Sidmouth set for 230 new homes?

TWO bids which could see 230 new homes built in Sidmouth look set to be submitted to local authority planning chiefs within the next fortnight.

TWO bids which could see 230 new homes built in Sidmouth look set to be submitted to local authority planning chiefs within the next fortnight.

Developer Devon and Cornwall Housing this week revealed its vision to build 130 homes, up to 66 per cent of which will be affordable, on land off Stowford Rise.

Earlier this month Persimmon Homes unveiled its bid to construct 100 homes on land off the A3052 at the junction of Woolbrook Road and Sidford High Street, with up to 60 percent of the properties to also be affordable.

Both developers hope to submit planning applications to East Devon District Council (EDDC) in early September with a decision over both bids expected by Christmas.

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Last Friday more than 100 residents turned out to a public exhibition to see Devon and Cornwall Housing's plans to buy the EDDC owned Stowford Rise land and turn it into a major development, which will include "open community spaces" for residents, by 2011.

Devon and Cornwall Housing's regional development manager Rob Finch said the developer is fully aware of Persimmon's plans for a site less than a mile away and said: "It is on our radar but it is not an issue at all. Both developments should go some way to meeting the huge demand for housing in Sidmouth and East Devon."

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Persimmon had not commented as the Herald went to press yesterday.

The news could spell a major affordable housing boost for Sidmouth, with more than more than 100 of the potential homes from the two projects promised to be available for rent, shared equity or purchase through the Govenment's HomeBuyer Scheme.

Sidmouth councillor Stuart Hughes feels the plans are positive. He said: "As long as we see the amount of affordable homes we've been told, then the plans look good for Sidmouth and its youngsters. Now we need the jobs to go with the houses."

An EDDC spokesman said both bids are not certain to become a reality yet, but added: "The council's Housing and Social Inclusion Service welcomes the prospect of any new development that could provide much-needed affordable housing in this area. If completed, it will go a long way to meeting the affordable housing needs of Sidmouth, Sidford and the surrounding area."

If green-lit by planning bosses, both projects should see developers stump up what could be a massive cash settlement with EDDC to counteract the impact the housing will have on Sidmouth's infrastructure.

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