Follows more than a year-long process to look at the future of key Sidmouth site

East Devon District and Sidmouth Town Councils have now received the final scoping study report with its analysis and recommendations for the next steps regarding the future of Port Royal.

This is the outcome of over a year–long process involving professional expertise and community consultation. Both the town and district councils are now at the point where councillors will be asked how they wish to go forward with the outcomes of the study.

The next steps are that reports will go before both councils with Sidmouth Town Council meeting on Monday February 5 and East Devon District Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday February 7. The scoping study and appendices are being published as part of that council reporting process.

Councillor Jeff Turner, of Sidmouth Town Council, said:

In the course of his studies, the independent consultant identified a number of constraints with redevelopment of the site and presented his ideas of a potential development taking the identified constraints and limitations into account.

Additionally, the public consultation and the surveys conducted for the emerging neighbourhood plan identified very clear public preferences as to what should be retained at Port Royal and what people would like to see in the way of new facilities to boost the tourist attraction of the Sidmouth seafront.

It’s clear that the Sidmouth public want to see the sailing club and lifeboat station retained but, also wished to see new restaurant and bar/bistro facilities included in the redeveloped site. There was clearly no appetite for a single large multi-storey building. The two councils will now debate the consultant’s report and decide which of its recommendations, if any, to take forward into the next stage.