EDDC propose sale of the Drill Hall!

I’m pleased to say that EDDC Cabinet on 7th February will review a proposal from Officers to drop the development plans for Port Royal included in the Local Plan. This is amazing news and what we had hoped for. In addition, they propose to offer the Drill Hall site for sale. At the moment we do not know whether this will be the freehold or leasehold or the price they will seek. I encourage everyone to attend the meeting of Sidmouth Town Council on Monday 5th (Methodist Hall, 6.30pm) and the Cabinet meeting at EDDC on Wednesday 7th at 5.30pm.  Come prepared with your questions!

The Cabinet agenda papers can be found here – the relevant pages are 63-68.

Councillor Cathy Gardner


Welcome to this website which belongs to the 3Rs campaign, Retain-Refurbish-Reuse.

You can find the latest campaign developments here.

The 3Rs campaign is a response to the public consultation at the end of July 2017 where the consultants appointed by Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council put forward a concept which would see a block up to 5 storeys high replace the current buildings at Port Royal.

Port Royal is the eastern end of Sidmouth Esplanade.

The concept plan does not state exactly what could be done. It says that there will be up to 3 storeys of apartments, in a block up to 5 storeys high, to provide funding for the redevelopment. This redevelopment might retain the Lifeboat and Sailing Club (and associated clubs) underneath the apartments, but there may be efforts made to move the Lifeboat to the western town. There could be further community use and/or a restaurant in the redevelopment. It is possible that some Ham Charity land could be taken into use for a boat park to replace the current boat standing which will be built on.

There is no mention of retaining the current buildings and making them into something better.

You can find more information about their concept here.

Retain-Refurbish-Reuse is simply asking that this option of renewal is considered alongside any other option approved by the Councils.
It is not attempting to block progress.
It is not working with a fixed plan in mind.
It is asking that the people of Sidmouth have a say in what is proposed for Port Royal before we get to the stage of a planning application being submitted.

Although the Consultants for the Scoping Exercise were appointed from a choice of independent firms they have been working closely with EDDC Regeneration Team.
It is true that Councils have not yet expressed an opinion on the results but it is untrue that the Consultants were given free rein to come up with anything they wanted.
A detailed plan of the work they were set can be seen here.

Retain-Refurbish-Reuse brings together knowledge from many places including the Gig Club, Vision Group for Sidmouth, Save Our Sidmouth, and people who care about the history and future of Eastern Town.
It is not a group of argumentative Councillors who have a grudge against the established Councillors.
It is not a pressure group to preserve the Drill Hall at the expense of an improved Port Royal.
It is not setting an agenda, but is reacting to things which Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council place in the public domain.
It does not see itself as fighting against things but fighting for a Port Royal which gives something valuable to inhabitants and visitors alike.