More than 1,500 Sid Valley residents make their voices heard
PUBLISHED: 16:25 30 July 2016
Parking, pollution, Port Royal and footpaths top list of concerns in survey
Sid Valley residents proved they care passionately about their community with more than 1,500 completing a survey that will help shape its future development.
Volunteers working on the formation of a neighbourhood plan have welcomed the ‘fantastic’ 10 per cent response rate to a consultation that has highlighted key concerns, including transport, parking, pollution and footpaths.
Aspirations and worries about the future of Port Royal were also raised and those leading the project have vowed to feed these back to ensure people’s voices are heard in redevelopment plans for the area.
Chair of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan steering group Deirdre Hounsom said: “The responses showed residents cared passionately for the area and were grateful for the opportunity to express their hopes and fears in what is a genuine community-led public consultation.”
She added that the quality and level of thought put into responses was high and raised a wide range of positive and negative comments.
Planning and development were regarded as some of the biggest concerns and respondents of all age groups cited worries about insufficient housing for young people, while there was a perceived over-provision of expensive retirement accommodation.
The proposed Sidford business park development topped the disapproval list and people argued there had been a failure to refurbish brown-field or commercial sites before seeking to build on green belt land in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Deputy chair of the steering group Louise Cole said: “The neighbourhood plan gives us a real chance to be part of the statutory planning process and we cannot stress enough how important it is for people of all ages and stages of life to be a part of the process.”
The questionnaire was sent to all households in Sidmouth, Sidford, Sidbury and Salcombe Regis and the full results will inform the content of a secondary consultation in November.
Surveys of young people and the business sector will also be conducted in the coming months to help influence the final plan – which, once adopted, will influence planning decisions in the Sid Valley for 20 years.
Visit www.sidmouth.gov.uk for further information.