Monday, 24 February 2014

Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ..... Sidmouth: the issues: The Knowle, Port Royal, Manstone Depot Residential Allocations

Following on from the session dedicated to housing
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ...HOUSING
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... housing: numbers much too low for developers... much too high for CPRE
these issues will be brought up in greater detail at the session on Sidmouth tomorrow:
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ..... Sidmouth session - Tues 25th February

The largest house builder in the country has made its intentions clear:
‘Let us build on your green belt’ - News - Sidmouth Herald
Persimmon: Why shouldn’t we build on Sidmouth’s “green belt” – we’ve done it elsewhere | Sidmouth Independent News

An article in the Herald anticipated the representations made at last week's session on housing at the Public Examination:

Developer targets Sidmouth’s green belt

FEARS have been expressed for another swathe of Sidmouth’s green belt as one of the UK’s largest developers looks set to argue that a huge plot should be utilised for homes.
Persimmon will propose to a government planning inspector that its site off Woolbrook Road could be allocated for housing when a public inquiry is held over the district council’s Local Plan in February.
The land, which is in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), was deemed ‘deliverable and developable’ and big enough for 257 homes by the authority in 2010 and is opposite a 95-property development recently completed by the firm.
However, the plot was not included in the draft Local Plan – with a total of 150 houses earmarked for Knowle, the Manstone Depot and Port Royal instead. The 12-year blueprint, a vision for the future of East Devon, also features contentious proposals for a business park of up to 12 acres in the AONB between Sidford and Sidbury.
Britain’s oldest civic society, the Sid Vale Association (SVA), is among organisations under the Save Our Sidmouth umbrella which have raised £25,000 for a specialist planning consultant to battle such proposals at the inquiry.
Chairman Alan Darrant said Persimmon’s move was ‘predictable’ and would be contested. He added: “The AONB should be preserved and it shouldn’t be built on unless there are exceptional reasons. If Persimmon were to build there, the 150 homes [in the draft Local Plan] would become an irrelevance – Sidmouth would be delivering far in excess.”
Mr Darrant said more needed to be done to assist young people in getting on the property ladder - but the ‘vast majority’ of homes that had been built were ‘helping the wrong people’. He thanked those who contributed £13,600 in donations towards the planning consultant. The sum has been match-funded by the SVA.
Simon Perks, managing director for Persimmon Homes South West, said: “I do not want to pre-empt our views at the inquiry other than to say that we are committed to promoting well-designed housing that is sustainable and provides much-needed new housing in all of our operating areas.”
Developer targets Sidmouth’s green belt - News - Sidmouth Herald
Persimmon and Woolbrook Road – the story continues | Sidmouth Independent News

Indeed, there have been ongoing concerns about the transparency of meetings with developers - with the long-running saga in Ottery:
Council aims to be open over planning - News - Sidmouth Herald

These proposals for residential allocation are well beyond those given in the District Council's draft Local Plan. 
This has laid out housing for Port Royal, Knowle and the current Manstone depot 
- but only the first remains relatively uncontentious, with the Vision Group supporting the District Council by encouraging fresh ideas for Port Royal:
Futures Forum: East Devon and affordable housing: November 2012
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: mixed development
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: VGS and PRSG
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: VGS 2010

However, the Vision Group, along with the rest of the community, has been much more critical about plans for housing at Knowle and Manstone:
Vision Group for Sidmouth - VGS submission to Knowle planning application sept12
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Objection to Planning Application
as with the latest submission by the Futures Forum:

The VGS therefore proposes that:
There should be no extension beyond the current footprint of the buildings at Knowle.  
The proposals to refurbish and renovate the current buildings should be actively considered by the District Council – following the principles of development for sustainability Futures Forum: "A truly green alternative to EDDC's proposal"Futures Forum: Knowle: refurbishment vs redevelopment.

Vision Group for Sidmouth - VGS Futures Forum - comment on District Council Local Plan

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