Save Our Sidmouth campaign - read about it here: http://saveoursidmouth.com/ and the link here for the Sid Vale Assoc. http://www.sidvaleassociation.org.uk/
Also I seem to remember the Sidmouth Herald reported a few weeks ago that the local aurthority East Devon District Council were conveniently unable to find any papers that showed the Knowle had been given to the local townspeople as a public space. However the Knowle has been used on many occasions for numerous years for walking, public events, picnics and by dog walkers since the early 70's.
Maybe the Council haven't made a robust enough search of their archives? I see from this document that a Mr Brian Golding refers to minutes in the Devon Record office that the Knowle was acquired in 'order to preserve the gardens and land as a public amenity' see this link: http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/lp-repsf.pdf
I do not see how the local authority can as Owner of the site put forward to it's own Development Plans to it's own Planning Aurthority. It is an unfair procedure. I will be writing to the Mr Eric Pickles MP to request that this be examined to ensure the townspeople of Sidmouth do not lose a valuable much loved open space. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally I cannot understand WHY there is a need for more housing locally. There is a completely new town Cranbrook being built in the Honiton Exeter area. And the population of Sidmouth town has been practically static for decade after decade, Most of the recently built 'affordable' homes are bought by local business men, which they rent out. The more expensive homes are bought by 2nd homers, or again by local business men for residential/holiday lets.
I question the close links of local businessmen and their influence on the local Council.