REVEALED: Sidmouth land put forward in housing probe

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 October 2010

LANDOWNERS in Sidmouth have put forward acres-worth of sites, enough to develop hundreds of homes, as part of a planning probe into areas available for development.

LANDOWNERS in Sidmouth have put forward acres-worth of sites, enough to develop hundreds of homes, as part of a planning probe into areas available for development.

Four plots that could accommodate 429 homes have been deemed “deliverable and developable” by district council chiefs compiling a database of potential sites in the town that total 41 acres.

They include a massive piece of land at Higher Woolbrook Park which it is estimated could accommodate 257 homes.

Separate areas opposite one-another off Fortescue Road, to the rear of Packhorse Close and north of Greendale respectively, could see a combined 147 houses built, while it is estimated 25 could fit on a two-acre plot in Alexandria Road.

Scores more sites in Sidmouth and its surrounding areas were put forward to the authority but not deemed a realistic development prospect. East Devon District Council (EDDC) this week insisted too many sites had been put forward in its region-wide search, and the number far outstrips housing need in places.

The council said it plans to build 250 homes for Sidmouth, in the next 15 years. This excludes the 470 dwellings that already have planning permission or have been committed to since 2006.

Community campaigners from Ottery St Mary last week clashed with the council over its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).

They fear sites deemed ‘deliverable’ or ‘developable’ by EDDC will quickly become the focus of planning applications.

An EDDC spokesperson said the council was tasked by the government to establish a database of sites that could be developed, in theory, if it wished to do so.

He “emphatically” pointed out EDDC will not be promoting all the submitted sites for development and the exercise will “help inform choices”, adding sites have been judged suitable or otherwise on technical considerations.

The spokesman added the SHLAA does not indicate planning permission will be granted for new housing, and does not pre-empt future plan making or related decisions.


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