Future of Sidmouth
SIR - I read, with growing dismay, the proposals by EDDC for the future of Sidmouth.
There appears to be a fairly straightforward choice between the preservation of Sidmouth as a Regency seaside town of undeniable charm and character, or, the creation of something totally out of keeping with past generations’ work to preserve this uniqueness.
Where, for instance, is the essential infrastructure to be located to support an increase of 720 homes?
How will future traffic movements be managed through our narrow streets to cope, not only with that from extra residents, but also that generated by visitor numbers deemed to be so essential for the continued existence of our smaller retail outlets?
The inevitable emotional carrot of “affordable housing” is proffered by builders as a viable reason for permitting the large scale development being sought.
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It should be remembered that an “affordable property” once occupied, ceases to be affordable once it enters the open housing market.
To be truly affordable, a property should remain under the control of the local authority, available at a reasonable rental, with no right to buy. Not everyone wishes to become a property owner!
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Sidmouth is utterly unique. It is only by rigorously maintaining this uniqueness that past, present and future can be conserved.
Richard L Crouch