Thank you to all who write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org . This recent letter copied below, with the author’s permission, expresses views typical of many we receive, both from local residents and from regular visitors:
‘We have recently relocated to the Sid Valley but are becoming increasingly concerned regarding the councils plans for future growth both commercially and residentially for this area of outstanding natural beauty. One gets the impression the council is likely to behave in a cavalier fashion (I have read reports about Skypark) which causes us and, of course, existing longstanding residents immense concern. Although residing in Surrey for the past 14 years I should point out I am Devon born and bred and have lived most of my life in East Devon. Happy childhood memories staying with a school friend whose parents kept the Devoran, fishing for trout in the Sid, and bass off the beach, amongst many other great memories of life in the area.
We are aware of the Save the Red Lion campaign which is great given the Royal Oak where I skittled is no longer. We would be staunch supporters of this, the butchers shop and the village of Sidbury we would embrace in general.
The new cycle link for Sidbury to Sidford is terrific news, but I am getting firmly of the opinion that EDDC are losing their way for what they see as a blueprint for the future. The whole ambiance of having a Devon cream tea at the Red Lion before walking or cycling into the town gets lost to me if a huge 12.5 acre business park at Sidbury fields gets the go ahead and would probably be the start of a slippery slope to further needless development. A buffer should always be kept between the two villages. I cannot also understand the concept of how this can possibly work either given the huge increase in traffic and lorries which would be passing, well actually not being able to pass, on their route from Honiton and the A303/A30. Also flooding along the road is bad enough as it is. It surely is a no brainer not to build extensively or really at all in this location.
The road through Newton Poppleford is not much better and towards Exeter is barely recognisable after all the warehousing and industrial development allowed over the past 30 or so years. A route many holiday makers would travel on to stay in what and could remain a fine Regency town such as Sidmouth, but all this is in very grave danger if not protected by sensitive and carefully considered planning for the future.
All the increased light pollution too. Just another thing people seek to avoid when planning to retire or holiday here, one of not very many with an observatory!
I used to think when I was younger how lucky I was to live in East Devon where other less fortunate folk would only be able to holiday in. I hope that will remain to be the case.