Sunday, 25 March 2018

Knowle relocation project: a net loss of hundreds of jobs

Both the District Council and the developers at Knowle have promised 'jobs': 

Creation of a number of on-site jobs to staff the development, in addition to the creation of off-site jobs in the care sector. 

More information revealed ahead of planning inquiry over future of The Knowle - Devon Live
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: PegasusLife appeal >>> >>> Inquiry to start Tuesday 28th November > press reports

This is admitted to be less than what is currently provided: 


As we know from the previous Economic Impact Assessment, Sidmouth is estimated to experience a reduction in economic activity through the Council’s move. Those benefits will be redistributed between Honiton and Exmouth. Development of the Knowle for residential and/or care facilities would bring economic benefits of construction jobs, new residents’ spending as well as the additional potential for purchase of local services and possible new employment. Overall there will be an economic uplift distributed around the district.

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: District Council cabinet meets Wednesday 3rd December: analysis of proposals

Even though all of this goes against planning policy:

Back in 2013, with the first planning application at Knowle, the second area which concerned the DMC (the Development Management Cttee, or the District Council's planning committee) was the fact that the application was contrary to policies to safeguard employment land and premises: 

Applications for Planning Permission and matters for determination

RESOLVED: that the application 12/1847/MOUT be refused, contrary to Officer
recommendation, for the following reasons:

2. The proposed development by virtue of the loss of a large area of current employment land and the loss of an existing park and walk facility which provides an important car parking facility used by visitors to the town and its businesses would have a significant detrimental impact on the economy of Sidmouth.

It has not been adequately demonstrated that all options for the retention of the site for employment uses have been fully explored or that there is a surplus of employment land in the locality. 

It is therefore considered that the proposed development would be contrary to the requirements of Policy E3 (Safeguarding Employment Land and Premises) of the adopted East Devon Local Plan.


And it is clear that Sidmouth will lose out: 

Economic Impact Assessment – Peter Brett Associates Aug 2012

4.8 A detailed critique of the Economic Impact Assessment is appended to this document at Appendix 1. In summary, The EconIA is seriously flawed. 

The adverse economic impacts are far greater than has been assessed. The critique concludes that:

·         Impacts on employment in Sidmouth have been significantly underestimated. It is calculated that 69 jobs will be lost overall, rather than the 3 suggested by PBA.

·         Impacts on spending in Sidmouth are similarly significantly underestimated. EDDC spending of £3.6m per annum has been discounted from the Assessment.

·         Consultation of the public and stakeholders has been inadequate.

·         The business questionnaire which was used to build the economic assessment is not fit for purpose.

Sid Vale Association - SVA Objections to proposed Knowle redevelopment
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project > Pegasus planning application 16/0872/MFUL >>> and the rejected planning application 12/1847/MOUT of 1st March 2013 >>> Part two: "Contrary to to the requirements of Policy E3 (Safeguarding Employment Land and Premises)"

Various figures have been given over the years as to how many staff are employed by the District Council at their HQ - but whatever the number, it's increasing:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and increasing staff numbers

These hundreds of jobs will not be replaced by the PegasusLife development - as pointed out in this submission to the recent Appeal: 

Another benefit is given as the:

 Creation of a number of full time equivalent jobs on-site to staff the development, in addition to the creation of off-site jobs in the care sector.

A typical PegasusLife distortion because, if the number of FTE jobs is the 14 quoted by PegasusLife, the development will actually see a net loss of more than 200 jobs on-site, many of them highly skilled and well paid.

An increase in demand for care services is not a public benefit but a public disbenefit. As reported in the Sidmouth Herald’s #Could You Care Campaign, there is already a shortage of care workers in East Devon. With Brexit looming, this situation is predicted to become even worse. The last thing Sidmouth needs is an influx of more than a hundred people who might need to call in care services, hence Strategy 4 of the Local Plan which seeks to achieve more age-balanced communities.

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: PegasusLife appeal inquiry >>> challenging the developer's heritage 'evidence' >>> and when public 'benefits' are 'disbenefits'

So, that's 14 jobs at the Knowle site. Compare about 100 promised at a similar development elsewhere in Devon: 

The proposed community English Care Villages is offering at Torquay will be committed to creating an environment where life revolves around close and continuing contact with staff, other residents and friends – minimising loneliness, helplessness and boredom.

Local employment

Creating over 100 new jobs for local people ? in hospitality, care and housekeeping, administration, maintenance, wellness and fitness. We prefer to source goods, supplies and maintenance contracts from the immediate area to support local businesses.

About the retirement community | Torquay Care Village

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