disabled signsPositive about disabled people

Not mentioned on any council or public authority or community websites, only this one, is that potential purchasers of residential Sovereign Harbour property need to know in advance that the annual flood defence and harbour charge payable by them is not levied anywhere else in Britain or Europe or the world. A much wider geographical flood zone area than just Sovereign Harbour is involved, affecting  more than 17,000 homes as far as Bexhill, yet only 3,700 Sovereign Harbour residents (and subsequent owners) must pay the annual cost, nearly £260 in 2018. A recent Member of Parliament has stated publicly this is unfair and unjust. All business services including management companies and property developers are exempted. An additional covenant applies to owners of some South Harbour properties in the water feature precinct. In both cases, they are in addition to local council taxes, insurance, management fees and ground rents. 

Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England

ABCs of the facilities and services in this scenic harbour-side and seaside area

Gazette news 

Sovereign Harbour

Beaches Council Tax Wrongs Eastbourne Disability Association


Estate Rent Charge

Integrated Council/NHS links Property Guidelines Sovereign Ward

By Keith A. Forbes and his wife Lois Ann Forbes at editor@sovereignharbourgazette.org.uk  Both disabled, they live in Eastbourne and write, administer and webmaster this website. Keith is a member of the UK's The Society of Authors and an activist for the elderly and disabled.

Sovereign Harbour North scene

Photos by the authors

Sovereign Harbour vessels at North Harbour marina

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


Opened in 1993 by the late Princess Diana, it has  800 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 many streets in the four residential areas have overseas names from exotic places (for example, Bermuda) around the world. 

For its history see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_Harbour. It is 2.5 miles east of Eastbourne on the A259 Pevensey Bay Road going to Bexhill-On-Sea and Hastings. Developed by Carillion, see Carillion Construction Limited, see https://www.carillionplc.com/about-us/our-leadership/the-board/-. The extensive corporate portfolio includes being a major supplier to the UK government. It helps to maintain schools and hospitals and is also part of a consortium building the £56bn HS2 high-speed rail link.  Opened in 1993 by the late Princess Diana, it has 800 permanent berths, with some 3,000 yachts visiting each year. Premier Marinas later bought the development from Carillion (in January 2018 probed by the financial watchdog, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42551817 and also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42656879 of January 12, 2018.

 Also see the latest news about its liquidation at https://uk.yahoo.com/finance/news/apos-disaster-apos-hundreds-businesses-214448549.html 

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 many streets in the four residential areas have overseas names from exotic places (for example, Bermuda) around the world. Premier Marina, which continues to manage it, see https://www.premiermarinas.com/uk-marina-locations/sovereign-harbour-marina-eastbourne is no longer the independently separate company it once was. In recent years it was sold to the Blackrock UK Property Fund and became a wholly owned subsidiary, still trading (as it does today) as Premier Marina and most recently - see https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/en-gb/newsroom/press-releases/article/corporate-one/press-releases/wellcome-trust-acquires-premier-marinas-limited_GB  to the Wellcome Trust, see https://wellcome.ac.uk/press-release/wellcome-trust-acquires-premier-marinas-limited-blackrock-uk-property-fund as a wholly owned subsidiary of the latter. 

The Wellcome Trust was created in 1936 by the will of Sir Henry Wellcome and its sole trustee is The Wellcome Trust Limited, a private company limited by guarantee. The Wellcome Trust is the parent undertaking of Premier Marinas Holdings Limited, a private company limited by shares, and its subsidiaries. Given its private status, the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the Trust, Premier Marinas or its group companies.

Ownership by Premier Marinas Holdings Limited and its parent company The Wellcome Trust includes the Sovereign Harbour Village harbour-front area with its restaurants, bars and other business services but not the adjacent The Crumbles shopping centre (under separate ownership, not part of the Sovereign Harbour complex) that benefits the Sovereign Harbour community, other parts of Eastbourne and Polegate and as far east as Bexhill-on-Sea with its large branch of ASDA, a good range of high street-type shops and until early 2018 a multi-screen cinema.

Books about the area and Crumbles Murders 

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

Bridge Club

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

Borough Councillors

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

Bus Times

See https://tiscon-maps-stagecoachbus.s3.amazonaws.com/Timetables/South%20East/East%20Sussex/5%205A%20wef%20230717.pdf 

Churches/Places of Worship

None in Sovereign Harbour itself but several are close by.

