A vision of Sidmouth’s future

EDDC to promote provision of more homes for district, says Local Development Plan

CONSERVING the Regency grandeur of Sidmouth is part of East Devon District Council’s vision for Sidmouth in the future.

It prefers to see modest development through the Core Strategy that is focused on complementing “the high quality of the town and its importance as a year-round tourism destination.”

Between 2011 and 2026 EDDC will specifically plan for and promote the provision of 250 new homes, which are in addition to the 470 homes already granted planning permission or built between 2006 and 2009.

The provision of three hectares of additional employment land, enhancement of the town centre environment and promoting business opportunities in it, provision of social and community facilities to match future development and new housing and better management of road space in the town centre, “to alleviate congestion” and a park and ride are also envisaged.

The latter will “offer potential for management of traffic in the town and in the medium term controlled outward expansion of Sidmouth will allow for modest future development, including improved employment site provision.”

Consultations by EDDC with the public found that many felt the character of the town could be severely damaged by any significant new development, though there was support for modest levels of housing and employment development.

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The public also want more flats above town centre shops and that more facilities for younger people, and better school transport and youth funding is needed.

Better jobs should be offered to attract younger people to the town and it was felt there was a shortage of employees for elderly people’s sheltered accommodation.

Cycle and footpath links were suggested, including a path to Sidbury and cycleway to Ottery St Mary.

There was backing for Park and Ride, town centre pedestrianisation and further traffic management, although concerns were expressed that restricting cars might discourage tourists.