Positive about disabled people

For newcomers to Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne's Sovereign Ward. Sovereign Harbour is  a flat, disability/mobility-friendly and scenic locale but also the most expensive in Britain. Residents pay nearly double the council taxes that Buckingham Palace and owners of other multi-million pound properties incur in central London. Additionally, all newcomers are liable for annual flood defence and harbour charges not levied anywhere else in Britain or Europe or the world. A much wider geographical area than just Sovereign Harbour is involved, with thousands more homes, yet only Sovereign Harbour owners (and, significantly, future buyers of their property) must pay. All businesses including property developments are exempted. Potential newcomers need to know about these costs (about £250 a year in 2017) in addition to council taxes, management fees and ground rents or leases, and accept them or instead go elsewhere. A recent Member of Parliament has stated these extra costs are unfair, unjust and should be revoked.

Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England

Descriptions of or links to the main harbourside attractions in this seaside area

Saturday, August 19, 2017

By Keith A. Forbes and his wife Lois Ann Forbes at keithforbes01@btinternet.com. Both disabled, they live in Eastbourne at Sovereign Harbour and write, administer and webmaster this website. Keith is a member of the UK's The Society of Authors and an international consumer activist for the disabled.

Eastbourne  town profile Eastbourne & UK Council Tax injustices Emails
Sovereign Harbour Sovereign Harbour Disability Association (SHDA) Sovereign Ward

More files are pending

Sovereign Harbour North scene

Photo cc these authors Keith and Lois Forbes

Sovereign Harbour vessels at North Harbour marina

Sovereign Harbour North, part of marina. Photo cc these authors Keith and Lois Forbes


For its history see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_Harbour. In Eastbourne's now most highly populated Sovereign Ward (see under that name in more detail below). 2.5 miles east of Eastbourne on the A259 Pevensey Bay Road going to Bexhill-On-Sea and Hastings. Developed by Carillion. Opened in 1993 by the late Princess Diana, it has over 600 permanent berths, with some 3,000 yachts visiting each year. The four marinas border the separate harbours. 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 state of the tide. All the streets in the four residential areas have overseas names from exotic places around the world. There is a number of high street-type shops and a multi-screen cinema, described in more detail below, clustered in the Crumbles/Sovereign Harbour Village shopping area no more than one mile from all the marinas.

Books about the area and Crumbles Murders 

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

Citizen's Advice Bureau, Eastbourne

See http://www.eastbournecab.co.uk/ 

Columbus Point Water Feature, Sovereign Harbour South

See http://www.waterfeature.eu/ 

Eastbourne Fishermen

Based in Sovereign Harbour.  See http://eastbournefishermen.co.uk/index.html and http://www.eastbournefishermen.co.uk/the-quay.html 

Eastbourne Lifeboat RNLI

Based in Sovereign Harbour. See http://www.eastbournernli.org/

East Sussex Better Together

See https://news.eastsussex.gov.uk/east-sussex-better-together/ 

East Sussex County Magazine

See https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/media/7925/your-county-spring-2017-ebook.pdf 

Electricity Outages in Sovereign Harbour

When the last one occurred on 18 August 2017 at about 12:30 pm from a fault in Lewes it caused a massive problem locally, irrespective of electricity supplier. It shut down electricity to an estimated 17,000  homes including all in Sovereign Harbour for two hours and also cut off the water supply in buildings with flats where water is pumped up to individual units. No prior warning was given. When the electricity fault system was contacted by this writer after his laptop started blinking, WIFI and router suddenly stopped working and water in the kitchen and bathrooms stopped flowing, he was told apologetically that restoration of service might take three hours. Two hours later normal service resumed. 

Harbour Friends Social Group

 See http://www.harbourfriends.co.uk/. Recommended to all who move to this area of Eastbourne.

Heffle Golf Society

See  http://www.hefflegolf.com. Unique locally-based organization for golfers. 

Pevensey Bay Area Flood Plan

See https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/media/3382/pevenseybayareafloodplanfinaldec14.pdf. Sovereign Harbour is part of the area.

Pevensey Bay Coastal Defence

See http://www.pevensey-bay.co.uk/sovereign-harbour.html. Includes all of Sovereign Harbour.

Part of Sovereign Harbour at dusk. Photo cc these authors, Keith and Lois Forbes

Recycling Point, ASDA car park, The Crumbles

See https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/environment/rubbishandrecycling/recyclingsites/theasdacrumblesrp/ 

Rotary Club of Sovereign Harbour

 See https://my.rotary.org/en/club-profile/4406EDC6-43D3-4ED5-A4B8-BFCE8AEC7274  Local residents are members.

Royal Sovereign Lighthouse

See https://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/lighthouses-and-lightvessels/royal-sovereign-lighthouse and https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Sovereign_Lighthouse. Located five miles offshore directly opposite Sovereign Harbour. 

Sea Defences Pevensey Bay

Sovereign Harbour is part of this area. See http://www.pevensey-bay.co.uk/resources/pdf/Pevensey%20supplement.pdf 

Sovereign Harbour Art Group

See http://www.shra.co.uk/artgroup/artgroup.html  Formed in September 2007 by artist and tutor Angela Clarke-Beagley. Open to beginners & experienced artists, harbour & non-harbour residents. All aspects of drawing & painting are undertaken including acrylic, watercolour, oil & pastels. Offers Weekly art sessions in a friendly, informal & relaxed environment and outdoor painting trips when weather permits. Regular sessions are held every Thursday 10:00am – 12.30pm at Christ The King Catholic Church Hall, Princes Road, Langney, not far away. All sessions are tutored in a relaxed and friendly environment, with the emphasis on being both enjoyable and educational. Fees are £10 per person for each 2.5 hour session, which covers hall hire and tuition. Annual membership fee is £6. Art materials are not supplied. Members are invited to paint from their own subjects. If you are interested in joining the group call Angela on 07914-884378. 

Sovereign Harbour Availability and Berthing options

See https://www.premiermarinas.com/UK-Marina-locations/Sovereign-Harbour-Marina-Eastbourne/Berth-availability and  https://www.premiermarinas.com/UK-Marina-locations/Sovereign-Harbour-Marina-Eastbourne/Berthing-options 

Sovereign Harbour background

 Draft supplementary plans, see http://democracy.eastbourne.gov.uk/Data/Cabinet/20120418/Agenda/Report%203%20-%20Item%209%20-%20Sovereign%20Harbour%20Supplementary%20Planning%20Guidance%20-%20Draft%20SPD.pdf.

Dusk over Sovereign Harbour 

Sovereign Outer Harbour at dusk 2.  Photo cc these authors, Keith and Lois Forbes

Sovereign Harbour Beaches (North and South)

Not public beaches but private, see http://www.shra.co.uk/pdfs/PSPO%20dogs.pdf. Owned by all the beachfront buildings developers up to the high water mark who. because of the abuses on the beach by dogs and irresponsible dog owners and others, have now called for the beaches to be subject to the same controls and regulations as other Eastbourne beaches. Their petition is being supported by the majority of long- leasehold and other residents of those developments.

