The five criteria that used be used to market the Drill Hall, according to a Sidmouth councillor

The Sidmouth Lifeboat station, sailing club and Drill Hall at Port Royal

The Sidmouth Lifeboat station, sailing club and Drill Hall at Port Royal - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth councillor has set out the criteria she thinks should be used to choose a buyer for the Drill Hall.

Owner East Devon District Council (EDDC) is set to market the venue for six months so commercial and community groups alike can put together a bid.

Councillor Cathy Gardner has argued all applicants should have a solid business plan and commitments that meet the town’s needs, and the focus should not just be on finances.

She said: “The selection of a purchaser and operator for such a sensitive site should be as transparent as possible.

“This means that people should know the criteria that are to be used.

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“This will also help ensure a level playing field for community bids versus commercial offers.

“Possible criteria could be:

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1. Price offered and terms acceptable to EDDC and balanced against other factors below

2. How well does the proposal match the needs of the town?

a. Is the proposal supported by Neighbourhood Plan feedback?

b. How does the proposal compete with existing businesses in the town?

c. Does it link to the town’s history?

d. Is it sensitive to the conservation area and the heritage coast and enhance them?

e. Is there use of locally sourced produce?

f. No use of disposable plastic?

g. No potential for nuisance from sea gulls?

h. Does the business use Fair Trade products?

3. Is there a robust business plan and guaranteed funding to start up the business/venture and sustain it?

4. Is it beneficial to residents and visitors of all ages?

5. How does the proposal benefit the community as a whole?”

Cllr Gardner has submitted the criteria to EDDC deputy chief executive Richard Cohen.

The authority has yet to specify what criteria it will use in marketing the Drill Hall.

What do you think of the criteria? Is there anything else you would add? Email

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