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THIS WEEK No more worries for me or you: The Classic Seaford and District Bus Company

COMMUNITY Raising awareness of scams and doorstep crime

BUSINESS POST OF WEEK: Launch, Paws in the Bay


In a spectacular move, that could bring a new dimension to the visitor profile of Pevensey Bay, Wealden Council is proposing to build ten beach huts at the confluence of the Sea Road car park —Bay Life, 5 July 2017

The move which has created a ripple of excitement and interest amongst both residents and businesses today (July 5), could see the plan become part of a transformative effect within the Bay.

Simon Montgomery, editor of Pevensey Bay Life said “this could become an iconic moment in the fortunes of the Bay and a moment that at some point in the near future could be seen as the point at which regeneration of Pevensey Bay began.

“We desperately need businesses and savvy services here and identifiers of Pevensey Bay as a tourist destination and the series of ten beach huts in a long line and group could be exactly what we need to start this process.

“Beach huts are a seminal part of small coastal community life and a series of ten new beach huts, with a series of spectacular colours, would add vitality and interest to both residents and visitors.

“Ownership of the beach huts would bring a real family focus to the Bay as a feature and of course new business and an investment by the owners in the life of the Bay as a new set of stakeholders”

“Meet me at the beach huts may become a new marker for Peveney Bay, and they would be just what the doctor ordered in terms of us profiling some of the fabulous features that we have to offer.

“The profile of the Bay would have a new and exciting dimension”

“In addition of course, the siting of the new beach huts would send a message to other potential businesses and service providers considering location here that Pevensey Bay really has got style”.

The important memorial benches at the site would be moved sideways to accommodate what is an interesting plan that has excited the community.

The news has been welcomed by businesses that learned about the scheme put forward by Wealden Council at a Pevensey Parish Council meeting held last night..

Staff at MasonBryant. the local independent estate agent in Pevensey Bay and Pets2Go2 Grooming, both relatively new businesses that have added pizzaz and profile to the services available in the Bay in recent years,  both expressed interest and excitement in the plan.

District Councillor Dianne Dear (also publisher of Bay Life), who attended the Parish Council meeting,  said “this is a cracking idea”.

The vision for the district as expressed in the Wealden Local Plan published in draft form in March this year, is pioneering.

In relation to the village economy of Pevensey Bay the Plan says “the shops are also a key component to the rural economy and supports the settlement as a tourist destination.

“It is therefore important to protect the function of Pevensey Bay through policies which seek to resist the loss of retail (A1) use premises.

“The Primary Shopping Area at Pevensey Bay is focused on the A259 Eastbourne . At the time of survey, there were 29 units in the Primary Area at Pevensey Bay. Of these, 12 were in retail use, 6 were social uses, 10 were service based uses and 1 unit was empty. At 41%, retail offer is the dominant use.

“The Council will support and protect the range of shopping, service and community facilities here. The centre performs an important role in terms of providing the day-to-day needs of local residents, particularly the less mobile, enabling different needs to be met in a single trip, and providing a focal point for the community.

In a vital point the plan says “During the Summer months, the services here are critical to continued success of Pevensey Bay as a tourism destination”.

The siting of ten spectacular beach huts here proposed last night by Wealden Council to Pevensey Parish Council can be seen with reference to this statement.

The beach huts plan could become a starting point for a series of initiatives. These initiatives could include strategic decisions by local authorities, stakeholder organisations and businesses working in partnership.

Wealden Council Land And Property is managed by their The Corporate Assets Team. In relation to Pevensey beach they say “Pevensey Beach, WDC own a section of beach at Pevensey together with a Tourist Information Centre and toilets.

“These are managed on our behalf by Pevensey Town Council”.

What is to be hoped is that Peveney Parish Council will have the vision to see the bigger picture.

We have a desperate need for Pevensey Bay to become part of an integrated regeneration plan that will see partnerships formed to enable us to benefit as a community and as a visitor destination.

Cllr Sue Baxter, chair of the National Association of Local Councils says, in a seminal document, written following the General Election, “for example devolution for smaller parish councils in rural areas of England might mean direct engagement with principal local authorities as to how they think services could be better delivered by strategic authorities (where perhaps there had been little mutual engagement before)”.

The document written by Cllr Sue Baxter, Devo +, is a toolkit for parish councils. The document sees the critical need to re-orientate parish council services. The document is being studied by Pevensey Parish Councillors.

In Pevensey Bay, this mutuality could involve library services, for example.

The potential siting of the spectacular Beach huts is another example of the ways in which Pevensey Parish Council could participate in the brave new world that is coming to parish councils as the rates support grant disappears and new ways of delivering and profiling services begin to appear through the process of radical re-interpretation.

The plan to position ten spectacular beach huts here in Pevensey Bay in such a key place is both potentially  transformative and radical and exactly what we need for our visitor profile. The plan would be a welcome addition to our tourist destination profile.

We will publish comment by residents and businesses about the plan as they come to Bay Life. Already the excitement is proving to be a talking point today (5 July).

Local resident, Hope Fi, said, “I do have such fond memories of our beach hut on holiday when I was a kid”.

Debbie Davis, who recently moved here, said, “looks like a fun idea, hope Pevensey Bay doesn’t lose its charm and become too commercialised though. We moved here last year as love the slow pace and quiet of Pevensey Bay.

Lloyd Stebbings said, “three years ago when I was trying to find a base in the Bay for my business all the shops were way too expensive, I was also planning Kayak hire to attract more people to the area and maybe get them to stay longer which in turn would mean they would spend more money in the shops.

“When I approached the local council I was told it would cost hundreds of pounds a week for me to operate from the beach in front of the car park which was very short sighted of them, does this beach hut idea mean we now have glasses ? I opened my Marine retail shop in Eastbourne another loss to the Bay because of greedy landlords and short sighted Councils”.

Hayley and Ashley Dawson, who run the popular local signage and clothing company, AD Designs, have been looking fruitlessly for a small shop unit to profile their business here in Pevensey Bay.

As a result of their search, in spite of the fact that they live here, and much of their business is here, fronting new shops for example, they have had to locate to Bexhill to find a shop unit.

They commented with regard to the small steps towards regeneration, “this is such good news to read for the village of Pevensey Bay…. this has been a long time coming”.