Neighbourhood plan places 'great importance' on protecting Sidford and Sidbury gap
PUBLISHED: 10:13 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:20 16 August 2019
Maintaining the distinctiveness of Sidford and Sidbury is of 'great importance' as part of future development within the Sid Valley.
The visual and physical separation of the villages is among the proposals outlined in the valley's emerging neighbourhood plan document.
The Herald will be taking each section of the plan and breaking down the policies and their proposed impact on the Sid Valley community ahead of a referendum on September 19.
If adopted, the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan will act as a blueprint for future developments in the area until 2032.
Under policy three, called the settlement coalescence, any development proposal that affects the non-coalescence gap, which is the area of unbuilt land between Sidford and Sidbury.
If adopted the plan said it will only be acceptable to develop the area if it does not impact on the visual and physical separation of the villages.
The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan steering group said during public consultation, the public placed 'great importance' on maintaining an undeveloped gap between the villages.
The plan said: "This area is not developed and it is important that this vulnerable gap remains open to maintain the separation between the two settlements."
The plan outlines eight environmental aims including protecting the Sid Valley's picturesque landscape, addressing climate change and ensuring local distinctiveness.
Further policies address protecting key views and green spaces, preventing light pollution and maintaining the valley's tree canopy for current and future generations.
The plan said: "Development is supported that incorporates sustainable objectives which enhance the existing built environment throughout the Sid Valley, protect the valley's historic streets and heritage buildings and improve or enhance public spaces and other townscape assets.
"Development should be designed so as not to adversely impact on the amenities of its neighbours and should seek to protect any existing trees that contribute to the overall amenity of the area, as well as being appropriately landscaped."
In an aim to address climate change, the plan said it will look at the effect on nature in the valley by considering carbon emissions, flooding, the re-use of buildings and other sustainability issues.