The 3Rs campaign's petition was delivered to the District Council earlier this week:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: delivering petition to full District Council > report
Cllr Marianne Rixson spoke to her colleagues inside the chamber:
I am presenting this petition with over 1,900 signatures on behalf of both residents and visitors to Sidmouth, who wish to express their concerns regarding the potential development of Port Royal and to request that an alternative approach is properly considered, based on the 3Rs principles- to Retain what is there, Refurbish the area and Reuse existing buildings.
The signatures were collected both online and on paper, to be widely accessible to various age groups, and to local residents and tourists. In presenting this petition, I would like to make three points:
1. Over 1,900 people signed the ‘3Rs’ petition, thereby underpinning the response to the Neighbourhood Plan survey, which was posted to 7,860 addresses. A total of 1,863 Neighbourhood Plan surveys were returned, thereby giving a response rate of 23.7% for all households in the Sid Valley.
Both the petition and Neighbourhood Plan responses compare very favourably with the less than 250 responses to East Devon’s own Port Royal survey, which barely reached a 2% response rate.
2. Question 4 of East Devon’s scoping study consultation stated that thirty private homes would be needed at Port Royal to make the development possible and help fund new and improved facilities for the Sidmouth Lifeboat, Sidmouth Sailing Club, Gig Club and other water sport users. Although evidence has been requested to demonstrate the need for these homes, this information has not been supplied. We would again ask for this evidence to be published.
3. The Council press release issued on 16th October stated, “Having heard the debate and views of the Reference Group in connection with the draft, the consultant has requested further time to refine the study report and in particular to detail recommendations about further investigations in respect of flooding and covenants. The final report will be considered by the councils jointly at which time it will be made public.”
That the issues of flood risk and The Ham covenants will be looked at more closely is encouraging. and given the high level of response to both the petition and Neighbourhood Plan, I would urge my Councillor colleagues to ensure that feedback from all three sources (Neighbourhood Plan, public consultation, and 3Rs petition) is taken into consideration, when debating the results of the reports and their implications for this site.
There is a wonderful opportunity for EDDC and STC together to find ways of improving this area for the benefit of residents and visitors, with a lasting legacy that puts the community at the heart of the project in this sensitive natural setting
Marianne Rixson « East Devon Alliance
Alternative plan for Sidmouth's Port Royal - the 3Rs | Campaigns by You