Local Plan ‘horror’

SIR - We are writing to protest about the District Development Plan for Sidmouth. These plans will alter and destroy the uniqueness and beauty of this town. We wish to make the following points:

1. Impact on infrastructure. All the proposed new houses will obviously lead to many more cars being on our already congested roads and raises even more problems of parking in central Sidmouth. Traffic which would ensue between Sidbury and Sidford with an industrial site would have an unwelcome effect on both villages. The road is not wide enough to cope with lorries and large delivery vans. Sidford already gets congested in the summer months; extra traffic is definitely not what local residents would wish to have.

2. The health centre and medical centre would have to cope with many more patients. How can the doctors and other staff do this when the doctors are already desperate for extra capacity to fulfill their duties for the existing population?

3. We are concerned about the impact of yet another supermarket being built on the outskirts of town. The impact on our local shops, which we support all the time, would be disastrous.

4. We consider the sale of the Knowle completely wrong. At this time of economic difficulty to propose this move and expenditure on new premises is an insult on local council taxpayers. Why cannot East Devon District Council suggest alterations to the existing building but only when it is economically viable?

Also, the proposed building of 50 houses on green parkland should never be allowed. What a hideous sight for visitors coming down Station Road to the seafront: a mini housing estate.

It seems a great shame that permission was given to build houses on land at Woolbrook when this would have been a wonderful site for a Park and Ride and would keep a great number of cars out of the town centre. All that has been created are more cars and increasing pressure on health services.

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Finally, we are horrified to think that a 12-acre industrial site is proposed for land which should be saved as farmland. Food production should be a top priority in this country to feed an increasing number of people. Why cannot spare capacity be used at the Alexandria Road site?

We feel the EDDC Local Development Plan should be scrapped and the fears of local people addressed. Whilst we must look to the future of Sidmouth you should not do anything that spoils the town and stops people living, visiting or working here.

Richard and Claire Crouch

Cotmaton Road, Sidmouth