Thursday, 4 August 2016

Plans for Port Royal and the Eastern Town >>> >>> "People don't connect the Scoping Exercise with what is in the Local Plan"

This leaflet has been available at Port Royal these last days:

It has set off the following thread on Streelife:


Ann L  in Sidmouth

Had a flier today about the new plans for the seafront including the loss of the lifeboat station. I bet the two young lads l saw today sitting in the Sidmouth lifeboat as it was being driven back to the Lifeboat station after rescuing them were glad it was there. I expect those engineering this latest plan to destroy Sidmouth andit's environs will have a suitably pat answer to all this.

By the Byes
Ann, whilst I've seen ideas that involved the relocation of the lifeboat station, I've not seen any that involved the removal of it, where did this flier come from, I'd be interested to get a copy?
Mary W-T
It is in the Local Plan and is the reason for the Scoping Exercise being carried out at moment by STC and EDDC.

They are going to demolish the Drill Hall, the toilets, the Sailing and Gig Club and the Lifeboat Station and build residential and retail units, according to the Local Plan.

So the area for rebuilding which is certain is right up to the road of the turning circle, taking the pavement on that side, and down across the parking by the swimming pool. This is why I can't understand when RS says the Sailing Club will be able to remain.

When the Scoping Exercise is complete it is possible it could end up also including the turning circle and the pavement on the Alma Bridge side and the whole of the Ham car park. Potentially even the swimming pool, we shall see.

This is the map from the Local Plan.
Ann L
Someone was handing the fliers out l think on the sea front. I had just started to look at it when the lifeboat passed us. It is the same plan as the one shown in the other response to my comment.
Real Sidmouthian
The local plan shows mided use so of course a new boat house, sailing club, fish shop and residential can be included! It's common sense. That's what mixed use means. Sounds like yet more misinformation peddled by those wanting to keep that awful monstrosity.
Ann L
I hope it will be set in stone.

Would any residential venture in that highly desirable setting and the prices such residencies would command have residents who would be perfectly happy sharing the site with a fish shop, a sailing club and a lifeboat station?

It looks at what appears at present to be a fairly small site to accomodate all that.
Kate C
It sounds all very unimaginative compared to the architectural ideas displayed the other week?
Real Sidmouthian
I agree Ann. It needs stipulating st the start what is needed. A boathouse and sailing/angling club is essential on the waterfront. If you look at the site it's actually potentially very large from the turning circle all the way to Ham lane and north to the edge of the pool. I'd be very happy in a residence over the top of it all and there is plenty of space for a waterfront restaurant for example also but of course it all depends on design so we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. One good thing the recent design thing highlighted is the number of facilities which could be accommodated. Kate you are right. We need to be imaginative and look at a fresh empty site. If it's cleared and we start again it's a massive opportunity. The potential to achieve fresh new facilities and to enhance that ugly end of the town is huge.
Mary W-T
The Local Plans does show mixed use but for 30 homes, commercial, community, recreation and other.

To fit all that in we would probably need something 8 storeys high if the Sailing Club masts took the first two storeys.

