Sunday, 8 January 2017

Knowle relocation project: and another departure from the Local Plan >>> Manstone Depot planning application 16/2526/FUL

The District Council doesn't seem to know what its priorities are.

There is the example of what to do with the Mill Street/Ham Lane car park: 

Either: affordable housing:
Futures Forum: A solution to our housing problems: build on car parks

Or: parking and raising revenue:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth parking issues: decreasing capacity at Ham Lane

The District Council also doesn't seem to be very consistent when it comes to its own planning regulations.

There is the example of what to do with the recent application for Knowle:
The reasons for refusal included overdevelopment and a departure from the site’s 50-home allocation in the authority’s Local Plan. 

The Planning Officer admitted several times that the Pegasus plans were a departure from the District Council's Local Plan: 

Comment from before the planning application was rejected highlighted these anomalies: 

Despite overwhelming opposition to the proposed industrial estate, the District Council is insisting that the site will be developed - because it’s in the Local Plan: 

But these plans are not ‘set in stone’: 

There seems to be yet another departure from the Local Plan in the offing.

In the East Devon Local Plan, 30 'homes' are promised for Port Royal:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: the draft Local Plan and 30 new homes

... and 20 are intended for the current Manstone Depot:

The Herald ran the story about how the District Council had intended to build social housing on their Manstone Depot site back in April. 

Now the District Council want to relocate their Estates Dept there instead – and build new offices on the site: 
A relocation cost swept under the carpet? | East Devon Watch

At the last full Council meeting (Wednesday 21st December), it came to light that the District Council has submitted a planning application for offices for its Estates Department at
the Manstone Depot in Sidmouth:
16/2526/FUL | Construction of single storey office building. | The Council Yard Manstone Avenue Sidmouth EX10 9TN

This application is clearly very sensitive: 

Firstly, it is on a site reserved for housing in the Local Plan:
“b) Land at Current Manstone Depot – Land for residential use is allocated for 20 homes, site ED01).” (page 88) http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1772841/local-plan-final-adopted-plan-2016.pdf

The District Council itself submitted a bid for housing at the Manstone site in Sidmouth. This is now available to see following an FOI request from earlier this year: 

It is not clear how planning application 16/2526/FUL will impact on the District Council’s allocation under the Local Plan to build 20 dwellings at the Manstone Depot site. 

Secondly, it is clearly part of the ‘larger picture’ of the District Council’s relocation project.

This application represents the relocation of one of the key departments from the Knowle site – and yet there has been no mention in the Moving and Improving site pages: 

There is no other information or references about this relocation of the Estates Department elsewhere, whether as documentation or weblinks. 

And there are costings for this planning application available: the building costs of the new offices and where the finance for this project will be coming from.

Some response was given to the Herald in the latest issue:

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