Neither beach appears on any Eastbourne town beach maps (they extend only as far as groyne number 94 the Langney roundabout, not further east). See http://www.eastbourne.gov.uk/_resources/assets/inline/full/0/209207.pdf. It may be because this beach did not exist when the last Eastbourne Borough Council beach areas were last codified, generations ago. Consequently, regulations applicable to other Eastbourne beaches and relevant to control of dog-walking, dog messes and other beach activities such as barbeques, etc. that should apply here, do not. Yet the Eastbourne Borough Council has now long included the Sovereign Ward as one of its council areas for council tax, education, voting and other purposes. It needs to now amend its beaches listing to include this Sovereign North Harbour Beach (and its neighbor the Sovereign South Harbour Beach).  Until it does so, the council has been unable to act in any of the numerous complaints about dog fouling and more from local beachside and other owner residents, many of whom in fact pay more in council taxes than in other parts of Eastbourne. 

Another odd and disturbing factor about at least one of not both the North and South beaches shown below is that while the developers of the individual buildings apparently do not own the walkway between them and the beaches, they do own from that walkway the area of beach immediately in front of their buildings, all the way to the high water mark, at which point from there to the sea they appear be owned by the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex Borough Council. But the beach areas owned by the developers are not marked as private beaches, nor are they reserved only for the residents of their buildings. Instead, any resident of or visitor to Sovereign Harbour can use these beaches. But who alone pays the cost of annual flood protection that would come as a possible flood from the sea at these beaches, otherwise known as the estate rent charge or by some 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. Nowhere 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..

North Beach is 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 Habour South Beach because the sea entrance to Sovereign Habour lies between. Its principal features are Martello Tower 64 (see below), the signposted SS Barnhill Wreck Site, see http://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/info-board-on-wreck-unveiled-at-harbour-1-6673014, 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 Beach. Also a shingle beach, located at the eastern end of Eastbourne, past Langney Point to the harbour mouth.  Can be walked from the town (about 2.5 miles) by those fit and able. Its principal feature is Martello Tower 66 (see below). It is possible to walk or use a mobility-scooter from one beach to another via the Waterfront complex and harbour bridges.

Martello tower 64

Martello Tower, Sovereign Harbour North beach. Photo cc Keith and Lois Forbes

North Beach fishing

Sovereign Harbour North Beach fishing. Photo cc Keith and Lois Forbes

Sovereign Harbour Martello Tower 64 (North Beach) & 66 (South Beach). There is no longer a 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 Tower 64 and 66 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 take the form of compact, free-standing circular buildings on three levels built of rendered brick. The towers of the south coast were numbered 1-74 from east to west, while those of the east coast were identified by a system of letters (A-Z, and then AA-CC) from south to north. Although they exhibit a marked uniformity of design, minor variations are discernible 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 internally, the battered (inwardly sloping) walls of varying thicknesses, but with the thickest section invariably facing the seaward side. Most stand to a height of around 10m. Many Martello towers 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 particularly vulnerable points, at Dymchurch, Eastbourne and Harwich. All three survive. As the expected Napoleonic invasion attempt did not materialize, the defensive strength of the Martello tower system was never tested, and the tower design was soon rendered obsolete by new developments in heavy artillery. Many were abandoned and fell into decay or were demolished during the 19th century, 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 the two 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 survive well and display a diversity of original components are considered to merit protection.

Dogs on Leashes abuses on this beach have still not addressed by the Eastbourne Borough Council. It was first mentioned in the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association's June 2007 Waterlines, see http://www.waterlines.onl/Waterlines%20Printed/waterlines025.pdf

In Sovereign Harbour, reporting  a seafront issue. It is not a straightforward but an unnecessarily complicated procedure. Instead of dealing with it as a council issue, as it does in all other Eastbourne beaches, the Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC), see http://www.eastbourne.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-events/eastbourne-seafront/report-a-problem/report-a-seafron Thist-issue/ - states it is unable to respond to reports about Sovereign Harbour. Instead, use one of the contacts shown. This makes the EBC the only local authority not only in the whole of the UK but also in the rest of the world with a beach in the local authority's jurisdiction over which it does not regulate or have oversight or receive complaints and it is not responsible.

Sovereign Harbour Berth holders Association

 see http://www.shbha.co.uk/. For boat owners, residents and visitors, whose vessels are moored in one or more of the harbours 5 marinas.

Sovereign Harbour Borough Councillors

See under Sovereign Harbour Ward. from Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.

Sovereign Harbour Bridges

There are several to cross over by foot or bike or mobility scooter only, no cars allowed. 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 nice 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. 

Sovereign Harbour Bridge Club

See http://www.ebu.co.uk/node/2546

Sovereign Harbour Bus Times

See https://bustimes.org.uk/services/set_6-51-_-y08

Sovereign Harbour cafes, restaurants and bars

See http://www.eastbourneharbour.com/eating 

Sovereign Harbour Cineworld Cinema 

At https://www.cineworld.co.uk/cinemas/eastbourne. A very nice, purpose-built multi-screen facility with wonderful staff, much-favored by Sovereign Harbour and nearby  local residents for its nearness, convenience and free public parking outside. Its shows include all the latest cinema releases plus periodic sell-out performances of ballet and opera, But its local days are numbered, despite its efforts to stay put. Its lease is not being renewed. By 2018 it must relocate to Eastbourne's Arndale Shopping centre which is not convenient to local residents, involves frequent heavy traffic to get into or out of town and does not offer free parking unlike the present facility. Sovereign Harbour residents who rely on or prefer buses for the 20-40 minute trip to town should know that on weekdays excluding public holidays the last no 5 bus leaves town at about 2200 hours. The cinema's departure from Sovereign Harbour will be a bitter blow to local residents.

Sovereign Harbour Community Centre

Not yet built, pending. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Eastbourne Councils Planning Committee approved the application for the Community Centre at Easter Island Place on site 6. This was announced by East Sussex County Council Councillor David Elkin on that day and the Eastbourne Buzz reported it the next day April 26, see http://www.eastbournebuzz.co.uk/eastbourne-news.php?eastbourne-news-reports=3744&&Sovereign-Harbour-Community-Centre-Gets-Green-Light

Sovereign Harbour Community Centre location

Planned new Sovereign Harbour Community Centre

Sovereign Harbour Community Centre again

Artist's impressions of planned new Sovereign Harbour Community Centre

 The April 25/26 2017 news confirms the funding, site, architects plan have been approved with a preferred contractor appointed and with a strict timetable of construction delivery by the end of 2017.  Still to be obtained, not yet applied for, are planning approvals for a new access road and other access matters. Plans to have this centre had been discussed, amended, discarded, for at least 5 years and many residents became frustrated with the constant delays and changes of site. It seems possible that one reason for the delays was because not all residents wanted or needed a community centre as such. Instead, some were hoping -  and still are - that the two local authority councils concerned will promote and support the building of a hotel to service the area, ideally one with business and convention centre facilities, and induce more businesses to come the harbour area. Presently, no hotels serve the immediate area and those that are not too far away are often subjected to exasperating long delays from heavy traffic. 

