New Fortfield vision to be unveiled

EARLY designs to replace Sidmouth’s Fortfield Hotel have been binned by would-be developers who are set to reveal an all-new vision for the site.

EARLY designs to replace Sidmouth’s Fortfield Hotel have been scrapped by would-be developers who are set to reveal an all-new vision for the site.

A “whole-scale re-design” featuring 40 apartments will be unveiled to residents for the first time today (Monday, March 7).

Residents’ criticism of initial architecture at a public exhibition last month caused the major re-think, according to the managing director of ZeroC.

Kim Slowe said his firm “inherited” the abandoned proposals from another developer and has now employed a new architect with a “classical background.”


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He vowed to carry on consulting the town “for as long as it is necessary.”

“We tore it up and started with a clean slate,” Mr Slowe told the Herald.

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“We felt, from the public feedback, it was the right thing to do.

“I can assure you the new scheme is dramatically better and I’m really pleased with it.

“It’s a complete re-design and one we believe is of considerably greater architectural quality.”

New designs will be revealed at a public meeting in the Cellar Bar at Kennaway House, from 3pm to 4pm, today, Monday, March 7.

“There will be eight less apartments,” said Mr Slowe, who added issues of affordable housing and holiday accommodation at the site were the subject of on-going talks with East Devon District Council.

He added: “It’s a whole-scale redesign. We had a mixed feedback after the last public exercise. Some people said they wanted to see a hotel there, others apartments, others affordable housing.

“There were no other consistent points apart from the one theme that we could do better with the architecture. We have addressed that.

“We don’t do community consultations for the sake of it. It’s an expensive exercise for us, but it’s the right and proper thing to do.

“We will carry on with consultations as long as it is necessary.”

Mr Slowe said the timescale of any planning application being submitted was ‘totally dependent’ on feedback from public meetings, like the one planned for next Monday.

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