Path wrangle

SIR - In response to the front page article about the development by Blue Cedar Homes of land currently owned by Parsons Bros Builders Ltd. The developers intimate that it would be a great loss to Sidmouth. I disagree.

Over 100 local people and several councillors have voiced opposition to the development and footpath diversion. This ‘significant’ voice of local opinion by those affected directly and others in sympathy has hitherto been largely ignored or overrun.

I am against the diversion of the footpath because:

l There is no need to divert it. It could remain and pass through the development;

l The privacy of the residents of Counters Court will be eradicated and replaced by noise nuisance, litter pollution and potential criminal damage;

l Access from/into Mill Street will be less spacious and hindered by a telegraph pole, and;

l Fire exit access may be reduced from Counters Court increasing safety risks for residents;

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I am against the development generally because:

l Sidmouth does not need another private retirement development;

l The development is not in keeping with the existing style and ambience of the Mill Street and Holmdale area;

l The developers have not disclosed their plans to the EDDC in respect of garage access to and from the property (No10) in the far north-west location to and from Salcombe Road;

l It displaces the potential of light industry away from Sidmouth, and;

l The excavation will, literally, un-earth a toxic time-bomb of chemicals catalogued in the soil

What Sidmouth needs is:

l More light industry, or;

l More affordable homes that are in keeping with the Mill Street / Holmdale area, and;

l More facilities for the youth of the town.

In my opinion;

l The footpath should stay where it is, and;

l Another developer should be found to build something more in keeping with the requirements and structure of the surroundings

Mill Street, Holmdale and Newtown are synonymous with the history of Sidmouth. There have already been too many changes in the area with the loss of too many landmarks including a water-mill, foundry, school, gaol, stables and other industry (coal yards, glove factory, dairy, fruiterers etc).

Sidmouth does not need this development.

Julian King

Barrington Mead, Sidmouth