The leading community group, the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association, has worked long and hard to get this community centre built, as originally promised by the councils concerned and at that time intended to occur before any substantial construction of new residential buildings. Instead, the buildings were approved by councils planning only many years afterwards.  The substantial planning changes and their consequent costs resulted in the latest plans being about 25% reduced in size compared to the original plan. If built according to the latest plan it will be on Site 6, Easter Island Place instead of Site 5 as approved/decided in 2012. The design of the community centre has been further revised from the design approved in July 2015. It will be of modular construction. While full funding  for the building has been agreed by the Councils it does not include furnishing the place. A generous local donor had agreed years ago to furnish it and waited patiently for some time but can no longer do so because of the enormous waiting time incurred. The furnishings went elsewhere. It was then once hoped that if every Sovereign Harbour privately owned property was willing to donate a one-time charge of £10 the building could be  furnished adequately. It remains to be seen what will happen now. It is believed the project, once completed, will have cost over £1.6 million, with £800,000 having come from Carillion/SHL, £400,000 from the Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) and £400,000 from the East Sussex County Council. Sovereign Ward is believed to be the largest electoral ward in Eastbourne and one of the largest in East Sussex in terms of ward-population. 

Ownership and management of the complex will be vested in the Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC). It was intended it be leased by the Sovereign Harbour Community Association (SHCA) which was set up for that purpose but the SHCA has since refused further involvement, its website has ceased and the group is now dormant. A separate entity, the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (SHRA), once considered amalgamating with the SHCA but also voted recently not to get involved.

 If so leased to either the above or a new entity it will differ from most other parts of the country where community centres are usually not only built and managed but also staffed by local authorities. Running costs of a smaller community centre not municipal-staffed and leased out to a third party create challenges in feasibility, running costs and more. It could give those local organizations that presently are unable to increase or limit the number of their members because they need space to instruct or teach their members, a bigger place to meet. Some such organizations currently meet at local restaurants or the Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club. 

Very likely, the new community centre, if/when built and operating, will not be free to the local or visiting public, instead a schedule of charges will apply depending on type of use. If this applies it will not be unique to this area. Many community centres throughout Britain apply charges for entities to hold meetings, depending on type of use envisaged, with only registered charities and community groups qualifying for partial exemption. However, the costs will have to be reasonable and practical. The Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club, with public parking across the street, charges £35-£65 an hour. But less than one mile away, in Langney, is a church with a large community hall and parking for £20 an hour or a bit more including insurance. Other places also exist.

Sovereign Harbour Consultation

See http://www.eastbourne.gov.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=218189&type=full&servicetype=Inline.

Sovereign Harbour Council Taxes

See http://www.eastbourne1.org/CouncilTaxripoffs.htm. Newcomers to the harbour should note they will have to pay more Council Taxes than other parts of Eastbourne even though their properties may worth less in terms of market price than other homes in the town. Estate agents selling or leasing or renting Sovereign Harbour properties do not habitually show the Council Tax applicable to each property, at the request of the councils, to hide their unfairness. Here and throughout Eastbourne council taxes are paid to not one but two local authorities, namely Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council (which gets the biggest share of the taxes). A councillor from each authority serves Sovereign Harbour.

Sovereign Harbour Cycling Network

See https://democracy.eastsussex.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=12789 and Horsey Way at https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/eastbourne-cycling-improvements/supporting_documents/Horsey%20Way%20Introduction.pdf 

Sovereign Harbour Development History

See http://shra.co.uk/devhistory.html 

Sovereign Harbour Disability Association (SHDA)

Initially, it was not intended by newcomers to Eastbourne, Sovereign Harbour in particular, to form this group but instead merely to offer to help in any possible way the Eastbourne Access Group (EAG), an organization much supported financially by the Eastbourne Borough Council, Sovereign Harbour Rotary Club, Visit Eastbourne, etc. But attending EAG regular early morning meetings across town and in busy morning traffic to get to St. Saviour's Church is just not possible. However, the SHDA, in January 2017, before it began, did suggest to the EAG that it include in its nice wheelchair maps of the Sovereign Harbour area something not yet shown, namely that with one minor exception all five exceptionally scenic and tranquil inner harbour brick walkways around each harbour are also both wheelchair and mobility scooter accessible. Only shown then in the EAG maps was the not scenic but wheelchair and mobility scooter-accessible as well as cycle-friendly main Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Avenue pavements of roads. Unfortunately, the lovely Sovereign Harbour walkways are still not included in the most recent (April 2017) issue of the EAG guide. It became clear from this and for other reasons that the remit of the EAG does not extend to Sovereign Harbour. Thus our SHDA group was formed and is presently the only disabled organization that shows the Sovereign Harbour areas as uniformly disability-friendly and accessible. yet incredibly scenic, with spectacular, flat inner walkways for the disabled to use in wheelchairs and mobility scooters around each of the five harbours (except for the northern part of North Harbour) and along the Sovereign Harbour North and South beaches. The SHDA website, unlike the EAG website, shows comparisons between UK and overseas disability laws, with several of our disability-activist members having previously lived and worked overseas. The SHDA will cooperate with any other disability group whenever their mutual interests coincide and will gladly extend reciprocal website linkage whenever practical. Nor do the Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC)  or East Sussex County Council (ESCC) show the two Sovereign Harbour (North and South) beaches as Eastbourne beaches despite Sovereign Harbour being in the Eastbourne Sovereign Ward council tax area. Their beach maps only go as far as Langney. 

SHDA website is www.eastbourne1.org/disabilityconcerns.htm. Chair is Keith Forbes, Flat 18, 16 San Diego Way, Sovereign Harbour North, Eastbourne BN23 5BG. Phone 01323 471090. Email keithforbes01@btinternet.com

Sovereign Harbour Estate Agents & Properties for Sale or Rent

They include:

Also see local house and flat prices at  http://www.home.co.uk/guides/house_prices.htm?location=eastbourne.

Buying or renting or leasing a domestic property by newcomers. Important points to note:

For the property or properties you will be seeing have the estate agents provided full marketing and other relevant information on that property? The best estate agents will give full essential basic information for each property. It should include current council taxes, what they cover and which local authorities are involved; name of managing agent and current annual charges for the unit; is there a leaseholders association for that property and if so how to contact it to become a member; present harbour estate or water charge cost (see immediately below); water feature charge if applicable on top of other water charges; which company provides the electricity for that property; which company provides the water and waste water.

