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The issue of housing is a complex one, particularly in Sidmouth. There is a need for affordable housing so our young people can stay in the area, but all the land around Sidmouth is of outstanding natural beauty and therefore a precious asset which brings the lifeblood of tourism to our town. Similarly, the extraordinary number of Listed Buildings in Sidmouth, second only to Exeter in the whole of Devon, means that almost the whole of the town is ‘part of the setting of a Listed Building’ and therefore the changes that can be made are restricted by law.

In 2019 there is a great deal of concern about creating a sense of place with any new building and a Housing Audit has recently been carried out nationally.


There is a problem, however, in determining ‘housing need’:

Futures Forum: “The current local plans are planning far too many homes.” >>> CPRE’s Devon Housing Needs Evidence Report
Futures Forum: “The current local plans are planning far too many homes.” >>> Devon CPRE to challenge Devon’s planning authorities’ housing requirement figures
Futures Forum: How to increase the number of affordable homes in rural England
Futures Forum: The new National Policy Planning Framework: the response from Devon


There is the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan – where housing is a key element.

And the NP steering group commissioned a Housing Needs report:
Futures Forum: The emerging Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan > boosting affordable housing > protecting green spaces

Another concern has been to enable more self-build:

Self-build housing for Sidmouth


You can see the Vision Group’s Housing Archive here.


Plus a piece from the BBC 100 years on since the Housing and Town Planning Act: “Known as the Addison Act, after the then minister of health, the new legislation provided councils with subsidies to build houses in areas where there was high demand.” When council estates were a dream


To find a way forward, there has to be some visionary thinking, for example:

A solution to our housing problems: an infrastructure or land value tax