Nearly 250 responses to Sidmouth’s Port Royal consultation

PUBLISHED: 14:58 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:59 15 August 2017

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

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

Archant

A five-week consultation about initial ideas for how Sidmouth’s Port Royal area may look in the future attracted almost 250 responses from individuals and organisations across the town.

Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council will send that information on to appointed independent consultants and the responses will be made publicly available on both councils’ websites.

Those responses, coupled with the Port Royal part of a survey by the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group where more than 1,800 households gave their answers to questions about the future of the Sid Valley, will feed in to a report for the area.

This report will be discussed later this year by both councils, who are the major landowners of the site.

The report will be considered together with a scoping study being carried out by the independent consultants to assess the feasibility of redevelopment of the area on behalf of both councils.

The study is only the first step in exploring options for Port Royal and will provide independent expert opinion on the opportunities and constraints of any development.

It will also help the councils decide whether the renewal of Port Royal is achievable and viable, and what any potential development might include.

Despite claims the contrary from opponents, the councils say no plans or designs are being considered or decided on at this stage, purely the possibility of improvement and viability of the important seafront site.

The study will also identify the boundaries, ownership and the needs of existing occupants and the consultants and officers have visited the tenants on the site including the lifeboat and sailing club.

They have spent time with these organisations to learn more about their activities and understand the important work they carry out which included the logistics of manoeuvring boats and trailers.

The consultants will then look at producing a set of recommendations which will balance community expectations with what is achievable in the area.

The consultants’ report will be presented to the Port Royal Reference Group and then considered by Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council later in the year.

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