Before buying or renting, prospective owners or long-leaseholders of most if not all the 3,700+ homes in Sovereign Harbour need to know in advance from estate agents that both they and their successors will have to pay the annual harbour charge flood defence scheme. But they are not informed that only they, no others in the same flood area or Eastbourne or UK or world areas, are required to pay it. The harbour charge, about £250 pounds in 2017, having been increased significantly since it was first introduced, is a flood defence scheme that surrounds the harbour, applies east and west of Eastbourne and considerably beyond it on both sides. New buyers are discriminated against, under an East Sussex County Council and Eastbourne Borough Council-approved Deed and Grant of Covenant. A condition of the sales contract obliges the purchaser of Sovereign Harbour flats or units (but not the owners of the buildings or any others in the flood defence area), no other residents in any other part of Eastbourne or beyond,  to pay for this. Yet a failure of the flood defence scheme anywhere along this length of coast could possibly affect as many as, 17,000 homes, far more than just in Sovereign Harbour and cause damage to homeowners possibly amounting to billions of pounds. No other harbour and marina in the UK or Europe or the world make only this local community pay for flood defences that go far beyond just this local community and no other local authorities in the world, only our East Sussex County Council and Eastbourne Borough Council, permit and have never legally challenged it.  The cost of this scheme to owners and lessees does not include flood insurance indemnity. Sovereign Harbour residents alone pay the cost but do not get any compensatory insurance-provided under the covenant protection for that cost.  The Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (SHRA) have long challenged the validity of this plan and have advised those so affected to pay it to avoid a potential legal problem but to also protest it in writing when they pay it. In the pdf file on the Notes of the Minutes of the 2016 AGM of the SHRA there is an account of what has happened to date and by whom, including how the SHRA paid a substantial sum to a barrister for a legal opinion that questioned the validity of the charge but was met by a challenge by the adversaries involved to take it to court. It also shows the valued efforts of Member of Parliament until June 8, 2017 Caroline Ansell, who believed the SHRA was right to raise this matter, to get some answers, duly requested but not yet received from the Environmental Agency she visited. It has now been suggested to the SHRA that because there still has been no resolution of this long-standing matter despite the continued efforts of our Member of Parliament that challenge should now be met, not in a UK court at this time but instead as a notification to the Environment Secretary that if his office will not cause the charge to be cancelled initially it is going to be referred to our MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) while we still have them, in hope they in turn can recommend it be referred to European agencies including if possible the European Court of Human Rights on grounds it is not a valid charge applied elsewhere but an unprecedented and an unfairly unique one and discriminatory in that only Sovereign Harbour flat or terraced home owners/long leaseholders/part freeholders have to pay it, not building owners or any other residents of the same flood defence area affected. It will also go to other international media. Additionally, for a number of properties in the South Harbour area where the Water Feature is located, residential owners and/or lessees are required to pay annually for a percentage of the cost of that Water Feature, about £305 a year in 2017. It needs to be noted that both these annual Harbour Charges and Water Feature charges are in addition to council taxes and regular water costs. See more details in "Sovereign Harbour Estate Rent Charge" below.

Estate agents selling long-lease flats or terraced homes should also note in their particulars of each non-freehold property that not just one but possibly four separate organizations purchasers of those leasehold properties should know about. They all have different roles. The first is the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association, see http://www.shra.co.uk, established in 2000 to give Harbour residents a strong. non-political purely socio-economic and co-ordinated voice in all discussions on the management and development of Sovereign Harbour. In 2017 about 2,470 residents are members. As the leading voice in the community, the group represents the interests of not just some but all harbour residents whether renting, leasing or owning and is consulted by local authorities, police, etc. Its website shows its unique community-wide value and benefits, for a very moderate not yearly but lifetime cost, not only of the individual but all Sovereign Harbour residents in that family, all of whom should join. Showing a membership card can often result in discounts at harbourside restaurants and more. The second is the leaseholders association of that building.  All leaseholders of a particular building should become members, usually for a small annual cost. Why? For three reasons. Members provide a common defence against matters such possible attempts by managing agents or building owners to raise fees for new maintenance or related works. Or see http://www.leaseholdadvicecentre.co.uk/RTM.htm. When a leasehold association has 60 percent or more of its occupants as members in good standing it has a legal right to challenge arbitrary decisions. If that 60/% is not realized because not enough occupants are current members, managing agents and/or the building's owners (who usually appoint the managing agents) are legally entitled to proceed without such blockage or interference. Only when a leasehold association reaches 60% of its leasehold-holding owner-occupants does it have the power to demand a change of managing agents. This has happened especially when either management charges and additional maintenance expenses have been deemed excessive - unrealistically high by the majority of members of the leaseholders association, or when the managing agents and/or owners of buildings have been continuously uncommunicative, or both. The third is the managing agent of that building. Managing agents are appointed to collect annual or semi-annual demands for management fees payable by leaseholders and to maintain all lifts and common external areas of the building including the exteriors of garages and parking spaces. But they do not get involved in non-common areas. Leaseholders should also know that if their buildings have lifts installed their management fees will be higher than buildings without lifts, but leaseholders without their own garages will pay the same management fee, not less, than leaseholders with garages, even when those without garages have paid more for their properties than those with garages. Some managing agents are more responsive than others in answering questions or handling complaints. The fourth is the owner of that building. When occupiers seek, on an individual (non-common) basis, information about their flat, or make any complaint, or have or create any damage or make any structural internal changes to their flats, such as creating or changing rooms or walls or partitions or bathrooms or showers they should probably copy managing agents into but should make sure their submissions are addressed to the owners of the buildings concerned. 

If sea or harbour or countryside views are important Council taxes will often be significantly higher than properties with an appreciably higher market value but paying less in council taxes.

Council Taxes. Some flats in the Sovereign Harbour area in buildings with garages or a shared one, therefore with more space, but their owners pay the the same council taxes, not more, than flats without garages even when residents of the latter have paid a higher price for their flat than those with garages. The Councils concerned deem this irrelevant. In most cases, all residents of one building pay the same council taxes irrespective of whether some units have either more rooms or a garage or share one in lieu. In view of this it is recommended that if more than one unit in a building is for sale, with one offering a garage or a shared one and the other does not, go for the one with a garage.

Cladding on a high-rise building. If considering buying or leasing a flat in a high-rise building that has had cladding installed, it is particularly important to determine to your complete satisfaction that the cladding is of good quality, has passed all required tests, is fire-resistant, not a potential fire-risk.

Electricity outages. Not frequent but when last one occurred on 18 August 2017 at about 12:30 pm from a fault in Lewes it caused a massive problem locally, irrespective of electricity supplier. It shut down electricity to an estimated 17,000  homes including all in Sovereign Harbour for two hours and also cut off the water supply in buildings with flats where water is pumped up to individual units. No prior warning was given. When the electricity fault system occurs, laptops start blinking, WIFI and routers stop working and water in the kitchen and bathrooms stop flowing.

Flooring, noise and porch or balcony privacy. Some Sovereign Harbour flats have wooden, not concrete, floors. Those with wooden floors mean that neighbours below can expect more noise. Some flats also have their porches or balconies adjacent to porches or balconies at other flats. This means less privacy and more noise when both flats have people on their porches or balconies at the same time. And in the summer, when you need more air but stay inside, you will want your windows or doors open. But if people on the adjacent balcony or porch in the neighbor's flat are making a noise, you may have to close your window or door. 

Are shops, medical services and buses or trains conveniently close?

Renters will be required to pay, in addition to their monthly rent, an upfront deposit amounting to up to two months rent, get estate-agency approved contents insurance and more. If from abroad, or with insufficient monthly income for a monthly rent but with provable sufficient savings, there is a way out. Renters can elect to pay in advance for the first six months of their rental tenancy. Most rental agreements appear to be for an initial six month period.  

Some buildings with flats may have just one electricity supplier, picked by the building's owner, not owner of the flat. It may not always be possible to select or change  an electricity supplier.

Is the property centrally heated?  Many flats in Sovereign Harbour are not, are instead individually room-heated by radiators. If some have both gas and electricity this should be stated.

For a family with more than one car is there assigned parking for more than one vehicle? 

If there is assigned parking, is the parking covered or in the open on or underneath and conveniently near to the property? Potential buyers or renters or lessees need to look at the parking beforehand to see if the parking space is big enough for their vehicle and if it can be accessed without difficulty.

Are certain types of vehicles such as vans or trucks not permitted  to park on the property?

Is there a garage or outbuilding on the property in which to store, under cover, a cycle or mobility scooter? 

