‘EDDC told ‘Don’t ruin Sidmouth when you leave’

SIDMOUTH representatives have told want-away East Devon District Council (EDDC) chiefs: “Go to Honiton if you like, but don’t ruin us for the sake of what you want.”

Town councillors hit out at proposals to build on parkland and erect homes along an attractive entrance to the town when they met on Wednesday.

“It seems unbelievable to me that they have the cheek to actually put a plan in to do this,” said Councillor Ian Barlow.

Objections came over plans for homes on parkland to the south of the site (Zone E) and to turn a lower car park and part of its adjacent green area into dwellings.

Cllr Jeff Turner said: “If any other developer came forward with this sort of proposal in any other part of East Devon it would be rejected out of hand.”

Cllr Ann Liverton said proposals for Zone A, on the unique entrance to Sidmouth along Station Road, were “dreadful”.

She labelled plans for Zone E as a “non-starter” and added: “It would be a tragedy.”

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Cllr Maggie Baldwin said it ‘wasn’t right’ that EDDC would determine the fate of its own plans for land it owns.

“We should write to David Cameron and say ‘this is part of the Big Society talking’,” she added.

Around 80 members of the public filled the Methodist Church Hall to observe talks.

Councillors were unanimously against parts of the plan – but did disagree on how best to register those concerns with the district authority.

Cllr Mary Jolly was concerned that mooted dwellings, in Zone C, were not in the footprint of the existing buildings and gardens would be lost. She saw a recommendation to put this point across fail.

Members concluded that they:

? Did not support Zones A and E. They also want to see Zone A kept as a public car park.

? Supported possible development of Zones B, C and D subject to “sympathetic designs”.

? Called for the inclusion of a footway from Broadway to Station Road and removal of the nearby traffic ‘pinch point’.

More than 200 people have objected to the plans to date.

The deadline for comments is Wednesday, September 19.

Campaign group Save Our Sidmouth has warned that comments lodged before proposals were published on August 20 will not be counted.

EDDC will determine its own application on November 20.

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