are owned by the Eastbourne Borough Council and/or East Sussex Borough Council.  

So why don't they pay their part of the cost of annual flood protection that would come as a possible flood from the sea at these beaches, otherwise known as the Annual Estate Rentcharge, misleadingly referred to by estate agents as the Sovereign Harbour charge, covering a much wider area than just Sovereign Harbour? 

Payment is made solely, massively unfairly, only by the 2,400 or residents of Sovereign Harbour beachside and nearby buildings, not by any of the 17,000 other residents of the flood protection zone stretching all the way to Cooden Beach in Bexhill. 

Martello Tower 66, South Harbour

Beach ViewNowhere else in the UK or Europe or the world where there are shingle or sand or both beaches and have flood areas imposes such a charge solely on local residents. Neither beach appears on any Eastbourne town beach maps.

North East Beach. A shingle beach, located to the north east of Eastbourne, at Sovereign Harbour North, mid-way between Langney Point and Pevensey Bay. From here, walkers can walk all the way to Pevensey Bay beach.  This beach is not connected to the Sovereign Harbour South Beach because the sea entrance to Sovereign Harbour lies between. Its principal features are the Martello Tower 64 (see below), the signposted SS Barnhill Wreck Site and the spit of land at the harbour mouth from which can be seen the outer harbour of the 5-harbour Sovereign Harbour complex. 

South West Beach. Not connected to the Sovereign Harbour North Beach because the sea entrance to Sovereign Harbour lies between. There is no longer a  Martello Tower 65, it was claimed by the sea generations ago. Unique to South east coast of England, with only two of them ever built abroad (at then-British Army posts in Barbuda, Caribbean and Bermuda, North Atlantic). 

Martello Towers. Martello Tower 64 (see on North Beach, above) and 66 (below, here in South Beach) are historic monuments. The first includes both a Martello tower and a World War II gun emplacement on top of it, The tower, which is Listed Grade II, lies around 1km north east of its surviving neighbor, tower no 66. Martello tower 64 retains many of its original components. It is one (like 66) of the surviving examples of a series of low-lying towers, designed to defend a specific stretch of coastline. The addition of a gun emplacement during World War II represents the continued significance of this defensive position well into the 20th century.   Martello towers were gun towers constructed to defend the vulnerable south eastern coast of England against the threat of ship-borne invasion by Napoleonic forces. They were built as a systematic chain of defence in two phases, between 1805-1810 along the coasts of East Sussex and Kent, and between 1808- 1812 along the coasts of Essex and Suffolk. They are referred to as Martello Towers because their design was based on a fortified tower at Martello Point in Corsica which had put up a prolonged resistance to British forces in 1793. 

The towers shown above are compact, free-standing circular buildings on three levels built of rendered brick. They are numbered 1-74 from east to west, while those of the east coast identified by a system of letters (A-Z, and then AA-CC) from south to north. Although they exhibit a marked uniformity of design, there are minor variations between the southern and eastern groups and amongst individual towers, due mainly to the practice of entrusting their construction to local sub-contractors. Most southern towers are elliptical in plan, whilst the eastern group are oval or cam-shaped externally, with axes at the base ranging between 14.4m by 13.5m and 16.9m by 17.7m. All are circular, the battered (inwardly sloping) walls of varying thicknesses, but with the thickest section  facing the seaward side. Most stand to a height of around 10m. Some are surrounded by dry moats originally encircled by counterscarp banks, and/or have cunettes (narrower water defences) situated at the foot of the tower wall. The ground floor was used for storage, with accommodation for the garrison provided on the first floor, and the main gun platform on the roof. The southern towers carried a single 24 pounder cannon, whilst the eastern line carried three guns (usually a 24 pounder cannon and two shorter guns or howitzers.

Three large, circular ten-gun towers known as redoubts were also constructed at vulnerable points, Dymchurch, Eastbourne and Harwich. The Napoleonic invasion never occurred, the defensive strength of the Martello tower system was not tested, and the towers became obsolete from developments in heavy artillery. Many were abandoned and fell into decay or were demolished although some continued in use into the 20th century as signaling or coastguard stations and a few saw use as look out points or gun emplacements during World Wars. Of the original 74 towers on the south coast, 26 now survive, and of the 29 on the east coast, 17 now survive. Those which do display a diversity of original components are considered to merit protection.

Books about the area and Crumbles Murders 

The area now part of the harbour was once known as the Crumbles.

Bridges

Via footpaths and walkways there are a number to cross over by foot or bike or mobility scooter only, no cars allowed, to get to other parts of the 5-part harbour.  In the photo below, the main moving bridge is shown. 

Sovereign Harbour bridge

When in the raised position as in the photo, only vessels can pass underneath, to get to or from Sovereign Harbour North. All pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooters must wait before they can get to or from The Waterfront with its restaurants and shops and, a short distance away, The busy Crumbles retail shopping centre. The bridge opens frequently daily, by pre-arranged signal from Sovereign Harbour berth holders or visitors or the harbours' tour boat.

Buses and their times

From Sovereign Harbour North, Pacific Drive. Hourly, during daylight hours. Routes 5 (Monday to Saturday) and 5a (Sundays and Bank Holidays), to/from Eastbourne. Terminus Road, normally 24 minutes.  See https://bustimes.org/services/5a-sovereign-harbour-eastbourne.

Churches/Places of Worship 

churchesNone in any part of Sovereign Harbour itself.

 But several are close by.

paragraphAll Souls.
Susan's Road, behind the Beacon shopping centre. 

paragraphSt. Andrew's Norway. So-called from being on the old North way, now Seaside. 

St. Nicholas Parish Church and St. Wilfred's. Pevensey Bay .Anglican. website cofechurchespevensey.org.uk. Phone 01323 764473 or church wardens. 

St. Richard of Chichester Church, Langney, Eastbourne BN23 7AR. Phone 01323 743606. Langney Parish church. Corner of Etchingham Road and Priory Road, 

paragraphChrist the King. Nearest Roman Catholic Church, Langley, 1 mile away west towards Eastbourne on A259.

paragraphOur Lady of Ransom. 2-4 Grange Road BN21 4EU, . 

paragraphSt. Saviour's. South Street. 

There are numerous other Eastbourne churches or equivalent representing most faiths and religions. 

 

 

 

Citizen's Advice Bureau, Eastbourne

See http://www.eastbournecab.co.uk

Columbus Point & Water Feature 

Columbus Point water featureAn area of Sovereign Harbour South

The water feature is to be one of the largest of its type in Europe. 

Owners of 369 residential properties bordering the water feature are covenanted in their deeds to pay for the management, running and maintenance of this water feature.  

But are not told about this in advance from their estate agents.

Over 3,000 other properties elsewhere in Sovereign Harbour without this feature do not pay it.

In other parts of the world the cost of the water feature is included in the cost of each relevant property.

But not here in Sovereign Harbour.

Water in this feature is dosed with chemicals to restrict algae growth. 

Thus entering the water is prohibited, should not be paddled or stepped or swum in. 

The covenanted 2020 cost per residential unit in the water feature precinct was £247.11. 

This is in addition to the covenanted annual estate rentcharge. 

Estate agents marketing properties where the water feature charge applies are not stating this in their property advertisements.

 Community Centre

Sovereign Harbour Community Centre locationFinally opened in November 2019.  Site 6, Easter Island Place instead of Site 5 as approved/decided in 2012, of modular construction.  Phone 01323 509859 to make bookings.  

Ownership of the facility - Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC). 

The  EBC appointed Sea Change Sussex, a not-for-profit economic development company, to oversee delivery of the project. They do so today.

That was after the former Sovereign Harbour Community Association, once envisaged to manage the complex and the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association both declined to get involved. 

The first-named no longer exists.

Managed by Wave Leisure Trust, a charitable not-for-profit trust. 

The facility has a kitchen but when completed and opened contained no kitchen equipment such as a sink, stove, etc - unlike all other community centres in all four devolved countries of the UK. 

Has a schedule of charges for local entities to hold meetings

Their expense is too much for most if not all Sovereign Harbour-relevant entities that exist on shoe-string budgets.

Firmly promised by local councillors in April 2018. Should have been built in 2005. Eastbourne Borough and East Sussex County Council both stated it would be completed before councils allowed any construction of new residential buildings but buildings came first by over 15 years. 

Changes galore resulted in the final plan being about 25% reduced in size compared to the original

The project cost over £1.6 million, with £800,000 pledged from Carillion/SHL (since liquidated in January 2018) but paid up, £400,000 from Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) and £400,000 from the East Sussex County Council. 

In 2020 and 2021 the Community Hall has also served as a Covid vaccination centre.

 Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Councillors

Councillor Penny di Cara. Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC).  Phone 01323 479031. Email: councillor.dicara@eastbourne.gov.uk. Lives in Sovereign Harbour. Conservative.

paragraphCouncillor Paul Metcalfe. Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC). Phone 0784 1915274. Email: councillor.metcalfe@eastbourne.gov.uk. Lives in Sovereign Harbour. Conservative

paragraphCouncillor Kshama Shore. OBE. Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC). Phone 0734 181614. Email councillor.shore@eastbourne.gov.uk 

What they don't do for Sovereign Harbour but what they do for other parts of Eastbourne. Sovereign Harbour is part of Eastbourne Borough Council's Sovereign Ward. 

A Ward is a local electoral district.  

Sovereign Ward also includes the residential areas of Langney Point and Kingsmere and homes on the south side of St. Anthony's Avenue and the Queen's Crescent area. 

The Sovereign Harbour area, largest part of the ward, is the largest composite marina development in the UK and the largest sheltered marina in northern Europe.

Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC). 27 councillors representing 9 wards. Councillors are elected by those living in and registered to vote in those wards. Sovereign Harbour is in Sovereign Ward (the easternmost).  EBC political representation is Liberal Democrats - 17 councillors; Conservatives - 9 councillors. Liberal Democrats have overall control. Councillor David Tutt Leader, Councillor Steve Wallis Mayor and Councillor Sammy Choudhury Deputy Mayor. 

