Councils welcome constructive and helpful feedback from public who are pleased the project is not a fait accompli

Two open consultation events held recently at Kennaway House in Sidmouth as part of Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council’s ongoing Port Royal consultation, were well attended by members of the local community. 

The events gave residents and businesses the opportunity to look at initial findings and exploratory ideas produced by the two councils’ consultants, Jillings-Heynes, which show how the Port Royal area in Sidmouth could look in the future. The consultation is part of the scoping study commissioned by Sidmouth TC and East Devon, which will be used to determine the feasibility of the regeneration of Port Royal. The consultants will take on board the public’s responses into their final report.

The consultant’s emerging findings and the consultation are an early step in the process of finding out what is achievable and viable for the renewal of Port Royal.  At this stage no detailed designs of lay outs, mix of uses or buildings have been drawn up.

The public of Sidmouth have responded enthusiastically.  Already nearly 100 responses have been received as a result of the consultation events, but both councils would like to encourage people to fill in the form either online or in paper format.

For a paper copy of the form, please contact jbuckley@eastdevon.gov.uk or telephone 01395 517569. The deadline is 31 July 2017, so there is still plenty of time to comment on the redevelopment proposals.

Next steps will involve looking at a more detailed planning and design exercise for the area, preceded by reports to both councils who will then discuss how the project can go forward.

The Port Royal reference group, chaired by Sidmouth Town Councillor Jeff Turner, recently met to discuss progress on the project and to receive an update from the project’s consultant Ed Heynes, who reported that the consultation events had been much appreciated by those attending and that a number of key points of interest to residents and businesses were already emerging. These were:

• People are pleased that nothing has yet been decided and that the councils have not leapt ahead with detailed plans or designs

• Importance of car parks, but equally these were dead space • Traffic in Sidmouth

• Comments on the allocated site and the potential height of buildings in relation to neighbouring buildings was highlighted

• Was it necessary for the lifeboat to be in that location – could it be moved to the western end of the Esplanade?

• Improved access to the sea for the lifeboat, clubs and water users

• The Esplanade – some positive comments were received about this being pedestrianised

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

Both the consultation events at Kennaway House were extremely well attended and written responses continue to come in from Sidmouth’s residents and businesses. People seem to welcome this early engagement and are pleased that we have not gone ahead and presented the project as a fait accompli. I would like to thank everyone who has responded so far – their comments have been both constructive and helpful, and the quality of their feedback is much appreciated.