Earlier this week saw the Inspector looking at the provisions for housing in the District Council's draft Local Plan:
Futures Forum: District Council draft Local Plan >>> Inspector's hearing on housing >>> Wednesday 8th July
There are several issues at stake when it comes to Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: House builders' promises >>> more 'affordable housing' and 'park & change/ride' for Sidmouth
All this is within the broader regional and national context:
Futures Forum: "Thousands of acres of the Westcountry have been swallowed up by development"
Futures Forum: CPRE: 'Getting Houses Built' >>> supporting small builders and improving the viability of brownfield development
The SVA and SOS are both concerned about these developments:
SOS representation on changes to the Local Plan. | Save Our Sidmouth
... as reported in the Herald:
Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald
Another report from the Herald notes the interest of developers over sites around Sidmouth - as presented to the Inspector:
Developer targets 16 acres of AONB
10:23 09 July 2015 Harvey Gavin
A concept plan of the Bloor Homes site, east of Sidmouth Garden Centre. Image is taken from a report by planning consultants Turley submitted to the district council.
A developer has revealed its desire to build 100 houses on a swathe of Sidmouth’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Bloor Homes has made a last-ditch bid to see its vision to transform 16 acres of farmland – outside of the town’s A3052 ‘boundary’ – included in a blueprint for the future of East Devon.
The firm has urged a government inspector to include three fields, situated between Sidmouth Garden Centre and Core Hill Road, in the latest draft of the district council’s Local Plan.
And in a separate move, Persimmon has called for its plot west of Woolbrook Road – which could accommodate more than 100 houses and a public transport hub – to be incorporated as well.
A concept layout of the Bloor Homes site submitted to East Devon District Council (EDDC) shows provision for around 100 dwellings - as well as allotments, an orchard and a play area. The developer has argued that EDDC’s current growth target of 150 homes for Sidmouth over the next 16 years is insufficient to meet the town’s needs.
Consultants acting for the firm say that housing on their site would ‘contribute towards the delivery of much-needed housing for Sidmouth’.
They say failing to provide the right type and quantity of new homes could lead to an ‘imbalanced community’ if young people are forced to look outside of the town for somewhere to live.
The land in question neighbours Sidmouth Garden Centre, but owner of the business Ian Barlow - who has previously championed the idea of an eco-friendly business park on the plot - said the proposed housing scheme was nothing to do with him as he does not own the site.
Mr Barlow said: “I have disagreed, and still disagree with building homes on that side of the road. I think the A3052 would have been a nice boundary to defend the AONB. There are other sites in the town that would be much more suitable.”
The submission by Bloor Homes will be considered by planning inspector Anthony Thickett.
Developer targets 16 acres of AONB - News - Sidmouth Herald
And this piece from the East Devon Watch site comments on what housebuilders had to say at the Inspector's hearing on Wednesday:
CRANBROOK – OVER DEVELOPED SAY – DEVELOPERS!
8 JULY 2015
Interesting snippet from yesterday’s local plan hearing. Apparently developers were complaining that over-development in Cranbrook is depressing prices there and there is more money (sorry, better opportunities for housing supply) in other parts of the district.
Mr Thickett asked rather plaintively where the employment land was for the larger town. It appears planners had’nt really got to grips with that (though, of course, Skypark down the road and the abandoned inter-modal freight site are deserts waiting for rain),
Lower prices are better for us, not good for developers. Who does EDDC support?
Wonder what Mr Thickett thought of that?
He seems increasingly fed up with his visits to East Devon to try to sort things out – might he be ready to throw in the towel and rip the Local Plan up?
If he did the developer free-for-all will continue for years. That surely is not what East Devon Tory councillors want.
Cranbrook – over developed say – developers! | East Devon Watch