Owl says: Well, that’s rich: who put the 5-storey building into the consultation document? EDDC. So who pre-judged the public consultation? EDDC.
Would the two councils have made such a fuss if it was a Conservative councillor who pointed this out? You decide.
” … Major landowners EDDC and Sidmouth Town Council are exploring options for Port Royal with a scoping study. They have revealed a concept for the site that could incorporate Sidmouth Lifeboat, the sailing club and up to 30 flats in a new building that could stand up to five storeys high.
In a joint statement from both councils, a spokesman said: “We are disappointed by a misleading and scare-mongering petition set up by a local district councillor, Cathy Gardner.
“It is a shame that this petition is pre-judging what the public think and the outcome of consultation with a petition pushing one person’s idea, rather than respecting the opinions of Sidmouth people.
“The councils are asking everyone to express their own opinions instead. The consultation is around the emerging findings of independent experts. There are no plans or proposals being made at this stage.
“We all want to see Port Royal looking as good as the rest of the town’s seafront. Positive ideas and constructive criticism are what we are seeing from Sidmouth people – that is the Sidmouth way.”
Councillor Jeff Turner, who leads the scoping study for the town council, added: “The consultants have not yet produced their final report and, contrary to the misleading statements in this petition wording, there is no fixed plan or proposal as to how Port Royal will be redeveloped.
“We should all wait to see what options emerge from the studies and consultations and how these are received and debated at both town and district councils, before jumping to conclusions.”
He said the study will also take on board the 1,800 responses about Port Royal in the Neighbourhood Plan.
The petition can be found at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/alternative-plan-for-sidmouth-s-port-royal-the-3r-s.
The campaigners are also staging a public meeting in All Saints Church Hall from 7pm on Wednesday, August 23.”
The councils’ consultation closes on Monday, July 31. It can be found at http://eastdevon.gov.uk/port-royal-consultation/.
Seems like Sidmouth residents have a choice – sit back and wait, trusting EDDC to “do the right thing” on their behalf; or rise up now and demand to be heard before its too late. Hopefully all will be well, everyone will take care of the unique character of the town and truly listen to what its residents want.