Thursday, 27 February 2014

Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ..... ..... SIDMOUTH

Following on from the session on Sidmouth earlier in the week
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ..... Sidmouth session - Tues 25th February
it appears that it was "so long a day that there's going to be another Sidmouth day on March 12."

Although this was later changed:

Due to room booking issues the continued Sidmouth hearing session of the East Devon Local Plan will now be at 9.30am on Tuesday 11th March in the Council Chamber & not the 12th as mentioned yesterday.

Thank you
Amanda Polley
Programme Officer

It was a 'mammoth' session...

Sidmouth’s economy: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” , today’s EiP hearing told.

February 25, 2014 by sidmouthsid

The Examination in Public(EiP) of EDDC’s new Local Plan, continued today, with the Sidmouth hearing. Having begun at 9.30 a.m, it was clear by mid-afternoon that the scheduled questions would not be covered in one day. Consequently,Inspector, Anthony Thickett, closed the meeting at 6.p.m. and declared that the Sidmouth hearing will resume on Wednesday, 12th March.

These questions were examined today:

1.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?

2. 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

Questions still to be examined:

2c. The Knowle,Port Royal, Manstone Depot Residential Allocations
Loss of employment; Traffic; Impact on the character and appearance of the area

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

Some ‘best quotes’ from today’s hearing:

- ‘B1’is “any office space which will not annoy the neighbours.” (Inspector, Anthony Thickett)

-”Sidmouth’s economic formula is successful with a broadly thriving strategy… Whilst diversification is desirable, it should not be at the expense of what is already there. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” (Richard Eley)

-“We can achieve some ecological improvement “ on the business park site . (Joseph Marchant, for Fords of Sidmouth)

-”We can’t say, ‘Here is a sequential study that we undertook, and here is a critique of them’ . We took the Jubb report as a steer.” (Matt Dickens, EDDC)

-”The Local Plan should supply a sequential flood risk assessment …it is not an option.” (Charlie Hopkins, for Save our Sidmouth)

Report on the hearing will be posted shortly on this website. For EiP programme, please see SIN blog Home page: http://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com/

“Flood zone 3A will become Flood Zone 3B by 2025″, Sidmouth hearing told.

Yesterday’s resumed Hearings into EDDC’s Local Plan took a long hard look at the proposal for housing at Sidmouth and a 12.5 acre business park at Sidford.

A score of speakers representing Sidmouth Town Council, Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, Save our Sidmouth and Sidmouth and Sidford residents put the case against the Council’s controversial employment land allocation. Some highlights:

1. The council’s justification for the scale of the proposed development appeared about as robust as a dead duck.

a) A succession of speakers pointed out the EDDC’s own figures for the number of houses planned (150) would justify a couple of acres of employment land at most (preferably on several small scale, mostly existing, sites) .

b) Unemployment in Sidmouth was minimal.

c) Currently in-commuters exceeded out-commuters: a big new business park would drag in hundreds more workers defeating the Council’s aim of reducing commuting.

2. The Sidford site ticked all the ‘disastrous choice’ boxes.

a) It would sacrifice a chunk of the AONB in one of the most visible places.

b) It’s on a flood plain, and would likely make flooding worse, including lower down the Sid.

c) It would fatally weaken the ‘green gap ‘ between Sidford and Sidbury.

d) It’s not accessible: two lorries can’t pass in School Street leading to the site.

3. EDDC seem to have looked at alternative sites with a Nelson’s eye, apparently losing one rival landowners proposal, and according to another one, dismissing his offer because of his continuing feud with the council.

4. EDDC’s plan was valiantly defended by………….the agent for the promoter of the site!

5. When the Council team put their oar in, it splintered! The planning officer was given the equivalent of six of the best by the Inspector­­- who would make an excellent headmaster- when he confessed, that EDDC had failed to conduct its own flood risk assessment on the Sidford.

Never mind, the Council had complete confidence in the promoter’s consultant’s research which concluded building a business park was the ultimate flood defence!(Expensive business, if Halcrow Report about Flood zone 3A proves right!)

6. Attention finally turned to the Alexandria Road site which most speakers thought was under-used. The promoter’s agent predictably condemned it as unfit for purpose, and the access impossible to improve.

7. Some irreverent wag commented that the big supermarket lined up to move in to Alex would quickly solve this problem.

“Flood zone 3A will become Flood Zone 3B by 2025″ , Sidmouth hearing told. | Sidmouth Independent News

See also:
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ..... Sidmouth: the issues: Sidford Employment Allocation
“Sheer madness” if the employment land were given the go-ahead, says Sidford resident. | Save Our Sidmouth

No comments: