Boundary bid is opposed

The proposed changes,

The proposed changes, - Credit: Archant

Proposed changes to Sidbury’s village borders will not be supported by Sidmouth Town Council.

Members discussed the East Devon Village Plan at their September meeting and ‘did not agree with the revised boundary’ - which suggests splitting Hillside off from the rest of the village, writes Beth Sharp.

It was considered the area was ‘too small-scale’ and, while limited expansion in the village was welcomed, councillors felt ‘the infrastructure, especially roads, footways and a Sidbury to Sidmouth cycle route, would need enhancing first’.

The East Devon Village Plan is being produced by the district council to help guide decisions on where new developments should be - setting out the ‘built-up area boundary’ in select villages. Proposals for new developments will generally be accepted if they fall inside the boundary line, but if they do not then they would only be considered in special circumstances. If a resident’s home falls outside the line, it will not mean they will be considered as not being a part of the village.

A public consultation is being held to review where boundary lines should be drawn. In Sidbury, the main changes proposed will see the Hillside development to the south and the gardens along Chapel Street at the southern edge of the village excluded from the boundary.

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Myrtle Farm, the primary school, a property at the north of the village along Ridgeway and a building to the north of the village along Cotford Road could all now be included within the boundary.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has tried to ensure the main existing built-up areas are included, together with those already agreed for development. As a general rule, buildings with large grounds on the edge of settlements are excluded.

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EDDC has considered a range of alternatives - including not having boundaries or drawing boundaries more tightly or loosely - but the options were not progressed, partly because they differed from the approach set out in the authority’s Local Plan.

The proposals state further work had been done to see if the boundaries drawn could be reduced where it was difficult to access local services and facilities on foot. But this approach was not taken in Sidbury as a lot of homes in the village were considered to be within a reasonable walking distance.

Once the consultation is finished, EDDC will consider all comments before producing a plan. A further public consultation will then be held. It will then be formally submitted for consideration by an independent inspector, who will decide whether the plan is ‘sound’.

Residents have until September 28 to have their say by visiting EDDC’s website. Consultation documents are also available at the library and the town council offices.

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