CONTROVERSIAL plans to demolish a property and build four townhouses and two apartments in Sidford have been branded “alien” by concerned civic leaders.

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Proposals for a plot at 68 High Street had a close encounter with criticism last week when town councillors said they were unable to support the scheme.

The bid has already attracted 23 letters of objection from members of the public.

Sidmouth Town Council planning committee members ruled the design of the project was “inappropriate, out of character and alien to the locality by reason of its large size and height”.

They added that the height issue was considered to be “particularly excessive” due to the development not following falling ground levels.

Councillors feared an “overbearing” building would cause problems with neighbouring properties being overlooked – especially 66 High Street.

Members said access on to Burscombe Lane was considered unsuitable due to the likely increased traffic volumes and lack of visibility to the west – together with a lack of footway on the north side of High Street.

The developer behind the bid cites a successful application at neighbouring property number 70, where six apartments were created, as to why its plans for 68 should be approved.

It has been in negotiations with the district council over the size of the development on the site, originally wanting to build up to 10 new dwellings.

The application submitted is for two three-bedroom, and two four-bedroom semi-detached houses, and one two-bedroom, and one three-bedroom apartment.

The district council will consider the town’s view when it decides the fate of the plans.

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