Eastbourne Local Plan - Growth Strategy


The provision of effective infrastructure alongside new housing and employment development is crucial in helping to create and maintain sustainable communities.

Population forecasts indicate that the Growth Strategy identified in this consultation document would result in a population increase of around 8,300 people (8%) over 20 years.

Proposals for growth and development often raise concerns about the capacity of the existing infrastructure. The NPPF requires the Local Plan to make sufficient provision for infrastructure and we are working with infrastructure providers to assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure and its ability to meet forecast demand.

It is important to remember that development will still come forward and will still create impacts on infrastructure even if a Local Plan is not put in place. Through a Local Plan, we can identify where and when development is likely to take place, and therefore plan for cumulative infrastructure impacts and requirements in advance.

An Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) is being prepared alongside the Local Plan to provide a comprehensive understanding of existing infrastructure capacity and provision of services across the Borough and to identify any existing deficiencies and where improvements are needed to overcome constraints.

The current understanding in terms of infrastructure capacities and constraints is identified below, and further engagement with infrastructure providers will be undertaken through the course of local plan preparation.


An early assessment of the likely transport impacts of future growth has been undertaken to understand the need for improvements to transport infrastructure to accommodate growth from Eastbourne and from the wider area.

Transport modelling indicates that Local Plan growth could have severe impacts on the borough road network, but this is not a constraint to growth as the impacts can be mitigated. The preferred approach for mitigation is to firstly reduce the number of car trips by encouraging modal shift to more sustainable travel options, before considering options for increasing capacity on the road network.

The 'Issues & Options' identified modal shift as a key priority for Eastbourne, so a framework of sustainable transport solutions that explore the potential for modal shift and reduce forecast levels of car use has been identified. This includes initiatives such as:

  • planning for '15-minute' neighbourhoods with easy access to key services, public transport and active travel networks
  • providing 'car-free' development in accessible locations to reduce car ownership
  • Moving away from car dominated roads to create safe and connected sustainable travel corridors
  • Increasing capacity for public transport, including bus priority routes and junctions, and integration between bus, rail and sustainable travel.

These measures could result in a 15% reduction in car use. However, some junction improvements will also be required, particularly on the A259 and A2021, to create some additional road capacity.

Further modelling will be undertaken as the preparation of the Local Plan continues to provide more detailed analysis of how specific measures, journey-purposes and corridors will create greater modal shift on the network.


GP practices work together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in groups of practices known as primary care networks (PCNs).

There are three PCNs covering Eastbourne, each of which is responsible for identifying future need for primary care health infrastructure provision in their areas through the production of an 'Estates Strategy'. The Eastbourne PCNs are currently preparing their Estates Strategies, and Eastbourne Borough Council will work with the PCNs to ensure that they take into account future growth from the Local Plan.


Forecasts based on the level of growth identified indicate that there is unlikely to be a need for additional early years, primary or secondary school places in Eastbourne beyond the capacity that is presently available. This is due to birth rates predicted to continue to fall over the plan period.

However, there may be a future need for additional school places for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to be created over the plan period. Further work and engagement will be undertaken with East Sussex County Council to understand how this would best be provided.

Flood Defences

The Environment Agency, East Sussex County Council and the Pevensey Levels and Cuckmere Water Levels Management Board maintain a complex system of water flows and flood defences across Eastbourne.

Blue Heart Project, led by East Sussex County Council, is currently seeking to better understand the local water catchment and mitigate the impact of flooding caused by climate change through technology to manage and monitor water levels in Eastbourne, which will better protect local homes and businesses from flooding in future.

Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management Scheme is a partnership between the Environment Agency and Eastbourne Borough Council to manage the risk of coastal flooding and erosion from sea level rise over the next 100 years. The scheme will reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion to an estimated 10,000 residential properties, plus key infrastructure, businesses, heritage sites and nature conservation areas.

As the project is in the early stages, there have been no decisions made about the future options for the coast. The current programme indicates that a more refined list of management solutions will be subject to consultation in summer 2023.


The Eastbourne Wastewater Treatment Works (WTW), which is administered by Southern Water, treats wastewater arising from Eastbourne. In conjunction with this, there are currently 52 wastewater pumping stations throughout the Borough, which help to convey the wastewater to the WTW.

Southern Water are currently preparing an updated business plan to determine where investment will need to be made in infrastructure such as WTWs to accommodate growth. However, it is currently understood that the Eastbourne WTW is likely to have sufficient capacity to accommodate growth identified in the Local Plan.

Water Supply

South East Water is responsible for providing the Borough with a clean, safe supply of drinking water. As a 'water stressed area', South East Water have prepared a Water Resources Management Plan, which estimates the amount of water needed from 2020 to 2080, and how those water needs can be met.

In addition to leakage reductions and water efficiency measures, the Water Resources Management Plan identifies that demand for water in Eastbourne will be met through an extension to the existing reservoir at Arlington, as well as transferring water from an improved Bewl water treatment works.