‘Affordable’ how?


Whenever developers want to build in otherwise protected areas, they always manage to slot in that misused phrase “affordable housing”.

Of course we have young people who have been born and bred there who need houses.

We have had lots of “affordable houses” built in and around Sidmouth in recent times that have remained on the market for many months.

Eventually, they are bought by people wishing to supplement their pension fund and so are let out. We will always have a section of the community who do not wish to become house owners.

Perhaps council-owned houses should have a clause when being rented out that when the family has been reduced to single occupancy it must be given up in exchange for single accommodation. This would free up more family housing.

I note the council is in need of more housing and another headline reminds us that EDDC has £1.5million in the kitty that it doesn’t know how to spend and it could be lost to Sidmouth.

When council housing was sold off cheaply some years ago, we created a void and people now have to rent from private landlords – often paid for by the taxpayer. If this £1.5million was given to Sidmouth from a developer to fund housing, why cannot a way be found to build what used to be called council estates for the sole rental of our young people?

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This is what is needed, and perhaps EDDC could keep control of the site and build.

To address the other controversy of where to move or site the council offices, perhaps we should look no further than demolishing and rebuilding Knowle on its present site. There is enough room to rebuild to the requirements of the EDDC and all that is needed.

If Sidmouth is indeed the largest town in East Devon (sic) then surely it should remain where it is expected to be.

JH Downer