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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Knowle relocation project: Ode to a dying tree

The destruction of a statue of the Virgin Mary is probably not what you'd expect to be allowed to happen these days in Britain - but developer PegasusLife seems to have allowed exactly that to happen at a site they wished to develop a couple of years ago in London:



20ft fibre glass Virgin Mary scrapped in Hampstead

Posted on December 03 , 2015 , 12:49 PM | By Thornton Kay

London North West, UK - A twenty feet high glass fibre statue by sculptor Michael Werner pinned to the facade of a hostel formerly owned by the Convent of the Sisters of Providence was reportedly turned down when offered free to an architectural salvage yard.

Tom Foot in the Camden New Journal 19th November reported that the hallowed sculpture of a pregnant Virgin Mary is feared smashed to smithereens despite assurances it would be spared from demolition.

Developer PegasusLife had told the New Journal in June that the sculpture would be preserved. The South End Green Association asked the company for it to be transported to the countryside home of a member with a large garden.

Renee Vincent, a retired French teacher whose flat overlooked the statue, said its destruction amounted to sacrilege, having previously offered have its head in her courtyard.

The hostel was owned by the Sisters of Providence for almost 50 years which sold up to fund its move to a new home in Royston, Hertfordshire, with Pegasus winning planning permission from Camden Council last year to build a 10-storey care home on the land. 

Architectural Salvage, Reclamation Yards, UK, USA and more | SalvoWEB

This featured in the letters page of the latest Herald: 




Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald

Here is the same poem with the photos in full:


The statue of the Virgin Mary, and the Ginkgo and Magnolia at Knowle


                                                There was a statue on a wall
                                                In Hampstead a few years ago -
                                                (A local sculptor's Virgin Mary).
                                                Said Peg'susLife: we'll save it all.
                                                What happened next was very scary -
                                                The statue fell to pieces.  So
                                                Will our prized Ginkgo also go?

                                                Let's hear what Ginkgo has to say
                                                (Ed took these shots the other day):

                                                “I'm a splendid Ginkgo tree
                                                Planted back in '53*
                                                On the terraced lawn at Knowle.
                                                They've dug round me a great big hole
                                                And cut my roots, as you can see  -
                                                Will you have seen the last of me?

                                                My neighbour, though, Magnolia Grand-
                                                iflora, will be going, and
                                                So will the lawns and old hotel -
                                                EDDC, ain't you done well???”



(* planted in the presence of The Founder of the Men of the Trees, now known as The International Tree Foundation)



A very sick-looking ginkgo tree.


The cut roots of the ginkgo tree.


This magnolia will also have to be sacrificed.

Back in April, work began on the ginkgo:

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: work to move Ginkgo tree to start Monday 9th April

Although observers were sceptical of the developer's PR exercise: 

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project > "the Ginkgo might be saved, although the chances of its survival are probably less than evens"

In February, the Arboretum had objected to the destruction of the park's tree heritage:

Futures Forum: Sidmouth Arboretum > and Knowle

Earlier, District Council tree officers had claimed that it was not necessary to protect the ginkgo:

Futures Forum: A new plaque for the historic ginkgo in the Knowle park ..... “There is no need to make a TPO, as it is not at risk from untoward management or removal.”

Back in 2015, a ceremony was held to commemorate the planting of the tree by the Men of the Trees back in the 1950s:

Futures Forum: A new plaque for the historic ginkgo in the Knowle park ..... 12 noon Monday 12th January
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Plastics Week in Sidmouth: and the Plastic Warriors >>> making art down on the beach at the Sea Fest

The high point of a week looking at what we do with plastic was the Sea Fest - and its focus on getting us to think about how we use the stuff:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Sea Fest > special focus on ‘rethinking plastics’ > Saturday 12th May

In the morning we had stories on plastics at sea from Jo Earlam:
Futures Forum: Tuamor the Turtle comes to the Sidmouth Sea Fest > Saturday 12th May

Throughout the day we had catering without plastic:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Sea Fest > full day programme

And there was plenty of activity down on the beach: 

