Save Our Sidmouth

Jan 6th 2016, Knowle…Cabinet will hear report on Eastern Town Scoping Study for Sidmouth.

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Public are welcome to attend this important Cabinet meeting, at 5.30pm on Wednesday 6th January.
Richard Cohen, EDDC Deputy Chief Executive , will report on the Eastern Town Scoping Study, which is to be jointly funded by Sidmouth Town Council (£2,000) and East Devon District Council (£8,000).

EDDC website gives details as follows:

Purpose of report:
The Port Royal vicinity at the eastern end of Sidmouth seafront is an area that does not meet the high standards of visual or amenity quality of the rest of the town. There is general acknowledgement that the area requires development and renewal. In partnership with Sidmouth Town Council and as principal landowner, EDDC is proposing to undertake a scoping exercise to investigate ways forward that can bring about investment and development to renew the area and create a high quality mix of uses.

Recommendation:Cabinet recommendations as follows:
1.EDDC will work with Sidmouth Town Council to prepare a brief and commission appropriate professional consultancy to scope out the detailed work required and options to fully plan the tasks and process required to achieve the regeneration of Port Royal
2.To add to the offer of £2,000 from Sidmouth Town Council a sum of up to £8,000 from EDDC’s existing towns regeneration fund
3.To delegate responsibility to take forward this project to the Deputy Chief Executive in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Partnerships
Reason for recommendation:
To respond to a request from Sidmouth Town Council to work in partnership on the renewal of a key location on and behind the town’s seafront.
Financial implications:
The financial details of this initial stage are included within the report. Reserves are held to accommodate this spend as indicated (£8,000).
Legal implications: There are no legal implications arising at this time. However it is advised that legal input is obtained at an early stage if regeneration proposals are progressed.
Equalities impact Low Impact
This is a scoping exercise and, as such, will mainly precede detailed planning work and consultation that should address equalities impact issues. This exercise will include consultation with local organisations.
Risk Low Risk
Links to background information:
Link to Council Plan:
This is very much a first stage investigation but with a desire to lead on to a successful renewal of the eastern end of Sidmouth’s seafront. As such the longer term objective will link to all the Council Plan priorities in relation to living in, working in and enjoying East Devon and Sidmouth in particular. A regenerated Port Royal will be a benefit to our residents, visitors, businesses and local work force.Report in full
EDDC will work in partnership with Sidmouth Town Council to commission and manage a scoping exercise for the renewal of the Port Royal area of Sidmouth. It is expected that the work will take no more than two or three months to start and finish. This will not be a major planning exercise at this point in time but a precursor to identify key information such as land ownerships, boundary options and reflect on any previous plans and investigations into the area. Without going into too much detail at this stage (a detailed plan would need to follow) the scoping exercise will want to reflect on technical and sensitivity issues related to the location of Port Royal including design, engineering, environment, flood management and World Heritage Coast concerns.
The consultants will be expected to propose a forward plan of action to achieve the best quality development outcome. This will include recommendations toward boundary definition, ideas about what Sidmouth would benefit from, a range of options possible for development, market intelligence, the approach to a development plan eg a Masterplan process. We would also expect a timeline and action plan for next steps. Lastly, the consultants would be expected to advise, potentially on a confidential basis, on financial aspects of a renewal scheme for Port Royal. This would include the spend required to take forward a development plan and what would be a potential capital receipt outcome. Whilst the question of a boundary will be considered within the scoping exercise it should be reflected that there are a number of existing buildings and uses that will need to be considered:
•Lifeboat station
•Sailing club
•Boat park
•Drill Hall
•Public toilets
•Fish sheds
•Highways and turning circle
•Public realm and green space
•Car parking
•Leisure centre
Some uses will wish to remain and need to be close to the sea and others are not so important. For example maritime uses such as the lifeboat station and sailing club are important assets to the
town and part of the attraction of the seafront. Sidmouth Town Council has approved £2,000 toward a scoping exercise. EDDC has existing budget previously approved under town regeneration budget and this report proposes a sum of up to £8,000 bringing a total of £10,000. The District Council is the major landowner in this partnership. Until we have secured bids for the work it is difficult to be exact about the cost of 85 proposals but £10,000 seems a reasonable ceiling to set and with the expectation that a competitive bidding process will secure the best value proposal. Subject to Cabinet agreement to EDDC responding favourably to Sidmouth Town Council’s approach, the agreement of Cabinet will give authority to the Deputy Chief Executive in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Partnerships to commence discussions with Sidmouth Town Council and take forward the detailing and delivery of a scoping exercise. The findings of that exercise will be reported back to the two Councils with a view to
determining what happens next. ‘

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