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Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan: Why it matters to you!

What is a Neighbourhood Plan? In 2011 the government decided that local people living in a specific area should have the chance to decide on certain issues within their communities via the development and ratification of a Neighbourhood Plan.

The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan has been written by a Steering Group of residents and councillors who canvassed and researched carefully the views of residents and businesses within the area. It contains policies that are the result of extensive surveys of the local population that are specific to the Sid Valley.

Why is it important? The Neighbourhood Plan would be used to inform planning decisions over the next fifteen years. It aims to ensure that the Valley is not spoiled by unsuitable development, to protect the natural environment and safeguard the Tourism economy, the main source of income for the Sid Valley.

Does it hold any weight? Yes, it becomes the latest planning guidance document for the Sid Valley – superseding the East Devon Local Plan.

Does it bring any more money into the community? Yes. The Sid Valley gets more money from any development (towns with a ratified Neighbourhood Plan receive 25%, towns without 15%). That means local planning authorities can use CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) money to provide or improve infrastructure or use it to fund affordable housing.

How was The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan put together?
Over the course of the last three years, residents and businesses have completed two Residents Surveys, a Business & Special Interest Group Survey, Children completed surveys, both younger and older ages and the public were invited to seven public Information events including a large-scale event at Kennaway House.

A group of local people worked together over three years to collate this information on what the community wanted in future into the Neighbourhood Plan framework as laid out by government, and took it through the ratification process for the final vote by the community.

What are some of the key policies included in the Sid Valley NP? Who will it help? Give an example of 5 policies included in the plan.

1. Does it help our young people find jobs?
The Economic Resilience policies suggest how to create employment opportunities using grants, and innovative start ups. Policies 18 & 19

2. What about young people and housing?
“On schemes of 10 or more units (apart from exception sites as allowed by Policy 10 B) a minimum of 50% of homes must be affordable which will include: a) 70% social or affordable rented accommodation, all of which is to be tenure blind and “pepper potted” throughout the development b) 30% intermediate or other affordable housing, for example shared ownership or shared equity, all of which is to be tenure blind and “pepper potted” throughout the development….”. This is an abbreviated form of Policy 11.

3. What about second homes?
Policy 14 states “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’, in that the occupier uses it as their main residence, regardless of who owns the Freehold.

4. Are our Community Facilities safe?
The community places great importance on retaining its valued community facilities, whether it’s the local pub, the village shop or a community hall in the town. Policy 20

5. The plan also supports and encourages the recent moves by EDDC in working towards becoming carbon neutral. Alternative Energy and green employment initiatives will be encouraged. The provision of medium scale renewable energy projects within the SVNP area or associated schemes for renewable energy facilities will be supported. Policy 19

This is just an example of some of the policies within the plan – if you would like to read the full plan? You can do that by clicking here

When do I vote?

• Polling day is Thursday 19th September.

• You will already have your voting card, detailing your polling station. Postal voters remember to send your vote in time.

I’ve got a question…

• Frequently asked questions here https://sidmouth.nub.news/n/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-sid-valley-neighbourhood-plan

• Feel free to contact the NP team here and we would be happy answer any query you may have.

Don’t forget to vote!