See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_places_of_worship_in_Eastbourne and https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=eastbourne+churches&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari#istate=lrl:xpd



Cineworld. Sovereign Village. At https://www.cineworld.co.uk/cinemas/eastbourne. A nice, purpose-built multi-screen facility, 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, 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 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.

Citizen's Advice Bureau, Eastbourne

See http://www.eastbournecab.co.uk/ 

Columbus Point Water Feature 

Sovereign Harbour South. See http://www.waterfeature.eu/. This anchor-shaped water feature, comprising canals, cascades and fountains, is one of the largest of its type in Europe and runs much of the private residential area of Columbus Point in Sovereign Harbour South. Owners of 369 residential properties in the area are covenanted in their deeds to pay for the management, running and maintenance of the water feature. Note how it states the water in the feature is dosed with chemicals to restrict algae growth, so entering the water is ill-advised and prohibited, so should not be paddled or stepped or swum in. 2017 cost is about £305 per year per unit. (NB: There is another such covenant, the Harbour Charge, about £250 a year in 2017).

Columbus Point Water Feature

Columbus Point Water Feature - part

Community Centre

2017. October Press Release from Eastbourne Councils. Community Centre building has started, completion due by spring 2018. See https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEASTBOURNE/bulletins/1be8d4f 

2017. April 25. 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.

The community centre should have been built years ago.  It was promised by the councils concerned that it would occur before any substantial construction of new residential buildings. Instead, the buildings came first.  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. 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. It is believed the project, once completed, will have cost over £1.6 million, with £800,000 from Carillion/SHL, £400,000 from the Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) and £400,000 from the East Sussex County Council.  Carillion Construction Limited, see https://www.carillionplc.com/about-us/our-leadership/the-board/ was 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, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42551817, also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42595874 and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/01/10/government-says-drew-contingency-plans-carillions-collapse/. If its earlier announced contribution to the community centre has not yet been paid, Carillion's liquidation announced on January 15, 2018 - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42687032 - must now be of serious concern to the hopes of the community centre.

Ownership and management of the complex once complete 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 since refused further involvement. See SHCA%20Trustees'%20Report%202016.pdf. Its website ceased and the group is now dormant. The separate entity Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (SHRA), once considered amalgamating with the SHCA but also voted recently not to get involved.. It has since announced it wants to be kept briefed on the project, possibly with a view to again being involved, The community centre project has always been one of the most-discussed community topics. Once completed. 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 will not be free, a schedule of charges will apply. Many community centres throughout Britain apply charges for entities to hold meetings, with only registered charities and community groups qualifying for partial exemption. However, because of competition from other places beyond Sovereign Harbour but near it, the costs will have to be reasonable. Presently, The Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club, with public parking across the street, charges £35-£65 an hour and has had a steady stream of meetings. Some Sovereign Harbour restaurants also have meetings, for a fee . But less than one mile away, in Langney, is a church with a large community hall and parking, charging only for £20 an hour for meetings or a bit more including insurance. 

Community or Parish Council Debate of yesteryear and plans to resurrect

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

The  idea has been brought up again.  But how will it help to improve things? Will it enable residents to get better value for money? Will it help residents to solve long-standing local problems? In October 2008 hopes about this were quoted in the Daily Mail newspaper by disgruntled residents. They were also quoted as complaining about having, despite being freeholders not leaseholders, to pay maintenance charges. Have they already complained about this directly to the Law Reform Committee which has announced it is looking into matters of this nature and seeks complaints? Or do they seek a new entity to help them with it? If deemed appropriate in principle, it (if it follows the pattern of other community councils) would replace the present Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (as in fact the latter proposed in 2008, not be in addition to it. Or would it merely be yet another unique charge for Sovereign Harbour residents? It is been claimed by those who want the new community or parish council that in other areas of East Sussex the average cost of a parish or community council is (only) £60 annually per household. But it is well known that in certain parts of the UK (for example, Scotland) community councils where they exist are at no cost to residents, are paid for entirely by their local councils. For further information see https://www.scottishruralparliament.org.uk/resources/community-councils/. From the information available there and elsewhere it appears most Scottish councils allocate up to £400 pounds a year to each council including a provision for funding of their respective websites. Here in Sovereign Harbour, there could well be some serious objections to the creation of a new parish or community council if, on top of the extra charges they alone, no one else in the UK, currently pay for the harbour charge and (if they live in the South Harbour vicinity) the Water Feature charge, they also have to pay £60 a year or anything at all. 

