Sunday, 23 February 2014

Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ..... Sidmouth session - Tues 25th February

Tuesday 25th February sees a full day dedicated to Sidmouth by the Inspector.
This is the state of play for that day from the District Council's website:

Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan 2006-26

Hearing 7
09:30 Tuesday 25 February 2014


The overall housing numbers and employment provision proposed in the Local Plan has been discussed in previous hearing sessions.  The purpose of this session is to consider matters specific to Sidmouth.

East Devon District Council has resolved to relocate from The Knowle. That decision has been made and is not a matter for this examination.

Strategy 26 seeks to allocate sites for 100 new houses and makes provision for 50 more on windfall sites. Strategy 1 and Policy E1 propose the allocation of 5.5ha of employment land. Is this level of development justified by robust evidence?*

Are the proposed allocations suitable for the development for which they are proposed?
2a. Sidford Employment Allocation
> Traffic
> Landscape/Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
> Flooding
2b. Alexandra Industrial Estate
2c. The Knowle, Port Royal, Manstone Depot Residential Allocations
> Loss of employment
> Traffic
> Impact on the character and appearance of the area

Does Sidmouth have the infrastructure to support the level of new development envisaged in the Local Plan?

*Persimmon Homes (SW) Ltd proposes the allocation of land for housing at Woolbrook Road.
Mr R Eley proposes the allocation of land east of Fortescue Rd for hotel use.

East Devon District Council
29 Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce
720 Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth 
1795 Mr P Wragg
1967 Mr T Ford
2062 Persimmon Homes (SW) Ltd 
3248 Cliff Road Action Group
3495 Mrs C Northover
3496 Mr K Northover
3589 Knowle Residents Association 
3603 Mr K R Dent
3632 Mr B Curwen 
3647 Mr M Temple 
3747 Mr G Cooper 
4019 Mr R Eley 
6048 Mr P Whitfield 
6139 Dr S Wozniak 
6225 Mrs A Jones
6275 Mr I Barlow & Mr D Burrows 
6314 S Matthews
6335 Mr & Mrs D & M Dommett 
6359 Mr I Davies
6360 Mrs J A Green
6361 Mr G W Nicholson 
6397 Save our Sidmouth


Here is a useful overview from the East Devon Alliance:
Examination in Public (EiP) of EDDC’s new Local Plan ….summary so far. | East Devon Alliance

And from the Save Our Sidmouth campaign:

Our Campaign

Six of the seven towns in East Devon have been given a half day for discussion, but Sidmouth has been given a complete day, we assume because of the number of written objections to the Plan and the volume of adverse comment in the town.

Save Our Sidmouth, SOS), was set up to co-ordinate the efforts of major organisations in the town, for the Local Plan, and includes the Sid Vale Association, The Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, The Sidmouth Hospitality Association, the Futures Forum and the Knowle Residents Association. 

We have appointed Mr C Hopkins MA (Oxon) PG. Dip. Law. a Planning and Environmental consultant, to represent us. Our work against the Plan is being funded by public contributions of over £13000, which were made after the march to the Knowle, (and which over 4000 people attended), together with a matched contribution from the Sid Vale Association. 

The Inspector has identified a number of issues relating to Sidmouth which he wants to discuss. These are:-

1. The Plan allows for 100 new houses and 50 more on windfall sites. It also proposes the allocation of 5.5 Ha of Employment land. Are these justified?

2. Are the proposed allocations suitable for the development proposed?

a. Sidford; Traffic, Flooding and Landscape.

b. Alexandria Estate.

c. The Knowle Port Royal and Manstone residential; Loss of Employment, Traffic, Impact on character and appearance of area.

3. Does Sidmouth have the infrastructure to support these developments?

SOS objects to the allocation of 5.5Ha of Employment land, because it is not warranted and has only been justified by EDDC by the use of flawed and erroneous figures, and support from a developer. We also believe that it would exacerbate the extensive flooding problems of nearby houses, and would worsen the already difficult traffic problems in Sidford. The allocated site is also in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which the Government says can only be encroached on if there are “exceptional circumstances” for it.

SOS believes that the existing Alexandria Industrial Estate is more than adequate for the levels of employment that are realistic, and that access can be improved to encourage better use of the area.

We also believe that the allocation of 100 new dwellings in addition to “windfalls” (i.e not strategically planned) is not justified. Over 570 new houses have or are being been built in Sidmouth since 2006; all are “windfalls”, and such housing construction will continue regardless. To strategically allocate another 100 houses in addition to any future windfalls is excessive, (and it should be noted that, suspiciously, these 100 houses are mostly on the Knowle or EDDC’s Manstone Lane depot)..

We believe that the EDDC proposals for the Knowle and the Manstone depot are not justified because of the loss of employment in the town, and the impact on the character of the area.

Some 350 people, firms or organisations have sent written Representations to the Sidmouth chapter of the Plan; of whom 27 have said that they will speak at the Examination.

Supporters of the EDDC proposals for the allocation of the Sidford site are;- Fords of Sidmouth and Sidmouth Town Council Councillor D Addis, whilst Persimmon homes will be arguing for the allocation of an additional 100 houses on their land at Woolbrook.

Arguing against the EDDC proposals will be SOS, and separately, the Knowle Residents Association, the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, Futures Forum, Councillor Ian Barlow of the Sidmouth Garden Centre and numerous individuals, including EDDC Councillor for Honiton, M. Allen.

Sidmouth Town Council has written objecting to the Sidford site, but has chosen not participate in the Hearings.

The stage is set therefore for an interesting time over the next few weeks; we do believe that we have a very strong case to rebut EDDC’s proposals.

Our Campaign | Save Our Sidmouth

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