£3,000 financial boost to help complete the town's Neighbourhood Plan
PUBLISHED: 12:30 11 July 2018
The town's Neighbourhood Plan has been given a much-needed financial boost to help bring it closer towards submission.
Deirdre Housom, chairman of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan steering group, wrote to the town council to ask if the £3,000 it had underwritten for the document could be made permanent.
The group had applied for locality funding to help meet the remaining costs but was told it did fit the criteria.
In her letter, Mrs Housom said: “The extra funding was to cover fees from our planning consultant to help us with the housing policies which provoked such a strong response from respondents, to prepare the basic conditions statement and to pay the designers to make the changes required to get the Neighbourhood Plan ready for submission to EDDC and onward to examination.”
It was backed by Sidmouth Town Council on Monday night who voiced their support for the plan, which will form a blueprint to influence future developments in the Sid Valley.
Councillor Ian Mckenzie-Edwards said the plan needed to be carried through to the end.
He said: “This has to be specific to the Sid Valley, EDDC deal with a very wide area they are not partisan to Sidmouth we are focusing on the needs of the Valley for this period and surely that is why we are going to have a Neighbourhood Plan.”
Councillor Louise Cole, a member of the plan’s steering group, said due to the public response to the plan’s consultation extra work had been created but the end result would create a more ‘robust plan’.
She said: “I think it is really important that we pull together as a whole town council, this is a really significant piece of work and this is a very frustrating time for all of us.”
Once the remaining works have been carried out the plan will be submitted to EDDC before going before a planning inspector.
Cllr Ian Barlow said the plan had currently cost £36,000 and the council could ‘not say no’ for another £3,000.
He added: “As far as I’m concerned if you underwrite something you take the risk that it won’t get done.
“Jolly well done I never believed you would come in on budget and only being 10 per cent over is very impressive for a public body. Keep going and get it finished.”