Winter Garden!

SIR - Regarding the proposed development at the Knowle, we are asking for a council with the vision to identify the future needs of the whole of East Devon without destroying the charm of Sidmouth.

The new town development at Cranbrook will have the rail links and provide the bulk of housing needed this side of Exeter.

John Govier has summed up our feelings both about the waste of money building new council offices elsewhere and also the damage to the environment if the land surrounding the Knowle were to be developed for housing.

It is the Knowle and its surroundings we need to save and we have a suggestion - it would be nice if Sidmouth had a Winter Garden for the benefit of residents and visitors both to extend the holiday season and to provide some choice in bad weather. All that is needed is a large atrium with open views towards the sea, tables, comfortable chairs, potted plants, a nice restaurant facility and good parking.

On wet summer Sundays the town band could play in the Winter Garden and there would be scope for other musicians too.

The rest of the building could be converted to luxury flats (more valuable in a beautiful parkland setting than part of a housing estate) and the car parks would be available for the town every day, not just weekends.

David and Clare Griffin

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Woolbrook Meadows, Sidmouth