‘Sidmouth councillors should honour responsibility to Ham’
PUBLISHED: 12:04 24 July 2017
A campaigner is calling on civic leaders to honour their legal duty to the Ham and ensure it is excluded from the redevelopment of Port Royal.
Mary Walden-Till said Sidmouth Town Council ‘should not be party’ to it being built on or reserved for use of any single group.
She has studied legal documents stating that the land was left to the community by John Radford in 1896 so it can forever be used for recreation by residents and visitors.
It also says that no permanent building exceeding seven feet in height shall be erected.
The Ham has been included in the Port Royal scoping study, but project leaders at the town council and East Devon District Council (EDDC) insist there are ‘no proposals, no plans and no schemes being put forward’.
Mrs Walden-Till, who is campaigning to save the Drill Hall, said: “We should continue to put pressure on our town councillors to do their duty as trustees of the Ham Playing Field.
“It is their responsibility to protect the charity land in line with its own rules. They should not be party to it being built on, or tarmacked and reserved for use of any single, paying members, group.”
Drawings at a recent consultation event showed the southern end of the Ham used for a new access route to serve the existing public slipway, and for boat storage.
But in a joint statement, EDDC and Sidmouth Town Council said: “Your correspondent has a particular view about the future of Port Royal and her comments about the Ham are both speculative and misleading.
“It’s important to make very clear that there are no proposals, no plans and no schemes being put forward here, nor are there any pre-conceived ideas about the future of Port Royal.
“This is an open consultation on the emerging findings of the scoping exercise carried out by an independent consultant in a project led by Sidmouth Town Council and supported by EDDC.
“The scoping study is about constraints and opportunities and ownership issues. There are no proposals put forward for building on the Ham.”
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