Urgent focus

SIR - There appears to be a bit of discontent in the Sid Valley over Knowle and its parklands, the Alexandria and Sidford sites, the inadequacy of the Sidmouth Health Centre and secret council meetings.

Our locally-elected councillors have worked hard in trying to get the Alexandria site developed to its full potential. Why cannot they be allowed to continue? We do not need another supermarket.

The Knowle building appears no longer viable, so why not new council offices be built on the Sidford site. This would create a minimum of disruption, rather than a move right away to Honiton; very accessible near the A3052 crossroads and the bus stops, adequate parking and room to extend if and when the need arises.

Maybe the footprint of the Knowle building could be used for a block of flats, no higher or larger than the present building. This would pay for the new council offices at Sidford and leave the parkland intact for Sidmouth.

The increase in housing over recent years had seen Sidmouth concreted over. The several estate agents’ windows are full of properties for sale, many in the affordable range. There is a new town growing up nearby; do we really need anymore here?

Finally, we come to the urgent need for our Sidmouth Health Centre to expand. Anyone who has sat in the centre and watched a young mother, baby in one arm and toddler on the other, would not doubt the urgency, not to mention the vast increase in the population due to the extra housing.

We read from time to time in the newspapers that libraries are becoming redundant due to the expansion of the home computer age. Why then cannot the health centre be allowed to retain its rightful place, next to the hospital, and expand into the library? Again, with minimum disruption. And the anger over misuse of the car park solved by making it solely for hospital and surgery appointments.

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Sorry, but our health must come before books. Perhaps the owner of the now dangerously crumbling old SES building in the centre of the High Street would part with it for the library. Very central and parking nearby.

The busy Sidford Surgery was considered necessary when it was built not long ago. With the increase of housing in this area, how can it be considered no longer essential with the possible loss of the pharmacy and jobs? Perhaps the council could reconsider the parking fees for the surgery and local shops and the car owners who park on the busy roads.

I’m sure someone will point out to me that my suggestions are totally unacceptable but these problems need solving urgently.

We must make use of what we already have and not keep spoiling our beautiful area with excessive building.

JH Downer

Tyrell Mead, Sidmouth