OBJECTIONS from members of the public to contentious plans to redevelop Knowle have reached a whopping 1,745.

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And civic leaders have “most strongly” opposed the prospect of Sidmouth losing 71 jobs if the town’s major employer moves to Honiton.

Town councillors added their voice to fears over the detrimental impact the district authority’s mooted relocation will have on Sidmouth’s economy – labelling it “highly regrettable”.

The fate of a planning application for 50 homes and a 60-bed care facility at Knowle will be decided next month.

A special meeting of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee will take place on Friday, March 1, at 2pm.

Sidmouth Town Council planning committee members met to respond to a revised economic impact assessment.

They ruled that “the loss of 71 jobs from the town’s major employer, of which many are of a high grade and quality and the resulting significant impact on the economy of Sidmouth is considered highly regrettable”.

EDDC bosses say Sidmouth will lose 71 jobs over a decade if its relocation goes ahead.

Town councillors also reiterated their previous, split decision, position on plans for Knowle.

They say building in the footprint of the site’s existing office buildings is acceptable but development of any of the rest of the site is not.

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