Survey revealing residents’ views on Port Royal shared with study

The seven key themes in the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan

The seven key themes in the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan - Credit: Archant

Project leaders sitting on a wealth of information from 1,863 Sidmouth homes have fast-tracked an interim report on Port Royal to feed into a consultation.

A view of the eastern end of the town. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7858-10-09SH

A view of the eastern end of the town. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7858-10-09SH - Credit: Archant

Responses to the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan’s second household questionnaire show the site is important to residents and they have their own ideas about how it should be developed.

The survey had an unprecedented response rate of 25 per cent and a full report will be published in September.

Louise Cole, vice chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan steering group, said: “This report has been fast-tracked to meet the timeline of the scoping study in order to provide the data and analysis in time to feed in to the consultant’s report.

“Responses clearly reveal a sense of identity and shared aspirations that residents have for Port Royal, showing how important the area is to the Sid Valley.

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“The strong message is that development must reflect quality design, heritage and community use and protect and reflect the spatial and architectural characteristics of Port Royal and Sidmouth.

“It shows the need to look at how the area connects with the town, the cliffs, the beach and The Byes.”

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Figures show 90 per cent of respondents see Port Royal as a ‘destination’ area, while 91 per cent supported a community space and 73 per cent backed a performance venue.

Mrs Cole said: “The special identity of the area as a place which connects the sea and the natural environment gives rise to overwhelming support from 92 per cent of respondents who perceive the area as a focus for sea-based activities, and for promoting the fishing heritage the figure was 89 per cent.

“Another marked viewpoint that emerges is that amusement arcades, a high-rise building and flats and housing are not supported as part of the development – 88 per cent of respondents indicate no support for any more than 30 homes for the whole Port Royal area.”

A steering group spokesman emphasised that it is neutral, evidence-based and not associated with any group or campaign.

The interim report can be viewed online at https://sidvalleyneighbour

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