Ball is in district council’s court over SES building

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- Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

I would like to reply to some recent correspondence printed in this paper relating to the continuing terrible state of the former SES building at number 15 High Street, Sidmouth.

It was suggested by one correspondent that the town council is not doing anything.

Of course we realise that it is not possible for everyone to attend a meeting of the council, but if they had, or found out through the minutes of meetings, they would realise just how seriously the town council has taken this issue.

Sidmouth Town Council has over many years, and particularly in the past year, been bringing pressure to bear on both the owner of the property and East Devon District Council enforcement to remedy the atrocious appearance of the building in the heart of our high street.

This has been discussed at several council meetings and one very recently.

Our hands are tied, however, as on this matter East Devon District Council are the only ones who have the power to remedy the situation.

Unfortunately, the planning enforcement and building control services are satisfied that the building poses no immediate danger and has not deteriorated to the point where a Section 215 notice could be served to enforce the tidying of the building.

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The town council disagrees with this position and condemns most strongly, the shameful appearance of such a large building and the effects it has on the town for visitors and residents alike.

I would encourage anyone person or group who is also concerned, to also put pressure on the district council to act.

The town council will certainly maintain pressure on the authority to take this situation seriously regarding such a prominent building in the heart of our principal shopping area, but electors should realise that the ball is firmly in EDDC’s court.

John Hollick

Chairman

Sidmouth Town Council

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