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Overwhelming support for Sid Valley plan

Saturday, September 21st, 2019 8:27am

By Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporting Service

The Neighbourhood Plan aims to conserve and enhance its location

Overwhelming backing for a blueprint for development in the Sid Valley that aims to conserve and enhancing its picturesque location has been given.

In a referendum on Thursday, 90 per cent of residents voted in favour of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan.

Subject to approval by East Devon District Council’s cabinet, the plan will be officially made and become a legal planning document to help shape any development in the area for the next decade.

The plan includes a policy that any new open market housing, excluding replacement dwellings, will only be supported when it is restricted to being used as a Principal Residence and not as a ‘second home’.

A similar restriction which effectively bans any new second homes being built has previously been imposed in areas of North Devon and the South Hams.

The plan also says there will be a presumption against any built any development proposal within the ‘Green Wedges’ and calls for the protection of open spaces such as parks, the Byes, the Knowle, Connaught Gardens and the beach.

Other policies call for appropriate developments to complement and protect the natural environment while improving the existing built environment in the town and villages.

The development of a safe pedestrian/cycle crossing over the A3052 between the Bowd and Woolbrook Junction to link with the planned Otter Trail and the development of a shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists from Sidbury to Sidford, which will cross the tiger crossing in Sidford and link with the Byes are both supported.

Following the approval by a planning inspector of the new Sidford Business Park, Devon County Council are working up proposals for the Sidford to Sidbury cycle path and a planning application is expected to be submitted shortly.

Any development for the Eastern End of Sidmouth around the Port Royal should reinvigorate the town and become a culturally vibrant centre for the community and visitors.

Plans have already been submitted by Rockfish to open a restaurant in the Drill Hall building and are currently awaiting determination by the council.

The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan has a vision of conserving and enhancing the picturesque location on the Jurassic Coast and that appropriate developments should complement and protect the natural environment and had been previously declared sound by an independent examiner.

More than 50 per cent of those who voted had to say ‘yes’ for the Neighbourhood Plan to be made, and in Thursday’s referendum, 90 per cent voted in favour of it.

The turnout for the referendum was 19.4 per cent, and there were five spoiled ballot papers of the 2,372 that were issued.

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