Neighbourhood plan says eastern town and Port Royal should be a multiuse building

Sidmouth, Port Royal. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0939-03-12AW

Sidmouth, Port Royal. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0939-03-12AW - Credit: Archant

Port Royal should be developed into a multi-use area capable of acting as a community events space, the neighbourhood plan says.

The Herald will be taking each section of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan (SVNP) and breaking down the policies and its proposed impact on the Sid Valley community ahead of a referendum on September 19.

The plan identifies community priorities - e.g. cycle paths, promoting transport needs, protecting heritage sites etc. And, if adopted it will act as a blueprint for developments in the area until 2032.

The plan includes four policies on eastern town and Port Royal including the eastern town redevelopment, its access (policy 23), its maritime heritage (policy 24) and community assets (policy 25).

The SVNP specifies that any redevelopments in eastern town should retain and/or replace the current buildings, should be flexible multi-use area. This includes acting as community events space, and/or a flexible cultural/performance space, with a bar and/or restaurant.

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The eastern town area includes the Ham Lane car parks, swimming pool, Ham recreation ground, Port Royal and eastern end of The Esplanade.

If adopted, any developments will also have to pay regard to the location being in a flood zone.

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With regards to the access to the site, the plan says it will only support proposals to maintain, and where possible improve the cycle pathway linkages within the town centre and the wider area.

And, the existing levels of car parking spaces will be retained unless alternative parking is provided and is equally accessible to the town centre.

Any scheme for the area will also be expected to either retain or replace the current facilities which accommodate sea-based activities, including those related to the site's fishing heritage such as the fishermen's huts, fish retail service, angling facility, lifeboat station and the Sailing Club.

The neighbourhood plan has been three years in the making and is a planning policy document that will be used by East Devon District Council when it considers planning applications.

It cannot be used to stop growth but it can direct and shape development. The neighbourhood plan will supersede the Local Plan where the Sid Valley is concerned.

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