Local Councillors are elected by the community to decide how the council should carry out its various activitiesThey represent public interest as well as individuals living within the ward in which he or she has been elected to serve a term of office. 

They have regular contact with the general public through council meetings, telephone calls or surgeries. Surgeries provide an opportunity for any ward resident to go and talk their councillor face to face and these take place regularly. Councillors are not paid a salary for their work, but they do receive allowances. By law, all members of the Council are required to complete a declaration of interest form, the details of which are published annually.

Councillors' roles. As a democratically elected local representative, they have a unique and privileged position – and the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives. Every day they will be expected to balance the needs of their local area, their residents and voters, community groups, local businesses, their political party (if they belong to one) and the council. 

All will make legitimate demands on their time – on top of their personal commitments to family, friends and workplace. As councillors they have many different roles to balance. As the locally elected representative, they will engage with residents and groups on a wide range of different issues and take on an important community leadership role. At the council they contribute to the development of polities and strategies, including budget setting, and they may be involved in scrutinizing council decisions or taking decisions on planning or licensing applications. 

Representing their local area. Councillors' primary roles are to represent their ward or division and the people who live in it. Councillors provide a bridge between the community and the council. As well as being an advocate for their local residents and signposting them to the right people at the council, they need to keep them informed about the issues that affect them. In order to understand and represent local views and priorities, they need to build strong relationships and encourage local people to make their views known and engage with them and the council. Good communication and engagement is central to being an effective councillor. As local councillors, their residents expect them  to respond to their queries and investigate their concerns; communicate council decisions that affect them; know their patch and be aware of any problems;  know and work with representatives of local organisations, interest groups and businesses; represent their views at council meetings; lead local campaigns on their behalf. 

Community leadership. This is at the heart of modern local government. Councils work in partnership with local communities and organisations – including the public, voluntary, community and private sectors – to develop a vision for their local area, working collaboratively to improve services and quality of life for citizens.

 

Complaints to EBC & ESCC what other Eastbourne town areas get - but we do not

See the item-by-item complaints below:

1. EBC & ESCC Councillors let estate agents to omit showing key facts about Sovereign Harbour 

Sovereign Harbour residents pay moreparagraphThey have declined to ensure that estate agents comply fully with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs). The government took this step to reduce duplicate legislation regulating estate agents and other businesses involved in property sales and lettings. The previous legislation, the Property Mis-descriptions Act 1991 (PMA), which had made it a criminal offence for estate agents to make false or misleading statements about properties being offered for sale, was repealed on1 October 2013. The CPRs prohibit all traders from using unfair commercial practices in their dealings with individual consumers, and estate agents in particular are prohibited from engaging in commercial practices that are unfair to sellers, buyers, potential sellers or potential buyers of residential property. The BPRs prohibit traders in all sectors, including estate agents, from using misleading practices in their business-to-business advertisements. This includes misleading marketing used to advertise property for sale. While the PMA only covered estate agents, the CPRs and BPRs are much wider in scope covering letting agents and property managers. 

paragraphThe CPRs prohibit misleading actions that cause or are likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he or she would not have taken otherwise. The CPRs prohibit misleading actions that could cause average consumers to take a transactional decision he or she or they would not take otherwise.  A transactional decision is not just whether a consumer decides to purchase a property but also includes such things as to whether to view a property in the first place. A misleading action or omission includes omitting to mention any deeds or covenants or restrictions unique to an area such as those we alone in the UK, Europe and the world have to bear here in Sovereign Harbour. We know beyond any doubt this has caused some consumers, after hearing about the facts from present residents, to neither want to view nor buy or rent or lease any Sovereign Harbour property because of the extra costs and conditions of the Estate Rent charge and other factors that nowhere else imposes. 

paragraphAlthough the CPRs and BPRs have now been in force since 2008, some are clearly still unfamiliar to many estate agents and relevant others selling or leasing or renting properties and consumers.  This prompted the Office of Fair Trading to publish guidance specifically for estate agents on the new Regulations on what they need to know in applying descriptions on a property. They have been circulated and can be seen at https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/services/estate-agents-property-descriptions. There is also know a specified Code of Practice for all residential Estate Agents and relevant others. See  https://www.tradingstandards.uk/media/documents/commercial/codes-of-practice/tpo-sales.pdf Thus, Estate agents and relevant others selling or leasing or renting properties to consumers need to be particularly careful about how they advertise properties for sale or lettings, and to make sure their particulars on properties are accurate. Describing properties as ‘stunning’, ‘desirable’ or in a ‘quiet area’ now require evidence to back up such statements. Estate agents and relevant others selling or leasing or renting properties to consumers particulars that contain misleading omissions are also liable by the new Regulations.

2. Councillors have not stopped unfairness of Sovereign Harbour residents alone paying AER and flood defence

Cost of annual estate rentchargeAnnual Estate Rentcharge 2020 cost is £261.80 per residence, applicable only in this part of Eastbourne, not in any other part of the town.

paragraphEastbourne 1 is the fair and biggest-by-far part of the town, comprising 8 of its 9 wards. There, none of the residents have to pay a Annual Estate Rentcharge. In all those eleven wards there are tree-lined streets, parks or recreational areas, beaches recognized as being a key part of Eastbourne, a tourism centre, hotels galore, frequent buses and trains, cinemas, theatres and more.

paragraphEastbourne 2, specifically Sovereign Harbour (part of Sovereign Ward) is the unfair part of the town. Here, we have no cinema, culture, history, hotel, public carpet flower garden, recreational areas, tree lined streets, theatre, or other benefits of the type prevalent in Eastbourne 1. We have two beaches, Sovereign Harbour North and South but despite being in Eastbourne these beaches are not listed as Eastbourne’s. Bus service, which in the rest of Eastbourne is extensive and frequent with many routes is limited.  Buses on the 5 and 5a routes between Sovereign Harbour and Eastbourne are only one an hour during the day, less frequent during the evening and with none available after 10 pm.

paragraphSovereign Harbour, however, is a major asset of huge economic benefit to the whole of Eastbourne. Yet others in the town now with over 100,000 residents do not pay a penny to contribute to it.  Only we 3,400 residents in the 300 acres of Sovereign Harbour do, so massively unfairly, via our hated Annual Estate Rentcharge of £261.80 per residential unit, irrespective of whether worth £140,000 or £1.4 million (yet council taxes are banded in council-assessed values with the least valuable paying far less than the most valuable) of a type not found in any other seaside attraction and marina in the whole of the UK or Europe or the rest of the world. Of the 5.4 million people who visited the town in 2019, more than 3.5 million visited Sovereign Harbour. The harbour since its creation has become the single-biggest attraction to Eastbourne's economy in size and importance. As the largest marina in the UK and second-largest in Europe it attracts yacht owners, yacht charters and their crews and guests from the whole of Europe and beyond. The landlords concerned  are the private Sovereign Harbour owners The Wellcome Trust and Premier Marinas. The UK's Environment Agency is also involved.

paragraphNot mentioned on any council or public authority is that 

paragraphThe Eastbourne Borough Council has a representative on the board of the private sector Sovereign Harbour Trust and its subsidiary that levies the Annual Estate Rental Charge/harbour charge/water/flood defense charge above. Instead of formally objecting to it on behalf of their Sovereign Harbour constituents who alone have to pay the charge, and/or ensuring that others beyond Sovereign Harbour  who are also included in the flood area must pay it too instead of being exempted, our two councils both approve it and have direct representation on the facility that requires us to pay it via its Community Interest Company. This Estate Rental Charge occurs solely and uniquely within their jurisdiction. It means that both leasehold and freehold properties are thus covenanted in ways no other local authority in the UK, Europe or the world encounters. .

paragraphAre Councillors in any other part of Eastbourne or East Sussex appointed as directors of private-sector companies that charge residents-only, not businesses too, annual estate rentcharges? No. 

3. EBC and ESCC councils do not reveal our Estate Rent Charges and Environment Agency surcharges

Sovereign Harbour North 3Numerous reputable law firms and entities above say Estate Rent Charges cause grave concern. But Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council have approved the Estate Rentcharges for implementation by all property developers in Sovereign Harbour including the newest developments. Yet they do not exist in any of the 11 other Eastbourne or East Sussex areas. People become property developers' prisoners unless urgent action is taken by central government and local authorities, experts have warned. The Conveyancing Association says the industry must move quickly to deal with the estate rentcharge issue which is becoming a “ticking timebomb”. Mortgage lenders are increasingly wary of properties that are subject to uncapped or unclear service charges for the upkeep of roads and shared areas that are not looked after by the local council. 

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) says banks and building societies may refuse to lend on properties with high or increasing charges, making them potentially unmortgageable and unsaleable. As lenders tighten their policies regarding such maintenance contracts, existing borrowers who took out their deals before restrictions came into force may struggle to remortgage in the future, leaving them trapped.  

Your Mortgage Decisions director Dominik Lipnicki says: “We have heard horror stories about the cost of some service charges. This is in danger of becoming the next mis-selling scandal and creating a new wave of mortgage prisoners. The government and regulators need to get to grips with the issue quickly or it will have a severe effect on property values.”  

IMLA executive director Kate Davies explains that there are occasions when management fees are perfectly acceptable to ensure the upkeep of an estate, particularly where a local authority is not willing or able to take responsibility for roads and infrastructure on a development. But she says the fees must be fair and reasonable.

 Davies says: “Developers should make it absolutely clear up-front what services are to be provided and how the fees will be both initially set and subsequently increased. Lenders will always take a pragmatic approach to estate charges, but the protection of the borrower will be a priority. If any arrangements are unclear or potentially onerous, the lender may impose restrictions or ultimately decline to lend a property. Uncapped fees which could be increased without challenge or control, could therefore render a property both unsaleable and unmortgageable.” Developers will often sell on the land an estate sits on or the right to levy these servicing fees (known as “rentcharges” in the legal jargon) to a management company or property investment firm. By law, this landowner or rentcharge owner has the right to take drastic steps to recover their money if charges go unpaid for more than 40 days. These measures known as “remedies” under Section 121 of the Law of Property Act 1925 include repossessing the property or granting a long lease and requiring the home owner to pay a premium and the court costs to get rid of the lease. Photo above by the authors.

