Please listen to us

I was brought up in Sidmouth, I and my family lived here; 20 years in Sidbury and now retired, recently, to Sidford.

I went to the Save Our Sidmouth meeting at Manor Pavilion last week. I found it most interesting and was surprised over some of the information about East Devon District Council.

I was amazed to hear that they did absolutely nothing towards our tourist business. Apparently, not one Sidmouth councillor was on the planning committee. So those plans for Sidmouth were devised by whom?

I have, as yet, found no-one who wants an industrial site at Sidford. The roads for access are dreadful; far too much traffic through Sidbury, which is bad enough, and even worse coming from Sidford. This is a pleasant green road area, now that so many roads are becoming urban. We shall soon kill our tourist golden goose.

Has EDDC been to have a look at the Alexandria works? They would see that there is a huge area unused, and also the old gas works. There’s plenty of room for Ford & Sons to expand, or is there a nagging suspicion that someone like Tesco is somewhere in the background wanting an out-of-town site?

The Bulverton access road to Alexandria works would work well. It’s a good and easy road from The Bowd Inn and would relieve the town roads. Apparently, we have to buy a strip of land; wouldn’t this be cheaper than building a new site? Or should we all try to raise money to save our town?

We have had a large number of houses built in recent years. Local people cannot afford these homes. So now, the new influx of people is almost too much.

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Now at Rockbeare, in the new town of Cranbrook, we have 10,000 houses coming up for sale. With all the houses built in the EDDC area and Rockbeare, enough is enough, time to leave us be.

One of the problems from all this building is that the health centre is too small. EDDC wishes to clear the small works site at Manstone. Plenty of room for them at Alexandria works! So could the health centre go to Manstone? Maybe, even room for the vet surgery?

Then there’s the Drill Hall, which belongs to Sidmouth. Can it be repaired? It could be opened with a shop unit at the front selling maps to walkers, drinks and ice cream. But the hall could be used for all sorts of things: photo and art exhibitions; children’s art work, maybe from school.

That would please the tourists on a cloudy day. Maybe a nursery school or flower exhibits; all sorts to think of. Surely, this would make Port Royal more interesting? No, to blocks of flats that will be bought as holiday homes.

I do hope EDDC listen to Sidmouth town folk. They are there for us, not against us.

Sheila J Guest

Drakes Avenue, Sidford