“In July, ‘Three Rs’ campaigners unveiled their alternative vision to ‘retain, refurbish, re-use’ the site’s existing buildings.
They wanted to challenge suggestions that the ‘only apparent option’ for the development of eastern town was to construct a multi-use building with 30 homes that could stand up to five storeys high.
Campaigners argue the existing buildings should be retained, the whole area should be refurbished as needed and sites such as the Drill Hall and the old boat park should be re-used.
In a bid to keep the public informed, they have created four information sheets ahead of the publication of a final report on Port Royal.
Councillor Cathy Gardner, [Independent East Devon Alliance] who is one of those leading the Three Rs campaign, said: “We think it is important people have more background information for the proposals for the Port Royal area, particularly while we are waiting for the final report from the scoping study – we are expecting that in January.
“We have tried to be as factual as we can. People ask a lot of questions and sometimes there are misunderstandings, and we just want to help clarify it for everybody.”
The information sheets explain the challenges East Devon District Council (EDDC) faces in redeveloping the site and the importance of the authority deciding on what happens, and argue it is essential to retain the Drill Hall.
The guides also look at what the Ham is and its conveyance, the role played by Sidmouth Town Council, what the Local Plan has to do with Port Royal, and where Devon County Council comes in.
As well as this, the information sheets will address how the car parks could be refurbished.
Cllr Gardner said the campaigners could also cover other topics so asked residents who were unsure on anything or think something should be clarified to let them know.
The information sheets have also been pinned up on a notice boards around Sidmouth and are available online at http://www.retain-refurbish-reuse.uk.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org for an electronic copy.”