4. Councillors allow concealment of key information for mortgage and Equity Release lenders

EBC and ESCC Councillors don't require estate agents to state up-front, accurately, that there is an Annual Estate Rentcharge applicable to all Sovereign Harbour residential properties. Instead, they allow estate agents,  chartered surveyors, solicitors and local entities to refer to it inaccurately and misleadingly as a "harbour charge" -implying it is on the same basis as other harbour charges. It is not the same, it is hugely different.  Reputable mortgage lenders are very wary, for sound legal reasons, of financing properties affected by a rentcharge. To protect consumers who live in their areas, councils should be protecting them. They should not be allowing mortgage lenders to be deceived.  

5. Newcomers pay more Council Taxes than rest of Eastbourne  although properties have less market value

Sovereign Harbour residents pay one of the highest Council TaxesHere, council taxes are paid to not one but two local authorities, Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council (which gets the biggest share of the taxes). A councillor from each authority serves Sovereign Harbour.

 Council Taxes in Sovereign Harbour are on average the highest in Eastbourne, far higher even for leasehold properties with no ownership of gardens or communal gardens or garages or outbuildings than for single family freehold residences with garages and outbuildings elsewhere in Eastbourne and with a higher market value.

Sovereign Harbour is Eastbourne's highest-yielding Ward for Council Taxes collection, with far fewer benefits and liabilities than other wards. 

Sovereign Harbour residents pay the highest council taxes in Eastbourne for mostly leasehold properties that in market value are worth less than others elsewhere in Eastbourne that are worth far more yet pay lower Council Taxes. 

There is not a single property in Sovereign Harbour in the A or B Council Tax category. Nor are there any schools or playing fields or recreational facilities or environmental habitats or even trees on pavements to fund in this part of Sovereign Ward. 

All other wards have such expenses. Sovereign Harbour beaches come under their jurisdiction. 

Sovereign Harbour residents pay the highest council taxes in the UK but get the fewest council-provided benefits. 

Neither the Eastbourne County Council nor East Sussex County Council recognize that for the Estate Rent Charge Sovereign Harbour residents alone have to pay on top of their Council Taxes they should be receiving a similarly unique category of a lower council tax applicable solely to payers of the Estate Rental Charge. Instead of being shown legally as Renters because they come under this unique Estate Rental Charge they get no discount, even when most residents are in fact not owners but long-leaseholders. 

6. Councillors do not prohibit cyclists from riding on our walkways, pathways and footpaths

Often dangerously in defiance of walkers, pedestrians, runners, children, runners, the elderly, vulnerable and disabled. Councillors should be protecting and supporting their constituents by requiring cyclists to keep to the registered cycle lane on shared areas of council-adopted Atlantic and Pacific Avenues. 

Sovereign Harbour walkways and pathways are on private, not public, land. So how can they possibly be considered by any Member of Parliament or parliamentary committee or Eastbourne Borough Council or East Sussex Borough Council for any public cyclist usage? Because of this they should not be compared - yet have been - to any other public areas or roads or pathways in the UK or Europe or world where cycling is permitted and encouraged by local, regional and national authorities as an active exercise.  

Sovereign Harbour Councillors from the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council illegally - in clear defiance of the Equality Act and its provisions - allow instead of prohibiting cyclists to ride on privately owned Sovereign Harbour walkways, pathways and footpaths, often dangerously in defiance of walkers, pedestrians, runners, the  elderly, vulnerable, disabled and children. Councillors should be protecting and supporting their constituents by (a) realizing that under the Equality Act cyclists should walk not ride their cycles so as not to have a speed advantage over pedestrians and the vulnerable and (b) requiring cyclists to keep to the registered cycle track shared areas of council-adopted Atlantic and Pacific Avenues. 

With Covid 19 so prevalent in the UK since March 2020, EBC councillors are not insisting as they should and as central government requires that all including councillors need to abide by social distancing. It should be as mandatory on Sovereign Harbour's walkways and pavements as they are elsewhere. Two cyclists passing in opposite direction need approximately three metres of space to maintain a two metre gap. On a two metre path, such as exists long Sovereign Harbour North's beachfront, social distancing is impossible. Thus such paths need to be closed to cyclists instead of councillors permitting them. It is time County and Borough adhered to government's central advice on what constitutes quality walking and cycling  active travel strategies.

Councillors and cyclists need to know that recently from a Guardian newspaper report - see https://www.theguardian.com/law/2020/feb/24/cyclist-settles-for-30000-pounds-after-hitting-pedestrian-who-was-looking-at-phone - that a cyclist who knocked over a woman who was looking at her mobile phone while crossing a road was then was successfully sued by the woman concerned. Both the cyclist, Robert Hazeldean, a garden designer, and the pedestrian, Gemma Brushett, who works in finance and also ran yoga retreats, were left unconscious after the rush-hour collision in July 2015. The case exposed how vulnerable uninsured cyclists are to expensive civil claims if they are involved in accidents. Brushett’s lawyers had claimed costs of £112,000 – a sum that would have left Hazeldean facing bankruptcy since he was uninsured. Hazeldean later agreed to settle the case for £30,000 on top of damages of £4,300 and his own costs of more than £25,000.  This case will be worrying for uninsured cyclists in Sovereign Harbour and the councils concerned who do not object to cyclists using and misusing the harbour's walkways and pathways. 

7. Unlike rest of Eastbourne, Sovereign Harbour public roads have no council-provided tree-lined pavements

Eastbourne avenue treesUnlike in all other Eastbourne Wards, all streets and roads of Sovereign Harbour are completely tree-less.  

As we pay Council Taxes too we should get the same pleasant tree-lined streets.

The main thoroughfares of Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Avenue 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 featureless and flora-deficient military bases or some residential areas immediately adjacent to prisons.

Unfortunately, that's presently what many people - residents and visitors too, some influential, others speculating about wher they might want to live in future,  think about Sovereign Harbour.

Especially when approaching from Atlantic Avenue and/or Pacific Avenue.

In all other neighborhoods without a single exception in Eastbourne - except for here in Sovereign Harbour - 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. 

In all other worldwide locations where scenic harbours and seaside exist, their local authorities have planted tall trees and in seaside areas they have palms too.. 

Or an appropriate other mix of trees, shrubs and much more, to show the neighbourhoods as green, leafy, healthy in foliage and nice-looking for both residents and visitors.

trees in a seaside area but not Sovereign HarbourSovereign Harbour does not compare well with international harbour, marina and seaside areas in tree-lined scenes, as the photo, left, shows. 

Go to any of the other wards in Eastbourne or further afield to coastal and hinterland East Sussex

Compare for yourself the total lack of trees Sovereign Harbour with places such as Bexhill-on-Sea, Brighton, Pevensey, Pevensey Bay and many more scenic places.

The central government has said recently that to improve the quality of people's lives in towns and cities it has given £4.2 million to each local authority to plant trees on streets on which they live. 

But not a single tree gone to Sovereign Harbour.

It is accepted wisdom - echoed by hundreds of environmental, health-related and socio-economic authorities throughout the whole of the UK that trees planted on streets near where homes are for sale or rent can improve property prices by as much as 15-20%. 

Margaret Lipscombe, the recent director of urban programmes at the Tree Council, says trees bring a plethora of benefits to people's lives. 

Not only are trees beautiful but they are practical. 

They provide shade in the summer and then their leaves drop off, allowing light in when it is needed in winter.

Trees needed for Sovereign Harbour pavements & walkwaysThey enhance the attractiveness of many homes and apartment buildings. 

Especially those with flowing vines of bushes or clumps of flowers grown in front gardens. 

They help potential residents to determine that because of the neighbourhood trees, foliage and green spaces it is a nice and healthy, environmentally friendly place in which to live and raise a family.

 Additionally, they are good for climate change.

Why? Because trees and their foliage help put water back into the atmosphere which cools the area. 

And they help biodiversity as tree-lined streets provide wildlife, 

Plus, trees encourage healthier lifestyles. 

Studies have shown that people are calmer when trees are in their environment.  

As the council has promised to put trees in the newest area of Sovereign Harbour North - Macauley Place - it should surely do the same to other streets and roads with no roadside trees elsewhere in Sovereign Harbour. 

With the sole exception of Sovereign Harbour and its Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council, councils everywhere else in the entire UK provide trees on roadsides. 

This is irrespective of whether the properties and their avenues or streets or ways are public or private.

Residents new and old and their visitors are invited to see for themselves how all other areas of Eastbourne have trees galore growing on pavements, while Sovereign Harbour has none whatsoever.

8. Sovereign Harbour's two beaches are not shown as Eastbourne beaches

Listed Eastbourne beaches only go as far as groyne number 94 at Langney Point. The Eastbourne beach list should have long ago been extended to include these two Sovereign Ward beaches in Eastbourne, because any member of the public is allowed on them. Yet only Sovereign Harbour resident, have to pay for beach maintenance in their Annual Estate Rentcharge. Presently, because they are not included in Eastbourne's beaches despite being in the Sovereign Ward councils area, they do not get the same level of supervision, oversight, dogs and leashes controls, usage rules and maintenance as Eastbourne beaches. No other localities in the UK with beaches in their council tax area deliberately omit beaches from their council jurisdiction.

9. EBC and ESCC accepted payments from developers to avoid Sovereign Harbour affordable housing

Despite broadcasting publicly what they have been doing in affordable housing - see https://democracy.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/documents/s6189/Affordable%20Housing%20Supplementary%20Planning%20Document%20-%20Appendix%201.pdf - in fact they have, as councils, accepted extra payments from developers to exempt them from affordable housing requirements. A formula exists that allow developers to pay extra to their local councils to avoid affordable public housing that detracts from the marketability of the homes they build. 

