Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >>> Councils approve project brief for ‘Scoping Report for the eastern end of Sidmouth’ >>> press release
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >>> Town Council approve project brief for ‘Scoping Report for the eastern end of Sidmouth’ >>> further reports
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >>> District Council approve project brief for ‘Scoping Report for the eastern end of Sidmouth’ >>> 'We weren’t perfect in Exmouth and we have all learnt lessons from that'
And it is indeed all about 'regeneration':
Port Royal set for regeneration - View News
However, questions still remain about the process, with a letter to the Herald from Mary Walden-Till of the Drill Hall:
Having read the documents about the Port Royal redevelopment from the council meeting of 26/8/2016, http://www.sidmouth.gov.uk/images/Agenda_STC-050916.pdf, I was dismayed to see they have now been approved by Sidmouth Town Council.
The Project Brief leaves some major aspects of the project unaddressed and one document referred to in the brief is missing. How can approval have been given when full information is absent?
Port Royal is described as ‘extending from the seafront backwards bordered on the east by the Sid river’: this is a very vague and possibly inaccurate description because the Ham land runs all the way down the west boundary of the river until it reaches the shore. There is an official copy of the original Conveyance map from the Land Registry on my website
The top end of the Ham, image 4 on page 24, is shown as a part of the area being considered for redevelopment yet a sensory garden has just been created there; this seems to be an anomaly.
The missing piece of information is the map mentioned on page 26, 3.1 c) Estates (i) ‘An initial and optional boundary map (see below). This is not final and nor should it be regarded as a ‘red line’ development boundary’. Why are our Councillors, and we, not allowed to see this map?
As the Project Brief says there is no ‘red line development boundary’ to the Port Royal redevelopment, the map has not been made public, and the photograph of part of the Ham is used in the brief, it would appear that the Port Royal development project may include the attempted replacement of the Ham with another area of land elsewhere, under Charity Commission rules.
This impression is increased by the fact that in the Introduction to the Project Brief it states that ‘East Devon and Sidmouth Councils are both significant landowners in the area’. Given that EDDC owns the land on which stand the Lifeboat Station, the Sailing Club, the Drill Hall, the toilets, the swimming pool and the Ham car parks this leaves only the Ham to be a Sidmouth Town Council land contribution to the redevelopment.
To effect such a ‘swap’ Sidmouth Town Council as Trustees would have to show that the replacement land would be able to fulfil the same function for residents and visitors as that stated in the Conveyance which is the Governing Document of the Charity ( Ham Playing Field, No 300967 ). I would contend that moving the charitable land away from the tourist area of Sidmouth would mean it could not be, as the Charity Commission requires, ‘an equally suitable property’.
If we want to make sure the Ham isn’t included we need to make our views very clear now, so that any proposed disposal has to be referred to the Charity Commission rather than just happening on the Council’s say so.
The Sidmouth Drill Hall research site - Friend of Sidmouth Drill Hall
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