However, if the community stands to benefit there are some very valid reasons why the idea has merit. What was particularly sad about the referendum on this in late 2008 - 10 years ago - was the nasty antagonism between the two councils that opposed the plan and the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association that campaigned against it. They should have stepped aside and let people decide on the pros and cons instead of being so adamant. Also worthy of thought is whether any referendum should be deemed by residents to be renegotiable after a period of time ranging from 3-10 years. If they feel this way then to be consistent they should also agree that the recent Brexit and Scottish Independence referenda should be renegotiated instead of being expected to last a lifetime. And, faced with the loss in 2018 of the cinema, residents should now be welcoming all new traffic-heavy and other businesses instead of turning some away as they did with B&Q.

Community or Parish councils are hybrid public authorities, have to make their Minutes of all meetings public in arrears, a good feature, unlike the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association (also, in view of its mission statement a hybrid public authority) that should also be making the minutes of all its committee meetings public but only makes Annual General Meetings public. 

Council Taxes

See http://www.sovereignharbourgazette.org.uk/CouncilTaxwrongs.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 North 3

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

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 

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

Not frequent. 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. 

Estate Agents & Properties for Sale or Rent

See under "Buying a Sovereign Harbour Property - guidelines"

For Sale sign

Estate Rent Charge

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.

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 

Golf courses in the area

See https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=eastbourne+golf+clubs&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari

golf 1 golf 2

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

Hamilton Quay

Harbour Friends Social Group

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

Harbour Map


Harbour Marina

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

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

Harbour Medical Practice

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

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/ 

Harbour Quay

This location BN23 5QG is one of the two residential postcodes. The most common council tax band is E. Estimated residential property values, based on historical transactions and adjusted for inflation, range from £311,346 to £1,078,437 with an average of £454,758. Housing types are typically flats/apartments. 78% of house sales since 1995 have been new builds.

Heffle Golf Society

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

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

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. Has also been used as the parking site for up to an entire fleet of non-emergency ambulances at any one time.

Pacific House

Pacific House

Live Weather and Tide Information

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

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. 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.

Marine Businesses

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

Member of Parliament and MEPs

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.

Notary Public

See https://www.notarypubliceastbourne.co.uk/individuals.html 

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 

Pacific House

See under Innovation Park.

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.

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.

Premier WIFI locations

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

Recycling Point, ASDA car park, The Crumbles

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

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.

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

North Beach fishing

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

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 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 cafes, restaurants and bars

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

Sovereign Harbour Consultation

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

Sovereign Harbour Development History

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

Sovereign Harbour Disability Association (SHDA)

Sovereign Harbour Gazette

A new locally focused online media outlet, from early September 2017

Sovereign Harbour Master plan

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

Sovereign Harbour Photo Club

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

Sovereign Harbour P&K Harbour (Boat) Tours

See http://pkharbourtours.co.uk/

Sovereign Harbour boat tours

Sovereign Harbour boat tours

Sovereign Harbour Postal Codes

More will be posted shortly:

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.  It states in its manifesto that it represents the interests of all, not just some harbour residents whether renting, leasing or owning. Read more about SHRA here. 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. Although established as stated, it has discontinued any involvement in the creation and running of the long-planned but not yet constructed Community Centre; has no SHRA committee involvement in other controversial aspect of Sovereign Harbour life such as the Sovereign Harbour beaches and cycling misuse; dog mess nuisance, lack of trees, parking problems, harbour charge; and seems to be vitally interested only in Planning issues. 

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 Walks 

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

 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 Ward

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. 

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). Beyond Pevensey Bay are more stations going east to Bexhill and Hastings. 

Walking for Health

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


Online monthly periodical of the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association.

Keith also writes

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Written, administered and web-mastered by

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Keith A. Forbes and Lois A Forbes at editor@sovereignharbourgazette.org.uk  
© 2018. Revised: February 20, 2018