Sorry I can't get the snipped bit to show properly as an attachment on the post but it is OK if you click on it.
Real Sidmouthian
I am sure it can be done Mary. After all the other week we were looking at a huge peir in the middle of the sea and a theatre on the same site. There is plenty of space if one removes the rubbish occupying it at the moment. It's an exciting opportunity for all the clubs and local interest groups.
Given what EDDC have done / are attempting to do in Exmouth and Seaton I would be very wary of anything EDDC say. We must protect the Lifeboat (even if it's on a pier, which could be good) and Sailing Club and in my opinion the Drill Hall, plus the Swimming Pool and parking. That doesn't leave much space for 30 houses - some of which are supposed to be "affordable". Can you really see any developer wasting valuable seafront space on "affordable" housing? Whatever you want for Port Royal, take what EDDC say with a large pinch of salt - EDDC and trust don't sit well together in my mind.
Real Sidmouthian
Totally agree with you Hib. re the Lifeboat House, Sailing club, swimming pool and parking. All essential to our tourism industry and local clubs.
Hi Ann L, please can you tell me some more about the leaflet? Is there any chance you could post a copy of it on here?
Do you know who was handing it out? Does it look official or was it residents warning about what could be coming?
Peter S
Nowhere has anyone mentioned Houses, in all the documents it says accommodation units, and as the rest of the esplanade is already either hotels or flats, these set the example.
This is just the usual scaremongering from certain quarters, the whole area is shown so that you can look at all different options. And no decisions have been made except to go forward and look at different options, which of cause if they didn't, the same people would moan about that.
I stand corrected Peter, as do you  - it says 30 homes.
Given what EDDC have done / are attempting to do in Exmouth and Seaton I would be very wary of anything EDDC say. We must protect the Lifeboat (even if it's on a pier, which could be good) and Sailing Club and in my opinion the Drill Hall, plus the Swimming Pool and parking. That doesn't leave much space for 30 homes - some of which are supposed to be "affordable". Can you really see any developer wasting valuable seafront space on "affordable" housing? Whatever you want for Port Royal, take what EDDC say with a large pinch of salt - EDDC and trust don't sit well together in my mind.
Mary W-T
Peter S if you had read the Local Plan or the snippet I posted from the Local Plan you will see that they specifically say '30 homes'. So that rules out hotels.
Real Sidmouthian
Have IQs suddenly diminished or something?! The plan (which Mary kindly posted a snippet of) says mixed use including housing, community, commercial recreation and other uses. This certainly leaves plenty to be accommodated including housing or hotel. I for one would like to see the spaces we lost with the Fortfield closing being replaced one way or another. Hib is right though we must make our 'wish list' known early on. I think there are plenty of developers out the who would make maximum use of the site and include what we want. Not with the pile of old bricks still standing though of course....
Peter S
I was replying to H specifically saying Houses, as anyone would realise the space is to small for 30 houses, but it is nothing to get hung up about, without whatever name they are called, that is the only way of paying for such a scheme, unless some one knows a wealthy entrepreneur willing to give the town a few £million, for us to have what is needed/wanted with no accommodation of any name, on this run down area of the town.
Real Sidmouthian
As no decision has been taken on any of this other than the decision to demolish the brick pile in 2004 I must try and get sight of this latest flier/documentation of what is to happen. Another fortune telling conspiracy theory stirring up non news and scaremongering into the usual local hysteria.
Mary W-T
The flyer was produced by me and is not contentious, conspiracy theory or anything else.

It simply says what are the facts. This area is up for redevelopment, it is for housing and retail .... OK I was not accurate on that as I relied on my memory and so some bits weren't in; I should have checked.

I attach a copy.

I gave the sidmouthdrillhall.com website because that is where the news for that area comes from, I did not add the other places information can be found like the VGS and FuturesForum blog because I was trying to keep it simple.

None of the Directors of the Drill Hall Hub CIC were involved in any way, this was purely a one person effort to get people involved in thinking about what is coming up.

I am fed up with the fact that people don't connect the Scoping Exercise with what is in the Local Plan, if they even know what is in the local plan. I am fed up with the fact that all that corner is up for flattening as soon as the leases on the ground the Lifeboat Station and the Sailing Club stand on come to an end and there is nothing but whishy-washy statements about what will go there.

And I am fed up with people who want the Drill Hall knocked down being rude about those of us who want to save it. I have not been rude about those in the Sailing Club who are burying their heads in the sand and will likely find that things they expect will not materialise.
Real Sidmouthian
Trouble is Mary that the text is disingenuous and is indeed contentious and misleading. It say that we will loose the sailing club, lifeboat and toilets etc. It deliberately sets out to stir up hysteria. If it was factual and neutral then people wouldn't challenge what you say. I could say I'm fed up with people living here for just five minutes and then trying to save every 'historic building' going in the town when the rest of us have had a vision for much longer. As for saying that the Sailing club have their heads in the sand I think you are being very unfair to one of our most well supported and vibrant maritime clubs. They well know that they may end up with vastly improved facilities at the end of it all. If we are to discuss properly then we need to do so with facts not scaremongering pamphlets, hear say and hysteria. Whatever happens in the future it is the community and facilities and the look of our wonderful seafront we must think of together with those that live in it and will do so for many generations to come not just one building.
Jane G
I am one of the Support Crew at Sidmouth Lifeboat and we had a lot of people making comments about this leaflet yesterday including overseas visitors. They were all asking what is going to happen to us, obviously we weren't able to comment as the leaflet (of which we have a number) was the first we knew about this plus we didn't know where it had originated from. We have since been told that the Trustees are looking into this.
Barnacle Bill
I haven't seen this flyer yet - is it printed on good quality shiny paper? If not then, I've heard they could put it to better use up at the festival site toilet tent. 
Richard E
RS is correct - the designation in the Local Plan is 'mixed', which is a very loose categorisation, so at this point in time, any mix of uses is possible on the site.   It doesn't even need to include accommodation, although this will probably be required to fund the redevelopment. 

