No to prison’ plan

PLANS to flatten a large house and replace it with 14 dwellings in Salcombe Hill Road, Sidmouth, have received overwhelming opposition.

PLANS to flatten a large house and replace it with 14 dwellings in Salcombe Hill Road, Sidmouth, have received overwhelming opposition.

Discussing Cavanna Homes (SW) Ltd's proposal to redevelop Dolphin Cottage at the town council's planning meeting, Councillor John Dyson remarked: "I think it looks more like a prison than anything else and I don't think Sidmouth needs a prison thank you very much!"

Residents are also against plans to replace the house; currently hidden behind a tall flint wall, with eight duplex apartment units and a terrace of six coach houses.

Among 43 letters and forms of objection are protests from Redwood Road residents David and Jane Morrish and neighbours Gordon Morris, Colin Blythe and Steve Webb.

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They have voiced their concerns about how the apartment block, four storeys and 36 feet high in parts, will overpower their properties.

Mr Morrish said: "It is on rising ground. Apart from creating light pollution, it will block light to our house and our neighbours."

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Mr Morris, who has lived in Redwood Road for 20 years, said: "It seems someone is looking to maximise the number of dwellings. It is against everything Sidmouth stands for."

He praised East Devon District Council for its "good job" in steering development in the town, making Sidmouth "one of the most desirable places to live".

This desirability would be lost if such developments are allowed, he added.

Colin Blythe said: "Proposed balconies would overlook properties and I am worried about the precedent it causes."

He said Cavanna Homes was told to rethink the project after earlier applying for 12 units.

"It has come back with something five times worse."

Mr Webb said the development would have an impact on the light as well as be overbearing.

"Sidmouth is unique; people have fought for many years to keep it that way. There is a great danger developments of this type, if they begin to come to Sidmouth, will steadily and surely change the environment of the town and what it stands for."

Agents for Cavanna Homes, Design Development Ltd, say in their planning statement: "The duplex units occupy the approximate footprint of the existing dwelling, and are arranged across four floors.

"This level of this area of the development has been lowered in order to maintain a low ridge height.

"Reducing the level of this area of the site also ensures that there will not be overlooking issues with regards to the adjoining properties either to the east or west of the site.

"When viewed from Salcombe Hill it will be virtually impossible to distinguish what is currently at the site from what is proposed.

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