‘November consultation’ for Sidmouth and Ottery visions

Document will form policy for region for next 15 years

A BRAND new blueprint for the future of towns like Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary is set to go out for public consultation in November before it is finalised in the New Year.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has revealed the next steps in its bid to formulate a planning policy for the region for the next 15 years after last week hearing from representatives of all seven of its main towns.

Civic leaders from Sidmouth and Ottery were among those who told Local Development Framework Panel members how they want to see their constituencies evolve in the next decade.

EDDC bosses said the panel is still in “evidence-collecting mode” but members will begin to review their findings in October and propose to re-consult with communities in November - before settling on definitive plans in the New Year.

The resulting dossier, a planning guidance document for the region until 2026, will go to Government for consideration in 2012.

LDF Panel chairman, Councillor Mike Allen warned how the local plan “will not be able to deliver everybody’s wish list”.

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He added: “Government wants us to identify where change and growth can happen so that social and physical infrastructure can be planned to support it.

“There is a need for more information about the dynamics of the economy in towns before any decisions are made. I will be asking the towns to review the panel’s proposals in October.”

“This has been a five-year discussion that needs to be brought to a conclusion.”

The Herald reported how Sidmouth Town Council asked for a new health centre, conference facilities, and a possible new educational campus north of the A3052.

Councillors also asked EDDC to uphold the town’s tourism policy and to provide balanced housing provision.

They also said any relocation of EDDC from Knowle must ensure new use of the site will enhance and benefit Sidmouth.

Ottery Town Council said no more than 300 dwellings should be built in their town.

Councillors wanted to see 90 dwellings at the Ottermill factory site - with 40per cent designated ‘affordable’ housing.

Representatives also asked for a sewage system upgrade.