Clean Up #5 SAS Sidmouth Sea Fest May 12th 2018

I apologise for the lack of enthusiasm for this post – not posted the same day or near as usual – but I really wasn’t well on this day but dragged myself along as it had been a long standing plan to start Sea Fest 2018 with a beach clean. I had borrowed 52 children’s pickers from Devon County Council, as well as getting our usual set from Streetscene (thanks Barry) so we had plenty of pickers down on the Ham, but a relatively small group this time (25 or so) but they more than made up for their small numbers by their huge effort. All said the beach was pretty clean but we still managed to fill up 3 very full black bags when we decanted and sorted, plus 3 bags of recycling, which Tesco Express Sidmouth took away for us (before I took any pics sorry!) There were a great many nappy wipes this time, weirdly – and the ones I found were all the same sort so maybe it was just one person.
Along with Coco, we made a beautiful picture in the sandpit with our plastic that we had collected, and she then carried on making art with the children afterwards, before it was all disposed of properly. It made a very visual statement for them to see just what was on the beach (and it looked pretty awful when it was all random, compared to the lovely clean sand in the rest of the sandpit).
Then our lovely Anne came along with some random bits she had picked up and we had a good close look at them. There was a real assortment of some of the usual suspects (plastic lids, cotton buds, balloon pieces, cigarette ends) but lots of nurdles and unusual things too. (Sorry for the awful picture, I really wasn’t well!)
Thanks to Louise for making a huge effort and keeping the festival almost entirely plastic free. Just a few people were seen wandering around with Costa cups and Coke bottles (not bought at the festival!) which only slightly marred it. (Why they’d want to drink that when so many other shops in town do great coffee in much better cups, I don’t know.)
Dx
Clean Up #5 SAS Sidmouth Sea Fest May 12th 2018 – Sidmouth Plastic Warriors

Here's the newsletter at the time from Denise Bickley of the Plastic Warriors:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Plastics Week > final events > Matt Harvey on Friday 11th May > Beach Clean on Saturday 12th May
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Plastics Week in Sidmouth: and the Chamber of Commerce >>> how businesses can reduce single use plastics

During the week looking at what we can do about plastic pollution in Sidmouth, the Plastic Warriors gave a presentation to the Chamber of Commerce:
Futures Forum: Plastics Week in Sidmouth >>> helping businesses go plastic-free @ Chamber of Commerce breakfast > Wednesday 9th May

Here's their report, showing how positive the engagement over the issue is:


Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce May 2018


John Hammond (The Dairy Shop) and I were invited to the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on 9th May 2018 to talk about Single Use Plastic. I spoke first, recapping what why we started SPW, what we had achieved in the short time we have been running, and what we are aiming to do, particularly with the bid for being Plastic Free Sidmouth (we should find out how that is going within a week or two btw).
Then John spoke about what he has managed to achieve in the Dairy Shop, and all the ideas for the major items that are easily got rid of – coffee cups, straws, plastic bags, cotton buds, wipes etc. The main idea was for people to do the easy things that they can do right away, and then start thinking about the harder things to achieve. There are some businesses such a card shops who will struggle if they start only having cards loose – they were writing off hundreds of pounds of damaged stock – but these things may take a little longer to change.
Sarah Burston from Sidmouth Rugby Club had lent me one of their brilliant new acrylic glasses which are going to revolutionise the outdoor drinking culture of the Folk Festival, if we can get other bars and pubs to sign up too. The idea that the unit cost of each one, including a printed one colour logo on it, works out to be about 67p, and they would need a deposit of £1 to be given out, and then returned for the deposit at the end of the day or kept by the customer as a souvenir. If everyone could use these for the Folk Festival the estimate is that would save 50,000 single use pint ‘glasses’ from being thrown away…pretty important to get this sorted out! I will find out the supplier from Sarah – watch this space.
The overwhelming vibe from the meeting was very positive and lots of people signed my form to be added to the mailing list. Since then I have received an email from Ford Simey who are very keen to make changes in their offices and more than happy to be added to our list of supportive businesses!
Dx
Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce May 2018 – Sidmouth Plastic Warriors
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Plastics Week in Sidmouth: and Plymouth University >>> microbeads, microfibres & getting us to learn about plastics >>> report

There were two excellent talks at the Sidmouth Plastics Week earlier in the month - with the full presentations here:
Futures Forum: Plastics Week in Sidmouth > Presentations and Q&As on marine pollution from Plymouth University >>> >>> >>> Sohvi Nuojua on "The human dimension: How social and behvioural research can help address marine litter"
Futures Forum: Plastics Week in Sidmouth > Presentations and Q&As on marine pollution from Plymouth University >>> >>> >>> Imogen Napper on "The sources and fate of plastic in the marine environment" > microbeads and micro fibres at sea