The net effect of this has been that homes in those areas have cost homeowners more at Macauley Place and elsewhere, because the developers added the sums they have paid to councils to their costs to buyers. In the process, Councils have allowed developers on the private land they own to apply the Annual Estate Rentcharge.

Crematorium

Nearby, in Langley.

Cycling - council-approved only on Atlantic Drive and Pacific Drive not walkways

Cycling 2No cycling sign 1 on Eastbourne PromenadeIn Sovereign Harbour, only on Atlantic and Pacific Avenues in Sovereign Harbour do these signs appear, nowhere else.

Only the marked cycle way pavements along Atlantic and Pacific Drives in South and North Harbours respectively, should be used by cyclists. They are shared with pedestrians and are marked as shown below. An established cycle route available to cyclists and the general public that only the above are approved for cyclists. 

All  pathways, footways, walkways of inner and outer Sovereign Harbour without the cycle route sign shown are not cycle routes. If they were they would have signs. Eastbourne Borough Council, in which Sovereign Ward councillors are a part, have made it a point to BAN cyclists along much of Eastbourne's much wider beachfront and seafront promenade. But they ALLOW cyclists to ride along the much narrower pathways and footways of beachfront and seafront Sovereign Harbour.

On the Eastbourne Promenade, 6 metres wide, signs state NO Cycling, an Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) byelaw. 

But on the Sovereign Harbour North Beach walkway, 2 metres wide - a third of the width of the Eastbourne Promenade - the EBC allows cyclists. 

Of particular concern to residents is the daily misuse by cyclists of Sovereign Harbour walkways and pathways. Every day, individual cyclists or couples on cycles and often their children on bikes go alongside each other, regularly.  Single and groups of cyclists mis-use the Sovereign Harbour North beachfront narrow footpath, going very fast or ringing their bells or shouting at walkers to get out their way, or weaving in between walkers and frightening them. When residents walking carefully and slowly have attempted to speak to and reason with them, they are often abused by cyclists, told to shut up or are sworn at. 

One Sovereign Harbour North Beach walkway, only nine feet wide, was built for walkers, not cyclists who often outnumber the walkers. Cyclists deliberately ignore the established and clearly cycle-marked pavements of Atlantic Drive and Pacific Drive with their wide purpose-built pavement built as a shared way for both pedestrians and cyclists. They unfairly demand and mis-use the scenic pedestrian or walking pathways and almost totally ignore the established cycle routes. 

Many Sovereign Harbour residents are slow and awkward walkers.

They have constant balance problems with risk of falling on narrow walkways, which is why their carers walk alongside them to be close enough to catch them if they fall. They need plenty of space for this. When they are forced to make way, as is too often the case, for fast cyclists who refuse to give way to walkers accidents will happen with innocent parties needing urgent medical attention.

Residents really suffer from the attitudes of many cyclists, particularly including those who are not resident but are holiday lodging at the three nearby caravan parks less than a mile away to the east. They treat this private pathway and other harbour areas not as private pathways but as public cycle routes. 

They do not pay any cycle taxes, have caused thousands of accidents with walkers, if they want more rights, should be taxed for the roads they use and fined for the non-cycle paths they deliberately and often contemptuously misuse  They want to be able to ride cost free from Eastbourne to Bexhill on Sea, right through Sovereign Harbour.  

The menace of Bespoke. The cycling organization Bespoke has campaigned for over 10 years to allow unrestricted cycling on Eastbourne's promenade despite an EBC bye-law that has prohibited this for good reasons. One of them is that Eastbourne has the highest concentration of elderly, vulnerable and mobility-impaired people in the entire UK and the EBC as well as police have a statutory public authority duty under the UK's Equality Act to give particular care and attention to the disabled and vulnerable. Many of whom, on the flat and wide paved promenade pathway, need to have the space to walk side-by-side with their carers or companions. Bespoke has also indicated it demands similar access to Sovereign Harbour. Bespoke refuses to condemn shared areas. Nor has Bespoke ever conceded that cycling amongst pedestrians even on fast moving electric bikes is potentially unsafe, or expressed any concerns that it is dangerous to older and disabled residents.

Eastbourne town is 2 miles west

Eastbourne, East Sussex. Latitude and longitude 50.768 and 0.2905. Postcodes BN20 to BN23. Only 1.6 hours from central London by rail.  Not a city, instead a large coastal town, pebble (not fine sand) beach seaside resort and borough in the non-metropolitan county of East Sussex on the south coast of England, 19 miles (31 km) east of Brighton. Eastbourne is immediately to the east of Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Great Britain. It has a seafront consisting largely of largely internally and internally modernized Victorian hotels, a distinctive pier recently renovated by a community-minded private investor, a Napoleonic era fort and military museum and three distinctive, historic but local-authority neglected Martello towers constructed by the British Army when invasion seemed possible by Napoleonic forces. Although  Eastbourne is a relatively new town, there is evidence of human occupation in the area from the Stone Age. The town grew as a fashionable tourist resort largely thanks to prominent landowner, William Cavendish, later to become the Duke of Devonshire. His ancestors included one who founded Devonshire Parish in the islands of Bermuda (website by this author). That district has as its heraldic crest that of the Cavendish concerned. Eastbourne was developed by Cavendish from 1859 from four separate hamlets. He appointed architect Henry Currey to design a street plan for the town after sending him to Europe to draw inspiration.

Via the A259 and 24-30 roundabout halts away, 10-30 minutes by car depending on traffic which in the summer months particularly and year-round from 3 pm can be heavy. Sovereign Harbour is in Sovereign Ward, one of the nine Eastbourne Borough Council Wards. Sovereign Harbour owner-residents pay both Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council taxes, one of the six most expensive in the UK. And because Sovereign Harbour is a private estate with no affordable housing areas we pay appreciably higher council taxes than the rest of Eastbourne yet do not get the same council benefits. These matters are described in more detail under "What other Eastbourne town areas get but we who live in Sovereign Harbour do not"

Electric vehicle charging points nearby, at ASDA

Electric vehicle rechargingASDA (see below), 

Has four electric car-charging places in front of the supermarket.

These only such electric charging points in all of Sovereign Harbour. 

They are just to the west of the front doors.

 But these are often abused by people not using them for car-charging. 

They park there in defiance of the sign that stipulates what they are for.

Some motorists get angry when upbraided about parking there.

But some park there for far more than just a few minutes, while irritated electric-vehicle motorists who need to re-charge their vehicles but are deprived of the charging points by thoughtless scofflaws  wait in frustration nearby, or circle around aimlessly, 

They say it is "just for a minute while we do some quick shopping.

But it is often far longer. 

Others are some miles away. 

There are none at any residential units.

Nor are there any no-parking attendants nearby. 

ASDA pays in vain for a fine new service. 

A few of its customers use it...

Others abuse it...

 

 

 

Estate Agents marketing Sovereign Harbour Properties

See link above

Fisherman's Quay

A retail and wholesale fish shop here was established here in mid 2021. Its parking area includes two disabled parking places. Construction commenced following a Government grant of £1.08 million via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. A Community Interest Company deals with the acquisition and management of the quay. Envisaged is a range of traditional black net huts built from sustainable and considerate materials, workshops, offices, wet-fish sales and a fishing 'learning centre', perhaps with an aquarium of local fish species. Shoppers may wish to compare prices with those at ASDA and Tesco. 

Flood zones areas

Flood signFor home and/or content insurance. 

Residents should inform their insurers about the following:

South Harbour - Flood zone 2

North Harbour - Flood zone 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golf Clubs

None in the harbour area, several nearby.

Harbour Medical Practice

NHS practice1 Pacific Avenue, Sovereign Harbour North, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6DW

Phone 01323 470370. Note that since 2021 it no longer makes appointments for patients to automatically see a GP. Instead, receptionists pass on phoned-in or online requests to the relevant practitioner for the ailment or problem concerned. GPs will get involved when the situation warrants it.

 With the Covid 19 crisis pre-made appointments visits are a must. 

Has about 7,500 NHS patients in and beyond Sovereign Harbour North and South. 

A good practice, with doctors, nurses and support staff, in a modern building. Since Covid 19, in 2021 it has beefed up its staff considerably to handle a number of new problems, not all of which require the services of a GP.

 With its own car park and 2 disabled access bays immediately in front (often misused by persons not with disabled parking permits). 

Patients requiring hospitalization are notified they may be sent to Eastbourne General Hospital or Bexhill Hospital for eye treatment or Conquest Hospital in St. Leonard's in Hastings, or, when needed, Royal Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead and/or Guys Hospital in London. 

The practice has a Patient Participation Group (PPG) which would like new members.

There are several other, bigger practices nearby - but not in the harbour - that also cater to Sovereign Harbour residents. One of these larger practices, two miles nearer the town of Eastbourne, has undertaken Covid vaccinations for this practice.

Harbour multi-purpose bins

New multi-use ones, for dog poo, litter and rubbish, have been installed around the harbour (but not on the North and South harbour beaches) following numerous requests from residents for more bins. This is because since the Covid-19 lockdown mostly non-residents (who presently do not pay to enter and enjoy the amenities of the harbour) and some residents have vastly increased their non-pickup of their dog poo deposits and purchased at least 300% more take-away foods than ever before, the packaging of which has been left on the walkways, particularly on the Harbour walkways close to the Waterfront complex, to much concern. To help fund the cost of the new bins £2,000 was donated by Sovereign Ward councillors from their Devolved Budget.  (This has also made residents more aware than ever before -  because they, not the non-resident public who visit but don't pay anything, are the ones who have to pay for the cleanup in their annual Estate Rentcharges - of the need for non-residents to at least pay a token fee of £1 per visi

Harbour apartment/flat rentals

There are lots of websites advising of the availability of these for both short term (by the week, fortnight or month) and long-term (a year or more) rentals but none give all the salient facts which should include:

 

Harbour-side seating 

Limited to certain harbour areas.  Local officials proposed a few more seating benches in the inner harbour and outer harbour to assist the elderly and/or disabled. After Eastbourne Borough Council consulted residents within 50 metres of proposed seats, there were objections. Some residents thought they had a right to object on the grounds that seating would cause rowdy behaviour or their views would be spoilt. There is no similar seating on any Sovereign Harbour North or South beaches areas.