If you or a member of your family are disabled and have a Blue Badge, is there assigned disabled parking there, wider than normal parking? 

If a member of your household is severely disabled is there a separate bedroom and a bathroom available that might qualify for a council tax one-band disability reduction? 

If a member of your household is mobility-impaired and cannot climb stairs safely, is there a lift in the flat's building?

Are there sufficient cupboard or closet or other storage spaces or built-in wardrobes in bedrooms? This will be particularly important for some newcomers. Many Sovereign Harbour flats have two bedrooms but few have adequate cupboard or wardrobe space for two people, often barely enough in those two bedrooms for one person. Some have no built-in cupboard spaces at all. Many flats appear to have been constructed primarily for part-time or holiday, not full-time year-round, use.

After agreeing in principle to buy but before legally committing to long-lease or purchase the property it is particularly recommended you use a local chartered surveyor to give you (a) a written report on the condition of the property; (b) an unbiased present valuation of the property; and (c)  an indication of any planning that might be in progress or applied for that might affect your views. It will cost you £450 or more to have this survey report made but it will be money well spent. If the chartered surveyor's valuation of that property is noticeably less than the estate agent's and seller's price for that property, you have the right to demand a lower price to match what the surveyor suggests, or cancel your interest. It could be well worth it to you to cancel as there is now somewhat of a glut in available flats. 

When you have decided to buy (or sell) a Sovereign Harbour property, use an Eastbourne-based solicitor. If you instead use one from other parts of the UK where this area is largely unknown you might get hit with certain charges, for example a chancel repair liability or search or payment, that do not not apply here, and/or incur other delays in completing the transaction. Many newcomers not from this area have had this problem and should not pay for any such chancel charges. A local solicitor will or should know immediately there is no chancel repair cost or charge or liability or need for chancel liability insurance in the Sovereign Harbour area which did not exist when chancel costs applied elsewhere. 

Sovereign Harbour Estate Rent Charge

All newcomers (and future buyers of their property) are liable for this name for the annual flood defence and harbour charges but are not told they are not levied anywhere else in Britain or Europe or the world. A much wider geographical area than just Sovereign Harbour is involved, with thousands more homes there, yet only Sovereign Harbour owners and future buyers of their property are covenanted to pay.  If this annual charge is not challenged but paid, those concerned are not only committing themselves to this for as long as they own or lease the property but also future buyers and sellers of that property, who will not be able to sell the property until payment is made for any outstanding harbour charge amount. A recent local Member of Parliament has said publicly this extra cost is unfair, unjust and should be revoked. Some residents of Eastbourne's Sovereign Harbour Ward - the local electoral area - those in the residential areas of Langney Point and Kingsmere and homes on the south side of St. Anthony's Avenue and the Queen's Crescent - are not liable to pay the harbour water/flood defense charge on top of their regular water charges, only those in the Sovereign Harbour area are.  All owners or long-leaseholders, past, present and future of of the 3,700+ homes in Sovereign Harbour and their successors, no one else in Eastbourne, none of the homeowners of the estimated 17,000 properties in the affected area mostly beyond Sovereign Harbour, have to pay, annually not just once, for the cost of this littoral or foreshore flood defence scheme that surrounds the harbour, Eastbourne and well to the southeast of Eastbourne all the way to Bexhill-on-Sea. Only Sovereign Harbour owners are told by developers and harbour owner organizations they have to accept it as a condition of sale of any of their units. Yet all businesses including developers of properties in which Sovereign Habour residents live are exempted. None of these corporate or charity or community interest entities pay any of the costs involved, nor do any of the other companies or business operations in the area, or entities that own the railway services or roads passing through the area.

It is recommended to all potential newcomers to the Sovereign Harbour area that before they commit to buying or leasing any Sovereign Harbour property but are offended or bothered by the annual £250 or so charge per property mentioned above in addition to standard management and/or ground rent and council tax charges they should challenge it, or go elsewhere.  If you ask the Eastbourne Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) at http://www.eastbournecab.co.uk (as this writer did on an individual basis) the CAB knew immediately that former MP Caroline Ansell had said publicly the charge was unfair, unjust and should be revoked. This writer was referred to the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) at http://www.lease-advice.org/, phone 0207 8322500. LEASE will give limited-time free legal advice by prior appointment only  to leaseholders on the law affecting residential leasehold in England and Wales. Note that LEASE is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Communities and Local Government. If you go to the latter's website and then to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?departments%5B%5D=department-for-communities-and-local-government&publication_filter_option=consultations it  reveals how it is planning to tackle unfair practices in the leasehold market. If you feel the Sovereign Harbour Estate Rent Charge is unfair and discriminatory as many of us do, act quickly to comment and complain as there is a time limit on the consultation period. Or see the private-sector http://www.leaseholdadvicecentre.co.uk/RTM.htm.

The charge is levied by the Sovereign Harbour Trust - see http://www.sovereignharbourtrust.co.uk/estate_rent_charge.asp - as its Rent Charge. It comprises three parts if you do not own a boat, the SW Charge and Marina Charge apply. If you own a boat the Berthing Charge also applies. Even of you not own a boat or have or use anything in the harbour, you still have to pay the charge. Even residents of the Sovereign Harbour area whose homes are not facing or in anyway fronting the harbour but are some distance from it, across the streets and beyond them, for example on the south side of Pacific Avenue facing the beaches, have to pay.  Various names are used for it, such as the harbour charge, estate rent charge, but it is a flood defence charge. It was approved and devised by the East Sussex County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority and is referred to as its Pevensey Bay Flood Plan, 2014, revised from the 2009 edition, at https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/media/3382/pevenseybayareafloodplanfinaldec14.pdf. The charity-listed Sovereign Harbour Trust makes it payable not in the way a normal charity does by voluntary charitable contributions but as a compulsory demand to Sovereign Harbour residents only via its wholly owned "community interest company" which in turn gets the work done by Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd - see http://www.pevensey-bay.co.uk/index.html  in conjunction with a brace of prominent sea-defence related private companies. Also see "Sea Defences at Pevensey Bay" at http://www.pevensey-bay.co.uk/resources/pdf/Pevensey%20supplement.pdf - based or with operations in the area.  It is claimed the arrangement marks a first for the area, a unique combined public sector and private sector arrangement.

Yet In startling contrast, in all other coastal areas of Eastbourne - see https://www.riverlevels.uk/flood-warning-eastbourne-sea-front#.WVtBuWeWzDc -  no such charges apply to their residents. At the bottom of the same map see inland areas of Eastbourne and area including Polegate and Willingdon where residents have a higher risk of flood levels than Sovereign Harbour but again without the residents there being penalized  as they are at Sovereign Harbour. See part of Sovereign Harbour at BN23 5BG at https://flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk/summary/564730/102395. Yet a failure of the flood defence scheme anywhere along  much of this length of coast, which includes Beachy Head - see https://flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk/summary/558916.477/95386.199  and far beyond it to the west and Norman's Bay at Pevensey Bay to the east - see https://flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk/summary/568628.06/105638.54 -  would affect over 10,000 homes - the above-mentioned Pevensey Bay entity says 17,000 homes -  far more than just in Sovereign Harbour and cause them damage possibly amounting to billions of pounds. 

