Video: ‘Digger’ protest at Sidmouth over district development

Vocal crowd chant protest against EDDC planning policy

NEARLY 150 protestors from across East Devon converged on East Devon District Council offices at Knowle, Sidmouth, this morning, to voice their feelings over the council’s Local Development Framework plans to grow the district by a third in the next 20 years.

They made a beeline for Matt Dickins, planning policy manager, to hand in 10 submissions recording objections to the threat of development in the AONB (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

The campaigners, rallied by Communities Before Developers, had planned to take a five-tonne digger to Sidmouth, but were thwarted by EDDC, who claimed it would be too dangerous.

Instead a cardboard digger made an appearance, alongside a sea of banners against the LDF.

“We believe that the LDF, as it stands, is not only incredibly damaging to East Devon, with its plans for mass development and weakened protections for the countryside, but also a wasted opportunity,” said Councillor Roger Giles from Ottery St Mary.

“East Devon’s natural assets – its beauty, quality of life and special landscapes which are obvious strengths, and which our tourist industry is built on, should be central to the plan.

Most Read

“But instead it is as though they are viewed as an inconvenience or barrier to development.”

*See full story and photos in Friday’s Sidmouth Herald.