Green wedge is welcomed

Sidford Valley. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2244-39-12TI

Sidford Valley. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2244-39-12TI - Credit: Archant

Twelve acres of unspoilt land between Sidford and Sidbury will be enjoyed for generations to come if it can be listed as a ‘green wedge’.

The classification would protect the area from future threats of development if a bid to delete Sidford’s employment land allocation from the Local Plan proves ultimately successful.

Sid Vale Association chairman, Alan Darrant, welcomed the ‘very sensible’ decision and said: “We’ve said all along – as East Devon themselves did in the 1970s – that the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) shouldn’t be built on. Perhaps this will ensure it remains the historic village of Sidbury and doesn’t become a suburb of Sidmouth.”

He said that traffic and flooding in particular made the agricultural land inappropriate for development.

Mr Darrant also added that a separate plot of land mooted for development north of the A3052 is also in the AONB, and should only be considered if all other options have been exhausted.

He said there is currently no proven need for 12 acres of employment land.

Sidbury resident and Sidmouth Town Council chairman, John Hollick, said: “There’s nothing worse than being swallowed up and no longer being a village.”

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He said he could remember when other now-developed sites were green fields and he did not want to see further ‘creeping urbanisation’, although he acknowledged that some employment land is needed.