No other shingle or pebble beach, harbour and marina area in the UK or Europe or the world or their local authorities ask or make their residents pay for flood defences that go far beyond just this local community. We know, we checked. Other areas in UK and worldwide with shingle beaches include Alby, Sweden; Birding's Flat, New Zealand; Brighton; Broomhill Sands; Camber Sands; Cooden Beach; 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.  Only Sovereign Harbour residents have to suffer. 

In the European Union, in Coastal Management - as described by Wikipedia in https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastal_management - the European Code of Conduct for Coastal Zones - see http://campusdomar.es/en/docsobservatorio/european-code-of-conduct-for-coastal-zones-16121998/  and http://ec.europa.eu/environment/iczm/pdf/Model_Law.pdf - was issued by the European Council - see http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/european-council/ - from 1999. This document was prepared by the EU's Group of Specialists on Coastal Protection and underlies European Union legislation and practice. The Group of Specialists originated in 1995, pursuant to a decision by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, see https://www.coe.int/en/web/about-us/who-we-are?desktop=false. (See Member States of the Council of Europe at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_the_Council_of_Europe). It emphasized the need for integrated management and planning, especially when coastal areas continue to deteriorate. The Group proposed that the Council of Europe cooperate with the Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) - see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastal_%26_Marine_Union_(EUCC)  and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - see http://www.unep.org/. This duly came about. In the absence of any specific references to European legislation in the UK's Environment Agency legislation or regulations affecting Sovereign Harbour, or Sovereign Harbour Trust or its wholly-owned subsidiary the Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) Community Interest Company that levies the charge only to all Sovereign Harbour Residents but no one else in the sea defence flood area, it appears that none of these European Code of Conduct for Coastal Zones European directives or management or local authority oversights ever applied to Sovereign Harbour, as they have long done uniformly throughout Europe. Had this been the case for Sovereign Harbour it would most likely have required no charge exclusively for Sovereign Harbour residents or at worst a uniformly wide and not specific to Sovereign Harbour alone residents charge applicable to all properties both commercial and residential in the flood area. This is why, in addition to being referred to the UK's Secretary of State for Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs as suggested below, the matter needs to be referred to the European Commission via our MEPs. The European Commission - see https://ec.europa.eu/commission/news_en -  not only has an exclusive right to propose new environmental policy, but it also has a responsibility to ensure the implementation of European Union laws and environmental rules throughout the EU. Until Brexit occurs they surely continue to have overall jurisdiction over the vast majority of UK environmental laws and regulations.

Press reports about Sovereign Harbour residents' complaints  are significant. They include the Eastbourne Herald newspaper report of a wave of anger in protests of 23 January 2014, see http://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/fury-over-rise-in-eastbourne-harbour-charges-1-5830122,  on 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 http://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/wave-of-anger-from-harbour-residents-1-5891812; and 2 April 2015 at http://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/chance-to-find-out-more-about-flood-defences-1-6663889. 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 and in January 2016 a paper from then-MP Caroline Ansell, then on the UK government's Environment Audit Committee, re the history, decisions, repercussions and gross miscarriage of justice of the flood harbour charge, see http://carolineansell.co.uk/sovereign-harbour-charge/ and. http://www.eastbournebuzz.co.uk/eastbourne-news.php?eastbourne-news-reports=2671&&Eastbourne-MP-Pledges-To-Fight-On-Over-Harbour-Fees. What was particularly significant is that our then-MP did not hesitate to say publicly that it was also her opinion that the annual charge was unfair and unjust. Since then there have been further angry complaints from residents. For one of the latest, 14 February 2017, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_UR-tbilGE&app=desktop

The Sovereign Harbour Residents Association has for many years made public its own complaints about the unfairness of all this -, see http://www.shra.co.uk/rentcharge.html. This charge would never be allowed to occur in the European Union. There, the property or council taxes of owners or lessees of those flats  and related units are deemed a fair compensation for any recurring shingle relocation expenses. UK environmental law is based mostly on EC environmental law.  Because of Brexit, all relevant UK laws are to be revised to match EC laws. Thus any laws relating to Sovereign Harbour that presently dictate how the present flood harbour dues must be paid only by Sovereign Harbour owners, no one else, should be revoked as soon as possible. See Brexit and UK Environmental Law at http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=9395f791-5b76-428e-a0ef-8b102a023243 and the Implications to the UK in Environmental Policy of Leaving the EU may be relevant, at https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/eu_referendum_environment.pdf

It has been recommended by this writer that notices about the above should be sent to:

Sovereign Harbour Fisherman's Quay

Also see under Eastbourne Fishermen. In late April 2017. It was announced that East Sussex County Council have been able to provide both a substantial loan and grant. to bridge the final gap in funding for the development to go forward. Eastbourne’s fishing fleet has thus been given a second chance to build a new base. Planners at Eastbourne Borough Council have again given the go ahead for Site 3 at Sovereign Harbour to be developed into a Fisherman’s Quay – subject to a local labour agreement. The application, which would be behind the Harvester near the Waterfront, would see four buildings erected – including a visitor centre, sales office, retail space and storage. It would enable the 32-strong fleet to have a firm base, as well as ensuring a better price for their catch, as they would be able to prepare fish and pack it on ice at site, something they are currently unable to do. The new facilities, which could also see more jobs brought to the area, would allow the fleet to start catching sprat, herring, spider crabs and velvet crabs, which would significantly up their income, with an estimated 100 tonnes of spider crabs being projected to be landed in Eastbourne at the value of around £170,000. The visitor centre would include a viewing kitchen, which would be used for educational purposes. On approving the application unanimously, councillors said they hoped would soon see movement, with this being the renewal of a previous planning application for the site, which ran out last year.

Sovereign Harbour Fuel, Berth and Pump Out

See https://www.premiermarinas.com/UK-Marina-locations/Sovereign-Harbour-Marina-Eastbourne/About-Sovereign-Harbour/Fuel-berth-and-pump-out 

Sovereign Harbour Gazette

A new locally focused media outlet, from end of August 2017.

Sovereign Harbour Hamilton Quay

 See http://hamiltonquay.com/. Area to the left of photo below, with brick car parking area underneath. The most central of the harbour areas and with some of the most expensive homes.

Hamilton Quay

Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park

See http://www.sovereigninnovationpark.co.uk/ and http://www.seachangesussex.co.uk. Now completed, 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. Also presently used as the parking site for up to an entire fleet of non-emergency ambulances at any one time.

Pacific House

Pacific House

Sovereign Harbour Live Weather and Tide Information

See https://www.premiermarinas.com/Tides-Weather-Forecast/Eastbourne-Weather

Sovereign Harbour Locks & Procedure

see https://www.premiermarinas.com/UK-Marina-locations/Sovereign-Harbour-Marina-Eastbourne/Getting-to-Eastbourne-Marina/Locking-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. 

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.

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 Map


Sovereign Harbour Marina

See https://www.premiermarinas.com/uk-marina-locations/sovereign-harbour-marina-eastbourne

Marina Regulations at Eastbourne%20Marina%20Regulations.ashx-la=en

Sovereign Harbour Marine Businesses

See http://www.shra.co.uk/harbourbusiness.html

Sovereign Harbour Martello Tower 66

On Sovereign Harbour South beach.

