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Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

An application to turn a home in Pevensey Bay into a florist, may be indicative of a generational change in Pevensey Bay taking place, that could lead to the village becoming a small network of niche shops.

The birth of this economic activity is being linked to the seven year plan now being put into operation in the beautifully restored Bay Hotel.

An application to turn a home into a niche florist in Pevensey Bay has been made. The plan, which Bay Life understands has been under consideration for some time, looks set to be widely welcomed by the community.

The home, which was once a shop, sits of the corner of Coast Road pointing towards the heart of the community and small parade of shops.

Owners in their application explain that have previously run a florist.

They say, “the proposal is for an A! retail shop as a florists, having previously traded as a florist in a family business for many years in Hailsham, we feel as a family business will be welcomed in the village of Pevensey Bay.

The application to found a florist here is the third such application under consideration for new niche shops in Pevensey Bay. All these applications are happening simultaneously.

Next up is Anderida House, once office in 1932 to the plan to build Beachlands. An application  has been put forward to turn the building, that has a historic note in Pevensey Bay, into a bicycle shop. A number of residents have made positive comment about the possibility of a bike shop.

The company making the applications to convert Anderida House for the purpose of retail, is CycleTech, currently based in Westham.

One local resident hearing about the possibility, commented, “we got the bike for our son from them and they were really helpful”. Yvonne Hancock, who has lived in Pevensey Bay for 38 years, hearing about the plan for a bike shop at Anderida House said simply “that will work”.

A third niche shop is also planned to come here to the old newsagents in Eastbourne Road. The shop is currently empty and is awaiting a new glass shopfront.. A local arts and crafts enterprise is known to be waiting in the wings whist essential remedial work is undertaken to prepare for the tenancy.

One resident who has lived in Pevensey Bay for many years, and is now responsible for a key logistical aspect of operations for visitors and residents in a Lomdon Borough said, “this is exactly what Pevensey Bay needs, niche shops, niche shops would work here, they have worked in other small villages”.

The reason for the emergence of some kind of new niche network of shops in Pevensey Bay beginning to show on the Wealden Council planning calendar, is partly being placed at the door of the Bay Hotel.

The Pevensey Bay Journal has described the extensive renovation underway at the Bay Hotel as ‘a brave and ambitious plan’.

The new economic activity planned, with the enouragement and prompts that are coming with the renovation of the Bay Hotel, may be shifting the perception of Pevensey Bay as a possible seaside destination as a business location..

The project management team has told the Pevensey Bay Journal,  “we know the plans with the Bay Hotel are a big change, but we can assure Pevensey Bay that what is being seen is part of a long term plan, as well as the Bay Hotel we are interested in the Bay as well”.

They added, “what residents are seeing is the start of a seven year plan”.

The project management team has not divulged what we will be seeing next at the Bay Hotel, but since the renovation of the fabric of the building outside is now reaching a conclusion, the logical assumption is that we are about to see something special happening inside the hotel.

A logical assumption also would be that we are about to see a special eating experience emerge of some description that will begin to draw new visitors from further afield. Owners are known to have strong links with the celebrity chef network.

Owners of the Bay Hotel are also known to be interested in the status of a number of other commercial buildings in the Bay.

The guest rooms inside the Bay Hotel  are now being renovated to the same standard as the fabric of the building, for example, that we see in the new astonishingly well crafted public “Pevensey’ Bar.

Contractors at the hotel suggest that we are seeing £1 million being spent on the building. This may only be the start of work with the historic hotel.

The ‘seven year plan’ outlined by the project management team to the Pevensey Bay Journal  would suggest a radical re-alignment of the hotel as a destination attraction for visitors.

The application to see a florist here, siting alongside the application to see Anderiada House as a new bike shop, with perhaps a bike hire scheme for summers, together with a new window on the world with an arts and crafts shop, will have a small but partly transformative effect on the perception of the little shopping parade and Pevensey Bay as an emerging ‘browsing experience’ of some description, with a small cluster of niche shops.

These are very early days to judge whether we are seeing a cluster of niche shops beginning to appear that will make a demonstrable difference to Pevensey Bay, but the evidence of these applications would suggest that this is the case,

Pevensey Bay is currently marked by preponderence of take aways, cafes and hairdressers.

For residents, the emergence of niche shops will add something of a new dimension to the village and in some ways begin to restore the sense of the community, closer to where we began as a seaside resort with the building of the Bay Hotel in 1898 and the birth of Pevensey Bay as a ‘health resort’. Once we were all niche shops.

In the Information Age, localism means something different to different people, but part of the meaning links to the re-birth of local shops.

in some small coastal communities there is a practical notion of regeneration and investment starting to permeate decision making in these communities. Perhaps Pevensey Bay is starting to become one of these communities..

The love for Pevensey Bay, extends through the generations, back to back to 1898 and beyond. The first horse and cart rides to Pevensey Bay are known to have taken place as far back as 1820.

In the re-casting of the Bay Hotel, perhaps we are also seeing the re-casting of Pevensey Bay.

A bike shop, arts and crafts shop and florist may only be the start.

There has also been talk amongst residents of the possible viability of a new fruit and veg shop. A zero waste enterprise might also have local value. Pevensey Bay residents have noted the success of the Eastbourne Zero Waste enterprise.

Businesses looking to re-locate to seaside settings may begin to see opportunities here to re-locate that will put them on the local visitor destination map.

Perhaps we are beginning to see a small ‘cluster effect’ with business in Pevensey Bay that happens once in a generation.

Anyone writing home with a ‘wish you were here’ postcard might soon be able to add some new memories.

A description of Anderida House and a new bike hire summer scheme and a description of the newly restored opulence and quirkiness of the Bay Hotel, might get a mention on the postcard, all sealed with a loving kiss.

Perhaps the postcard home might be an encouragement to a partner to come and visit with a staycation at the Bay Hotel. This time, the flowers for the partner might be there in the guest room at The Bay Hotel on the day of the return visit, delivered fresh that morning with a special message from the florists across the road.

There are miles of memories here and perhaps some new ones about to be added. The golden sunsets on the beach have been here since the beginning.

The plans being put forward to Wealden Council, in their own small way, are exciting in relation to the future of Pevensey Bay.