Sidmouth campaign to save play area goes on

A CAMPAIGNING granny won t give up her fight to keep a football area open for around 100 children from Baker Close, Sidmouth.

A CAMPAIGNING granny won't give up her fight to keep a football area open for around 100 children from Baker Close, Sidmouth.

When the barriers went up around the ground last week, Jan Jones from Baker Close, called East Devon District Council and Devon & Cornwall Housing Association to ask for the football area could be kept open before work starts on building 133 new homes at Stowford.

"They said it was health and safety reasons and there was no way the children could go in to play and it will be sealed off until they start building next March," said Jan.

She said where bushes and brambles had been cleared, some small stems or stakes had been left, which were considered a hazard.

She said these could easily be cut down, making the area safer to play in.

"I am angry. I went out on Friday morning and afternoon and there was a fence across. The site manager said he was concerned it was fenced but said about the stakes.

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"I will keep on fighting and I have got people behind me, Councillor Christine Drew is backing us and Sidmouth Town Council sent a letter to EDDC saying it would prefer the open space left here."

She said individual letters were being sent to EDDC planning department calling for its retention and letters were being distributed to near neighbours in Higher Brook Meadow and Higher Woolbrook who object to where a new open space is planned on the DCHA's application.

"We will keep on fighting to the end to try to get the children in there. The children are really angry about it and we feel the council is just using it as a means to an end."

She said children also used the field as a shortcut to school.

Mrs Jones said archaeologists digging on the site had assured her they did not need to dig by the goalposts.

Mrs Drew said: "I do think it is a no win situation, even the site manager, who has been very helpful, has to do as he is told.

"It is such a shame. I love doing things for people, that is why I became a councillor, but sometimes you are knocking your head against a brick wall. It is so upsetting when you can't get a good result.