Sovereign Harbour Master plan

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

Sovereign Harbour North 3

Sovereign Harbour North, another part of marina. Photo cc Keith and Lois Forbes

Sovereign Harbour Medical Practice

See http://www.harbourmedicalpractice.co.uk/ and staff at http://www.harbourmedicalpractice.co.uk/staff1.aspx

Sovereign Harbour Member of Parliament and MEPs

Sovereign Harbour Neighbourhood Panel

 See http://www.eastbournenp.org/21SovereignHarbour/21_about.html; also Panel Members at http://www.eastbournenp.org/21SovereignHarbour/21_members.html; and Panel News, at http://www.eastbournenp.org/21SovereignHarbour/21_news.html.

Sovereign Harbour Objecting to Planning Applications or Amendments

It is suggested you follow the guidelines shown in http://planninglawblog.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-object.html 

Sovereign Harbour Pacific House

See under Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park.

Sovereign Harbour Parking for residents

Residential areas

There is no standardized residential parking policy in any part of Sovereign Harbour. There are many separately managed multi-unit buildings, each with their own policy or lack of one. Some individual developments state their off-road private parking areas are numbered, with one per flat but they often extend this privately to certain residents. They also allow some vehicles to be parked there the owners of which do not live there at all. Some residents are allowed to have more than one  allocated space, with another at a cost. Most off-road parking at residential developments, even the most modern in Sovereign Harbour, appear to be either fixed at less than or just over one car per unit, in all cases including visitor parking. In comparison, in the USA. Canada, Europe and elsewhere, the norm in 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. In other parts of the UK most councils now require their planning departments to tell developers of off-road developments they must have two parking spaces for every two bedroom or three for every three-bedroom property plus one visitor space each .In comparison, most of the far fewer Sovereign Harbour undercroft or outside car parking spaces are both far fewer, not nearly enough and also a tight fit, perhaps OK for very small cars now and in the 1960s but not sized to comfortably fit even today's small SUV's or mid-size or larger cars compared to then.  As a result. parking is often a major problem in many Sovereign Harbour developments, both in terms of width and availability. Cars are often parked adjacent to dropped kerbs, obstructing access to the disabled on scooters or partly on pavements, obstructing passers-by, and constantly taking up one side of a narrow two-line road such as that section of Pacific Avenue from near the Port Moresby new development to the eastern roundabout.  

Careless and inconsiderate parking in some parking areas of various developments limits or prohibits or delays emergency vehicles or prevents them from going as close as possible to and at the side of a building to collect or deliver a patient or attend to any other potentially life-threatening situation

Car blocking an ambulance

Cars at 16 San Diego Way, North Harbour, on 30 July 2017 obstructing an ambulance and other emergency vehicles from departing

Cars are often parked outside both buildings and their garages interfering with or hindering or blocking emergency access when they are not supposed to, even when there are vacant assigned or visitor parking spaces in that development. Other cars are parked equally dangerously nearby also hindering safe and fast emergency vehicles from accessing or leaving or both. Ambulances may need to park parallel with a building, to provide the closest possible access to their back door and the shortest distance to the building to receive or discharge patients. By parking this way they also provide space for non-emergency vehicles to get by in the event of any delay. Also, some cars have been seen to partly park on pavements and in the process block lowered-curb roads and denying access for the disabled, or dangerously close to a street junction or sharp turn or in other traffic-disturbing areas. With regional hospitals having announced in May 2017 that stroke patients are now going to have to go to fewer specialist hospitals than before and with it now well-known that stroke patients need to be treated within an hour or they could die, ambulances need totally unimpeded access at all times. If managing agents of buildings and building owners ignore these sensible pleas to ensure they pass on as a matter of urgency to their leaseholders associations, flat-owners and car owners the problems that their badly parked cars are causing, and deaths or life-threatening permanent injuries result, their non-action could result in lawsuits being filed by the families or spouses of those who die because of delays in getting treatment against leaseholders associations, leaseholders who are owners of the cars concerned, managing agents and owners of buildings. The potential seriousness of the problem and its implications or repercussions must be noted and acted on without delay by all concerned. Another aspect of such indifferent or careless parking is that when management companies of buildings try to clean Juliet balconies and other windows on each floor of their buildings their progress is blocked by cars deliberately not parked properly in assigned or visitor parking spaces but carelessly outside the building and impeding the work. As one result, hoses that should normally be placed parallel to the building while the window-washing process incurs has instead to be placed in the driveway where cars and other vehicles run over and damage the hoses

Disabled residential Parking; The almost complete lack of disabled parking nearly everywhere is a problem to residents who are disabled. At Golden Gate Way off Pacific Avenue, near and opposite the Pacific Heights North building, there is one Disabled Parking-signed place. That's it. Because it is on private property not a public road, it is not one that will get a penalty for misuse. 

One disabled parking space in Sovereign Harbour residences

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.

A Disabled Parking Bay at your home

For the disabled, the Sovereign Harbour Disability Association (SHDA) is concerned both about the almost-complete lack of any disabled parking spaces at any of the units of flats in the Sovereign Habour area in their below-building or adjacent parking areas and that some cars are parked so badly that they impede and slow or halt the progress of emergency vehicles to aid both the disabled and the non-disabled. This lack of residential disabled parking, which has not to date been addressed, was first mentioned in the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association's June 2007 Waterlines, see http://www.waterlines.onl/Waterlines%20Printed/waterlines025.pdf. It seems, from the otherwise comprehensive Sovereign Habour Supplementary Planning Document of February 2013, that nowhere in its content does it mention the need for disabled parking areas for disabled residents, or the fact that the latter, because of their disability, need wider parking spaces than the norm. The obligations of individual developers to provide not only adequately sized and enough parking spaces for the able-bodied but sufficient wider international-standard Disabled Parking spaces as well for the registered disabled, is not specified. Instead, what clearly seems to have happened is that developers have crammed as many parking spaces as they can into their developments, many of which are so small they cannot easily accept longer and wider cars of today, and with none of the undercroft and only one (see photo above, which partially but not wholly meets the standard) having wider and properly disability-marked Disability Parking available. 

Future residents who are disabled, those not yet committed to any particular development but interested in buying or leasing, should, in their best interests, before they sign any contracts, ask if such disabled-signed parking in or near or under that development is going to be available and if so when. If not answered precisely, it may well discourage them permanently from coming. When the superb The Waterfront complex (see http://www.eastbourneharbour.com) describes Sovereign Harbour in which it is located as "Eastbourne's international experience" and the entire harbour area has street and quay names from prominent places around the world, that "international experience" cachet should be followed by developers in creating parking and disabled parking to international standards in residential areas. This should have been a requirement of the planning departments of local-authority councils instead of it being left solely to developers because their developments are not on public property. It has long been required and legislated internationally by planning departments of local authorities that these provisions be enacted on both public and private properties. Presently, in Sovereign Harbour, none of the many apartment buildings with underground/undercroft parking facilities has any marked disabled parking areas. 

If your disability means that you need to park close to your home, your local council should be asked to help. If you live in an area where everybody parks on the street, you may be able to arrange, via the council, to have a special disabled parking space created for your car or for a car driven by somebody living at your address who helps you get around. If you have private parking at your home but can't always access it because of how other people park, you can ask the council to mark the street as an access route. If your disability means you can no longer use the parking facilities on your property, or have a disabled-related difficulty in accessing it in winter or due to stone curbs that impede your path and could be dangerous, or some other impediment, you can apply for a reserved on-street parking space. Be aware this may cost the applicant.