Hospitals in and/or near and used from this part of Eastbourne

Eastbourne District General HospitalEastbourne District General Hospital. See https://www.esht.nhs.uk/eastbourne-dgh/. King's Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 2UD. Telephone 0300 131 4500. Operated by East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. Only 3 miles away but it can take 20 minutes to 1 hour to get there depending on traffic. There are 15 separate roundabouts between Sovereign Harbour North and the hospital. Patients pay for parking in the hospital car park, up to £12 per day. There is limited free parking for those with disabled  parking badges for up to three hours.

Hospital Chaplaincy. Chaplaincy team members offer support during your time in hospital. They are available to anyone, whether or not patients consider themselves religious and no matter what religion. Chaplaincy members wear blue shirts or blouses, for patients wishing to contact them. Bedside chaplaincy members provide a confidential listening ear for any concerns patients may wish to share. They help patients seeking support with medical, nursing  and other relevant concerns. Chaplaincy members can supply books such as a bible, Koran, Torah and Bhagavita. Patients can request Holy Communion or prayer. Chaplaincy Centre and Chapel, Level 2, next to the Michelham Unit, Eastbourne General Hospital. Phone 01323 417400. Ext. 4600.

Bexhill Hospital, Bexhill. Patients often get sent there for eye operations. Parking there is a major problem, only taxis or patient transport can access without difficulty. There is no public transport nearby.

Conquest Hospital, St. Leonard's, Hastings. 

Queen Victoria Hospital, see http://www.qvh.nhs.uk/. Patients from Sovereign Harbour are periodically sent here for CT scans and other procedures.

Radio Station at Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH). Radio DHH at www.radiodgh.com. Most Hospital radio stations are members of the UK-wide Hospital Broadcasting Association. Inpatients at a local hospital are visited within a day or two by its radio station  You will be told about the programming on offer and asked if you'd like a classical or non-classical music request on the nightly request show. Requests played can range from Country and Western to Oldies and Goldies, classical and much in between. The station will gladly play classical requests although in general if the piece is more that 7 or 8 minutes long they will play an excerpt. They play full pieces on their dedicated classical music shows. To make a hospital radio request for self, friend or family send your request to the station. Requests are usually played at night, sometimes at a specific time or near it, between 8 pm (2000 hours) and 10 pm (2200 hours). 

South East Coast Ambulance Service - see https://www.secamb.nhs.uk/. Wonderful organization. Its ambulances are seen regularly in Sovereign Harbour.

Hotels nearby

None. Initially, the White Point site mentioned by name below was earmarked for an hotel, with plenty of parking. Later, this was withdrawn, much to the disappointment of Sovereign Harbour residents who object to having to go not close by but all the way into town in usually heavy traffic to find a good hotel with limited or no parking. The nearest budget hotel, several miles away, is a Premier Inn. 

Internet and WIFI restriction and non-resident poaching

Berth holders have a separate WIFI option through Premier Marinas

For land-based residents in most of Sovereign Harbour who want more than basic Broadband (ADSL), most Superfast (FTTC) services are available but not Ultrafast (FTTP). Virgin Media 02's Ultrafast Fibre - fastest by a wide margin - is still not available in Sovereign Harbour, even after more four years of hope by many Sovereign Harbour residents. BT is the leader in Sovereign Harbour. While most Internet providers have announced in 2021 major upgrades by name of location in many parts of the country, Sovereign Harbour has not yet been mentioned by name.

Broadband types

Beachside and harbour-side residents should note that casual passers-by including people who do not live in Sovereign Harbour, who walk or cycle along Sovereign Harbour walkways and pathways near their homes, will poach their WIFI signals if they are not appropriately protected. Campers from nearby campsites in Pevensey Bay are often seen with their mobile phones or tablets walking and mobile-phone talking along Sovereign Harbour and beaches pathways and walkways. Many properties along them have WIFI signals which can be captured 50-100 feet away on those pathways and walkways

Locks & Procedure

Open 24 hours a day at specific or pre-ordered times, with a signal showing green or red. All vessels need  to pass through a lock to get to or from the sea. At the lock entrance, when closed to marine traffic a narrow iron pedestrian bridge allows pedestrians to walk from North to South Harbours and beyond. When open to marine traffic the bridge is closed to pedestrians.

Sovereign Harbour Lock

In the photo, the lock is empty but in spring, summer and autumn it is often full of yachts and motor boats, with curious onlookers on either side

Martello Towers 64 & 66

See under Beaches. No 64 in at Sovereign Harbour North, opposite Caroline Way, with No. 66 at Sovereign Harbour South Site 9.  The Martello Towers are Grade II Listed Buildings and Scheduled Monuments, preserved - badly - by English Heritage.  The buildings are currently in a poor state of repair and is on the buildings-at-risk register.

Media - Newspapers & Radio stations

Eastbourne Gazette & Eastbourne Herald, both owned by the same company and neither of them a daily. One is a midweek once a week, the other a weekend once a week.

Member of Parliament 

Caroline Ansell, since December 12, 2019 for Eastbourne and Willingdon. Conservative. Phone 01323 734940. Email caroline@carolineansell.co.uk Website carolineansell.co.uk. She is on record as declaring the Annual Estate Rentcharge peculiar and unique to Sovereign Harbour and its covenants is unfair,    If you try to reach her by email you may or will get this message.  "As I’m sure you will understand I receive a large number of emails, letters and phone calls each day and I will try to reply to you as quickly as possible. If you are one of my constituents, please ensure you have included your full name and address. If you haven’t, please resend your email with this information. Please note that Parliamentary rules prevent an MP dealing with enquiries from another MP’s constituents. Please note that if you copy me in to an email, its contents will be noted but no further action will be taken unless it is part of a piece of ongoing casework."

In 2020 she was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary George Eustice. The unpaid promotion means she becomes the ‘eyes and ears’ of the minister in parliament and liaises with MPs on his behalf. She was given this role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and believes Eastbourne will benefit as it is a coastal and a rural constituency and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment Bills going through parliament in 2020. DEFRA is driving these landmark pieces of legislation to protect the environment, tackle plastic pollution, improve air and water quality and incentivise farmers to enhance soil quality and further raise environmental and animal welfare standards. 

Eastbourne Borough CouncilShe has said: “These are issues at the heart of what many Eastbourne and Willingdon residents care about and they will very much tie in with the town’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.” But nothing has been stated by our MP about at last freeing Eastbourne's Sovereign Harbour at long last from the substantial annual estate rentcharges freeholders andd leaseholders are have to pay that all other parts of Eastbourne do not; the flood defence charges Sovereign Harbour freeholders and leaseholders also have to pay to the Environment Agency that all other homeowners in all other parts of both Eastbourne and the rest of the UK do not. A PPS is not technically part of the government however, they are expected to support it in votes and must resign if they vote against the government. Which means in effect that Caroline Ansell is presently unwilling or unable to make an individual MP's case about these unique-to-Sovereign Harbour injustices with other Conservative MPs including Huw Merriman whose Bexhill & Battle constituency is next door to Eastbourne and whose 14.400 or so constituent freeholders pay nothing for flood defence over and above their general taxes, unlike the 4,200 or so Sovereign Harbour freeholders and leaseholders who alone in the UK, Europe and the world have to pay £263.55 in addition to their general taxes per home in 2020. 

In 2020 she was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary George Eustice.The unpaid promotion means she becomes the ‘eyes and ears’ of the minister in parliament and liaises with MPs on his behalf. She was given this role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and believes Eastbourne will benefit as it is a coastal and a rural constituency and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment Bills going through parliament in 2020. DEFRA is driving these landmark pieces of legislation to protect the environment, tackle plastic pollution, improve air and water quality and incentivise farmers to enhance soil quality and further raise environmental and animal welfare standards.

A PPS is not technically part of the government however, they are expected to support it in votes and must resign if they vote against the government. Which means in effect that Caroline Ansell is presently unwilling or unable to make an individual MP's case about these unique-to-Sovereign Harbour injustices with other Conservative MPs including Huw Merriman whose Bexhill & Battle constituency is next door to Eastbourne and whose 14.400 or so constituent freeholders pay nothing for flood defence over and above their general taxes, unlike the 4,200 or so Sovereign Harbour freeholders and leaseholders who alone in the UK, Europe and the world have to pay £263.55 in addition to their general taxes per home in 2020. 

Natural England has demanded full access to Sovereign Harbour

Natural England olanSovereign Harbour is a private estate and its two beaches are also private, not maintained by Eastbourne Borough Council and/or East Sussex County Council.

But Natural England declared in 2019 that it intends, as a Government agency, to declare every part of Britain's coastal areas fully accessible to the general public. 

Will this mean that Sovereign Harbour resident property owners, presently the only people in the world who pay a private estate's annual estate rentcharge but with the general public paying nothing to have full access to Sovereign Harbour footpaths, pathways and walkways, will no longer have to pay? 

The 33-mile (53km) route aims to improve access along the East Sussex coast, and the public was invited to have their say on it. Natural England unveiled the proposals that take in the well-known stretch of coastline, including Pevensey Bay, Bexhill and Hastings, Hastings Cliffs, Pett Level, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and the popular Camber Sands beach. It will be the first time there has been a continuous way-marked path along the East Sussex coast. Walkers will be able to access great views of coastal wildlife, habitats and maritime pursuits, passing through rural and tranquil areas, in addition to some historic urban and rural communities. This route links the South Downs Way at Eastbourne to the rest of the Sussex coastline, giving walkers the opportunity to explore along the coast to the iconic sand dunes at Camber. The trail will include a variety of spectacles such as the wooded glens at Hastings Country Park and the bird life at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, which can be observed through the bird-watching hides. This is the third stretch of the England Coast Path to be developed in East Sussex. The route between Shoreham by Sea and Eastbourne has already been approved by the Secretary of State and is expected to open later this year. The route between Camber and Folkestone was opened in July 2016. Owners and occupiers of affected land were invited to make objections about the reports on specified grounds, which will be considered by a Planning Inspector before the Secretary of State makes a final decision. All representations and objections had to be received by Natural England no later than midnight on Thursday, April 23, 2020. This author did so and pointed out what Sovereign Harbour residents have to pay that others don't.  Others have not bothered.

