Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Plans for Port Royal: draft community bid for Drill Hall

There is lots happening around the Drill Hall:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: petition to create a community hub
Futures Forum: "Retain-refurbish-reuse" >>>>> "Revive Port Royal for all | a community initiative >>> information sheets
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: marketing of Drill Hall to coincide with draft Neighbourhood Plan

This latest set of ideas was presented in the Herald:

Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald

And these are fuller notes, available on the Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC site:

At 1st March 2018
Please visit https://sidmouthdrillhall.com/community-bid-funding-and-pl for a copy of the draft Profit and Loss for a Community Bid for the Drill Hall as mentioned recently in the Sidmouth Herald. It is in pdf format and can be found at the bottom of the page.
Finally. A great result. One that most all of Sidmouth will be incredibly relieved about. Hate to say I told you so but..
After 6 years of campaigning and maintaining a stance that the best route to regeneration at Port Royal, and to developing a space that will serve all members of the community, lay with the restoration and opening of the Drill Hall in order to increase visits and with it income, EDDC have finally dropped their plans – within the area ED03 in the Local Plan –  for a 30 apartment mixed use development on the site and will now put the Drill Hall on the market.
This not only marks a fantastic success for the area and all those that use it, but it also opens up a huge potential for a Community Bid to take the building back into the town’s hands and develop a multi purpose space that can be used by and for all.
In 2017, soon after the announcement of the Scoping Study and consultation, I met with the consultant hired by the Port Royal Reference Group to discuss the work that I had done and what I knew about the site. It was of little surprise to me that he had not been told that Port Royal sat in a conservation area, that the Ham and Drill Hall both had a covenant placed on them by George G Radford dating back to 1890, and that the Environment Agency had raised the flood zone level at Port Royal to the maximum zone level 3. In short, which we have no doubt went back to EDDC, no developer would risk spending money on that site and if they did they were very unlikely to get planning permission. The consultant agreed with me that the best route forward for regeneration of the area lay via the Drill Hall.
EDDC’s own statement following recent meetings with the consultant is as follows:
“The eastern end of Sidmouth has, for many years now, been a focus of town interest because of its comparatively run down nature. What both councils have learnt from this study is that renewal of the area is important to local people but brings with it some particular challenges which include:
  • The increased risk of flood to the area and the as yet to be resolved outcomes of the ongoing Beach Management Plan process
  • A lack of financial viability of large scale mixed-use  development on this location if affordable homes were included on or off-site
  • An existing covenant with a boundary which creates uncertainty on parts of the potential development area
With these complexities in mind, it is recommended to the councils that they do not pursue a comprehensive mixed-use site development.”
Following the recent article in the Sidmouth Herald I will, just as soon as I have worked out how, put up a very rough outline and very first draft proposed Profit & Loss here (it needs a lot of work) Community Bid Profit and Loss in pdf format. If you have any problems with it please contact me at info@sidmouthdrillhall.com  If you are interested in being involved in, or leading on, this then please get in touch. I will not be, but I can provide all information, financial and otherwise, steps and stages, and contacts required.
Below are a series of drawings by Alex Vick. Plus a very recent photograph from a town in England that is using the same source of grant funding currently available to do a very similar thing that promotes local produce and unites the community.
It is with great sadness that I must say that will not now be part of trying to take the Drill Hall forward, but I have provided a basic outline of available info and funds including a Profit & Loss over 5 year here and am very happy to help anyone that might want to.
To quote someone recently, ‘it is possible to take the future of where you live in your own hands and not lie down and let others benefit from it’. 
We have seen that happen at Knowle which has now gone. There is every opportunity now to ensure it doesn’t happen at Port Royal.

Shared Tables As Food Halls Thrive
Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC | Promoting positive regeneration

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