Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Plans for Port Royal: 'not seeking a mixed development for the overall site and ... marketing of the Drill Hall only'

As the Port Royal scoping study is finally published...
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> Scoping Study consultants' "final report" published

... the question is now what next with the Drill Hall in particular:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: 'Council proposes to drop regeneration plans and sell the Drill Hall'

Looking at the agenda for next Monday's meeting of the Town Council, it is clear that the District Council will be calling the shots - as it owns the site in question:

Port Royal Scoping Report


1. That Members note the detailed research undertaken in the Scoping Exercise that has provided a comprehensive and thorough analysis, including financial viability assessment, of the complex issues related to future development within the Study Area. 

2. That Members note the analysis in the report and in particular the following elements: 

a. The existing covenant impacting upon parts of the potential development site 

b. The risk of flood especially related to land outside of the area allocated within the Local Plan 

c. The lack of financial viability of development if on-site or off-sited affordable homes were included 

3. That members note the report and recommendations of the 7 February 2018 Cabinet of East Devon District Council which if adopted, would result in not seeking a mixed development for the overall site and would seek the marketing of the Drill Hall only. 

4. That the Town Council focuses on improvements to and a general raising of standards to the Fishermen’s shed and Fish Shop area. 

(These recommendations have been made taking into account those being taken to the Cabinet of East Devon District Council.)

4 Next Steps 

4.1 The District Council will, if agreed by Cabinet, commence an appropriate marketing exercise using professional expertise to market the vacant Drill Hall site for a period of 6 months. 

4.2 The Town Council will continue to work closely with the District Council through the continued engagement of the Core Group of councillors as identified through the Scoping Exercise. This will include their involvement in the selection process for a preferred developer. Following the conclusion of the marketing and selection exercise District Council officers would then report back to cabinet and their full council with recommendations for a preferred development solution for the site. 

4.3 Due to the District Council’s recommendation to concentrate and improve the Drill Hall site only, it is therefore sensible to assume that a new or refurbished building will be greatly improved both in appearance and function. Given that the Town Council does not own land at Port Royal itself it is recommended that the Town Council looks to its own responsibilities in the adjacent area, namely improving the appearance and usage of the Fishermen’s Sheds at The Ham. This could also include the enhancement and promotion of the existing water activities and maritime heritage of that area.

Town Council Meetings - Sidmouth Town Council

And meanwhile, here is the latest from the Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue campaign:

A battle won?

Dear Friends,
Just a quick update.

Most of you will have received the email from Cathy Gardner, leader of the Retain-Refurbish-Reuse campaign, giving the excellent news that the recommendation to the EDDC Cabinet on 7th Feb will be that the wholesale destruction of Port Royal is not financially viable and that the Drill Hall site should be put up for sale. Link to EDDC full agenda

While I am really pleased about this we should not be complacent. This is still only a recommendation and goes against the Consultants recommendation to spend more money on further attempts to get the whole site to market. I have extracted the relevent bit of the agenda for ease of access, it can be found on this page.

EDDC own all the land and therefore their decision is not reliant on agreement by Sidmouth town Council, but if we are to get a good outcome for the town we need to have STC actively involved in the process of saving the building for community use. They have an enormous amount of power if they chose to wield it.

I will be in touch again after the 7th Feb.

Thank you all for your support over the years, there is now a possibility that our persistence will pay off!

regards, Mary 

A battle won?
Newsletter Archive - Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue

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