Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Community Notice Board to stay in place

Following on from the appeal over the community notice board on Fore St:
Futures Forum: Community Notice Board ..... ..... Closing date for appeal ..... ..... 5th March

From the Save Our Sidmouth website:

Community noticeboard can stay in place

Sidmouth Town Council heard at their meeting yesterday, that the community noticeboard in Old Fore Street, for which permission had initially been refused, can after all remain in place.
Save our Sidmouth, and the myriad of other local groups who keep it permanently full and lively, will be delighted that they can continue to display information there. T
he noticeboard’s town centre location, on the wall of the Pure Indulgence shop owned by Stephen Kendall-Torry, has proved popular with locals and tourists alike.

Community noticeboard can stay in place | Save Our Sidmouth
www.sidmouth.gov.uk/PDFs/planmin2014/PL MINS 18 06 14.pdf

From the Herald website yesterday:

Notice board to stay after Government inspector steps in

Steven Kendall-Torry with his Old Fore Street notice board

Steven Kendall-Torry with his Old Fore Street notice board

Stephen Sumner Tuesday, July 1, 2014 5:30 PM

A piece of Sidmouth street furniture once branded a danger will be hanging around after orders to remove it were overturned by a Government inspector.

Pure Indulgence owner Mr Steven Kendall-Torry sparked controversy when he installed a notice board on the Old Fore Street wall of his shop.

His application for retrospective planning permission was refused by East Devon District Council bosses – against officers’ advice – but he took it to appeal and the matter went all the way to the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Kendall-Torry said: “It’s another example of bad EDDC decisions and an unnecessary waste of public money, all over a little notice board and what should have been a planning formality. They went against their own officers’ advice and the inspector has ruled against them. Amazingly, at the same meeting, and against their officers’ advice once again, they approved a building in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At least they are consistent at being inconsistent.”

The notice board, regularly full of advertisements for community events and information from campaign group the East Devon Alliance, has been in place for months.

Sidmouth town councillors opposed the ‘unsightly and unsuitable’ sign, saying pedestrians could be threatened as it is on a public highway.

The application had been recommended for approval by planning officers, who said the impact on safety would be minimal.

In making his decision, planning inspector Jonathon Parsons noted: “Its design and position adds visual interest and breaks up the monotony of an otherwise blank ground-floor wall. It does add a new feature to this wall, but it does not create a cluttered appearance because no comparable alterations have been made to it.”

An East Devon District Council spokesman said: “The decision to refuse the application was taken by members after discussion and due consideration of the officers’ report, which recommended approval. Decisions are taken on planning grounds and, where appropriate, are defended at appeal.”

He added that the cost of the applicant taking the decision to the planning inspectorate was in covering the officers’ time, but dealing with applications from initial contact to appeal decision is part of their everyday job.

Notice board to stay after Government inspector steps in - News - Sidmouth Herald

And from the East Devon Alliance website:


June 21 2014
Many organisations, including EDA, Save our Sidmouth and Sidmouth Independent News, have availed themselves of the free notice board positioned outside Pure Indulgence in Sidmouth’s pedestrianised shopping area.
East Devon District Council objected to this notice board. Many people wrote in supporting its position and use and, at the time of the closing date for objections there had been only one objection, but, for some reason, the consultation period was extended. It seems that other notice boards (including one belonging to EDDC), A-boards and other materials were acceptable to EDDC but not this particular notice board.
In a very short judgment (2 pages) the Planning Inspector decided to allow the appeal details of which can be found HERE.
The last two paragraphs of his judgment are below:
7. Concern has been expressed about the untidiness and proliferation of different notices on the board itself. It has been remarked that the appearance of it has improved recently. Notices can come in a range of sizes and be placed upon one another in a haphazard fashion but there is no evidence that this has occurred here to make it unsightly. The submitted details show the board with notices placed in a neat and tidy manner. Indeed, the board has been designed with wooden rims which would encourage the placing of notices within the confines of the board itself. Moreover, the notice board would enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area because it would improve the look of this wall for the reasons referred to.
8.  In conclusion, the proposal would enhance the character and appearance of the Sidmouth Conservation Area for the reasons referred to. The proposal would comply with Policy EN11 of the East Devon Local Plan, which amongst other matters, permits development affecting setting or views where it would preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. The Council have suggested a condition confirming the retrospective nature of the development. In accordance with the tests specified within the PPG, this would be unnecessary and therefore has not been imposed. For the reasons given above, and having regard to all other matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should be allowed.
Although many would consider this a minor matter it throws into question one thing:  if EDDC can get it SO wrong about whether something will enhance or degrade the appearance of a Conservation Area can we trust THEIR judgment?
Sidmouth notice board – to which EDDC objected – “enhances the area” and will be allowed to stay! | East Devon Alliance

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