40-homes plan ‘too big for Sidbury’

An artists impression of the site at Furzehill

An artists impression of the site at Furzehill - Credit: Archant

Sidbury’s population could grow by more than 10 per cent, if proposals for a new development in the village go ahead.

Property investment firm Land Value Alliances (LVA) this week unveiled its vision for up to 40 homes on land adjacent to Furzehill.

The company says the proposals would provide much-needed housing, but the plans have been criticised as ‘too much for the village’.

The four-acre plot is part of the Sid Valley’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It had previously been earmarked by district planners as a site that could accommodate 15 homes.

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Sidmouth town councillor John Rayson has reservations about the potential increased number of people living in the village.

Cllr Rayson said: “I’m dead against the proposals. Sidbury is a lovely village and it has a nice feel. It has a good community and I just think that the development will be overbearing. It will increase traffic along narrow lanes.

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“It is difficult to comment until we see a detailed planning application, but I think it is too much for the village.”

Residents met with LVA land promoter James Tizzard at an exhibition on Monday.

He said: “We looked at other proposed sites in the area of Sidbury. The benefit of this site is that it does not encroach both on Sidford and Sidmouth. It fits in with the buildings in the existing area.”

Mr Tizzard added that he had received a number of positive responses at Monday’s exhibtion, including keeping families in the village.

He said: “There is a local need for affordable housing that has been identified and any negatives help us formulate solutions.”

LVA says it wants to work with Sidbury Primary School and the Sidmouth Cycle Way Project about proposals to build a footway along Chapel Street and an off-road alternative for pedestrians and cyclists.

He said: “We would look to work together to address the concerns of residents in regards to the narrow road through Sidbury and reducing the pinch points that cause congestion.”

No formal planning application has been submitted, but Mr Tizzard added that LVA would carry out a housing assessment to find what type of housing would be required.

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