Agenda and minutes

Eastbourne Borough Council Scrutiny Sovereign Centre Task Group - Wednesday, 26th September, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room One - Eastbourne Town Hall

Contact: Scrutiny Officer 

No. Item




The minutes of the meeting held on 6 June 2018 were submitted and approved, and the Chair was authorised to sign them as a correct record.


Apologies for absence


There were none.


Declarations of interests

Declarations of interests by members as required under Section 31 of the Localism Act and of other interests as required by the Code of Conduct and regulation 12(2)(d) of the 2012 Access to Information Regulations.


There were none.


Urgent items of business

The Chair to notify the Scrutiny Committee of any items of urgent business to be added to the agenda.



There were none.


Sovereign Centre Scrutiny Task Group pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive a presentation from the Head of Commercial Business.


Members noted the presentation from the Head of Commercial Business and were informed that she would be taking over from the Senior Strategy and Commissioning Officer as the lead officer for this task group. Topics covered in the presentation included:


The Sovereign Centre Land - Options Appraisal:

        How to achieve best value for the community

        How to ensure sustainability of neighbourhoods & communities linking closely with the Council’s planning colleagues

        Engagement and consultation with stakeholders

        Commercial viability and opportunity

        Potentially 3.39 acres of land for development


Members suggested that the potential 3.39 acres of land could allow for more than one option to be developed in order to maximise the commercial viability of the site. Officers suggested that at the next meeting of the task group 3D visualisations which presented multiuse potentials of the site could be provided.


Members queried whether the Council had any preference regarding whether the land be rented on a leasehold agreement or the land be sold. Officers responded that this would ultimately be a decision for Cabinet once proposals had been put forward by interested companies.


Option Appraisal – Initial Assessment:

        The site could lend itself to leisure and entertainment uses given its close proximity to similar businesses

        Opinion has been gathered from soft market testing and operators of

       Ten pin bowling


       Hotel chains


Members unanimously rejected the idea of a supermarket being built on the site, on the basis that it was not considered best use of the sites seafront location. Members queried why housing options were not suggested by officers, and were informed that, considering what was developed around the building, given the close proximity of the site to other facilities and having worked closely with the planning department, the Council felt that the options provided were suitable and practical initial suggestions. Regarding hotels, members were mindful that a big chain hotel could have a negative effect on the existing hotel industry along the seafront of Eastbourne.


Members questioned what restrictions the Council were aware of, and were referred to information provided in the Senior Strategy and Commissioning Officer’s report at the meeting of the task group on 6 June 2018:

5.2The majority of the proposed development site is subject to various restrictive covenants, one of which prevents the land from being used “as a school or for any educational purpose or as a public house or beer shop”.


5.3In addition, there is a restriction on the use of the site for “any trade or business whatsoever or otherwise as a private dwelling house without the consent in writing of the Duke his heirs or assigns”.


Pursuant to the minutes of the last meeting, the Senior Strategy and Commissioning Officer presented maps of the area which included site plans, a map detailing flood zones of the area and a topographic map indicating the AOD (members noted that AOD stood for "above ordnance datum"). A copy of these maps is to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.