This is a prime site, and very important for Sidmouth's future.   So we need to be extremely vigilant, and there needs to be a very open and healthy debate.

The big fear is that EDDC will simply want to asset-strip the site.  We now from recent experience that they have little empathy for or interest in our town.   And we also know that they do not have the knowledge or management skills to oversee a sensitive redevelopment of this kind.   So the scoping exercise is ringing alarm bells throughout our community.

Whilst it is still early in the process, we need to remember the failure of the Town Council to get involved at an early stage with the Local Plan, which left us presented with a fait accompli.  It is imperative in this instance that Sidmouth lays down some firm 'red lines' before EDDC starts telling us what they envisage.   Once they announce their proposals, we know from experience that they are unlikely to change their mind or listen to anyone else.

Fortunately, in this instance, the Town Council and the County Council have to cooperate in any redevelopment, so EDDC will not have a free hand.

The site needs to be redeveloped: everyone agrees on that.   I have an open mind about the Drill Hall - it is up to defenders of the building to make proposals that are workable and include it.
Jane G
Yes it is on shiny paper & if you want a copy come into the Lifeboat Station as we were given quite a few of them to put out.
Real Sidmouthian
I should do as BB suggests Jane and take them across to the festival toilets! Serious though, the Lifeboat needs to be careful about helping to peddling misinformation.
This redevelopment needs careful consideration and suggesting the leaflet is used as toilet paper is childish, peurile and not constructive. The problem is where is the money to come from - and the answer will probably be by selling as much land as possible to developers - and in my opinion that puts the Lifeboat and Sailing/Gig clubs very much at risk.
Real Sidmouthian
Totally agree with you Hibou that providing a sailing club and lifeboat house is essential and as Richard E said, we need to put those red lines down early on. I think we'd take the leaflet seriously Hib if it contained facts rather than hysteria that's the point. At least we are all agreeing that the sailing club and lifeboat are essential. Which goes back to my previous point. The site needs sorting out and developing to the same standard as Sidmouth expects. Whatever happens in the future it is the community and facilities and the look of our wonderful seafront we must think of together with those that live in it and will do so for many generations to come not just one building.
Mary W-T
We WILL lose all these buildings and there is no committment to reinstate any of them.

Some may choose to leave things to fate, I choose to try and make a difference.

Peter M I have posted a copy of the leaflet in an earlier post.
Stuart H
Factual statement on the interesting posts that has just been published by both Sidmouth and East Devon District Councils

Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council are working together in consultation with key local organisations to work out the best future for Sidmouth’s Port Royal and Eastern Town areas, which are widely acknowledged as significantly less attractive than the rest of the town.

“The two councils have been at pains to engage the organisations that matter in order to reflect the keen interest of the community in the regeneration of Port Royal and Eastern Town. Through proper council reporting and media communications we have made clear our shared intent to take forward a professional and successful renewal of Port Royal that meets the town’s expectations.

“Both authorities are therefore extremely disappointed to hear that an inaccurate and inflammatory leaflet has been circulated during Folk Week - one of the most important weeks of the year for Sidmouth’s wider reputation.

“Back in January 2016, the district council presented a report to Cabinet, who approved the council’s contribution to a shared scoping exercise for Port Royal. In that report we said:
“Some uses will wish to remain and need to be close to the sea and others are not so important. For example, maritime uses such as the lifeboat station and sailing club are important assets to the town and part of the seafront’s attractions.”

