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The starting point for looking at redevelopment of Port Royal is the Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council, jointly run, Scoping Exercise. The document below includes the Project Brief.
Tenders to run the exercise were received and consultants Jillings Heynes appointed. It is expected that work will move forward briskly now, with the report expected to be finalised by mid-summer.
N.B. When it says that ‘key members’ from the Reference Group met, it means those members who are also Councillors!
The Scoping Exercise calls for a number of ‘gateways’, after a ‘gateway’ has been passed the previous considerations will not be reassessed.
That means that a binding decision will be made on certain aspects of the Study when they reach the ‘gateway’, and even if something important later comes to light they will not reconsider. Consequently, we have to make sure we communicate clearly when things are being investigated, and we also have to make sure the Councils communicate clearly with us.
This is a group made up of concerned locals and organisations who have been chosen by the Councils to feed information to whichever company is appointed to carry out the Scoping Exercise. They are not expected to meet very often so presumably the Councils don’t put a lot of emphasis on local views!
The group has met twice so far and as you can see from the minutes the majority of members are Councillors. The other members are representatives from the Neighbourhood Plan group, the Chamber of Commerce, SidVale Association and Sidmouth Vision Group.
2nd meeting of the Reference Group
As the two meetings have been 5 months apart we must hope the next one comes more quickly or the Scoping Exercise will be over!
If you want your views to be considered it might be a good idea to send them to at least two members of the Reference Group.
It seems from the ‘also present’ that Councillors want to be the majority passing over information, or is it keep a firm grip on the information, being presented by and to the Reference Group. The company chosen to run the Scoping Exercise has been chosen by, and is accountable to, the two Councils. So isn’t the Council input great enough already? As the Councils will have to show that there has been a high level of consultation on the proposed redevelopment, having a less ‘Council-heavy’ set-up might have been better.
The Vision Group for Sidmouth have presented all their past work in a document which can be found here, and the results from the Neighbourhood Plan will be fed in too.
At the end of June 2017 there was a display in Kennaway House which formed part of a public consultation. Alongside this was a survey which could be completed either in paper form at the 2 day consultation or online until the end of July. Although the survey has finished I include it here so that you can see just how badly put together it was. It is almost impossible to avoid the trap of your answers appearing to accept or approve of a total rebuild.