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Rockfish submit ‘finalised design plans’ for Drill Hall: further details

  • by JW

“Looks nice, though two unisex bathrooms feel like a lot less provision than is currently there.” [comment @ Devon Live]


Rockfish announced last week that they had put in their ‘finalised design plans’ for a fish restaurant in the former Drill Hall on the Sidmouth Esplanade.

The actual planning application is now available to see – and comment on – at the council’s planning pages:

23/1657/FUL | Conversion of hall to restaurant and bar (Use class E and sui generis, previously A3/A4), demolition of rear elevation and public toilet block and replacement with restaurant/ bar extension and a new public toilet block, external terrace to form seating area and addition of new flue. | Sidmouth Drill Hall The Esplanade Sidmouth EX10 8BE

Together with an artist’s impression of the proposed development:

The Herald reports on these ‘revised plans’:

Proposals to bring the seafood restaurant to the site were initially approved in February 2020, but the planning permission expired in February. The project had previously faced delays caused by “a legal point and the backdrop of the pandemic”, but the business remained keen to proceed.

If these plans go ahead, the existing building will be extended, a new block will be built for two unisex toilets and an external terrace will be made for seating… “The proposal is to operate largely within the form of the existing building, as well as the extension which replaces the toilet block. The extension includes extended seating to the main restaurant, prep area and store room for kitchen… A new toilet block will replace the old one. It is proposed to have two unisex bathrooms, both accessible, with baby changing.”

Devon Live headlines its report with “New Devon Rockfish plan complete with stunning outdoor dining terrace” – and with a few comments already coming in:

Looks nice, though two unisex bathrooms feel like a lot less provision than is currently there.

The range of Restaurants in Sidmouth is so very poor so the sooner the new Rockfish opens the better!

On the VGS social media page, concern has also been raised about the proposed ‘replacement of the public toilets and shelter’:

So. Firstly, this would see the destruction of a perfectly sound existing building – our public toilet and side shelter, much enjoyed by many! What a ridiculous waste!

Bang goes our toilets and shelter…

Going to the pages of The Ham – Sidmouth Drill Hall Research Site, there is a considerable amount of documentation which looks at the extent of the Ham area. Amongst the Land Registry documents, there are maps showing which sections of the Ham are registered to whom and which are covered by the conveyance of 1896. The map below is reproduced with permission.