“Strategy 26 in East Devon’s recently adopted Local Plan allows for Port Royal to include up to 30 residential units, as well as a mixture of other uses. This will of course be factored into the scoping exercise, which is the first stage of a potentially lengthy planning process for regeneration and economic development of this vital area of the town. The full terms of reference of the scoping study have yet to be finalised and agreed by Sidmouth Town Council. The present users of Port Royal area will be involved throughout the study and their needs and future will be taken into account during the study; there will also be an opportunity for the Sid Valley public to get involved and to give their views on how this sensitive and vital area of Sidmouth should be redeveloped. The information and findings of the scoping study will also be used to provide evidence for the ongoing neighbourhood plan.
Peter M
Its refreshing to see this statement issued so early on in a joint statement. Let's hope that STC and EDDC continue to show strong collaboration, working together to take full account of not only local opinion but also the considerable amount of work that's gone into
'imagining' the future of the area by some very talented and skilled people in surveys going back to 2006.
Peter S
Thank you for providing the 'facts' rather than the, in my view the uniformed opinions (scaremongering) of the anti EDDC commentators on here, and before you jump up & down I do not agree with everything they do, but to put misinformation out there to residents and visitors is unacceptable.
Mary W-T
Thank you for that Stuart, it is good that the report to Cabinet included those things even though it was not mentioned in the public part of the Council meeting where the scoping study was voted upon.

I was present at that meeting and am positive that the only other group which was mentioned as one to be consulted was the Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps a little more transparency at that meeting would have  been helpful.

I also remember that it was said that the issues involved were so complicated that it could not be handled by non-specialists and that a 'Design and Development' company would be commissioned to handle it, the exact company to be decided at a later date. Has the company been commissioned yet? If so can we have the name of it?
Stuart H
Mary W-T. The 6th of Jan EDDC Cabinet meeting decision was not held in part B as you say and is a matter of public record, so that is another statement misleading people and minute 157 from EDDC Cabinet on 6th January records it as such.

For Mary W T's own reassurance she might care to check the audio recording of the Cabinet meeting, to verify what I am saying is correct and not her version. Nothing could be more open or transparent!

Public speaking also records Town Council Chairman Jeff Turner talking about the scoping exercise.
Deirdre H
All this comment and strong feeling augurs well for the second Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire due to be delivered to residents this Autumn.

The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group achieved nearly 10% feedback from the first questionnaire, perhaps this and other issues close to the hearts of the people of Sidmouth will encourage at least 30% of the population to become engaged and complete the second residents' questionnaire due out in the latter part of October.
Graham C
The scoping exercise as presented last week by senior EDDC officers was very vague when it came to describing the method of public consultation.

Achieving a satisfactory and creative outcome will require a rigorous harvesting of evidence along with a transparent delivery process.

At present the most effective means of achieving true “community involvement” on Port Royal is through the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.
Stuart H - you quote EDDC/STC saying that Mary WT's leaflet (reproduced above) is "inaccurate and inflammatory". I can only assume you refer to the loss of the Lifeboat Station and Sailing Club. If this is inaccurate then are you giving us a categoric assurance that these two buildings will either be preserved as now, or replaced with suitable buildings on the seafront with sufficient storeage for boats with high masts also on the seafront?
Deirdre H
Absolutely Graham! And seeing as how STC are the majority funders of the SVNP it would be farcical for the findings of the NP not to be taken account of!
Then I take it Stuart that there is no assurance that the Lifeboat and Sailing Club are safe - which means that had the leaflet said "may well" rather than "will" "mean the loss of the Lifeboat" etc the leaflet would have been perfectly accurate. In which case the councils' response was a little extreme - "methinks he (they) doth protest too much".
Mary W-T
Stuart, I find it difficult to read the Public Speaking images you have posted could you give me a link please?

I would also like the link to the recording of the meeting to see if it matches the one I made, or I can send you mine if you prefer?
Mary W-T
I was editing the above comment by checking back to try and make sure I was responding to you accurately when I ran out of time and the edit wouldn't post. This was what I intended to add.

I stated that I only knew what was said in the public part so to say that I am misleading is not quite accurate, it is not transparent if bits are left out even if it is later made available for those who know where to look. I thought the idea of transparency was that people had the information shared freely with them?

I was there for the speech by the head of STC so I know how pleased he was that EDDC would be working with them.
Stuart H
The minutes of the meeting are on East Devons website along with details how to access the audio

Streetlife | Lifeboat

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