Residents turn out in force to see 100 new homes for Sidmouth proposals

MORE than 100 Sidmouth residents got a first glimpse of plans to build 100 new homes in the town on Saturday.

MORE than 100 Sidmouth residents got a first glimpse of plans to build 100 new homes in the town on Saturday.

Representatives of developer Persimmon Homes said that, if a planning application is successful, work could begin on land off the A3052 at the junction of Woolbrook Road and Sidford High Street as soon as March next year.

Early proposals that went on show at the Francis of Assisi Church Hall in Bennett's Hill also revealed:

- A planning application, be submitted to East Devon District Council within the next four to five will be for "approximately" 100 new homes.

- Up to 60 per cent of the properties will be developed as affordable homes, the tenure for which will include homes for rent, shared equity, or purchase through the Government's Homebuyer scheme.

- Each home will have two car-parking spaces, with additional places for visitors.

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- Persimmon Homes will enter into discussions with EDDC over a section 106 agreement, a cash amount to be paid by developers to counteract the affect the project will have on local infrastructure.

Local residents such as John Dixon felt the plans were positive, and would give the town's first time buyers a much needed boost.

Mr Dixon said: "One of our daughters had to move out of the town because she couldn't afford a place when she would of like to stay.

"It's a good scheme, what Sidmouth needs to get our children off the ground a bit better."

"If 60 per cent of the homes go to local people then I'm all for it," said another resident.

One Dark Lane homeowner voiced fears that the potential 200 extra cars could create traffic chaos in Temple Street, while Sidmouth councillor Stuart Hughes said he has concerns over flooding issues relating to the water culvert under Woolbrook Road.

A Persimmon spokesman said of the "listening exercise" on Saturday: "It has been a good opportunity for people with all sorts of interests and issues to have an early input. I think that the community will keep a close interest on ho it continues through the planning process.

"If it progresses fairly well we would hope to be on site in Spring next year. When it could be completed by is hard to say. Sites like this used to take around two years but the market is different now so we just don't know.