Sidmouth Port Royal: “Retain, reuse, reburbish” meeting Wednesday 23 August 7.30 pm

The meeting, on

Wednesday 23rd August
starts at 7pm at
All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Road, Sidmouth.

“More than a thousand people have now signed the petition “an alternative plan for Sidmouth’s Port Royal—the 3 Rs.

If you, too, feel strongly about appropriate development at the eastern end of the seafront, but haven’t yet added your name, it is urgent to do so as a decision is imminent.

Signatures for the ‘Retain-Refurbish-Reuse’ option are being collected online at

or alternatively on paper – for example at this week’s 3Rs Public Meeting, organised by EDDC Councillors Matt Booth, Cathy Gardner, Dawn Manley and Marianne Rixson, and Chaired by Di Fuller – see header above”

Alternative vision for Sidmouth’s Port Royal

To see drawings link to the original link at the end of this post.

Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council (EDDC) have released a preliminary idea that shows the lifeboat station, sailing club and other facilities incorporated into a single building that could stand five storeys high.

Graham Cooper’s alternative vision – created in a personal capacity – is to build on what is there, rather than ‘destroy’ Sidmouth’s heritage as a fishing town and block views of the sea.

Mr Cooper, who entered an architecture competition last year to ‘re-imagine’ Port Royal, said: “In everybody’s mind, five storeys is too large. EDDC might say that it’s just an idea, but that’s what it’s put into the public domain as a ‘proposal’. It’s not ‘scaremongering’ to suggest it’s almost like a Trojan horse.

“The consultants are only proposing to include community assets that are already there. It doesn’t add anything, except holiday apartments.

“We want other options. An alternative would be to make incremental changes – to refurbish and repurpose what’s there.

“A lot of people have said there should be a performance area, but we already have the Drill Hall.

“The fishing area is a piece of history. That fishing compound is what eastern town used to be like.

“A big building is a form of cultural cleansing – it’s clearing out the heritage that is there. You shouldn’t destroy things unless you have a better solution.”

Mr Cooper proposed adding a further floor and balcony to the sailing club, with canopies extending over the boat yard and to the east of the Drill Hall linking it to the toilets.

The maximum height would be below that of Trinity Court, the four-storey block adjacent.

Mr Cooper added: “I think the Drill Hall would make a great flexible event space, café and bar, with a gallery in the basement shooting range.

“The top floor added to the sailing club would make a fabulous fish restaurant!”

In response, Sidmouth Town Council and EDDC said in a joint statement: “We are currently consulting on the findings of the independent consultants and we must stress that there are no proposals, no plans and no schemes currently being put forward.

“We are delighted to have so far received 159 responses to the consultation and responses are welcome from the public up to the closing date of Monday, July 31.”

BBC to highlight ‘Save Our Devon Seafronts’ campaign this Thursday (27 July). Port Royal, Sidmouth, will be featured.

“Campaigners from Devon’s seaside towns have united in an initiative to ‘Save Our Seafronts’. Sidmouth is included. This Thursday, BBC Radio Devon breakfast show will include an interview with Sidmouth Councillor Matt Booth, one of the four East Devon District Councillors who are leading the 3Rs campaign for an alternative vision for Por Royal – Retain,Refurbish,Reuse’.

The debate may continue on the radio lunchtime phone in programme (tel 0345 301 1034) and possibly on Spotlight TV on BBC 1 that same day.”

BBC to highlight ‘Save Our Devon Seafronts’ campaign this Thursday (27 July). Port Royal, Sidmouth, will be featured.

If YOUR vision for Port Royal isn’t the EDDC vision – you are “scaremongering”

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

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

Some good news: Manor Gardens, Connaught Gardens and Seaton Wetlands gets prestigious award

… “21 parks across Devon are officially among the very best green spaces in the country. The prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space – has been awarded to 21 parks across Devon.”

This international award, now in its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.”

Award winners in East Devon:
Manor Gardens – Exmouth
Connaught Gardens – Sidmouth
Wetlands – Seaton

“38 degrees” petition started on plans for Sidmouth’s Port Royal

“To: East Devon District Council c/o P Diviani and Sidmouth Town Council

Alternative plan for Sidmouth’s Port Royal – the 3R’s

Include our alternative plan for Port Royal: Retain, Refurbish, Reuse in your regeneration proposal in place of the current ‘multi-use development’.

Why is this important?

In October this year EDDC will decide on future development for the Port Royal area of our seafront. This follows a scoping study done in conjunction with Sidmouth Town Council. The large-scale development put forward in the consultation (and as proposed in the Local Plan) will have a huge impact on the views, use of the area and change its unique character. People in Sidmouth have been asking why the area can’t remain as it is, with subtle improvements and changes. We now call on EDDC to reconsider their plan for a large new building and adopt our proposal to Retain, Refurbish and Reuse. Retain existing buildings, allow careful refurbishment of the whole area and open up discussions on potential uses for the Drill Hall.

How it will be delivered

Delivery in person, to the Leader and Chair of EDDC and the Chair of STC”

Sidmouth Port Royal plans – improvement or defacement?

From Save our Sidmouth:

“Sidmouth seafront: improved or defaced by councils’ Port Royal plans? NOW is the time to make your views known

East Devon District Council (EDDC) and Sidmouth Town Council (STC) have progressed their joint Port Royal Scoping Study, to produce a single option for public consultation. As suggested in our most recent posts, the redevelopment proposed has caused controversy, with heavy criticism on planning grounds and on unsuitability. Various letters to the press have been copied to SOS, and will be posted on this website, for your information.

Two new web pages describe the situation, and include thought-provoking photomontages:


Local resident, Mary Walden-Thill, warns, ”The first meeting of Sidmouth Town Council after the Survey closes, is on the 14th of August. It is very likely that they will make their decision on the redevelopment at this meeting. Once the decision is made the ‘gateway’ closes and it will be extremely difficult to reconsider, it may even require a legal appeal.” (
The Terms are very clear … see:

Many agree with her that there seems ”no reason why the area could not be improved without resorting to a huge block containing apartments”, and are questioning why the consultation only offers one option.

NOW is the time to let your Councillor representative(s) know your views, by

a.contacting them directly . STC contact details from the council website are listed below, for your convenience.


b. completing the brief public consultation survey still open online until 5pm on 31st July 2017, at this link

Sidmouth Town Councillors
Chairman IAN MCKENZIE-EDWARDS, Sidford Ward,
Deputy Chairman John Dyson, South Ward,
Ian Barlow, Salcombe Regis Ward,
David Barratt, Salcombe Regis Ward,
Sheila Kerridge, West Ward,
Jack Brokenshire, Sidford Ward,
Louise Cole, West Ward,
Kelvin Dent, South Ward,
Michael Earthey, North Ward,
John Hollick, Sidbury Ward,
Stuart Hughes, North Ward,
Gareth Jones, Sidbury Ward,
Marc Kilsbie, East Ward,
Dawn Manley, North Ward,
Frances Newth, East Ward,
Simon Pollentine, Primley Ward,
John Rayson, West Ward,
Jeff Turner, Primley Ward,
Paul Wright, South Ward,