Here is an excellent piece on those talks - from Denise Bickley, the lead of the Sidmouth Plastic Warriors: 

Plymouth University PhD Talk 8th May 2018
The Futures Forum of the Vision Group and the Sidmouth Science Festival organised two students from the University of Plymouth who are doing their PhDs to come and talk to us as part of our recent Plastics Week. Imogen Napper, who is studying marine microplastics, spoke first. She was fascinating, explaining in simple terms how plastic is formed, the different types (High and Low Density Polyethylene (HDPE and LDPE), the history of plastic back to Bakelite in 1907, polystyrene 1929, polyester and polythene 1930. It’s cheap, malleable, can be made in vibrant colours, leading to huge leaps in agriculture, health, marketing etc. She is researching how plastic makes it into our environment, and just how many different types there are.

She was instrumental in getting microbeads from cosmetics and exfoliants banned – nobody realised just how many there were in a tube of harmless looking facial scrub until their extensive research was carried out – calculated using 6 household named products, it was found that there was a huge variation between 3g and 5.5g per tube (random even in the same product, no logical use for it really). There was also a huge range of particle sizes too. It was calculated that in the UK alone 86 tonnes of plastic went into the ocean just from microbeads from facial scrubs. Per 5ml squirt of facial scrub there were between 4,500 and 94,500 particles. This then gathers in the sediment on the sea bottom, terrifyingly. A public campaign them got them banned (by voluntary ban).

Her most recent research is about clothing and the fibres from domestic washing machines, to see ultimately what can be done to prevent this massive problem. Imogen told us that from acrylic, 728,000 microfibres can be released during every wash. There is no solution yet. The main aim of the research will be to encourage business to take responsibility and she is keen to work with the fashion industry to achieve this.

The different types of plastic make recycling so difficult so another aim of the university is to increase public awareness and be involved in social media campaigns to raise the issue as much as possible.

During the question and answer session afterwards Imogen was asked about compostible plastic – is it better? The answer was a shock – not really. Imogen called it greenwashing – telling us that it is a solution when in actual fact starch molecules have simply been inserted between the plastic particles, meaning that the plastic looks like it has broken down but in fact the starch has dissolved, breaking up the plastic into microparticles very quickly. All the terms ‘biodegradable’, oxy-bio-degradable’ etc all have no time limit to break down, will break down differently in different conditions and are not the long term solution we are told. They just break down faster! (Still the idea ‘REFUSE’ single use items is the one that I am sticking to.)

Imogen can be followed on Twitter @imogennapper and encourages the use of the hashtag #cleanseas

Next to talk was Sohvi Nuojua, who talked to us about the social and behavioural influence on marine litter – an environmental psychologist’s approach to understanding behaviour. The biggest predictor of caring is found to be education level and social norms and values play a big part. Some types of people are so conditioned to litter that they will not even notice it.

She highlighted a useful document found here about influencing behavioural change.

We must keep on educating, showing by example, and getting laws changed!

Dx
Plymouth University PhD Talk 8th May 2018 – Sidmouth Plastic Warriors
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Brexit: and banning single-use plastic

The food industry is struggling to find alternatives to plastic: 

Tetra Pak plans fightback in war on plastic straws

Packaging giant says alternatives to juice cartons can be more damaging to environment

Pilita Clark and Leslie Hook MAY 25, 2018

Packaging giant Tetra Pak is planning to lobby politicians and regulators about the benefits of plastic straws despite pledging last month to launch a paper straw for its popular juice cartons by the end of this year.

In a letter seen by the Financial Times, Charles Brand, Tetra Pak’s head of sales and marketing, told customers the paper straw announcement had been made to address “the rising tide of negative public opinion towards plastic straws and government drives around the world to reduce their use”.

However, he added: “For our own part, we will continue to make the case to politicians, regulators and environmental groups that the plastic straws attached to portion-sized carton packages serve an entirely functional purpose. We will also maintain our argument that, from an environmental perspective, their impact is significantly lower than most liquid food packaging alternatives.”

Plastic straw crackdowns have mushroomed since David Attenborough’s BBC series Blue Planet II jolted fresh life into the war against plastic pollution late last year. The UK government, the Hilton hotel group, the Costa Coffee chain and the city of Seattle are among those calling time on plastic straws, which are blamed for littering the oceans and harming marine life.

