Fortfield moves

SIR - Once again, our town councillors are flexing their muscles in respect of the new plans to replace the ruins of the Fortfield Hotel.

This hotel has been closed for several years, but I have not heard that the remaining hotels have been unable to cope in taking up any extra business which may have come their way.Sidmouth is well served with establishments offering a wide choice of accommodation and I suspect that there is still a good deal of capacity not taken up. If permission were given for the erection of 31 private dwellings, Sidmouth would see the removal of a blot on the landscape, more council tax in the coffers, more money being spent in local shops and, dare I say it, more money spent in our hotels and restaurants.

If Sidmouth is to retain its “character” and “family silver”, our councillors should be aware that it is the variety of retail outlets in the High Street which attract many of our visitors.

With that in mind, perhaps our councillors could turn their attention to the appalling state of a former stationer’s shop in the town centre.

If many more properties such as this were allowed to decay, it would be for that reason tourism would decline rather than the loss of a hotel which has been closed for a considerable time.

Roy Cooper

7 David’s Close, Sidbury