1. ITV Report

Protest to preserve East Devon character

The 'Save Our Sidmouth' campaign is worried by plans to sell off the council's headquarters and redevelop its parkland. Photo: ITV Westcountry

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out for a protest march to the headquarters of East Devon District Council this morning.

The Save our Sidmouth group is also planning a legal challenge to fight what they say is over-development in the new local plan for the district. They feel too much pressure is put on planners by the government to deliver housing and industrial estates.

The group is made up of other organisations including the Sid Vale Association which is one of Englands oldest Civic societies and has a formidable reputation for preserving the character of the town.

Right now, the Save Our Sidmouth campaign is worried by plans to sell off the council's headquarters and redevelop its parkland. A sixty bed care home would be built in its place and housing would take up part of the grounds.

A portion of it would be for affordable housing but objectors wonder how affordable the homes would really be given the prime site on the edge of the town. They are also campaigning against an industrial estate which could be built between Sidbury and Sidford.

The march starts from the eastern end of the esplanade at eleven o' clock. Their message to the council is "think again".

In a statement, East Devon District council's leader said he was 'aware that some decisions would be unpopular' but that the council had a duty to try to ensure there were opportunities for all age groups as its tries to provide for a growing population.

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