A consultation can ask limited or leading questions - or it can ask more open questions.
The second household questionnaire for the Neighbourhood Plan asked respondents to show what they wanted down at Port Royal:
> restaurants came third:
On the other hand, the survey from the District Council asked if respondents would like to see a restaurant at Port Royal
- and 56% said yes:
One press report picked up on this - but it begs several questions:
People want quality restaurants and bars for Sidmouth seafront site (including a Nando's)
People also say that a Port Royal area redevelopment should not be a five story block of flats
UPDATED15:04, 2 OCT 2017
Quality restaurants and bars with a clear view of the sea with an outdoor terrace or a patio are among the wishes of residents for the redevelopment of a Sidmouth seafront site.
Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council have recently commissioned a scoping study to understand the key opportunities and constraints for possible improvements of Port Royal.
A five-week public consultation has been held, with almost 250 responses being received, and they are complemented by a Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group survey which included questions about Port Royal was completed by more than 1,800 households.
How the Port Royal area on Sidmouth could look as part of redevelopment plan
The Port Royal Reference Group met last week to discuss the responses from both consultations, and a spokesman said that the consultation brings into sharp focus the strength of feeling about the need to develop sympathetically and people who responded said that, among other issues, the height of buildings and how they relate to the surroundings of the area, was a concern as would be a loss of car parking spaces.
The latest on the multi-million pound plan to protect Sidmouth beach
The Local Plan’s proposal is for a large, multi-use building with 30 homes over five stories, but 77 per cent of respondents disagreed with the development being up to five storeys high to allow for improvements to facilities to happen, while 19 per cent agreed.
In addition, 56 per cent said that they would like to see new food and drink outlets on the Port Royal site, with the most common requests were for a decent and quality restaurant, a café, a fish / seafood restaurant, a bar / wine bar and a restaurant. Some also commented that they should have views of the sea and should have an outdoor element like a patio or terrace.
The most common comment was for a decent quality restaurant, a cafe, a bar/wine bar, a fish/seafood restaurant, while other said that a Nando's or a Prezzo would be preferable.
The majority of respondents also said that new and improved facilities for Sidmouth Lifeboat should happen on the Port Royal site, and also said that the area from the Ham Lane junction should be pedestrianized.
Debate next week over Sidmouth seafront future as consultation responses revealed
Cllr David Barratt, a Sidmouth town and district councillor, who chaired Thursday’s meeting of the Reference Group, said: “On behalf of both councils, I would like to say how grateful we are to all those who took part in the consultation and gave us their views. We are listening to what people say and hear you loud and clear. We also understand how significant Port Royal is to the town and how important it is that we get this right. We look forward to receiving the scoping study report.”
Nearly 2,000 sign petition against large scale Sidmouth seafront redevelopment
An East Devon District Council spokesman added: “It is clear through both consultations that people see that Port Royal has a special identity around fishing, water activities and maritime heritage.
“It is clear too that, in the main, the people of Sidmouth would like to see bars and restaurants as a feature of any proposed development and that the Lifeboat Station is integral to future plans.
“A new multi-function facility which could host water activity and The Sailing Club, and an increase in pedestrianised areas were also supported. “
Here's what Sidmouth seafront could end up looking like
The next stage is for the full findings of the independent Port Royal Scoping Study to go before the Reference Group in October. A report and the scoping study findings will then be considered by both councils in November so that councillors from both authorities can determine how to proceed.
People want quality restaurants and bars for Sidmouth seafront site (including a Nando's) - Devon Live