Sidmouth residents won’t attend Comforts Fund AGM

Residents opposed to plans to further extend Sidmouth Victoria Hospital reject open invitation to attend Comforts Fund AGM

RESIDENTS opposed to plans to further extend Sidmouth Victoria Hospital have rejected an open invitation to attend the annual meeting of its Comforts Fund.

However, they say they would attend an evening meeting if new plans were submitted to East Devon District Council following their complaints.

Speaking for those, like herself, who live in All Saints Road, with houses backing on to the site, Bev Gale said this week: “As chairman Graham Vincent says, we all have to live in the town and common sense and compromise is the way forward.

“So inviting us to a meeting through the Sidmouth Herald, tagged on at the end of an AGM, is both inappropriate and futile as plans have already been submitted to EDDC.”

Their comments and objections have already been lodged directly with district planners.

She said EDDC had notified residents of the application but no consultation had taken place with the Comforts Fund and she appreciate the chance to set the record straight.

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“All Saints residents would like to make it clear that we all support Victoria Hospital and think it’s a wonderful asset for the town,” she said.

Last week Mr Vincent said the new phase of expansion could not be re-sited away from homes because most of the wards were the car park side of the hospital and patients needed a view while recuperating.

Bev said: “This is a large area with no adjoining homes, so it seems an ideal place for a two-storey building.

“Car parking is currently in a large open area which can bask in sunshine and this could be re-sited near our boundary wall. This would allow ambulances to have improved entry and exit facilities.”

“He (Mr Vincent) says that patients recuperating like to have a nice view. That seems a little surprising…we live here, we are not just here for a few days, and the proposed plans do show the roof overhanging our boundary wall.”

The building would overshadow a private path and gardens, blocking out light, she added.

“We obviously need to wait for any decision by EDDC and if plans are to be re-submitted then residents will happily attend an evening meeting (to allow those working to attend) with the Comforts Fund to discuss plans.”