Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> Scoping Study consultation >> "This does not make a good start to what is supposed to be a public consultation."

The proposals from the Scoping Study were on display today:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> Scoping Study consultation >> proposals now available

Here is a report from the Rescue Sidmouth Drill Hall campaign:

Port Royal and the Drill Hall
Dear Friends,
I have been to both days of this Port Royal redevelopment consultation, needing to return on the second day to clarify some details. I have spoken in great detail to officials from East Devon District Council and Sidmouth Town Council, and to a member of staff from the consultants Jillings-Heynes. They have filled me in on a lot of the background thinking which is not detailed on the boards used for display.

Unsurprisingly the intention is to demolish everything shown in the Local Plan as ED03 and build a huge block of very expensive apartments with the Lifeboat and the Sailing Club/Gig Club/etc housed beneath them. It is proposed to be 5 storeys high in comparison with Trinity Court’s 4 storeys. Trinity Court has the 4th floor set back to give an appearance to the front of 3 storeys so the proposed block appears much bigger. The Drill Hall does not figure in these plans which I think is a wasted opportunity for the town.

The online survey is at

The opinions of the council officials were at odds in some cases. Although they both agree that this is supposed to be a ‘concept’ there is disagreement as to whether the massing of the building is more or less a fixed element or not. The footprint is agreed to be a fixed element of the design even though the footprint of the building is shown as covering some of the land which is part of the Ham and therefore can not have anything higher than 7 feet tall built on it.

When I pointed this out to the EDDC official I was told that details like that would be sorted out when they had looked at the Land Registry documents. When I replied that these documents had been publicly available for some time on my site the line changed to ‘Well yes, we know where we can actually build; but any developer would want to see the Land Registry entries for themselves.’ When asked why a footprint which was ‘not possible’ was being used, rather than an accurate one, I was told that the conversation had gone far enough and would not be continued.

This does not make a good start to what is supposed to be a public consultation.

The same disregard for accuracy was shown when I pointed out how high the block was in the background of the artist’s impression. I was told that it wouldn’t really look that big as it was a distortion due to perspective! As most people know, perspective works by things in the background looking smaller not larger!!

I will be making photo montages and creating plans to flesh out the minimal drawings shown at the consultation. They will appear on the www.drillhall.rescue.historic-sidmouth.uk  site as a sub-page of the Scoping Exercise page. http://drillhall.rescue.historic-sidmouth.uk/scoping-exercise

They will be going up over the next couple of days and I urge you not to complete the survey until you have looked at them. The survey will be available online until July 31st so you have a month to think about your response. If you have any questions you would like to ask me I will do my best to pass on accurately what I was told. I will not twist facts to support my beliefs.

Remember that this consultation is a ‘gateway’ from which there is no going back.
Kind regards, Mary

Port Royal redevelopment doesn't include saving the Drill Hall
Rescue Sidmouth Drill Hall - Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue

No comments: