In response to this news, SOS has issued the following press release:
‘Save Our Sidmouth, (SOS)…through the research done by one of its constituent members, the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce… has for the third time queried the supporting economic data prepared by East Devon District Council. This data referred to the number of predicted jobs losses in the town should EDDC re-locate from their HQ building at the Knowle to Honiton.
The Economic Impact Assessment submitted by the EDDC relocation team was again found to be seriously misleading and inaccurate. The estimate of job losses arising from the application has now been revised upwards three times and will now reach 75, from the first prediction of 3 job gains.
This will double the current levels of unemployment in Sidmouth and is a completely unacceptable level of damage to the local economy. Combined with the loss of parking and parkland, this makes the case for rejecting this ill-judged proposal overwhelming.
As a result of this, SOS welcomes the decision by the EDDC Planning Team to further delay the consideration of this application. The application will not now be considered in January.
It is astounding that the Relocation Team at EDDC have had their Economic Impact Assessment rejected three times by their own Planning Department. It is a complete humiliation for those responsible, and proves beyond doubt that they are incapable of managing a project of this scale. Confidence in the authority to competently deliver the relocation has accordingly collapsed.
The only sensible course of action is for EDDC to withdraw the application and reconsider the matter in a calmer way. The process has descended into farce. ‘
Richard Thurlow (Chair, Save our Sidmouth)