Come along and have your say at Kennaway House on June 26 and 27

The people of Sidmouth have the opportunity later this month to look at initial ideas for how Port Royal may look in the future and to give their views at two consultation events which are being held in the town.

Consultants are carrying out a scoping study to assess the feasibility  of redevelopment of the area on behalf of Sidmouth Town and East Devon District Councils who are the major landowners of the site. The study is the first step in exploring options for the area and will provide expert opinion on the opportunities and constraints of any development. It will also help the councils decide whether the renewal of Port Royal is achievable and viable, and what any potential development might include.

A concept idea for the area has been developed by the consultants as part of the study and the public will have the first opportunity to look at the proposals at two consultation days on Monday 26 June and Tuesday 27 June from 3pm to 8pm at Kennaway House.

The events, which are part of the study, are open to all and the public can drop in between these times and look at a small exhibition of the proposals and talk to council officers and the consultants who will be at each event.

There will be an opportunity to complete a consultation questionnaire on each day so that people can give their views, thoughts and ideas directly to the consultants. The questionnaire and information will also be on the councils’ websites so that those unable to attend the events will be able to see the proposals and complete the consultation online. The deadline for the consultation is Monday 31 July 2017.

Councillor Jeff Turner, Chairman of the Port Royal Reference Group, said:

Everyone agrees that Port Royal is important to the town's residents and to its tourist business. The area, including the Ham, provides vital community and recreational space For townspeople and visitors alike and is widely regarded as the main priority for improvement if Sidmouth is to realise the full potential of its sea front which is one of the finest on the south coast.

There is now an opportunity to see some of the consultant’s initial findings and a concept idea and the consultation gives everyone the opportunity to say what they think. This is the first step in the process and no detailed designs of buildings have been drawn up at this stage.

The study will also identify the boundaries, ownership and the needs of existing occupants. Over the last few months the consultants and officers have visited the tenants on the site including the Lifeboat and Sailing Club. They have spent time with these organisations to learn more about their activities and understand the important work they carry out which included the logistics of manoeuvring boats and trailers.

Once all the data has been gathered and considered the consultants will look at producing a set of recommendations which will balance community expectations with what is achievable in the area.  These recommendations are expected to be considered by Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council later in the year.