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‘Retain, refurbish, re-use’ - campaigners’ alternative vision for Sidmouth’s Port Royal

PUBLISHED: 10:25 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:55 19 July 2017

Distrist councillors Matt Booth, Dawn Manley, Cathy Gardner and Marianne Rixson

Distrist councillors Matt Booth, Dawn Manley, Cathy Gardner and Marianne Rixson

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Retain, refurbish, re-use – the ‘Three Rs’ to deliver an alternative vision for Port Royal revealed today by campaigners.

EDDC and Sidmouth Town Council commissioned a scoping study for Port Royal. This illustrations is only intended to give an impression of the scale and size of a building on the site and how it might appear in relation to other buildings nearby.  It is not a proposal for how the building will look.EDDC and Sidmouth Town Council commissioned a scoping study for Port Royal. This illustrations is only intended to give an impression of the scale and size of a building on the site and how it might appear in relation to other buildings nearby. It is not a proposal for how the building will look.

District councillors Cathy Gardner, Matt Booth, Marianne Rixson and Dawn Manley have challenged suggestions the ‘only apparent option’ for eastern town is to build a multi-use building with 30 homes that could stand up to five storeys high.

Instead, they say the existing buildings and uses should be retained, the whole area should be refurbished as needed, and sites such as the Drill Hall and the old boat park should be re-used.

The councillors are calling on residents and visitors to support their proposal.

Cllr Gardner said: “The Three Rs encapsulate what many people have said they want.

“We’re not laying out a fixed set of ideas – we want residents to be given a chance to debate the enhancement of the area and to reach a democratic solution.

“We will be holding a public meeting to bring together supporters of this proposal and ideas for funding.

“We are confident that many people can help to deliver a plan of this kind if it’s adopted, whether by volunteering, donating or fundraising.”

Cllr Booth has previously investigated sources of funding and said: “Funds can be raised for schemes that support the community. There may even be business opportunities in the Drill Hall.

“We will be calling on East Devon District Council (EDDC) and Sidmouth Town Council to include this proposal in their plans and properly investigate the option of developing community value on the land they own, rather than seeking some financial gain from public land.”

Major landowners EDDC and Sidmouth Town Council are exploring options for Port Royal with a scoping study.

They have revealed a concept for the site that could incorporate Sidmouth Lifeboat, the sailing club and up to 30 flats in a new building that could stand up to five storeys high. Their consultation closes on Monday, July 31.

The campaigners are staging a public meeting in All Saints Church Hall from 7pm on Wednesday, August 23. They have also launched a petition that can be found at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/alternative-plan-for-sidmouth-s-port-royal-the-3r-s.

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