Thursday, 5 November 2015

Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >>> report from Town Council meeting: "This scoping exercise can be integrated into the Neighbourhood Plan."

The anticipated Town Council this Monday meeting looked at integrating the proposed Traffic Management Plan with the proposed Neighbourhood Plan:
Futures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth: "We have a golden opportunity to address Sidmouth's future traffic and transport issues which will help improve everyone's quality of life and shopping experience."

However, the main business was to consider the proposal to launch a scoping study for the redevelopment of the Eastern Town:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >>> "a clear appetite from the town council to regenerate the eastern end of town"

Here is a report from an observer at that meeting on Monday 2nd November:

Cllr Jeff Turner (chair): 
After discussions with the District Council about the transfer of Knowle parkland to the Town Council, this widened to discussion about other assets in Sidmouth, including the beach huts - and the Eastern Town. STC for a long time have wanted to regenerate this area and took the lead on this topic during the meeting.
EDDC have had an agenda to regenerate other towns and would offer STC £5k for a scoping study.
If taken up, STC would lead the consultation - which would include a public meeting and working with other stakeholders.
The scoping would involve looking at: boundaries, the sort of development, the cost, transport and access.
This would be a module which would slip into the Neighbourhood Plan, with EDDC offering administrative help.

Cllr Ian Barlow:
This must slot into the Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr Louise Cole:
There were questions about the timing of this scoping exercise.
STC should proceed with caution, as the next STC meeting would be dealing with the Neighbourhood Plan and matters should not be confused with regard to process.
The scoping exercise should inform the Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr Simon Pollentine:
A lot of work has already been done: the Port Royal Steering Group's/PRSG's work can be revisited and would be very useful - for example, in establishing ownership.
The Eastern Town will be part of any Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr Matt Booth:
There had been meetings with the EDDC CEO, but no mention had been made of this proposal for a scoping exercise.
The motivations of EDDC should be questioned. One must be guarded, as issues such as the Mill St car park should be taken into consideration.

Cllr Jeff Turner:
It was the STC chair who proposed this scoping exercise at the meeting with EDDC.
Cllr Cathy Gardner can do her own consultation on this issue if she wishes.
Cllrs Booth and Cole should  be careful what they propose.

Cllr David Addis:
There are a lot of good ideas from the PRSG with regard to the Eastern Town.

Cllr Frances Newth:
STC must consult the residents of Eastern Town.

Cllr Stuart Hughes:
This scoping exercise can go in tandem with the Neighbourhood Plan and Beach Management Plan.

Cllr Paul Wright:
The Neighbourhood Plan will take 18 months to two years to complete.
The scoping exercise is the first step for a Neighbourhood Plan. The danger is that this step will be done twice, unless this is part of the Neighbourhood Plan. That is, it needs to be done under a Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr Jeff Turner:
The total of £7k (EDDC's £5k + STC's £2k being asked for) would be a contribution to the Neighbourhood Plan - as a module.

Cllr Ian McKenzie-Edwards (vice-chair):
Some years ago, students from Plymouth University offered three planning ideas - which should be revisited.
And EDDC officer Karime Hassan had promised a Development Brief for Eastern Town - although EDDC had previously been unwilling.
This scoping exercise can be integrated into the Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr John Dyson:
There is the problem that there are not enough car parking spaces in Sidmouth.

Cllr David Barratt:
Whilst one should proceed with caution, the £7k should be seen as a contribution towards the Neighbourhood Plan. STC should make sure that the two coincide.

Cllr Louise Cole:
It was important to avoid confusion with regard to process.

The regeneration of the Eastern Town is part of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Neighbourhood Plan is an integrated process which is transparent.
It is clear from the current proposals that the scoping exercise would be led by STC.

Cllr Ian Barlow:
STC would be in charge.
The scoping exercise would slot into the Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr Simon Pollentine:
Whereas EDDC officer Karime Hassan had offered no funding for the PRSG process, this time EDDC is offering money and help.

Cllr Matt Booth:
Sitting on EDDC's Asset Management Cttee, there is an understanding of regeneration projects.
One welcomes the initiative. 

Cllr Louise Cole:
Any consultations under the Neighbourhood Plan process carry statutory weight.
This has a modular approach - in which case, the scoping exercise must dovetail with the Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr Paul Wright:
STC will lead.
The scoping exercise can be wrapped up in the Neighbourhood Plan, if it is agreed to at next months' STC meeting.

Officer Chris Holland (Town Clerk):
Members agreed unanimously to agree to the proposal:

14 Eastern Town Regeneration Scoping Exercise 
Members will be aware that the Town Council has been eager to progress with the regeneration of the Eastern end of The Esplanade for some time. 
Following recent speculation and a number of discussions between the Town and District Councils, stemming from the negotiations on the proposed transfer of Knowle to the Town Council, it is proposed that a Scoping Exercise is undertaken to start the process of looking at regeneration of Eastern Town. 
A Scoping Exercise is an analysis and study to establish what a potential project could involve, what the risks and possible difficulties are, and how such a project should be planned and implemented. 
East Devon District Council as the main landowner, have offered to fund the majority of the costs of the study and are asking that Sidmouth Town Council as a partner, contribute £2,000 towards the exercise. 
To start the regeneration process with a maximum of transparency, the scoping exercise would include a consultation exercise with key stakeholders and interest groups.

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