Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> Scoping Study consultants' "final report" to be presented to Town Council > Monday 5th February
They endorsed the District Council's recommendation to ignore most of the report:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: selling the Drill Hall, rather than producing a masterplan
But felt that much more could have been done:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: "a missed opportunity ... It requires an ambitious approach."
This is a summary from the Herald today:
Port Royal: Cabinet supports marketing of Sidmouth’s Drill Hall
PUBLISHED: 07:07 09 February 2018
Council bosses have signed off recommendations to market the Drill Hall, and its future could be as a restaurant or bar.
A scoping study for Port Royal previously envisioned a five-storey block with up to 30 flats but East Devon District Council (EDDC) is no longer seeking a comprehensive mixed-use development of the site.
The Drill Hall will be marketed for six months – so commercial and community bids can be put forward – but not before March 1.
Sidmouth Town Council is calling on EDDC to refurbish the sailing club, lifeboat station and seafront toilets when the Drill Hall’s future is decided. (See page 10). The town council will focus its attention on the fishermen’s shed and the Ham.
EDDC deputy chief executive Richard Cohen said the clarity enables conversations to start about the longer term security of the lifeboat station and sailing club.
The recommendations were approved by cabinet on Wednesday but have yet to be signed off by EDDC’s full council.
Port Royal: Cabinet supports marketing of Sidmouth’s Drill Hall | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
And this is from the Drill Hall rescue group:
After the recent Council meetings
Here is the update after the STC meeting on the 5th Feb and the EDDC Cabinet meeting on the 7th.
I have put extracts of the minutes on the 'Rescue' website and will keep updating the page so please check back from time to time. I have also extracted the relevant piece from the recording of the Cabinet meeting, it is available on the page above and also here.
I don't want to end up making this a long email but feel it is necessary to emphasise that there is still a lot of work to be done if the Drill Hall building is to be saved. It is great that the wholesale destruction of Port Royal has been averted but there are still a lot of misconceptions and 'games' around.
I am a supporter of Port Royal having sea based activities, I know that the Sailing Club is important to its members and families, as is the Gig Club and the Sea Angling Club. However, I am wary of the fact that the Sailing Club is being presented as a community asset for the town. Both the Consultants and Cllr Jeff Turner are pushing this narrative.
Sidmouth has many clubs, and all of them contribute to the wonderful choices we have in the town, but club facilities are by definition there for the club members not for members of the public. The Sailing Club website is quite clear about what is open to members and what is open to the public, and I fear that they are having their place in Sidmouth twisted for political ends. Their needs have been given more weight in the Consultants Report than has the Lifeboat, and both have been given more weight than our heritage.
Rescue Sidmouth Drill Hall - Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue
This is from the minutes of the Town Council meeting:
Port Royal Scoping Study Reference Group
Councillor Turner, Chairman of the former Port Royal Scoping Study Reference Group, presented the report and recommendations from the Town Clerk and the consultant’s report from Heynes Planning Ltd and Groupwest. The purpose of the report was to provide an update to members on the outcome of the Scoping Exercise that was undertaken in 2017 in relation to the Port Royal Site. It described the activities that were taken as part of the Scoping Exercise including the research of relevant issues undertaken by the external advisors; the public consultation exercise; the findings of their work and their recommendations for the next steps.
The report made recommendations to Members and noted the position of the District Council. During the discussion, Members made the following comments/observations:
• It was in the Town Council’s interest for the Port Royal Club to flourish, therefore the Town Council, District Council and Port Royal Club should work together to improve the facilities and agree an extension to the lease period to ensure security for the future.
• The District Council should be encouraged to undertake refurbishment/maintenance of the public conveniences, Port Royal Club building and Lifeboat Station to help enhance the whole area.
• Any potential developer should be encouraged to take into consideration Sidmouth’s historical links to the sea, its position on the Jurassic Coast and its maritime heritage when considering plans for the Drill Hall area.
• The marketing brief for the Drill Hall should be wide and flexible enough to enable a mixed-use development which would be preferable, the design should be aspirational in order to support future economic viability within Sidmouth whilst encouraging possible heritage, community and cultural benefits.
• There should be a financial contribution from the site development towards the beach management programme.
• It was welcomed that the Town Council would continue to work closely with the District Council through the core group of councillors who had been part of the Scoping Study Reference Group.
1. That Members noted the detailed research undertaken in the Scoping Exercise that had 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 noted 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 noted 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.
5. That the District Council be encouraged to undertake refurbishment of the public conveniences, Port Royal Club building and Lifeboat Station to enhance the whole area.
6. That the Marketing of the Drill Hall should not commence until 1 March 2018 to enable the draft of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan to be issued.
The District Council's cabinet met on Wednesday:
Port Royal Scoping Exercise
The Deputy Chief Executive provided an update to members on the outcome of the Scoping Exercise that was undertaken in 2017 in relation to the Port Royal Site. It described the activities that were taken as part of the Scoping Exercise including the research of relevant issues undertaken by the external advisors, the public consultation exercise and the findings of their work and recommendations for the next stage. The report made recommendations to members for a way forward that would lead to a positive outcome that can realistically be delivered.
Cllr Jeff Turner from Sidmouth Town Council spoke on this item. Cllr Turner stated he had previously been the Chairman of the Port Royal Study Phase and expressed his gratitude to being allowed to work together with the Council. He said this was a good working model for future cooperation for developing Sidmouth. The Town Council’s main interest was to see the Port Royal Club flourish and with joint cooperation work to improve the facilities and lease period. The Council (EDDC) should maintain the public toilets at Port Royal as well as the Port Royal Club and lifeboat station and where possible enhance the facilities. Any future developer should support the social and economic benefits to the area. They should be encouraged to take into consideration Sidmouth’s historic buildings to the sea and designs should be aspirational to encourage community, heritage and cultural benefits. A mixed-use development would be preferable. Cllr Turner concluded that the Town Council supported the recommendations from officers.
The Town Council would focus on improvements and raising standards to the fishermen sheds and fish shop area.
He asked that the marketing of the Drill Hall not start until 1 March 2018 to allow for the draft Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan be taken into consideration.
Discussions included the following:
it would be helpful if the Council could publish clear criteria for any future purchaser
Sid Valley Neighbourhood Planning Team would make available their summary of community feelings
this was the best that could be done at this stage.
The Deputy Chief Executive thanked the leading community groups and assured that the Council would look at a mixed criteria when considering purchase offers. The marketing period was for six months in order for commercial and non-commercial interests to come forward.
1. that the detailed research undertaken in the Scoping Exercise that provided a comprehensive and thorough analysis, including financial viability assessment of the complex issues related to future development within the Study Area be noted.
2. that the analysis in the report and in particular the following elements:
a. the risk of flood especially related to land outside of the area allocated within the Local Plan,
b. the lack of financial viability of development if on-site or off-sited affordable homes were included, and
c. the existing covenant impacting upon parts of the potential development site be noted.
3. that the following actions:
a. not to seek a comprehensive mixed use development of this site, and
b. to take to market the vacant Drill Hall site with a view to securing an appropriate development proposition and capital receipt for the benefit of taxpayers of East Devon, be agreed.
4. that the marketing exercise be carried out in such a way as to allow commercial and non-commercial bids to come forward, be agreed.
REASON: To reflect the findings and analysis of the Scoping Exercise and seek a deliverable way forward toward the renewal of Port Royal within a meaningful timescale.
Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held at Knowle, Sidmouthon 7 February 2018 - EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held at Knowle, Sidmouthon 7 February 2018 - EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL