Letters in Sidmouth Herald 13 December 2013, concerning the land proposed for the new campsite.

These letters follow the decision by the Licensing Committee of East Devon District Council on 10 December to allow the use of the proposed new campsite at the top of Salcombe Hill. Many objections were received and local feeling seems to be very much against the idea - mainly citing concerns about traffic and risks on the very steep narrow hill leading from Sidmouth. There was also concern about an increase in 'illegal' camping in the adjacent woods: this is apparently already a problem.

Money is needed by the NT

Well, Anne Chapman (Opinion, December 6) has certainly done her research and I have not checked her facts, I assume they are correct.

However, the simple fact is that the National Trust does need to make some financial gain. When they purchased the land, they could not have foreseen the extent of public use that this area now receives.

I have seen the use increase beyond all expectation in the eight years that I have lived in the area. This increase in use requires both the National Trust and the farmers to spend increasing amounts to support both the public access and conservation work. How do they pay for the surfacing of the car park, the all access pathways out to the cliff, the maintenance of the woodlands and scrub clearance if not through making financial gains in some way?

Whatever changes were implemented some people would object. I guess the National Trust could introduce parking charges or set up a campsite for the whole of the summer. Instead they are looking at a campsite for just one week of the year, organised by a group that share their environmental objectives that will have a very minimal and short impact upon the tranquil and beautiful location.

Any financial gain will help them to protect the natural environment and historic buildings in their care, because they certainly don’t receive enough through general donations to provide what the public expect from them.

Name and address supplied.

Poorly served by EDDC

Regarding the relocation:

I don’t think I should have to spend 27 years on Robin Island to point out that democracy has been poorly served today at the licensing and enforcement sub committee on December 10, during the application for a folk festival venue at Salcombe Regis Recreational Field.

The applicant was scant with detail on traffic management which indeed was a major issue for protesters, but alas, had only been agreed apparently the evening before and no printed or any other sort of copy was available to be seen.

So now we know that one applicant from outside the area can apparently override many local protesters in getting a licence to serve alcohol until 2am and have music until 1.30am, with a general operational licence until 4am on a recreation field initially left to the ‘poor of the parish’, by mentioning poor drainage in another camp site, ‘ family’ friendliness and by having an unavailable and thus unsubstantiated traffic management plan at the time of approval.

Lois Kelly
via email

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