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Poems on the pines, in bid to halt council's plan for homes

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

  • Trying to save the trees at the Knowle in Sidmouth, Kelvin Dent stands firm

  • A 'Grim Reaper' and friends protest to save the trees at the Knowle in Sidmouth

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Protest poems have been posted on trees which could be felled as part of a district council's plan to relocate its headquarters.

East Devon District Council is proposing moving its offices from Sidmouth to Honiton – a move which would be financed by the redevelopment of its existing site at Knowle.

Outline plans have now been submitted by the council. They included building on the footprint of existing properties and car parks, as well as an area of parkland at the lower end of the site.

In addition to 50 homes, 40% of which would be affordable housing, a care home could also be built.

The proposals have met with significant opposition with campaigners saying the relocation of the council would damage the town's economy.

Member of the Save Our Sidmouth campaign held a "protest picnic" in the parkland last week where the idea for the "voice of the trees" verses was born.

They have been hung from the trees which could be cut down to make way for the development. One, on a Monterey pine, reads: "I'm a special type of pine/I grew fast, thought I was fine/Should the council's plan be passed/One more year will be my last."

East Devon District Council is currently consulting on the outline planning proposals which were published last month. The closing date for comment is September 19.

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