Verdict imminent over district Local Plan - News - Sidmouth Herald
Planning inspector will report back on EDDC Local Plan by end of March - Claire WrightFutures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... SIDMOUTH: reports from 11th March
One should of course not attempt to second guess, but:
At the beginning of the month, the District Council's own planning committee rejected an application to build housing in Sidford on several grounds.
The full agenda and minutes are now available:
This has serious implications, not only for what the Inspector might or might not decide in the coming days vis-a-vis the draft local plan - but also for future planning applications at critical sites in the Sid Valley.
The Save Our Sidmouth website points to the issues cited in the refusal to give planning permission at Sidford:
“Now if we were to apply the same logic to the proposed development the other side of the fence at Sidford or to development of the Knowle…?”
Here is the refusal in full:
1> In the absence of any robust evidence to the contrary, the site is considered to lie in an area where there is a high risk of flooding, as demonstrated by its location within flood zone 3 on the Environment Agency Flood Map. Following application of the Sequential Test it has been shown that there are other reasonably available sites within the district of East Devon with a lower probability of flooding than the application site that would be appropriate for the type of development proposed in this application. Therefore the development fails to satisfy the Sequential Test and would conflict with policy EN21 (River and Coastal Flooding) of the submitted New East Devon Local Plan and national planning policy as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.
2> The proposed development would result in the loss of an established employment site but it has not been demonstrated there is a surplus of employment land in the locality, that options for its retention have been fully explored or that the site cannot be retained for employment use without adverse impacts on the quality of the locality. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to policy E3 (Safeguarding Employment Land and Premises) of the adopted East Devon Local Plan and E3 (Safeguarding Employment Land and Premises) of the submitted New East Devon Local Plan.
This point was made in the summary:
It would not justify development on the remainder of the site because the significant flood risk and potential minor adverse impact on the AONB would strongly outweigh the need for housing in the district.
Together with some pertinent details in the officer's report:
Notwithstanding the status of the new local plan, the occupiers of the dwellings would have good access to a range of local facilities in Sidford as well as bus and cycle access to Sidmouth. Therefore the site is considered to be in a sustainable location. Although the number of dwellings would only make a small contribution to housing supply in the district, the lack of a 5 year supply, the sustainable location, and the proposed extension to the built-up area boundary to include the site all weigh in favour of the development.
This has implications for the following 'hot issues':
Alexandria Rd employment land site:
Futures Forum: The future of the Alexandria Road Industrial Estate
Knowle employment land site:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: getting the figures straight
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... Sidmouth: the issues: The Knowle, Port Royal, Manstone Depot Residential Allocations
Flooding and the relocation project:
Futures Forum: Building on floodplains in the South West
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: moving to Skypark... and... Flooding in the West Country...
Flooding and Sidford employment land site:
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... SIDMOUTH
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ..... Sidmouth: the issues: Sidford Employment Allocation
Development at Port Royal:
Futures Forum: Ham Lane Redevelopment Study - a mixed development for Port Royal
Building housing on AONB:
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... HOUSING
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... housing: numbers much too low for developers ... much too high for CPRE