Tetra Pak plans fightback in war on plastic straws - Financial Times

But other companies are literally cashing in on 'the rising tide of negative public opinion': 

PAYS TO BE GREEN 

Here’s how you can get paid to recycle plastic bottles in Iceland’s ‘Reverse Vending Machine’

By Rebecca Curley
27th May 2018


Customers can slot empty plastic bottles into the vending machines at Iceland's Fulham store

The frozen food specialist says it is leading the way by introducing the Deposit Return Scheme. It will test out use of the machines for six months.

Reverse Vending Machines reward people for recycling by providing money or vouchers in return for empty containers. Customers in Fulham are given 10p in Iceland vouchers in return for the empty plastic bottles they slot into the machines at the supermarket. 


Here’s how you can get paid to recycle plastic bottles in Iceland’s ‘Reverse Vending Machine - The Sun

Today's Observer looks at the politics of banning plastic: 

Gove urged to follow Europe with ban on single-use plastic 

Campaigners demand that post-Brexit Britain matches the EU’s plan to tackle waste

Daniel Boffey Brussels
Sun 27 May 2018
 
Single-use plastic found on Kilninian beach on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. Photograph: Will Rose/Greenpeace

The EU is to ban plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, cotton buds and balloon sticks in a bid to tackle the rising tide of plastic waste, a move that has prompted urgent calls for the environment secretary, Michael Gove, to guarantee that the UK will follow Brussels’ lead after Brexit.

The restrictions on “single-use” plastic will be launched on Monday by the European commission as part of its plan to ensure that 55% of all plastic is recycled by 2030. About 80-85% of all litter in the oceans is plastic, and half of that is made up of throw-away items such as plastic straws.

A leaked draft of the commission’s proposals spells out a step-change in the bloc’s attitude to plastic waste. But it is likely to come too late to be part of the bulk of EU legislation due to be transposed into UK law.

The draft document, to be unveiled by commission vice-president Frans Timmermans, states: “Single-use plastic products for which suitable and more sustainable alternatives are readily available should no longer be placed on the union market to limit their impact on the environment.”

The plastic items targeted by the ban are cotton buds (except for swabs for medical purposes), forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks, plates, straws, beverage stirrers and sticks for balloons. Where there are no readily available alternatives, such as plastic fast-food containers, the EU says member states must respect a “polluter pays” principle. Companies making such items will have to cover the costs of waste management and the clean-up of marine waste, along with measures to raise awareness to prevent and reduce such litter.Quick guide

EU countries will also have to achieve a significant reduction in the use of such containers and throw-away cups within six years of the proposal being written into national law. The EU would like member states to use deposit schemes to ensure that 90% of plastic bottles are collected separately by 2025.

Caroline Lucas MP, co-leader of the Green party, has called on Gove to meet the EU’s standards on plastic waste after Brexit. Gove had a public Twitter spat with Timmermans earlier this year after claiming that EU legislation might get in the way of a UK ban on plastic straws.

Lucas told the Observer: “Once again the EU is way ahead of the UK when it comes to the pace and direction of protecting our environment. We all know that single-use plastic needs to be eradicated but all we’ve got from this government is a vague promise of action on ‘unavoidable’ waste by the end of 2042.nIf Brexit goes ahead, we need clarity and certainty that our environment will not be sold down the river and that means a watchdog with real teeth. That’s how to help ensure Britain outside of the EU doesn’t slide back into its old reputation as the dirty man of Europe.”

ClientEarth chemicals lawyer Alice Bernard said: “These measures are essential to stop our wasteful use of plastics and an important first step to tackle plastic pollution. We hope the next steps will be addressing the issue of dangerous chemicals in plastics – such as bisphenols.”

Last week the United Nations warned that Britain’s reputation was at risk over plans for a new post-Brexit environmental watchdog which would not have the power to take the government to court. Despite Gove’s promise of a “green Brexit”, the Treasury is said to have resisted giving the new watchdog the same powers as the European commission because of the potential impact on post-Brexit growth.

Earlier this month the UK and five other nations were referred to the European court of justice for failing to tackle illegal levels of air pollution. The ECJ has the power to impose large fines.

