Why no action?

With regard to hanging signs in Sidmouth, which is a conservation area with listed buildings.

This may be of interest to businesses in particular and others that may have an interest in the town. It has come to our attention and confirmed by East Devon District Council’s planning department that eight signs attached to shops in the town do not have the relevant planning permission.

Of the eight, three are attached to listed buildings. The eight mentioned were photographed at random, which begs the question, how many more signs in the town fall into the same category?

The question has to be asked how can this be? The planning department confirms it has an enforcement team, which should ensure that any unauthorised signs that are erected on buildings in the area without the relevant permission are dealt with as laid down by their own guidelines.

The signs referred to have been there for some considerable time. How is it that they are still in place?

We are informed through correspondence from East Devon planning department and Sidmouth Town Council that the reason is that the enforcement department is “extremely stretched”.

The district council receives funding from the revenue collected from the people in East Devon. These people have a right to expect that all departments and officers of the council discharge their duties and responsibilities efficiently and professionally at all times, even if they are “extremely stretched”.

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