Relevant sections of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (“the 2009 Act”) reveal how Natural England aims to improve public access to, and enjoyment of, the English coastline by creating clear and consistent public rights along the English coast for most types of open-air recreation on foot. It allows existing coastal access to be secured and improved and new access to be created in coastal places where it did not already exist. Section 296 of the 2009 Act places a duty on Natural England to use its powers to secure twin objectives for coastal access, one relating to a long-distance walking route (or routes) around the English coast (“the English coastal route”), the other to an accessible margin of land in association with the route where people will be able to spread out and explore, rest or picnic in appropriate places as well as walking along the coast (“the coastal margin”). Section 298 of the 2009 Act requires Natural England to prepare a Scheme setting out the approach it will take to discharging the coastal access duty. The Scheme therefore describes the approach in relation to this duty. It does not explain the approach to related objectives, such as wider public access benefits for horse riders or cyclists, or improvements to the coastal environment. This version of the Scheme was approved by the Secretary of State on 23 March 2010 and is the basis on which Natural England will prepare recommendations, in the form of reports to the Secretary of State, in relation to both objectives included in the coastal access duty.

Reports may include recommendations on both the extent and the management of coastal access. The Scheme therefore explains how it is decided where it is necessary to restrict or exclude coastal access rights locally, using the powers available to us under chapter 2 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (“CROW”), including consideration of other management options that may be appropriate in particular circumstances. Natural England’s statutory guidance to the CROW relevant authorities2 on their functions in relation to local restrictions and exclusions 3 (the “relevant authority guidance”) provides similar guidance to the relevant authorities in relation to their decisions about the need for local restrictions and exclusions on other land with access rights provided under Part 1 of CROW. To avoid unnecessary repetition, the Scheme occasionally refers to particular parts of the relevant authority guidance which explain procedural aspects of the two regimes, where they are identical.

Natural England may review the Scheme at any time. However, section 299(2) of the 2009 Act requires us to complete an initial review of the Scheme within three years of 23 March 2010, which is the date on which the Scheme was approved. Natural England must also publish a report of the initial review (and of any subsequent review that it undertakes) as soon as practicable after completion. As part of any formal review of the Scheme, Natural England will invite organisations who have been involved in the implementation of its coastal access duty (and others, if considered appropriate at the time) to give us their views on it. Legislation referred to in the Scheme is published at http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk.

 Nearest Airports

Sovereign Harbour is about 3 miles or 20-40 minutes depending on traffic by car from the Eastbourne town centre, around 18 miles east of Brighton and approximately 20 miles west of Hastings, with the A27 connecting all three locations. Residents tenants opposite this development on the other side of the road were cheated by the Eastbourne Borough Council and Sovereign Harbour Ltd out of their earlier-promised unrestricted view of the harbour when the local authority and Sovereign Harbour Ltd reneged on their promise and the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association did not come to their defence

 Pacific House

Pacific HouseInnovation Park. 

A 2,300 metre office block at the entrance to Pacific Drive, North Harbour. 

Can accommodate up to 70 small to medium business entities, or fewer larger ones. 

With its own spacious parking area. 

Normally, in most city centres, office buildings are significantly more expensive than in or near out-of-town suburban office locations and/or shopping plazas

But in November 2018, of all the office areas in or near Eastbourne, this one was the most expensive by far.  

This office building has certain conditions attached in a lease that are often not found in older, populous and in-town office buildings.

Perhaps prices have dropped since the 2020-2021 Covid pandemic.

Potential office seekers are advised to make detailed comparisons before they commit.

Perhaps the biggest advantage this building has, when compared to in-town buildings, is that parking of vehicles is not a problem, or an additional expense.

But living nearby, in any Sovereign Harbour apartment building or terraced home or single-family might will be a problem, given its appreciably higher cost compared to other areas. 

Especially when taking into account the annual Estate Rentcharge this area has that other places in Eastbourne and beyond Sovereign Harbour do not have. 

 Parking for residents

Residents who are long-lease tenants of the many buildings owned by developers are assigned specific off-road private parking places in the relevant gated parking areas. A minority may instead or in addition get a one-car shared garage, shared with another flat resident and his or her car. The majority, instead of getting get a garage, get a single uncovered one-car-only above ground or underground private parking spot.  There are usually also a few spaces for visitor parking, on a first-come-first-served basis.  But be aware that because none of the owners of the gated premises concerned put a sign on their gates to indicate car park spaces are specific to each flat or apartment and visitors should park only in marked "visitor" parking areas, the spaces are often abused by visitors who are not told, as they should be by other  resident leaseholders concerned not to use other assigned parking spaces, or tradesmen making deliveries. Time and time again, some residents, out briefly to do their shopping, find their assigned car parking spaces abused. As a result, the residents who do not tell their visitors to park only in a visitors parking space and their visitors, instead of getting annoyed for being so rudely disturbed, should expect to be hooted at, sometimes for many minutes until they move their cars that are blocked from exiting because the rightful parking space occupant parks in front of them. Such visiting violators have to realize that if they regard their own parking spaces as their own private property or for their own exclusive use they should not be violating the parking spaces of others if they wish to keep the peace. 

This constant parking problem, relating particularly to flats and their leaseholders, could be eased considerably if the landlords or the managing agents of the gated or indicated car parks of the buildings concerned would put a sign on their gates specifying that visitors including making deliveries should park only in the signed visitors car parking areas as all other car parking areas are reserved for their listed residents. But when no such signs are put up, parking annoyances occur. 

What makes the problem worse is the fact that all parking spaces assigned to residents are for one car only. But these days many residents have more than one car per flat, meaning that visitors spaces are used as a second space by residents instead of being available for visitors.

In comparison to the limited number of car parking spaces for Sovereign Harbour properties, in the USA. Canada, Europe and elsewhere, the norm since 2017 is one parking space for a one-bedroom apartment, two for a two-bedroom and three for a three-bedroom or more unit, plus 20% more of the parking spaces for visitor parking.

Also in Sovereign Harbour, cars are often parked adjacent to dropped kerbs, obstructing access to the disabled on scooters or partly on pavements, also obstructing passers-by, and impeding access for large emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines. Cars outside 12,14 and 16 San Diego Way, North Harbour constantly cause this problem. When flat-owners and car owners create the problems with their badly parked cars and deaths or life-threatening permanent injuries result, lawsuits could be filed. 

For the disabled, there is no Disabled Parking Bay possibility at your Sovereign Harbour home. There are no specified and legally enforceable disabled parking spaces at any of the units of flats in the Sovereign Harbour area in their below-building or adjacent parking areas. The lack of disabled parking nearly everywhere is a major problem to residents who are disabled. Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council do not follow the example of European Union, USA and Canadian jurisdictions in requiring developers of private-area properties to have the same disability parking laws and provisions as in public or town or city areas. Eastbourne Police refuse to ticket disabled parking miscreants.

Retail and shopping areas disabled parking areas. 60 are available at the Crumbles in front of ASDA and other stores  and 20 at the Waterfront complex, but be aware they are often abused. without any enforcement action by the police or local authority. (ASDA has the largest number seen to date at any supermarket shopping centre in the UK).

 

 Petrol stations nearby

Petrol in UK, gasoline in USAparagraphASDA, nearest, at Sovereign Harbour Retail village shown above. Some North Harbour residents  less than a mile away from this petrol station have to navigate 7 local roundabouts to get here.

paragraphMorrisons. 3.8 miles. Nice place for petrol but you first have to navigate a number of nuisance and complex roundabouts. .

paragraphSainsbury. Hampden Park. 2.48 miles. Nice place for petrol but you first have to navigate a number of nuisance and complex roundabouts. .

paragraphTesco.. 2miles. Nice place for petrol but you first have to navigate a number of nuisance and complex roundabouts.

From 24th September 2021 and for weeks thereafter long queues formed from all main roads at all the petrol stations nearby, namely ASDA, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury and Tesco  was closed after running out of petrol due to unprecedented demand up to eight times the daily tally, due to a petrol delivery problem caused by an HGV driver shortage. As a result, traffic into and out of Sovereign Harbour was hugely affected with some roads blocked. 

Unfortunately, all the petrol stations listed above are located in delivery zone areas most likely to be among the worst affected by HGV driver shortages and the situation continued for over 10 days until units of the British Army's drivers were called in. Today, expect some waits before refueling and/or tyre checking. 

On October 2021 the Daily Telegraph reported that the government's switch to greener petrol in September 2021 was a major additional factor in the problem. Petrol retailers had emptied their tanks in expectation of a smooth change-over to the new E10 fuel in place of the E5 petrol. When panic buying began on 24 September, petrol forecourts discovered they did not have enough fuel to keep up with demand. Fuel stocks had fallen well beforehand to make way for the E10. This caused problems galore. As at 4 December 2021 the price of petrol was over £1.45 a litre for unleaded, the highest ever recorded thus far in the UK's history, making it well over 3 times the average cost of gasoline in the USA.

 Pets policy of Sovereign Harbour leasehold premises

Presently, most Sovereign Harbour apartment buildings where residents are leasehold not freehold do not allow pets and this is specifically stated in most if not all of their leases.  But this does not apply in Sovereign Harbour freehold homes. Every day, pet owners both resident and non-resident walk their dogs on the two Sovereign Harbour beaches and most are careful to pick up their dog's messes. But some do not, to the disgust of other residents who, in wet months especially, will walk on the messes. 

