High quality living essential to Port Royal future

SIR Port Royal: A proposal for a sustainable and pedestrian-friendly development. The Vision Group, in its proposals for the Port Royal side of Sidmouth, must consider the next generation and look towards 2020 and beyond.

SIR - Port Royal: A proposal for a sustainable and pedestrian-friendly development.The Vision Group, in its proposals for the Port Royal side of Sidmouth, must consider the next generation and look towards 2020 and beyond. This means designing and maintaining a high quality of life in the area which enhances and engages with the natural beauty of the estuary. At the moment, this ugly, blighted area is dominated by vehicles and tarmac so, in future, it will be desirable to introduce a far more sustainable and pedestrian-orientated lifestyle. What is required is a scheme providing a significant social and cultural facility and accommodation predominantly for the use and enjoyment of the future population. This can be achieved by the introduction of two new interlinked pedestrian public spaces, a quadrangle at the Ham car park and a paved circus at the end of the Esplanade. Massed around the quadrangle and across the front of the swimming pool, [there should be] mixed-use residential and commercial spaces with the community hall overlooking the Ham and opening directly onto the circus. The new assembly hall should be a flexible, loose-fit facility containing a large performance space, display areas and knowledge-based media centre with bar and cafe. The rescue station and sailing club, if appropriate, would also need to be incorporated into the ethos of the social complex.The scale of the development must be consistent with the existing urban fabric and landscaped carefully into the outstanding surrounding natural habitat. The residences should be a mixture of live-work spaces, with the domestic area, due to potential flooding, situated on the first floors and above. Facing the quadrangle would be three balconied row blocks of Fortfield Terrace proportions, with one providing affordable accommodation for key workers such as nurses, police and school teachers. The quadrangle may function as a festival and market space and the ground floors would provide shops, offices and workshops serviced from the rear. It would aspire to be a carbon neutral development incorporating communal underground heat exchangers including the latest concepts for passive solar energy, with plenty of timber and other renewable materials.Graham CooperChairman of art and architecture Peak HillSidmouth


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