Thursday, 6 April 2017

Neighbourhood Plan: "Sidmouth’s eastern end is run down and needs to be regenerated, but any development in the town needs to be sensitive and appropriate to the environment."

When the latest survey from the Neighbourhood Plan steering group was published
Futures Forum: Neighbourhood Plan >>> Survey report published: Business & Special Interest Groups

... one of the points raised by respondents was concern over the future development at Port Royal:



In response to Q 22, Eastern Town Regeneration was rated as having a great potential impact on businesses, organisations and groups. Community assets and facilities were mentioned by 61% of respondents when asked to tick those topics that have the most impact on them in Q19, Eastern Town Regeneration featured as third highest.

The possible impacts of regeneration were viewed as potentially positive or negative depending on the nature of the redevelopment itself, highlighting the importance respondents felt in getting it ‘right’ for the community.

Many respondents said that Eastern Town Regeneration had the potential to bring positive benefits to the town but also had the potential risk of loss of heritage, a failure to address the needs of tenants and a lack of trust in EDDC that it would handle the project sensitively or to the benefit of the community.

A number of respondents talked about the potential opportunities that the regeneration presented through mixed use community spaces that would benefit residents and visitors. Ideas included the expansion of current leisure facilities in the Ham to include a bigger swimming pool, gym and studio.

Others talked about the possibility of creating a performance space and making it a community hub for festivals and other community events. 

It was felt that the quality of design and construction of this area was very important.

There was also a suggestion that any Eastern Town regeneration could be done in such a way as to reflect the historic pathways through this area.

Parking issues and road congestion, both already mentioned in the analysis, also related to the challenges facing Port Royal and related solutions which include improving and incorporating walkways and cycle ways.


The Herald's piece on the survey also focussed on Port Royal:

Sid Valley businesses and groups respond to Neighbourhood Plan

04 April 2017 Stephen Sumner

A view of the eastern end of the town. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7858-10-09SH

Sidmouth’s eastern end is run down and needs to be regenerated, but any development in the town needs to be sensitive and appropriate to the environment.

This view was among the 104 responses from businesses and special interest groups that were surveyed by the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

It follows a residents’ questionnaire and a report on the views of children and young people will be published shortly.

Steering group chairman Dee Hounsom said: “The objective of this questionnaire was to try to understand the concerns and views of people who own, run and manage businesses and groups in the area.

“Clearly, there is a perceived need to ensure that development in the community is carefully balanced to meet the requirements of young people, families and older people if we are to ensure a vibrant sustainable economy, the right balance of housing and foster the identity of the Sid Valley so that it can meet the needs of all.

“By publishing the findings, we are seeking to share the results with the residents of the Sid Valley.”

The questionnaire gave respondents free rein to put forward novel ideas, such as generating electricity from the River Sid, a cap on the number of cafes and charity shops, or a hub to nurture start-up businesses, but many reported similar concerns. Among the key findings were:

■ Any development and its appearance needs to be sensitive to the heritage and identity of the particular area in which it is situated;

■ Encouraging an eclectic, discerning retail environment with an emphasis on quality which will maintain and increase footfall is important;

■ Most respondents felt that the eastern part of the town needs regeneration, both to enhance the run down appearance of the area and also to provide enhanced facilities for cultural, commercial and sporting activities;

■ Protecting and preserving the built and natural landscape whilst permitting needed sensitive and appropriate development must include tackling cliff and coastal erosion.

Respondents raised concerns about the lack of parking, with many supporting affordable or free, a multi-storey car park or a park and ride interchange.

Some said Port Royal – earmarked for redevelopment – could be maximised as a community hub, with space for performances and events, while continuing to support sea-based sports and leisure activities.

The steering group hopes to hold a referendum to finalise the Neighbourhood Plan by the end of the year.

Its full reports can be found at sidmouth.gov.uk.

Sid Valley businesses and groups respond to Neighbourhood Plan - News - Sidmouth Herald

This will also form part of the input for the ongoing Scoping Exercise for Port Royal:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> consultants meet Scoping Study Reference Group and start gathering evidence

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