2020. 4 January. Then-Housing Secretary  Right Hon. Robert Jenrick MP called on landlords to make it easier for responsible tenants to have well behaved pets in their homes as he announced an overhaul of the model tenancy contracts. More young people and families than ever before are renting or leasing and should be able to enjoy the happiness that a pet can bring to their lives. However, currently only around 7% of landlords advertise homes as suitable for pets, meaning many people struggle to find a home suitable for themselves and their pets.  Some have been forced to give up their pets all together simply because they have been unable to move into a rented property with one. But the government’s model tenancy contracts for renters, which can be used as the basis of lease agreements made with tenants, will now be revised to remove restrictions on well behaved pets - to ensure more landlords are catering for responsible pet owners wherever possible. 

 The government is clear there should be a balance with responsible pet owners not being penalized and landlords being more flexible in their approach, and it is right that landlords’ properties should be protected from damage by badly behaved pets. But total bans on renters with pets should only be implemented where there is good reason, such as in smaller properties or flats where owning a pet could be impractical. 

Housing Secretary Jenrick said: "Pets bring a huge amount of joy and comfort to people’s lives, helping their owner’s through difficult times and improving their mental and physical wellbeing. So, it’s a shame that thousands of animal-loving tenants and their children can’t experience this because they rent their homes instead of owning property. So, I’m overhauling our model tenancy contract to encourage more landlords to consider opening their doors to responsible pet owners. And we will be listening to tenants and landlords to see what more we can do to tackle this issue in a way that is fair to both. This is part of this new government’s mission to improve life for tenants, recognizing that more are renting and for longer in life. We’ve already taken action, banning unfair letting fees and capping tenancy deposits, saving tenants across England at least £240 million a year, and I will continue to take more steps to secure a better deal for renters up and down the country." A revised model tenancy agreement is expected to be published by the government later this year.

 Pevensey Bay

Pevensey Park Homes nuisancesEast of Sovereign Harbour, extending nearly to Bexhill-On-Sea.  It has been alleged, wrongly, that the sea defence project mentioned below was because of the building of Sovereign Harbour in the 1990s.  Pevensey Bay is an old fishing village founded in the 1600s as Walllsend, the end of the sea wall from Eastbourne. This stretch of coastline has acted for centuries as an important defence against flooding and storm damage from the sea for a large area -  as far as Bexhill-on-Sea 9 miles east - of low-lying land immediately behind the beach, Situated in this area in 2021 are some 3,400-plus properties of Sovereign Harbour, all well above the beach area, and some 17,500 properties - with a number much closer to the beach than any Sovereign Harbour property, in fact with a few bordering the beach - several caravan parks, road and railway links, the Pevensey Levels SSSI - (Site of Special Scientific Interest Interest) and Ramsar site. These are all at risk of flooding if a breach of the sea defences occurs.

Bay View Caravan Park

Old Martello Road, Pevensey Bay, Pevensey, BN24 6DX. Adjacent to Sovereign Harbour. Caravan dwellers who take the main 259 road when beaching. cycling, shopping or walking are not a problem. But when they beach or cycle or walk across the private, not public Sovereign Harbour North beach front  area fronting the Sovereign Harbour apartment buildings they cause a constant nuisance to Sovereign Harbour dwellers of North Harbour private beachfront properties. Bay View Holiday Park tells its customers wrongly that  the paved pathway in front of the apartment buildings is both public, which it is not, and a cycle track when in fact it is registered as a walkway for pedestrians only and has no cycle signs that approved cycle-ways have. Bay View Holiday customers are annoying in more ways. They use/misuse local residents WIFI. They walk their dogs and don't clean up messes. They leave trash on the beach. They are told, wrongly, that Sovereign Harbour North Beach is public when in fact it is private and Sovereign Harbour residents who pay £263.55 per house or flat to live there surely have more right to use it than Bay View Holiday Park and other people nearby who pay nothing. They cause more harm than good and make North Harbour beachside properties less appealing to prospective future buyers for these reasons. 

In 1992 the sea defences were deteriorating faster than could be prevented by normal maintenance expenditure and the National Rivers Authority, then responsible for the beach, began to look at ways of attracting major capital investment. In June 1999 the Environment Agency named the privately held company Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd as the preferred bidder for the UK's first (and still the only one in 2021) PFI contract for a flood defence scheme. Under that £30 million contract the consortium - comprising contractors Westminster Dredging, Dean & Dyball and Mackley Construction, together with consulting group Mouchel Parkman and financial advisor KPMG Corporate Finance - was set up to manage the defences for 25 years, starting in the year 2000. The PPP Forum interviewed Peter Midgeley from the Environment Agency, Ian Thomas from Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd and Ron Gardner from Weatminster Dredging. The PPP Forum also received favourable comments at that time from Cllr Roger Thomas of the Sussex (Now East Sussex) County Council, Cllr Carole Cand larke of Pevensey Parish Council and Robert Chase of the Norman's Bay Residents Association. 

East Sussex County Councillor

 Roger Thomas, whose ward included Pevensey Bay and Norman's Bay, also sat on the regional flood defence committee and Sussex local flood defence committee and remained an active campaigner for funding to improve the sea defences. He expressed his satisfaction with the way the PFI has worked, particularly during the initial period of beach reconstruction.

Castle View Caravan Park

Campsite.

East Sussex Pevensey Pay Area Flood Plan

 See https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/media/3382/pevenseybayareafloodplanfinaldec14.pdf.  Note that it excludes Sovereign Harbour  and implies, wrongly, that all residents in all nine wards of Eastbourne get flood defence for free, included in their general taxes.  It too totally ignores the fact that Sovereign Harbour residents alone pay for flood defence while residents in the 8 other Eastbourne wards and the rest of Sussex don't pay.

Martello Beach Park

 Campsite. 

Grey Tower Caravan Park

Campsite.

Pevensey Bay Coastal Defence (PBCD)

See http://pevensey-bay.co.uk and http://pevensey-bay.co.uk/sovereign-harbour.html.  Claims to be a unique new model of public-sector and private-sector flood defence enterprise including for Sovereign Harbour for the Environment Agency, via a number of private-sector firms. Includes all of Sovereign Harbour. Like the Sovereign Harbour Trust and its Community Interest Company, which contract with the PBCD to provide flood defence for Sovereign Harbour, the PBCD provides deliberately omits to disclose on its website who pays the cost. On the very last line of the second-shown website above it implies misleadingly that only public money is involved. That is not so, as we show below:

Sovereign harbour residences left, paying while nearer-to-sea premises, right, are not 

Sovereign Harbour properties - LEFT - pay for coastal flood defence but Pevensey Bay properties - RIGHT in this photo and all those residents below - do not, despite being in the same sea defence flood zone that extends 9 km all the way to Bexhill. 

Pevensey Parish Council

The modern parish of Pevensey has a population of approximately 4,000. It is situated in the district of Wealden (which has a supervisory Wealden District Council) in East Sussex, England, midway between the coastal towns of Eastbourne and Bexhill. It comprises the ancient village of Pevensey, the larger seaside resort of Pevensey Bay and some twelve kilometres of farmland on Pevensey Levels.

Private beaches claims

Pevensey Bay Sailing Club with private beachPevensey Bay property with private beachPevensey Bay property with private beach

Pevensey Bay house exempt from coastal defence cost while Sovereign Harbour properties higher up payPevensey Bay property exempt from coastal defence cost, unlike Sovereign Harbour properties

Pevensey Bay house exempt from coastal dedence charge unllike Sovereign Harbour properties much higher upPevensey Bay home exempt from coastal defence charge that Sovereign Harbour homes  higher up have to pay

Pevensey Bay Sailing Club, above, left. East of and about a mile from Sovereign Harbour. Has a sign saying the beach is private. If this is the case then surely the beach at Sovereign Harbour North,, part of a private estate, should also be deemed private? Other Pevensey Bay properties shownalso say their beach is private.

 Residents' associations

A recognised Residents' or Tenants Association is a group of leaseholders who have been granted leases from the same Landlord on similar terms and which leases include provision for the payment of variable service charges. To be effective, a Residents Association should be formally organised. Recognised Residents Associations let their members know the agenda, dates, times, agendas and contents of each meeting, not just Annual General Meetings.

 Residents Leisure Card

Sovereign Harbour residents qualify for this Eastbourne Borough Council discount parking concession at certain local facilities beyond the harbour.

 Roundabouts galore in and near Sovereign Harbour

In Sovereign Harbour's 330 acres there are roundabouts galore, 5 between the entrance to Sovereign Harbour North at the 259 and roundabout exit on Pacific Drive. From there, to go to the nearest shopping centre at Sovereign Village Retail Park, a quarter of a mile west, three are 3 further roundabouts. Eastbourne roads are so full of roundabouts and busy roads that a 2 mile journey can often take a maddening 40 minutes. Recently (August 2021) this author was able to go over a 30 drive at only 9 miles per hour to get from Sovereign Harbour to Eastbourne General Hospital 4 miles away. Eastbourne roundabouts are a damned nuisance and future residents are warned.

 Royal Mail Sovereign Harbour deliveries and Post Office

Postal deliveries of mail and parcels are normally delivered to Sovereign Harbour North and South homes and flat buildings once a day six days a week excluding Sundays, public holidays and those very few days other days in the year when there are routinely no deliveries, as advertised. However, from November 9-20, 2021 there were no regular postal deliveries, nor was any notice given, and no Eastbourne news media reported it. Finally, after this author contacted the BBC South East, it kindly immediately sent a reporter who arranged  both a radio and television article about this on 18 November 2021.  Presently, mail - when delivered - arrives in Sovereign Harbour from Westham near Pevensey. It is believed some postmen may have called in sick and others may have objected to any temporary change of  their routes to cover the shortfall. Royal Mail's Tracker service was also affected  In August 2021 another area of Eastbourne, further west, had a similar mail stoppage. 

