Landmark meeting to discuss controversial Local Plan

RESIDENTS have been urged to have their voices heard at a landmark meeting of Sidmouth Town Council tonight (Monday).

Civic leaders will consider their stance on the district authority’s controversial draft Local Plan at a special meeting at Knowle at 6.30pm.

Matters up for discussion include a proposed 12-acre employment site between Sidford and Sidbury and homes at Knowle and Port Royal.

“This is one of the most important meetings we’ve ever had,” said town council chairman Stuart Hughes. “We’re going to give everyone the opportunity to have their say about development and housing. These are important for Sidmouth for now and for the future and whatever decision we make we’ll be making it for future generations also.”

He stressed that local people are more powerful than ever through localism, and urged groups of interested parties to team up to represent their views - without repetition.

Robert Crick, chairman of the Vision Group for Sidmouth’s Futures Forum, said the Local Plan had got “the community is buzzing”.

“People who were thought to be apathetic are in reality apoplectic,” he said.

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He compared plans for Sidmouth to the “disastrous” building of thousands of homes at Cranbrook, outside Exeter.

“Ninety million of public money has been ‘invested’ in this white elephant yet still Sidmouth is being asked to swallow the same medicine,” he added.

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