Sunday, 4 February 2018

Plans for Port Royal: and whatever happened to the Beach Management Plan...

The District Council's annual report included key aspirations:

What a year it’s been for East Devon District Council, with a number of ground breaking changes taking place in the way the council delivers its objectives. From an innovative new district wide recycling service and outstanding performances for housing and council tax benefit claims, to building affordable, quality local homes for local people and moving forwards with regeneration plans to transform Exmouth and Sidmouth.

25 October 2017 - Council continues to deliver its objectives with maximum efficiency - East Devon
Futures Forum: District Council's Annual Report fails to report on inefficiencies and planning issues in East Devon

The only problem is that these 'regeneration plans to transform Sidmouth' are not going to happen - at least for the time being:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: 'Council proposes to drop regeneration plans and sell the Drill Hall'
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: 'not seeking a mixed development for the overall site and ... marketing of the Drill Hall only'

And one reason among many for this not happening is that buying the Port Royal site was just not going to be attractive enough for any developer:
Futures Forum: New developments and flood regulations in East Devon

Which would have involved protection against flooding from the sea:

'Any investor in Port Royal's development needs to be aware of their legal liability to make a substantial contribution towards the cost of any shore-line defences':

Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal > and the Beach Management Plan > and the Traffic Management Plan

And if there are not going to be 'regeneration plans' - which would involve selling the Port Royal site to developers - then there are going to be fewer funds in the Beach Management Plan kitty:

An East Devon District Council spokeswoman also said they would soon be writing to all the residents, businesses and infrastructure owners who will benefit from the scheme to see if they would be willing to help fundraise the £3.3million needed to pay for the much-needed sea defences.

Update given on consultant’s work with Sidmouth’s Beach Management Plan | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: report from 10th January meeting

And there isn't much cash to be had anyway:
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: and asking the public to fund a public project >>> nine months on and £165 richer

Meanwhile, the BMP is still very much in limbo:
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: report from 10th January meeting
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: moving on, but still with so many unanswered questions
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan >>> frequently asked questions >>> last updated 6th September: and still fail to address explicitly the arguments against and in favour of offshore reefs to create a self-sustaining sand tombolo 
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: "More careful consideration is needed, starting with comparative modelling."

If not lacking somewhat in transparency:
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: "We cannot and will not request that expert advice is altered because some stakeholders are not getting the answers they wish to hear."

Ultimately, though, it has to be about joined-up thinking:
Futures Forum: The Neighbourhood Plan connected to > The Port Royal scoping report connected to > The Beach Management Plan connected to > The Re-imagining Port Royal architecture competition >>> "We should look at everything that's currently on the table and try to do some joined up thinking!"
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >>> report from Town Council meeting: 'the scoping exercise would form a key part of the Neighbourhood Plan'

In which case, why such a lack of commitment in the Port Royal Scoping Study when looking at the delivery of the Beach Management Plan?

After all:

'Part of the Beach Management Plan study area falls within the Port Royal Study Area'


More from the Town Council - which is meeting tomorrow to discuss matters:

The results of the Port Royal Scoping Study can be found by following the links below
Land at Port Royal, Sidmouth: Main Report
Land at Port Royal, Sidmouth: Executive Summary
Land at Port Royal, Sidmouth: Background Papers and Appendices

Further information can be found by following this link
Sidmouth Town Council Meeting Agenda Monday February 5 2018 at 6.30pm

This meeting will be held at the Sidmouth Methodist Church Hall, High Street. All Sidmouth residents are welcome to attend.

Sidmouth Town Council - Sidmouth Town Council

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