Homeowners young, old and in between who live in Sovereign Harbour depend on the postal service for any number of reasons, particularly including hospital appointments that are usually mailed out with not much notice given in advance of the date and time these appointments. Books, brochures, disabled and seniors replacement or renewed Railcards are all ordered online.  Fliers, daily newspapers and much more are also postal-delivered, as are household bills received and/or  paid for those not using direct debit. Many online retailers, prominent among them Ebay, Hotel Chocolat, many others, send their products by 1st or 2nd class Royal Mail instead of by courier or another delivery service. When in full swing, the Royal Mail is frequent, fast, trustworthy, reliable and dependable. People who don't receive their mail when due or past due should not contact the Post Office but Royal Mail, Westham with their complaints. 

The nearest Post Office - at where people can send their Royal Mail letters and parcels - is located in the ASDA complex, Sovereign Harbour Retail Village (otherwise known as The Crumbles).

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in Sovereign Harbour

A Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) rescue unit is based in Sovereign Harbour.  Some local residents who normally help to support the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in the belief it assists UK residents in distress at sea on on the beaches have been offended to discover that in 2021 and likely in 2022 and beyond, it has been used principally to instead rescue migrants in the English channel who have been using flimsy dinghies or similar in trying to escape illegally from France to Britain. It is estimated that in 2021 to date for every one person registered as living in the UK and rescued at sea by the RNLI  there have been 850 migrants the RNLI has helped to rescue so far. 

 Royal Sovereign Lighthouse offshore, to be demolished in 2022

end of Royal Sovereign Lighthouse Located five miles offshore directly opposite Sovereign Harbour North Beach. Scheduled for demolition later in 2020 but this has been extended to later in 2021. 

Trinity House has begun preparation work to decommission it. 

With a farewell blast from the lighthouse's fog signal, THV Winston Churchill towed away the last of the series of light vessels which had marked the Royal Sovereign station since 1875. 

It is intended that the now-deteriorating lighthouse will be completely removed clear to the seabed. 

It was built in 1971 with a design life of 50 years. It was brought into operation at noon on 6 September 1971. 

Having monitored the fabric of the lighthouse over the last decade and observing the expected signs of deterioration, Trinity House concluded that the ongoing safety of the mariner requires that the structure be fully decommissioned. 

The advent of telemetry, helicopter access and construction of this lighthouse were noted keenly by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, then Master of Trinity House that built the lighthouse. 

On 30 July 1974 he personally flew the helicopter to the lighthouse to carry out his inspection of the station. 

After inspecting it he flew the helicopter to Eastbourne and transferred to the Trinity House vessel Patricia that took him to Beachy Head Lighthouse where he carried out a similar inspection. 

The Royal Sovereign Lighthouse has provided nearly 50 years of reliable service as an aid to navigation, one of over 600 that Trinity House operates for the benefit and safety of the mariner.

In anticipation of its intention to remove Royal Sovereign Lighthouse, Trinity House has upgraded Beachy Head Lighthouse. 

It will also increase the capability of the offshore CS2 buoy and will retain the nearby Royal Sovereign buoy. 

The upgrade to Beachy Head Lighthouse has increased the number of solar panels around the base of its lantern gallery and included installation of a longer-range LED lantern, with the CS2 lighted buoy will also benefitting from an increase in range. 

Once Trinity House decommissions the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse as proposed, Beachy Head Lighthouse’s future is secured as the principal aid to navigation in the area.

Trinity House’s Deputy Master Captain Ian McNaught said: "it is never an easy decision to discontinue and even remove such a prominent aid to navigation, but the first priority will always be the safety of the mariner.

 "Now that Royal Sovereign Lighthouse has reached the end of its serviceable life, it is time for us to take steps to ensure that the lighthouse itself does not become a hazard. There will be a lot of work involved for our engineers and our various other teams and we will be working extensively in collaboration with a number of organisations to ensure the success of this project."

 Sovereign Harbour Disability Association (SHDA)

Helping the disabled who live in the harbour. With its own website. 

 Sovereign Harbour Retail Village (also known as The Crumbles)

ShoppingSovereign Harbour Retail ParkAlso known as The Crumbles.  Shops and Services.  M&G Real Estate is the Bermuda-incorporated US owners of the Sovereign Village/Crumbles Retail area. 

Every day of the week Disabled Parking Spaces at this extensive park are abused by the non-disabled or those without disabled parking permits. There seems to be little or no management control, yet M&G Real Estate pays for such control.

ASDA. Eastbourne regional super store of almost 100.000 square feet. Much favoured by locals. Anchors the entire shopping centre. Serves customers in a wide area from Sovereign Harbour including Bexhill, Dallington, Eastbourne, Forest Row, Hailsham, Hartfield, Hearstmonceux, Jevington, Newhaven, Plumpton, Polegate, Robertsbridge, Wadhurst, Westfield, Westham. Biggest by far premises in the block, particularly handy for Sovereign Harbour residents but also includes shoppers from Bexhill and other areas. Home delivery service

Also has outside its building an ATM (Barclays) and inside a cafeteria, optician, very useful pharmacy, a branch of Timpsons, petrol station and The Crumbles Post Office. And outside the building are four electric car-charging places which are similarly abused by people not using them for car-charging.

For the disabled, it has a particularly large number of Disabled Parking Spaces (DPS). From September 2020 ASDA has officially become a British-owned retailer again – the first time in 21 years. The US retail behemoth Walmart, previously the owner, agreed terms for a £6.8 billion sale of a majority stake in the Big 4 grocer to the billionaire Issa brothers, along with partners at private equity firm TDR Capital. Walmart had accepted a bid from a consortium led by Mohsin and Zuber Issa – the Lancashire-based owners of petrol forecourt firm EG Group – following a lengthy auction process. 

Walmart owned Asda from 1999 to 2020. Walmart still retains a minority stake in ASDA as part of the agreement, as well as having a seat on the board. The new owners are British. Brought up in a terraced house in Lancashire, their parents moved from India in the 1970s to work in the textile industry. They are one of the biggest forecourt and convenience store operators in the world with 5,000 petrol stations in nine markets. 

Until July 2018 there was a good multi-screen Cineworld cinema much appreciated and with plenty of free parking in the retail park but to the chagrin of all Sovereign Harbour residents it was lured away by Bermuda-incorporated Legal & General's Beacon shopping mall in downtown Eastbourne with the active assistance of the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council, both of which wanted a new cinema for their renovated The Beacon shopping mall. Since moving to Eastbourne town centre it has not attracted anything like the business it once had at Sovereign Harbour. The very spacious 7 screen multiplex premises now long deserted have been vacant for over three years. It has been rumoured that they are now being considered as a residential centre for migrants with large families of children arriving in Dover, as part of the central government's efforts to help spread the load  by diversifying refugee centres beyond Kent.

Other current tenants in this shopping centre or adjacent to it include:

Boots Defiant Sports Harveys/Benson Beds IMO Car Wash UK Matalan
Next Sports Direct The Gym T. K. Maxx Wilco

Frankie & Benny's were here until March 2020 and was very popular. Premises are currently vacant.  

In 2021 vacancy rates in town shopping centres are almost twice those in out-of-town retail parks.  The surfeit of empty shops mostly in town is the result of a particular approach that planners took in the second half of the 20th century. The public and private sector went for broke in the 1950s and 1960s in terms of expanding retail development in towns and cities. Every other land use was squeezed out as retailers, chasing sales as incomes rose and access to credit widened during the 1980s and 1990s, bid rents higher and higher. Shop rents in these redeveloped centres were so much higher than what went before  and whole swaths of small businesses were destroyed. But now, particularly since the 2020-2021 pandemic and the gigantic increase of online shopping instead of physically going out to shop, owners of retail property are left with only two options, slash rents to bring in new tenants; and/or change leases from fixed prices to profits or turnover; or repurpose shops for alternative uses. A growing number of retailers are demanding leases linked to store sales rather than fixed amounts hat can only be changed when the lease ends or insolvency occurs. 

Eastbourne shopping Malls not in Sovereign Harbour

 Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club

Not open to general public. Annual fee applies. Welcomes new members. Some meals served. Meeting place for some local organizations.

 Supermarkets nearby

Graphic courtesy of Which.

 

 Trains and stations

trainOperator, Southern Railway. 

With regular and frequent (hourly or near) direct trains to Brighton, London Gatwick Airport (about 50 minutes). London Victoria (90 minutes) and Ashford International for Eurostar.

Eastbourne, 3  miles west, station operator is Southern, staffed, all appropriate facilities with taxi rank outside, accessible by bus, car and taxi ( Not the nearest station, Pevensey Bay is. But Eastbourne offers by far the best options for seating in the train and getting there and back). With shops, station buffet, telephones and toilets nearby on in station.

Other stations not far away, with distance shown: 

Hampden Park. 3 miles. Station operator is Southern
Polegate. 5 miles.Station operator is Southern
Pevensey & Westham. 5 miles.
Pevensey Bay. 5 miles. Station operator is Southern. Station code PEB. Mentioned but not stated is how inconvenient it is in comparison, with no staffing or passenger-friendly facilities or station parking. Also, the level crossing there closes to make way for trains and often holds up traffic with resultant queues of cars.

For train travel to Devon and Cornwall going via London is quickest, but cumbersome and with several changes involved with time wasted. Going via Brighton does not seem to be e realistic option.

Trains are often quicker than going by car.

 But can also be much more stressful, especially when carrying luggage up and down platforms often with no lifts.

 

 

 Universities nearby

University of Brighton, Eastbourne campus.

University of the 3rd Age, Eastbourne campus.

 Waterfront restaurants, store and offices

 

 Restaurants:

 4 seasonsHarvester

Garden BarSeamoors

Also an upmarket hairdresser/barber shop.

 

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Authored by Keith A. Forbes.
Email editor@sovereignharbour.uk.  Multi-national © 2021. All Rights Reserved. Last updated: 4 December 2021