Meeting to be held on Port Royal redevelopment in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 October 2016

Sidmouth, Port Royal. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0934-03-12AW

Sidmouth, Port Royal. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0934-03-12AW

Archant

A 'scoping study' to explore how Port Royal could be redeveloped is set to begin in November - and take around four months to complete.

The news follows the first meeting of a group of local organisations, town district and county council representatives yesterday (Thursday).

It discussed the initial steps in determining whether any redevelopment of Port Royal is viable and what the potential development could include.

The Scoping Study Reference Group includes representatives of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Group, the Sid Vale Association, Vision Group for Sidmouth and Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce.

The town and district councils, which are both landowners of Port Royal, agreed in the summer to jointly commission a scoping study.

“This represents the very first step which will provide expert opinion on what kind of redevelopment would be potentially viable,” said an East Devon District Council (EDDC) spokeswoman. “The study will also identify the boundaries and ownership and the needs of existing occupants.”

Devon County Council is a key stakeholder as it owns the highway.

“Consultation, communication and engagement with the local community will be a primary feature for every stage of this project and the consultants who are selected to carry out this study will be asked specifically about how they will consult the community during this first stage, which is expected to take around four months starting in around November/December,” added the spokeswoman.

Sidmouth Town Council is taking the lead in the process, while EDDC is providing professional support.

Councillor Jeff Turner, chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, who will be chairing the reference group, said: “We are at the very start of this process and the reference group, with town organisations fully represented, will be able to bring their views and opinions to the table in a collaborative approach so that we can understand what the viable options might be.

“We have no preconceived ideas about the renewal of Port Royal which is why we are carrying out the study in order for us to consider a list of options for the area. It is important that everyone understands that this first step does not involve any decisions being taken but just a look at what might be viable.”

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