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COMMUNITY Care and Support scheme reaches milestone

BUSINESS Media Release: Art Gallery for the Bay

beach tavern, image credit, jan barronn

IMAGE CREDIT: The Beach Tavern 2017, Jan Barron

It’s a Wonderful LIfe—is the story reaching the final reel?
A number of sources have suggested to Bay Life that we may be about to see a dramatic conclusion to the story of the Beach Tavern site. Our remit is to celebrate all that is best about our communities. We debate important local questions and campaign on subjects like the regeneration of economic activity and the preservation of precious community assets.

In the case of the Beach tavern site, we believe that questions over the future of the site are fundamentally important to both the economic and social well-being of the community, and also, to our identity as a demonstrable hidden jewel in the crown of Sussex.

As soon as more information becomes available about what is to happen next with the Beach Tavern, we will publish details of the next stage in this story. Bay Life has argued with regard to the future of the site, that there is a case to be made in relation to considerations of the community both from an economic and from a social well-being point of view.

Here we re-publish the leaderboard in our newspaper The Pevensey Bay Journal (edition 17, Saturday 15 April 2018), in the form of an open letter to owner of the site, Ray Foss. In the article we say,

“the first scene in It’s a Wonderful Life, as we know, leads, eventually, to a happy ending. There is no reason to think, given the circumstances that we see, that a happy ending with the Beach Tavern could not still take place”.
Bay Life, 2 May 2018

Pevensey Bay Journal
Saturday 15 April 2018
edition 17

There is a Tavern in the Town
The news that there is no news about the future of the Beach Tavern, here in the heart of the community, has become something of a thorn in the side of many residents.

Since the developer, Ray Foss, lost his final appeal to build a three storey set of luxury flats with what one resident called ‘a monstrosity’, nothing has been said or done in public to give any of us an indication of what will happen next.

What we do know is that the site is now looking like something of an eyesore.

Boarding up the front door has only added the perception that the building is now disused, unloved. The Beach Tavern has become a talking point for all the wrong reasons.

As the weeds grow up the building, with visitors, no doubt, along with residents, commenting on what is beginning to look like part of the set from the opening sequence to It’s a Wonderful Life, questions about the future of the site also grow.

At some point Mr. Foss will have to tell us what he intends to do with the site.

Are we entitled to know his intentions?

Not really is the answer, because he owns the site and that his business.

Having said that, if he wants to be seen as part of the community and if the Beach Tavern site is to continue to be part of the community, then it could be argued that there is something owing to us all.

Perhaps this is the time to say openly to Mr Foss that there is some obligation to us all to communicate something of his intentions.

When the application was first made, Bay Life talked to Mr. Foss on a number of occasions and we had a number of communications.

Since that time the campaign to see that the development did not take place found a footing. The course of that campaign, as a demonstration of applicable people power, was demonstrable.

There was little surprise in Bay Life HQ, with our fountains, courtyards, open access to Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, on the end of the smartphone whenever we need to talk.

The reason that there was little surprise, was because we believed in the strength, articulacy and value of local public opinion to put a cogent case.

That cogent case was put by local residents by the bucketful and what local people said got noticed.

There was no Cambridge Analytics survey on Facebook, no attempt to sway local public opinion, just people walking along the Eastbourne Road daily with their dogs, saying that something must be done.

The fact that something was done is because people believed in what they were saying. The distress over the matter was real, the objections were real, the planning meeting was real and the report from the planning inspectorate was real.

The community stopped the application because it was not right for Pevensey Bay and if something is not right, it is not right.

If people stand up and say what they think and speak with one voice, they get heard. And this community got heard.

One interesting point is that Mr. Foss gives all the indications of being open to discussion. That might sound like a bizarre thing to say, but we believe that to be true.

When we talked to Mr. Foss, he gave every indication that he would listen to what people had to say.

Perhaps the time to test that intent is now, before the weeds and boardedupness of the Beach Tavern becomes an even bigger talking point for all the wrong reasons.

The first scene in It’s a Wonderful Life, as we know, leads, eventually, to a happy ending. There is no reason to think, given the circumstances that we see, that a happy ending with the Beach Tavern could not still take place.

As Mr. Foss will know, now that he appears to be a member of this community, we like a good classic film in Pevensey Bay.