Thursday, 2 April 2015

Proposals for a business/retail park at Sidford are removed from the draft Local Plan >>> further reports

At the extraordinary meeting of the District Council's planning committee, a contentious piece of employment land was erased from the draft Local Plan:
Futures Forum: Proposals for a business/retail park at Sidford are removed from the draft Local Plan >>> to be replaced by new proposals for 'green wedge' between Sidford and Sidbury?

The Minutes cover this to some extent:

Strategy 26, Development at Sidmouth – An advisory note to be sent to the Inspector asking that he take account of the ongoing objections and concerns expressed within the local community regarding the employment allocation north of Sidford.  

Development Management Committee minutes for 23 March 2015 special - East Devon District Council

The latest View from Sidmouth covered the story in more detail:

SIDMOUTH: Business park pulled from Local Plan

31st March 2015
by Jack Dixon


CONTROVERSIAL proposals for a new business park on the edge of Sidmouth have been struck from East Devon’s Local Plan, following a last-gasp effort from local councillors to scrap the development.

The five-hectare employment site at Sidford was pulled from East Devon District Council’s Local Plan document – a development blueprint for the next 16 years – at a meeting last week.

Sid Valley councillors Stuart Hughes and Graham Troman led the calls for the proposal to be scratched off, with a vote on the issue passing narrowly at Thursday’s meeting.

The landmark decision marks the end of four years of protest over the proposed development, which some had feared could drag trade away from the town centre.

Residents had expressed further concerns about the planned estate’s impact on the local landscape, as well as difficulties accessing the site.

Councillor Stuart Hughes assured members that Alexandria Road would meet the town’s employment needs in the future instead.

Independent councillor Claire Wright said: “The five hectare site was inserted into the Local Plan at the last minute when I was a member of the panel back in 2011. It has taken local people four years of campaigning for the council to finally agree to delete it. Many votes of a similar nature have been taken in the past and have failed. Today’s got through.”

A spokesman for the Save Our Sidmouth campaign added: “Congratulations and thanks to Sidmouth councillors Stuart Hughes and Graham Troman for proposing the amendment.

“Councillor Troman had already argued strongly at the development management committee that the Sidford site was not justified by the council’s own formulae.

“And much credit must also be given to SOS member Marianne Rixson, whose extensive research on flooding and traffic issues was presented to the inspector at the examination-in-public of the previous Local Plan. Her work has solidly informed the debate.”

The withdrawal of the proposal was one of a number of amendments to the Local Plan agreed by councillors, before sending a final draft of the document to a government inspector for further scrutiny.

Once approved, the plan will be put to local people during an extended eight-week public consultation exercise. The revised plan projects that more than 18,000 new homes will be provided across East Devon by 2031 – around 950 a year.

EDDC chairman Councillor Graham Godbeer said: “Council understood the clear evidence of the total housing numbers required by the inspector, which supports the 950 homes per year figure, and we look forward to hearing back from him in April. It was important that we pursued the Local Plan in a timely manner, particularly as the inspector advised us that delaying the plan until after the elections was not an option.”

SIDMOUTH: Business park pulled from Local Plan - View from Sidmouth

See also:
Proposed Sidford Business Park removed from Local Plan | Save Our Sidmouth
DMC refuses to amend Local Plan proposal for Sidford. | Save Our Sidmouth

Stuart Hughes - Devon ConservativeMarianne Rixson | East Devon Alliance

From the archives – 2 – Sidford employment land | East Devon Watch

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