A vision for Sidmouth’s future

Homes, jobs and tackling traffic in town’s blueprint

HUNDREDS of homes and scores of jobs are at the heart of a vision for Sidmouth’s future.

Tackling town congestion, creating a ‘park and ride’ provision, and “sensitive” regeneration have been earmarked to enhance the town over the next 16 years.

That is the view of East Devon District Council (EDDC) - but growth cannot come at the cost of the “Regency grandeur” of Sidmouth, says the authority.

An increase of 720 homes and locating seven-and-a-half acres of employment land have been mooted for the town as part of EDDC’s strategy for the region from 2011 to 2026. Around 250 homes could be added to the 470 committed to or built between 2006 and 2009.

The report touches on the possibility of town centre pedestrianisation, “better” jobs and a need for affordable homes- with outward expansion preferred.

Promoting a mixed use redevelopment of the East End and Drill Hall site on the Esplanade also features in the dossier, along with mooted improvements to sporting, cultural and community facilities.

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Proposals touch on upgrading access to Alexandria Industrial Estate and a new employment site one town’s northern edge.

The draft doucument reveals: “The preferred approach for Sidmouth will see modest development focused on complementing the high quality of the town and its importance as a year round tourism destination.”

Sidmouth is described as “a Regency seaside town of exceptional charm, character and architectural value.”

As EDDC planning chiefs gave the go-ahead for a public consultation on Tuesday, Mark Seward, president of the Sidmouth and District Hospitality Association , and Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce Chairman Richard Eley told members they were concerned over a lack of reference to the importance of tourism in the blueprints, and highlighted the need for town’s parking solutions.