Bas Eickhout, the Dutch Green MEP, said: “Whether the deal will be concluded before or after Brexit remains to be seen. But given the urgency of tackling our plastic waste problem, I expect the UK to implement this policy anyway. Theresa May already showed she is happy to implement EU plastic policies when she proudly presented her policies against single-use plastic bags, so I expect she won’t do any less on all single-use plastic policies.”


Gove urged to follow Europe with ban on single-use plastic | Environment | The Guardian

The UK government is indeed facing criticism and legal challenge:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and taking the UK to court over air pollution levels
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the UK damaging its international reputation if it fails to deliver a "green" Brexit and maintain the EU’s strong environmental protections

Although the government would say it's tackling the issues:
Futures Forum: The UK Plastic Pact > supermarkets and brands commit to creating a circular economy for plastics by 2025
Futures Forum: Banning plastic straws and cotton buds is hardly scratching the surface of the problem of waste plastic in the environment
Futures Forum: A plastic bottle deposit scheme for England >>> >>> "Welcome as it is, such a scheme farms out responsibility to individual consumers rather than bringing into line corporations with far greater power to pioneer change"
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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Regenerating Exmouth seafront: a posh restaurant and a watersports centre

Fresh, inspiring ideas have been needed for the 'redevelopment' of Exmouth's seafront:
Futures Forum: Regenerating Exmouth seafront >>> appointing HemingwayDesign to 'provide a renewed momentum' > Transition Exmouth responds

And yet there's been a lot of scepticism about the way in which the project has been run:
Futures Forum: Regenerating Exmouth seafront: "control of the process will remain with the Exmouth Regeneration Board "
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> and plans for Exmouth: When "nothing's been decided" means "something's been decided"

The latest proposals have an uncanny resemblance to the promises of the much-diminished 'redevelopment' of Sidmouth's seafront:
People want quality restaurants and bars for Sidmouth seafront site (including a Nando's) - Devon Live
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: demand for cafes and restaurants come a poor third

Perhaps Exmouth is showing the way for seaside development in East Devon:

World class new watersports centre, cafe and posh restaurant are set to be approved

But some objectors say it's on the most dangerous part of the beach


Daniel Clark Local Democracy Reporter


25 MAY 2018

Plans for Exmouth's new multi-million pound watersports centre are set to be given the go-ahead. Grenadier have proposed a new two-storey watersports centre, cafĂ©, restaurant and retail units plus car parking, open space and a ramped access to the beach.

The 37 people who object say it's sited on the most dangerous part of the beach - and one says it's more like an 'out of town retail park'.

The project is an integral part of East Devon District Council’s plans to regenerate the town's seafront area. 

The application has the support of Exmouth Town Council and planning officers are recommending that the application be approved when it goes before EDDC’s Development Management Committee on Tuesday, June 5. Recommending approval, council planners have said that all matters of flooding, retail impact, economic impact, highway safety and surface water drainage have been found to be acceptable, subject to appropriate safeguarding conditions.



The council’s economic development officer added: “The proposed development builds upon Exmouth's unique strength as a venue for a great water sports experience and offers to provide a high quality facility that will embed Exmouth's position as a 'go to' destination. The proposed facilities will contribute towards enabling the Exmouth visitor economy to extend the visitor season beyond the core summer months and support the further development of the water sports and associated high quality leisure offer in the town.

“It is stated that the proposed development will result in the creation of 62 full-time jobs. The Exmouth visitor economy is constantly evolving and changing and has already benefitted from investment in new holiday accommodation, new and/ or improved indoor leisure facilities and public realm.


VIDEO: SEE A 3D MODEL OF EXMOUTH'S NEW WATERSPORTS CENTRE

“The proposed development has the potential to make a further and very significant contribution to the creation of a visitor economy for Exmouth that is fit for the 21st Century reflecting Exmouth's unique water sports offer and enhance the site's stunning seafront location.”

Peter Quincey, Director of Grenadier, had previously said that they have listened to the feedback from the consultation and made amendments to the design for their community-focused and not-for-profit development.


Artist impression of the watersports centre for Exmouth seafront

When announcing the plans last October, he added: "Exmouth has got world class facilities for its watersports as far as its actual environment, it's got incredibly flat water and wind accessible from a variety of directions. The watersports centre is all about providing the facilities to enable Exmouth to use its natural assets better and to encourage the uptake of watersports activities within the town in general.

