This evening, the Town Council were asked questions about their role in the sale of the Drill Hall - as they had been asked a month ago - with some answers provided by Councillors:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: Town Council to consider the Drill Hall
Half a year ago, similar questions were being asked:
SIDMOUTH TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Sidmouth Town Council
held at the Methodist Church Hall, Sidmouth,
on Monday 5 February 2018 at 6.30pm
Public Open Question Time
• District Cllr Cathy Gardner commented that the District Council should
consider how best to choose criteria for a developer for the Drill Hall site.
• Michael Temple asked, as the District Council had ignored its own Local Plan
for the number of dwellings planned for at The Knowle, whether the number
of dwellings at Port Royal would be increased correspondingly from 30 to 70.
• Oliver Salter, representing the Sailing Club, commented that the users of the
Port Royal Club needed some security to know what the District Council
intended to do with their building, especially as the current lease only had
approx. 10 years to run.
Port Royal Scoping Study Reference Group
Councillor Turner, Chairman of the former Port Royal Scoping Study Reference
Group, presented the report and recommendations from the Town Clerk and the
consultant’s report from Heynes Planning Ltd and Groupwest.
The purpose of the
report was to provide an update to members on the outcome of the Scoping
Exercise that was undertaken in 2017 in relation to the Port Royal Site.
the activities that were taken as part of the Scoping Exercise including the research
of relevant issues undertaken by the external advisors; the public consultation
exercise; the findings of their work and their recommendations for the next
The report made recommendations to Members and noted the position of
the District Council.
During the discussion, Members made the following comments/observations:
• It was in the Town Council’s interest for the Port Royal Club to flourish,
therefore the Town Council, District Council and Port Royal Club should work
together to improve the facilities and agree an extension to the lease period
to ensure security for the future.
• The District Council should be encouraged to undertake
refurbishment/maintenance of the public conveniences, Port Royal Club
building and Lifeboat Station to help enhance the whole area.
• Any potential developer should be encouraged to take into consideration
Sidmouth’s historical links to the sea, its position on the Jurassic Coast and its
maritime heritage when considering plans for the Drill Hall area.
• The marketing brief for the Drill Hall should be wide and flexible enough to
enable a mixed-use development which would be preferable, the design
should be aspirational in order to support future economic viability within
Sidmouth whilst encouraging possible heritage, community and cultural
• There should be a financial contribution from the site development towards
the beach management programme.
• It was welcomed that the Town Council would continue to work closely with
the District Council through the core group of councillors who had been part
of the Scoping Study Reference Group
1. That Members noted the detailed research undertaken in the Scoping Exercise
that had provided a comprehensive and thorough analysis, including financial
viability assessment, of the complex issues related to future development within
the Study Area.
2. That Members noted the analysis in the report and in particular the following
a. The existing covenant impacting upon parts of the potential development site
b. The risk of flood especially related to land outside of the area allocated
within the Local Plan
c. The lack of financial viability of development if on-site or off-sited affordable
homes were included
3. That members noted the report and recommendations of the 7 February 2018
Cabinet of East Devon District Council which if adopted, would result in not
seeking a mixed development for the overall site and would seek the marketing
of the Drill Hall only.
4. That the Town Council focuses on improvements to and a general raising of
standards to the Fishermen’s shed and Fish Shop area.
5. That the District Council be encouraged to undertake refurbishment of the
public conveniences, Port Royal Club building and Lifeboat Station to enhance
the whole area.
6. That the Marketing of the Drill Hall should not commence until 1 March 2018 to
enable the draft of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan to be issued.
Minutes of the Meeting of Sidmouth Town Council - Monday 5 February 2018