Saturday, 26 May 2018

Knowle relocation project: "Sidmouth’s tourist industry cannot afford to lose visitor parking." And yet "the park and walk facility will probably be lost to visitors permanently."

A point made during the appeal over the PegasusLife planning application at Knowle concerned the threat to the current car parking on the site: 

Of course, if the majority of the principal residents are having carers visiting there will be a peak time rush in the morning and in the evening. 

There is the related issue, the inadequacy of the parking. If many residents will be calling in care services, the parking will be swamped and spill over into the public park and walk facility and Broadway and Knowle Drive. 

Sidmouth’s tourist industry cannot afford to lose visitor parking and local residents already suffer nuisance from inconsiderate on-street parking in Knowle Drive and Broadway, more is unfair.

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: PegasusLife appeal inquiry >>> challenging the developer's heritage 'evidence' >>> and when public 'benefits' are 'disbenefits'
PegasusLife plans for Knowle: Key reports based on thorough research, or perhaps “a stroke of luck”? | Save Our Sidmouth

Parking at Knowle has been brought up before - in the context of discussions around 'park and ride', although the limitations have also been understood:

This has just been brought up again - in the context of how to help the high street:
Futures Forum: How to revive the health of Sidmouth's high street >>> >>> "multi-storey or park-and-ride?"

The trouble is capacity.

And if PegasusLife are going to reduce the current usage of the weekend park-and-walk facility, it's going to be difficult if not impossible to have a weekday or even all-year-round park-and-ride facility.

As pointed out in a letter sent to the Herald: 

Parking is an issue discussed at the recent High Street crisis meeting.  Whether or not a park and ride would work for Sidmouth is debatable but Ian Barlow’s suggestion to site one in the Knowle is an appalling idea.  The existing park and walk car park works well for visitors at the weekend.  It might be logical to extend the facility into the adjacent large EDDC car park but that has been sold off to PegasusLife.  Incidentally, a PegasusLife representative told the Knowle Residents Association this week that they will take over the park and walk facility at various times over the next few years.  If the retirement complex develops as claimed, the park and walk facility will probably be lost to visitors permanently as it will be filled seven days a week with the cars of care staff visiting clients.

The only space available for a new car park is the meadow alongside Station Road.  Apart from the fact that this is earmarked for emergency flood attenuation, it would be a tragedy to lose this flower rich meadow.  Currently it is awash with Ladies’ Smock, Speedwell, Bugle, Herb Robert and Meadow Buttercup with Bluebells around the edge. It is the breeding ground and food source for many insects including several species of butterfly such as Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Holly Blue.  Nearly fifty years ago Joni Mitchell complained that ‘they paved paradise and put up a parking lot’, surely our environmental awareness has moved on since then.

Ed Dolphin,

Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald

An extension of the summer Hopper Bus has been mooted before:
Futures Forum: A Park & Ride route for Sidmouth >>> Knowle Park to Connaught Gardens

With the service resumed today:
Sidmouth Hopper Bus returns to town for summer season | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

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