Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Ford's @ Sidmouth & Sidford >>> of supermarkets and traffic congestion

The Say NO to Sidford Business Park and the EDA held a meeting this evening to provide more information on the planning application to build on the fields to the north of Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: Sidford business park >>> >>> public meeting organised by Say NO to Sidford Business Park: Tuesday 5th June

Besides concerns about flooding, the main issues were traffic and lack of need for a business park.

TRAFFIC in Sidford & Sidbury:

Here's a video from the campaign two years ago which makes the point that more traffic will create 'chaos' on the streets of Sidford and Sidbury: 

Say NO to Sidford Business Park

September 22, 2016 ·

Huge Yodel lorry meets a truck and then a bus in Sidbury. Chaos ensues, traffic is stuck for more than half an hour and some people behave a bit stupidly (forward to the end for that bit)!

Because it is clear that the applicants do not care too much about the consequences of their applications.

TRAFFIC at Tesco's Sidmouth:

This 'pinch point' at the top of the High St in Sidmouth is even narrower than the roads along Sidford and Sidbury:

In 2005, a Tesco's opened in Sidmouth - the site having been sold to them by Ford's who had occupied the shop at the top of the High Street:
Futures Forum: Tesco's in East Devon

Since then, there have been innumerable cases of the road being severely congested during the morning rush hour and damage to nearby buildings - because of trucks unloading on the double yellow lines:
Futures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth: serious incidents at the pinch point at the top of Sidmouth High Street
Futures Forum: Keeping lorries out of Sidmouth's town centre >>> "an out-of-town distribution centre could be created so deliveries can be transferred from massive lorries into smaller vehicles" 

RETAIL at Alexandria Industrial Estate:

This is not the only supermarket to have interested Fords over the last few years. 

There has been some talk about a Morrison's opening in Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: Supermarket saturation point: Is there really room for more in Sidmouth and in Honiton?
Futures Forum: Nice posh Sidmouth has a Waitrose: but could it do with a more down-to-earth Morrison's? Perhaps not...

Back in 2012, the Local Plan for East Devon was being put together:

The Tym’s Report on employment land and several entries in the draft Local Plan warned against undermining the viability of town centres: 
REPRESENTATION TO LOCAL PLAN - final version - vision group for sidmouth - 14jan13 

Indeed, rather than providing space for housing as proposed by Fords, vacating the Alexandria Road site would enable a large national retailer to establish itself: 

Morrisons store rumours surface in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 15:49 15 February 2012

Stefan Gordon

‘I fear doughnut effect’ - says councillor

MORRISONS hasn’t ruled out claims it could be on the lookout for a site for a supermarket in Sidmouth. Rumours the firm was possibly looking to set up shop in the town were mentioned at a full town council meeting on Monday.

Chairman Stuart Hughes told colleagues he’d heard talk the supermarket chain was potentially interested in an employment land plot and said: “No way”. Cllr Hughes added that such sites should be provided to give future generations the chance to work, and live, in Sidmouth.

Mr Hughes told the Herald on Wednesday: “The last thing we want is another supermarket. I fear a ‘doughnut effect’- where all the trade will be sucked out of the centre of Sidmouth.”

A Morrisons spokesperson said yesterday: “We’re constantly looking at sites across the country that we would like to bring our offering to, but we don’t comment on individual sites until they have been acquired.” He added it can take up to five years from the time of site acquisition to the opening of a store.

Morrisons store rumours surface in Sidmouth | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

It seems, then, that large national retailers have shown interest in the Alexandria Road site - although later in this report there is a statement declaring that the proposed Sidford site would exclude such businesses: 

Morrisons eyes up Sidmouth estate

PUBLISHED: 17:12 06 June 2012

Stefan Gordon

SUPERMARKET giant Morrisons has declared an interest in the Alexandria Industrial Estate, say the owners of a fourth generation family firm that owns half of the site.

But Fords of Sidmouth bosses this week told the Herald that the retailer does not have an option to purchase their land - and the estate’s destiny is as much in the hands of other business owners there as theirs.

Tim and Mike Ford revealed several large companies had approached them over their firm’s current home - as they spoke about their “exciting” vision to invest £5million in a new employment site at Sidford.

The businessmen say they are currently looking to expand to the proposed development rather than relocate, and that the project will bring new jobs to the Sid Valley.

On Morrisons and the Alexandria estate, Tim Ford said: “We have been approached by large companies, like a supermarket and builders’ merchants, but only own 50 per cent of the site, so we can’t do anything with it.

“In terms of what might happen in the future, we don’t know the answer. We don’t plan to vacate here at the moment. We have been approached by Morrisons, but they do not have an option on this land. No contract has been signed.”

The Fords said they had invested heavily in the Alexandria estate so their firm could become a regional leader in renewable energy. They said that, whatever might happen to their Alexandria land in the future, they would reinvest any cash from it into their planned project in Sidford. They added that their Alexandria estate neighbours had not expressed any interest in relocating to the potential new site.

Morrisons eyes up Sidmouth estate | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

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