An historic decision

PUBLISHED: 14:43 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:28 17 June 2010

IT WAS an historic moment for Sidmouth Town Council's planning committee last Wednesday when it made its first official decisions on signage and tree applications. The council has recently been give authority to make decisions on such applications. previo

IT WAS an historic moment for Sidmouth Town Council's planning committee last Wednesday when it made its first official decisions on signage and tree applications.The council has recently been give authority to make decisions on such applications. previously it had only been able to give its views and make a recommendation to EDDC which would actually decide the application.The change came about following Sidmouth's recent quality council status.Town clerk Trina Jarrett, who also acts as case officer for such applications, told councillors: "It is a big step for the district council to take and shows they have faith in this planning committee and they have taken the lead and entrusted us with decision making."At a two-day conference she was unable to find any other delegates who had taken such steps with their district councils. She also spoke with Government representative who knew of no other such arrangements between district and local councils."We are leading the way," she reported. "The town council appreciates it is a bold step for the district council, as the planning authority, and are delighted they feel confident in this council's professional and careful approach in order to be entrusted with the decision making."The committee's first decision on signage was for internally illuminated projecting and fascia signs for Boots at Lifestyle Pharmacy, Woolbrook Road, which it agreed.A letter will go to the applicant to point out that, while acceptable in Woolbrook, signage in the town centre's conservation area has to comply with strict planning policies over use of materials and illumination.

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