Futures Forum: The Local Plan and Sidford
Futures Forum: Developing the Sidford employment site: "A Local Plan is not set in stone. It can adapt to ‘material changes’."
Futures Forum: Sidford business park > Fords planning application >>> 16/0669/MOUT >>> REFUSED: but "the council remains committed to seeing the Sidford Two Bridges site developed for employment purposes – its allocation remains in place and is supported by the Local Plan"
Even though most parties say it makes absolutely no sense:
Futures Forum: Sidford business park >>> How to allocate an ‘employment site’ in the local development plan - that is on a flood plain, is a rich wildlife habitat, and whose main access would be a narrow street where two lorries can’t pass without mounting the pavement...
The District Council has now decided to refuse the planning application at Sidford - but keeps its Local Plan intact - and opens the door for a brand new set of plans from the applicant:
Local planning authority’s concerns over a potentially lethal combination of narrow roads and increased heavy goods vehicle usage has resulted in refusal of Sidford business park planning application
Details of the application can be viewed on the online applications page of the East Devon website - insert application reference 18/1094/MOUT.
The site is allocated in the adopted East Devon Local Plan and is acceptable in principle, but the allocation is primarily for light industrial uses. The applicants included a significant amount of warehouse space in their application, which would be reliant on HGVs to deliver goods to the site and then distribute them from there. Devon County Council, as Highway Authority, objected to the application based on the number of HGVs likely to be generated by the proposal, which significantly exceeds the figure envisaged when the site was allocated. East Devon District Council has agreed that the numbers of HGVs combined with the narrow roads, both in the vicinity of the site and through Sidbury, would lead to conflict between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians to the detriment of highway safety, and it was on this basis that the application was turned down.
The planning application has generated comments from 369 people and organisations, of which 255 were objecting to the proposal. A petition of 1,398 residents of the Sidford area and over 200 signatures from the wider area was also received. There were a wide range of objections raised to the application, including concerns regarding flood risk, visual impact, impact upon listed buildings, impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty, light and noise pollution and questions over the need for the business park, which the council considered in detail - many of them having also been considered through the Local Plan examination.
However, the council concluded that the application is acceptable in terms of these matters, with only highways safety amounting to a reason for refusal. In order to progress the development, the applicant now has the choice of appealing against the council’s decision or submitting a revised application to address the concerns raised. Any appeal or further application will be publicised in the usual way and there will be a further opportunity for comments to be made and considered by the council or a Planning Inspector in the case of a an appeal.
Councillor Mike Howe, Chairman of East Devon’s Development Management Committee, said:
I recognise that there is a lot of local opposition to the provision of a business park on this site, but its inclusion in the Local Plan follows an examination by an independent Planning Inspector and the suitability of the site was confirmed by him. Sidmouth needs space to support local businesses and provide jobs and this site is the best location to do that. There were many varied objections to this application but it is only the high level of HGVs that would be drawn to the site, which justifies its refusal.
The Herald reports:
District council refuse Sidford Business Park proposalDistrict council refuse Sidford Business Park proposal | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
There is relief, but disappointment ... and criticism:
EDDC objects to Sidford Business Park ONLY on Highways grounds | East Devon Watch
Campaigners will press on with “Say No to Sidford Business Park” activity | East Devon Watch
Sidford Business Park – Sidmouth Herald ignores hard work of independent councillors | East Devon Watch