SIR - Having read the article in the last issue of the Sidmouth Herald it looks as though the plans, as they stand, result in an apartment block that is too large and out of proportion with the surrounding area.
There is a strong argument that says that a combination of residential and holiday flats do not sit well together and is not viable. Having said that, the general view is that it’s a done deal and the council will give the green light, even of it goes through, in the end, as residential apartments only.
Last year, a number of readers, me included, expressed a preference for a boutique hotel. Whilst there is a view that Sidmouth has an over-capacity of hotel beds, perhaps they are predominantly in the large, traditional hotels that attract a certain profile of customer, well-to-do families and older people. A boutique-style hotel would, potentially, attract a new segment of visitors to the town, which can only be a good thing for the future prosperity of Sidmouth. There is a well-known saying “act in haste and repent at leisure”.
Whilst the council can’t be accused of acting in haste, there is a pressing need to get on and make a decision, not least of which there are all the inherent problems of a dilapidated site.
All I can ask is that the council think carefully through all the issues in the round and sign off a plan that is right for Sidmouth in the long term.
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