Please note that residential disabled car parking spaces provided under the Disabled Car Parking Space scheme are advisory only, and have no legal standing (unlike in the USA, Europe, etc). Although able-bodied drivers are encouraged not to park within a disabled parking space, anyone can use them. Their use relies on the good will of people in the community.

Be aware that even you are disabled in accordance with the above criteria but live in a flat or terraced house in a private off-street development where there is a common driveway but no garage and have an assigned regular (not disabled) parking space not wide enough for a disabled person to access or exit safely, you may still not qualify for a disabled parking space. You should apply anyway at disabled-bay-application-form-for-email.docx but you may be told the Council cannot help because where you live is outwith the remit of the council, and may be referred instead to the managing agent or owner of the building. In which case you will find that some managing agents are more helpful than others. One might say that to allow additional door-width for a disabled person to enter or exit a car an extra parking space can be provided. That has happened at one location. But at the same location (16 San Diego Way, Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne) another disabled applicant with similarly-qualifying credentials may be told merely simply and unhelpfully that all car park spaces are assigned. The Council cannot intervene in the matter because here in the UK, unlike in the EU or Canada or USA, etc. there are no national or local authority residential or planning regulations requiring private properties to provide genuinely-disabled persons with disabled parking. Only in public areas or on public streets is this required.

Retail areas

There is plenty of limited time ( three hours, enough for most) free parking at The Crumbles retail centre and the Waterfront car parks.. At The Crumbles most of these spaces are close to shops and ASDA has to be complemented for having the largest number seen to date at any supermarket shopping centre in the UK. At  the Waterfront complex, 

Disabled Parking Spaces. 60 are available at ASDA  and 20 at the Waterfront complex. At the latter, all 20 Disabled Parking spaces, despite being on the western end, closest to restaurants, shops and services are at least 150 yards away from them.

Sovereign Harbour Parish Council Debate of yesteryear

Angry over double taxes residents see a Parish Council, see BBC coverage at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/mobile/england/sussex/7666052.stm. Also Daily Mail at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1079185/Angry-charges-living-marina-residents-creating-parish-council.html. See Eastbourne Borough Council comments at  http://www.eastbourne.gov.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=8343&type=full&servicetype=Inline

Sovereign Harbour Photo Club

 See https://www.facebook.com/SHPC.UK 

Sovereign Harbour P&K Harbour (Boat) Tours in season

See http://pkharbourtours.co.uk/

Sovereign Harbour boat tours

Sovereign Harbour boat tours

Sovereign Harbour Premier WIFI locations

See https://www.premiermarinas.com/UK-Marina-locations/Sovereign-Harbour-Marina-Eastbourne/About-Sovereign-Harbour/Wifi 

Sovereign Harbour Police

See Sussex Police at https://sussex.police.uk/ and, for those whose duties relate to Sovereign Harbour, at https://sussex.police.uk/eastbourne/sovereign-harbour/ 

Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (SHRA)

See http://www.shra.co.uk. Established in 2000 to give Harbour residents a strengthened and co-ordinated voice in all discussions on the management and development of Sovereign Harbour. Has worked  hard in these and related areas and is the leading voice in the community. It represents the interests of all, not just some harbour residents whether renting, leasing or owning, and as the leading representative body is consulted by local authorities, police, etc . Read more about SHRA here. Also, Click here to join SHRA. Membership, via presentation of the membership card, brings discounts from certain local businesses. The work of the SHRA is funded by a one-off, life membership subscription, presently £10, from members including everyone in their households, supplemented by commercial sponsorship of the SHRA web site and newsletter, "Waterlines. " It is recommended that all new residents of Sovereign Harbour should join the SHRA.

Sovereign Harbour Residents Leisure Card

See http://www.eastbourne.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-events/residents-card/. Sovereign Harbour residents qualify for this Eastbourne Borough Council discount parking concession at certain local facilities beyond the harbour.

Sovereign Harbour Retail Park

See https://completelyretail.co.uk/portfolio/MandG/scheme/Sovereign-Harbour-Retail-Park-Eastbourne#key-features  

Sovereign Harbour Social Club

See http://www.shra.co.uk/shsc/index.htm. Open to all over-50s (men and women) in Eastbourne, especially those living in the Sovereign Harbour area. There is a waiting list for new members because they have now reached the capacity of our venue but please do contact the club for more details. Members meet for coffee and a chat every Wednesday from 10:00am to 11:30am in the Simply Italian Annex at The Waterfront. Sometimes a public figure is invited to give a short talk. Occasionally organizes walks or outings. Members pay an annual fee of £5 used to support the club's activities.

Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document, February 2013

See http://www.eastbourne.gov.uk/_resources/assets/inline/full/0/218187.pdf

Sovereign Harbour Sussex Voyages

See http://www.sussexvoyages.co.uk/directions.html

Sovereign Harbour Trust and Estate Charge

See http://www.sovereignharbourtrust.co.uk/ and http://www.sovereignharbourtrust.co.uk/estate_rent_charge.asp.

Sovereign Harbour Village Shops and Services

 See http://www.shra.co.uk/harbourshops.html

Shopping shopping 2 

Waterfront complex

See http://www.eastbourneharbour.com/

Businesses. Sovereign Financial Planning Ltd at http://www.sovereignfinancial.biz/ and SC Marketing. See http://scsmarketing.co.uk/

Gallery. See http://www.eastbourneharbour.com/gallery.


Sovereign Harbour Walking for Health

By Age Concern, see https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/content/sovereign-harbour-sovereign-centre.

Sovereign Harbour Walks 

See http://www.eastbourneharbour.com/walks

Sovereign Harbour Waterlines

 See http://www.waterlines.onl/Waterlines%20Digital/WaterlinesOL014.pdf 

Sovereign Harbour Weather

See https://www.brxnet.org/weather/ 

Sovereign Harbour WI

See http://www.shra.co.uk/WI/ and http://www.esfwi.org.uk/wis/the-harbour/

Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club

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

Sovereign Light Tower

Another  name for the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse, see http://www.sussexvoyages.co.uk/tower.html. Sussex Voyages, see http://www.sussexvoyages.co.uk/tower.html, Operates cruises from Sovereign Harbour to Beachy Head, Sovereign Light Tower and more.

Sovereign Polyphony and Polyphony Ensemble

See http://www.sovereignpolyphony.com/sovereign-polyphony

Sovereign Sportsboat Training

See https://www.escis.org.uk/leisure/leisure-sport-and-hobbies/sports-activities-and-clubs/sovereign-sportsboat-training-sst/  Eastbourne’s first powerboat school, established in 1997, based in Sovereign Harbour, the largest composite marina development in the UK. 

Sovereign Ward

Trains and Stations in area


Operator, Southern Railway, see http://www.southernrailway.com/tickets-and-fares/ticket-types/advance/. Stations are Eastbourne; Hampden Park (Sussex) (Approx. 3 miles away); Polegate (Approx. 5 miles away); Pevensey & Westham (Approx. 5 miles away; and) Pevensey Bay (Approx. 5 miles away).

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© 2017. Revised: August 19, 2017