Sidmouth’s lifeboat station is to be extended.

Wednesday, 19 June 2024 10:42

By Bradley Gerrard - Local Democracy Reporter

Permission has been granted by East Devon District Council that will allow it respond to emergencies faster. The lifeboat station is currently too small to house its two vessels, meaning three people have to fetch the smaller one from a nearby garage, impeding how quickly it can be launched.

Permission has been granted by East Devon District Council that will allow it respond to emergencies faster.
The lifeboat station is currently too small to house its two vessels, meaning three people have to fetch the smaller one from a nearby garage, impeding how quickly it can be launched.
Sidmouth’s independent lifeboat service, which is not part of the RNLI, has asked to be allowed to extend into an existing boat park that separates the station from the neighbouring Sidmouth Watersports Hub.
The council’s planning committee heard that the expansion would mean it could fit both its boats on the ground floor, and provide crew with more spacious conditions to get changed compared to the cramped quarters at present.
On the first floor, it would have a larger training room and space for a small meeting room. The roof will have some solar panels.
Because the proposed design is sympathetic to the existing station, which has an original section from the 1930s and an extension from the 1990s, and would be built on a piece of “scruffy” land, council officers felt it would improve the look of the conservation area.
Part of the new space will be leased to a private Watersports Hub for a boat house. Space between the new extension and its neighbour will be retained for vehicle access.
Kelvin Dent, chair of Sidmouth Town Council’s planning committee warmly supported proposal.
He said: “It assists the safety of the public with a more convenient store for the small lifeboat, and improves the welfare and training of the crew, so what’s not to like?”
Cllr Sophie Richards (Conservative, Sidmouth Town), also supported the scheme, saying the lifeboat volunteers “do an amazing job.“
“Anything that can be done to support them has my full backing,” she added.
The planning committee unanimously approved the proposal.
 

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