Regeneration of Sidmouth’s Port Royal inches closer after �500k deal

REGENERATION of Sidmouth’s Port Royal remains in limbo despite the landmark hand-over of a key seafront property this week.

Redevelopment of the town’s eastern seafront inched closer after the Esplanade’s Drill Hall changed hands in a �550,000 land swap deal following years of negotiations. East Devon District Council (EDDC) has taken over the ownership of the derelict premises after providing army and air cadets with a purpose-built new home off Stowford Rise.

The Drill Hall is considered a vital component in the long-awaited redevelopment of Port Royal.

EDDC invested more than half-a-million pounds in the new Cadet Centre as part of a deal with the Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadet Association (RFCA).

But the authority says there is no set timetable for any seafront re-development – and the project is at the mercy of the current financial climate.

An EDDC spokesperson told the Herald: “The council has made a �550,000 investment into the Cadet Centre as part of our plans for the regeneration of Sidmouth.

“The regeneration of the seafront is an ongoing project which has no specific timetable at the moment, and there are also many factors which will play a part in the development of the seafront including, of course, the current economic climate.

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“The 475 metres square Cadet Centre has been provided by EDDC in a land exchange deal with Wessex RFCA, in return for their old derelict building on Sidmouth seafront.

“This exchange is part of EDDC’s wider plans for the regeneration of Sidmouth seafront. The future of the Drill Hall will be considered as part of these plans, enabling East Devon to realise the full potential of the area.