The Save Our Sidmouth website has brought attention to an obscure legal notice - that the District Council intends to 'dispose of' and 'appropriate' Open Space at Knowle:
Three weeks’ notice of change of use of Open Space at Knowle: Deadline for objections 20th February 2015.
February 2, 2015 by sidmouthsid Leave a comment
Readers may have missed the two small items on p56 of Sidmouth Herald on Fri Jan 30th 2015, amongst the Legal and Public notices.
The first concerns Disposal of Open Space; the second, Appropriation of Open Space. Both items refer to Land at Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL. The area is approx. 1.92 hectares of land of which 6030.35sq.m. is considered to be open space adjacent to the Council office buildings.
Plans can be inspected at EDDC offices at Knowle, during office hours.
Comments must be made IN WRITING to the Legal Department, East Devon District Council, Council Offices, Knowle, Sidmouth EX10 8HL (quoting ref: OFF.1-0014/HGL) by NO LATER THAN 20TH FEBRUARY 2015.
Three weeks’ notice of change of use of Open Space at Knowle: Deadline for objections 20th February 2015. | Save Our Sidmouth
Here is comment from the East Devon Watch website:
3rd Febrary 2015
Another public consultation, EDDC-style, is underway. Can anyone find the plans online? Unlike planning proposals, comments ‘must be made IN WRITING’ (no mention of website option).
Details here http://saveoursidmouth.com/2015/02/02/three-weeks-notice-of-change-of-use-of-open-space-at-knowle-deadline-for-objections-20th-february-2015/
Your friends and neighbours might like to know.
One thought on “Knowle alert!”
Paul F says:
3 Feb 2015 at 9:55am
There are publicised consultations, there are low profile consultations, and there are EDDC consultations.
This appears to be designed to meet the minimum legal requirements for a formal consultation required by law i.e. by publishing a notice, requiring people to visit council offices to see the detailed proposals, and requiring physical written responses.
But without any apparent further publicity, it is just paying lip service to the concept of consultation rather than having any meaning.
Yet another example of a complete lack of understanding or commitment to democracy from the Tory leadership and senior officers at EDDC.
Knowle alert! | East Devon Watch
This evening, the Save Our Sidmouth site has published guidelines on how to comment:
Fact File on Knowle Plan, and Land to be appropriated. REMINDER: Deadline for objections, 20th Feb 2015
February 4, 2015 by sidmouthsid Leave a comment
Please click here for details of Land to be appropriated by EDDC
You may be aware that EDDC published two notices in the Herald last week, giving notice that they intend to appropriate land for housing, under sections 122 and 123 of the Local Government Act of 1972.
The land to be so appropriated, (the total area of land they say they need for development). includes 0.6ha of Public Open Space, (POS). The plan, which I have included above, shows the POS, note that the remainder of the land, (actually the “hard” area, of buildings and roads), are not shown, but I include a pdf which shows the total land which EDDC are appropriating.
Comments on these proposals have to be with EDDC Legal department by 20th February 2015, ref OFF.1-0014/HGL
The following notes may help..
1. EDDC own all the land in question.
2. They have given notice of their intention to appropriate and dispose of the land for housing, and this would be for “residential and/or extra care assisted living uses”, ie to sell the land to a Developer to fund their move.
3. They are entitled to do this under the Local Government Act 1972.. However, land can only be appropriated if the Council believes that it is no longer required for the purpose for which it is held (ie Public Open Space).They must dispose of it at market value or get the Secretary of State’s consent.
4. They include 0.6 Ha of public open space which includes most of the Upper Terraces and part of the garden/workshop area.
5. EDDC will consider any comments and decide whether or not to proceed with the appropriation and disposal
6. I understand that there can be no challenge to their decision except through a Judicial Review on the basis that their decision is unreasonable.
1. EDDC have accepted the status of the land coloured red as public open space.
2. The land referred to in the notices is not the full extent of the land which EDDC propose to sell; the land referred to in the notices is only that part of the land which EDDC believe to be public open space.
3. Sidmouth Town Council were not consulted but considered the proposals on 2nd February as an urgent item. They vehemently oppose the development of any part of the Knowle except the footprint of the existing offices.
4. The 2006 Local Plan, which is still the relevant development plan, designates the area in front of the former hotel (ie the terraces) as recreation land. The new proposed local plan which purported to designate the land for housing was rejected by the Inspector last year and carries very little, if any, weight.
Comments that could be made to EDDC.
1. Part of the land is designated on the current 2006 Local Plan as Recreation land under Policy RE1,
2. EDDC assumes, by its proposal that the land is not required for the purpose that exists at the moment. In fact It is required for public open space and is still used as such.
3. The land is affected by claimed footpaths which Devon County Council propose to register as public rights of way subject to the outcome of a public inquiry to be held in September
4. EDDC acknowledges that the land is public open space. It is regularly used by the Public as part of the Knowle Parkland and Gardens and its loss would be detrimental to the Public’s enjoyment of this publicly owned asset.
5. One of the reasons why EDDC’s Development Management Committee refused planning permission last year was the loss of public open space. The committee considered that the land formed an important amenity for the residents of Sidmouth and should be retained for the benefit of the community. The Council were not satisfied that the land was surplus to requirements. EDDC should respect the committee’s decision.
6. The development of the Terraces would have a serious adverse effect on the appearance of the remainder of the gardens
There may be other valid reasons that could be put forward; if you have any please let me know urgently.. Any comments to me please
This is a significant point in being able to challenge the Development. I believe that it is ESSENTIAL, that EDDC receives as many comments on their proposal as possible, and would urge you to do so, also asking other residents of Sidmouth.
Comments to EDDC’s Legal Department before 20th February. ref OFF.1-0014/HGL.
Please feel free to pass this information to whomsoever you wish to.
Fact File on Knowle Plan, and Land to be appropriated. REMINDER: Deadline for objections, 20th Feb 2015 | Save Our Sidmouth