Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Council marks time on old Drill Hall blueprint

06:00 03 June 2014

An aspiration for the first phase redevelopment of Sidmouth

An aspiration for the first phase redevelopment of Sidmouth's Drill Hall. Image by Alex Vick.

Archant

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save an historic Sidmouth venue look set to be given until at least next summer to come up with a ‘viable’ proposal.

An aspiration for Sidmouth's Drill Hall. Image by Alex Vick.An aspiration for Sidmouth's Drill Hall. Image by Alex Vick.

Friends of Sidmouth Drill Hall are looking to persuade owners East Devon District Council (EDDC) to grant them access alongside a fixed term ‘peppercorn rent’ that will see it used once again.

It is even hoped the 119-year-old premises could be ‘symbolically’ opened on August 4 for a public event to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the World War One.

The group feels it has made little progress with EDDC since the premises were given a stay of demolition in March last year.

“We’ve really got to start over again,” said Matt Booth, who leads the community interest company (CIC) behind the plan.

He hopes EDDC will give the group its blessing to pursue its plans for a ‘first stage’ of redevelopment.

“The CIC would then be in a position to look to raise an amount of investment to carry out an initial stage of redevelopment that would be easily recoupable,” said Mr Booth.

“This would mitigate any losses should a genuine proposal for redevelopment of the Port Royal area materialise.

“Were that to happen, the CIC would not oppose it so long as any plans were put to the people of Sidmouth.

“It has always been our position regeneration of the area should start with current assets and that it benefits no-one to maintain the situation as it has been for 20 years.

“A staged redevelopment of the Drill Hall, that would see it open and operational now, would populate and energise that part of the seafront, support Port Royal and the surrounding clubs, businesses and buildings, and inspire a number of new activities there that would benefit Sidmouth as a whole.”

Short and long-term visions for the hall have been drawn up by Sidmothian Alex Vick, who works for an architectural design firm in London.

An EDDC spokesman said: “The council’s view was that the ageing and ailing Drill Hall would be a hindrance to, rather than a positive feature of, a potential [Port Royal] redevelopment.

“We agreed to give Mr Booth time to investigate funding sources and come up with a convincing business plan. We resolved to wait for that plan to materialise.

“No time-scales were agreed but we knew it was possible he would need up to two years to seek and find the necessary financial backing.

“The opportunity for that business plan to be produced is ongoing. While this may take the outcome beyond May 2015, the only reason is to give the community group the time they need to make their proposals viable.”

Other News Stories

Peter Judd said Susan's hair and clothes were ruined

Environmental health officers are investigating after a ‘torrent of filthy water’ rained down on a couple from an historic house on Sidmouth seafront.

Read more
06:22
Sarah and Philip Rose of Rosey's Chippy in Ottery. Rosey's has recently reopened after a fire forced the shop to close. Ref sho 20-16AW 7782. Picture: Alex Walton

Rosey’s has re-opened after fire forced eight-week closure

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team (l to r) Left to right: Dr Sam Rose, Alex O’Dwyer, Sally King, Dr Anjana Ford, Caroline Pearce, Guy Kerr, Katie Thompson, Sam Scriven, Lesley Garlick

The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team has won national recognition for its efforts to involve others with the site.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:49
A tent and pizza boxes were among the litter found at Core Hill

This ‘mindless and shameful’ littering shocked a mum-of-three trying to enjoy the outdoors with her children.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:49
The pompom field in the gardens outside Dray Court on Exmouth's Rolle Road is part of Exmouth's Art Trail, Photo: Paul Strange.

There’s an extraordinary sight on Exmouth’s Rolle Road for the next few days.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:15
Amelia Roberts died at the age of 11 following a six year battle with Battens Disease. Her mother Bev described her daughter as her 'superhero'

A Sidbury family has paid tribute to its ‘superhero’ daughter and sister whose smile and strength drew people in wherever she went.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:56
The smaller of the two new minor injuries rooms. Ref shs 7706-40-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Facility will relocate to Beacon Medical Centre

Read more
Thu, 18:31
Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club. Ref shs 20-16SH 4304. Picture: Simon Horn.

Youngsters from Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club recently took to the water to mark the start of their 2016 season.

Read more
Thu, 14:07
Sidmouth Folkweek sign. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0636-32-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Sidmouth’s annual folk festival has been regarded as one of the best in the UK by The Guardian.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications