Misleading headline about future of Sidmouth’s Drill Hall

The Midweek Herald website has an article entitled “Concerns over Sidmouth’s redundant Drill Hall site quelled”. On reading the article it will become patently clear that, far from being quelled, the future of the Drill Hall looks extremely insecure:

“… In June, community groups were given six months to make a bid for proposals to redevelop the site – they have until February 4, 2019.

Exeter-based agent JLL, which was appointed by East Devon District Council (EDDC), plans to open the bidding up to the commercial property sector in the Autumn, giving them three months to put forward a bid.

Two members of the public came forward at the latest Sidmouth Town Council meeting on Monday. Resident Di Fuller raised issues with there being no published criteria on what the bids would be judged on. While, resident Simon Fern spoke out about his fears that the owners of the Drill Hall (EDDC) will simply sell to the highest bidder.

District and Town Councillor David Barrett said: “It would be impossible for me properly discuss the details of that criteria until it is discussed in the forum that decides the criteria.”

He added that the forum was hoping to meet soon and that he believed they would be looking at the criteria then.

Town Clerk Christopher Holland said: “My understanding is that it isn’t this council that gets the final say on this, it is not even this council who will have a say on this as such. We are being consulted and that is about it.

“My understanding is that when the criteria has been agreed they will be made publicly available to everybody but that will be through the agent. It won’t be through us, it won’t be through EDDC. It will be through the appointed agent so that they are fair to absolutely everybody and that is commercial and community bids both. They have to be fair to everybody and treat everybody in exactly the same way. So approaching us or EDDC for other information is just not going to work, you have to deal with the agent.”


Are your fears quelled? Owl’s are not!

EDDC, the property consultant and Premier Inns – a worrying menage-a-trois?

From East Devon Alliance Facebook page:

“Look who’s coming to advise our Council: Item 7 on Overview agenda, March 13th.

Do we trust these people? Public can attend the meeting”

Anyone recall a few years ago, Tesco was flavour of the month? Now it seems to be Premier Inns.

Oh, and JLL was the company that chose Moirai as the lead developer for the first ill-fated stab at seafront development in Exmouth!


The blurb that goes with this agenda item says:

“Matters for Debate 7 JLL presentation – Commercial Property Investment for Local Authorities JLL is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors achieve their business ambitions.

Presenting Team John Kinsey, National Director John Kinsey joined the practice in November 2003 and has over 30 years of experience within the property markets throughout the South West. He has considerable experience in out-of-town leisure and retail developments along with High Street A3 developments. He is the representative for Whitbread Plc for their Premier Inn hotel chain throughout the South West. He has advised a number of local authorities on key project work and regeneration schemes. Simon Bennett, National Director Simon joined Jones Lang LaSalle in October 1995. He has 22 years’ experience within the Investment Department, specialising in the disposal and acquisition of a variety of properties across the whole of the South West. His clients are a wide range of institutional, local authority, property companies and private investors, together with a number of charity clients. Recent clients include CBRE Global Investors, AEW, IO Group, Standard Life and Mayfair Capital. David Roberts, Director A Director in JLL’s Planning and Development Team with a focus on the preparation and implementation of effective estate strategies for a range of public sector clients. David also currently works on a significant number of commercial and residential regeneration projects across the South West. His specialist skills include concept development, masterplanning, options appraisal, viability analysis, due diligence, business planning and estate strategy, implementation strategy, development partner procurement, agency and funding support.

Presentation JLL will be presenting and discussing with the council the recent drive by local authorities to enter into the commercial investment market and how this is being used for both income generation and regeneration projects.

They will present a number of case studies and also discuss case studies where local authorities have used their covenant to enable regeneration and investment opportunities.“