Skip to content

BREAKING: Drill Hall plans passed

  • by JW

Rockfish to refurbish the old Drill Hall to convert it into a fish restaurant


The campaign to save the Drill Hall has been running for some years – and with a huge amount of dedication and determination:

Rescue Sidmouth Drill Hall



A sister website provides a rich archive dedicated to the history of the building

– from which the above photograph has been taken, with permission:

Sidmouth Drill Hall Research Site


And now the campaign is finally over

– with the final newsletter looking to today’s expected approval of plans to keep the Drill Hall pretty much intact:

EDDC committee meeting Feb 4th 2020


This was anticipated when the agenda for the planning meeting was published – together with planning officers’ recommendation to approve plans to turn the Drill Hall into a restaurant:

Drill Hall plans expected to pass


Here’s this afternoon’s press release from the District Council:


East Devon District Council’s sale of Drill Hall to Rockfish can now be concluded

Rockfish’s planning application for the redundant Drill Hall building on Sidmouth seafront was approved by the Local Planning Authority’s Development Management Committee (DMC) at a meeting on Tuesday 4 February 2020.

The legal agreement for the sale of the property to Rockfish, which was conditional upon Rockfish securing planning permission, can now be concluded and Rockfish will now take on the building from the council As landowner of the former Drill Hall, East Devon District Council has been working closely with Rockfish who are its preferred developer for the site, since March 2019, when the sale was agreed, following a meeting of Cabinet.

Rockfish submitted a planning application in August 2019.  Rockfish will now carry out the refurbishment of the old Drill Hall building to convert it into another of their high quality and popular restaurants. The refurbishment of this well-known site will be a great addition for Sidmouth residents and visitors alike and will benefit the town’s seafront.

Cllr Geoff Pook, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for asset management:

I am delighted that Rockfish have been granted planning permission for the Drill Hall site in Sidmouth. The Drill Hall has been empty for some years now and the opening of a new Rockfish restaurant on this site will be an excellent addition to Sidmouth seafront, bringing new visitors to the town and creating new jobs.

Sidmouth Town ward member, EDDC Cllr Cathy Gardner, said:

I’m delighted that the old Drill Hall is finally going to get a new lease of life. This restaurant will greatly improve Port Royal and I know many residents are keen to see it open as soon as possible.

Rockfish gets planning go ahead for Drill Hall restaurant conversion in Sidmouth


And here are the several reports from today’s local media:

Plans approved for Sidmouth’s Rockfish restaurant |

Sidmouth seafront Rockfish plans have been approved |

BREAKING: Rockfish restaurant plans given the green light |

Sidmouth Rockfish approved |