"We're passionate about watersports itself and we are confident that this is something that will have a real benefit to the whole community. The design is all about low carbon and sustainability. Having a watersports centre will allow Exmouth to bid and hopefully host international watersports events, and the creation of a leisure destination should help contribute to increasing footfall and visitor numbers into the town. This development could create 50-60 new jobs in Exmouth and encourage more people to take up watersports, which in turn drives healthier lifestyles, and will create a place for staging community events.”

There have been 37 letters of objection against the plans, with concerns about it being sited on most dangerous part of the beach, there being no sensible reason for the food outlet to be built over two storeys, with one adding: “This is hardly a 'world class' water sport centre, more an out of town retail park.”


Plans for Exmouth's new watersports centre (Image: Grenadier)

But letters in support of the plans say that it will help to put Exmouth more firmly on the map as a top water sports destination, will provide much needed facilities for locals as well as bring more people to the area who want to learn and improve and the creation of new architecture and new landscaping will enhance the seafront

The application follows the granting of outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the area including a water sports centre and realignment of Queens Drive in 2014 and a subsequent detailed planning application for the realignment of Queens Drive that was granted 2016.

The Development Management Committee will meet at the Knowle, Sidmouth at 10am on June 5.


World class new watersports centre, cafe and posh restaurant are set to be approved - Devon Live
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Knowle relocation project: "Sidmouth’s tourist industry cannot afford to lose visitor parking." And yet "the park and walk facility will probably be lost to visitors permanently."

A point made during the appeal over the PegasusLife planning application at Knowle concerned the threat to the current car parking on the site: 

Of course, if the majority of the principal residents are having carers visiting there will be a peak time rush in the morning and in the evening. 

There is the related issue, the inadequacy of the parking. If many residents will be calling in care services, the parking will be swamped and spill over into the public park and walk facility and Broadway and Knowle Drive. 

Sidmouth’s tourist industry cannot afford to lose visitor parking and local residents already suffer nuisance from inconsiderate on-street parking in Knowle Drive and Broadway, more is unfair.

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: PegasusLife appeal inquiry >>> challenging the developer's heritage 'evidence' >>> and when public 'benefits' are 'disbenefits'
PegasusLife plans for Knowle: Key reports based on thorough research, or perhaps “a stroke of luck”? | Save Our Sidmouth

Parking at Knowle has been brought up before - in the context of discussions around 'park and ride', although the limitations have also been understood:

This has just been brought up again - in the context of how to help the high street:
Futures Forum: How to revive the health of Sidmouth's high street >>> >>> "multi-storey or park-and-ride?"

The trouble is capacity.

And if PegasusLife are going to reduce the current usage of the weekend park-and-walk facility, it's going to be difficult if not impossible to have a weekday or even all-year-round park-and-ride facility.

As pointed out in a letter sent to the Herald: 

Parking is an issue discussed at the recent High Street crisis meeting.  Whether or not a park and ride would work for Sidmouth is debatable but Ian Barlow’s suggestion to site one in the Knowle is an appalling idea.  The existing park and walk car park works well for visitors at the weekend.  It might be logical to extend the facility into the adjacent large EDDC car park but that has been sold off to PegasusLife.  Incidentally, a PegasusLife representative told the Knowle Residents Association this week that they will take over the park and walk facility at various times over the next few years.  If the retirement complex develops as claimed, the park and walk facility will probably be lost to visitors permanently as it will be filled seven days a week with the cars of care staff visiting clients.

The only space available for a new car park is the meadow alongside Station Road.  Apart from the fact that this is earmarked for emergency flood attenuation, it would be a tragedy to lose this flower rich meadow.  Currently it is awash with Ladies’ Smock, Speedwell, Bugle, Herb Robert and Meadow Buttercup with Bluebells around the edge. It is the breeding ground and food source for many insects including several species of butterfly such as Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Holly Blue.  Nearly fifty years ago Joni Mitchell complained that ‘they paved paradise and put up a parking lot’, surely our environmental awareness has moved on since then.

Ed Dolphin,
Sidmouth

Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald

An extension of the summer Hopper Bus has been mooted before:
Futures Forum: A Park & Ride route for Sidmouth >>> Knowle Park to Connaught Gardens

With the service resumed today:
Sidmouth Hopper Bus returns to town for summer season | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
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