Save Our Sidmouth

Examination in Public of EDDC’s Local Plan..some highlights from this week’s hearings

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The Climate Change hearing yesterday (Thursday 27th Feb) is summarised here: http://eastdevonalliance.org/2014/02/28/an-inspector-calls-on-climate-change-policy-at-eddc/

Today’s session was on Open Space, Leisure and Community Facilities. Interestingly, of the seven developer or development-related organisations that had registered to speak only one turned up! So we were all done by 11.0am and Mr Thickett,the Inspector, wished us all a good weekend.

The main reason for going for some members of the public, was to ensure that it is the revised version of the Open Space Study that will be the reference, and not the OSS 2012 version. This seemed to have been taken on board, although some observers were not much impressed by Graeme Thompson’s performance. Readers of this blog will recall that Peter Whitfield of Save our Sidmouth was originally promised that the wrong Byes classification would be corrected at the October Development Management Committee(DMC). But it then became part of a much larger revision process which has yet to be completed and put to DMC for ratification. Mr Whitfield says, “We shall need to be wary in the meantime of any attempts to encroach on Parks and Recreation Grounds, or any of the five other classifications of open space in which Sidmouth has a deficiency against standards, by any planning applications.”

There were strong representations from Seaton on the issue of built leisure facilities by Peter Gilpin of Leisure East Devon (LED), and Mr D Morgan, a psychologist, who highlighted the importance of open space and leisure facilities for mental health and well being. These town-specific issues will be raised again when Seaton comes up for examination.

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2 thoughts on “Examination in Public of EDDC’s Local Plan..some highlights from this week’s hearings

  1. Looking back at the Local Plan EiP hearing on Tuesday, covering questions on Sidmouth, I’m left with the overall impression of Fords against Sidmouth and Sidford. In spite of repeated observations by the Inspector that Fords’ representatives were not at the hearing to defend the Plan ( “that is the job of the Council”), Fords continued to promote the development of five hectares of industrial land, at a site between the villages of Sidford and Sidbury.

    I found it astonishing that this well-respected company, which has operated in Sidmouth for decades, should oppose what seemed to be the overwhelming wishes of the people, at the hearing, for the site not to be developed. I just wonder what the founders of this company would say if they were alive today to witness what was happening.

  2. It was interesting to learn yesterday that the Inspector, Mr Anthony Thickett, is colour-blind. Since the Council have provided a large number of brightly-coloured Inset Maps as part of the deposited Plan, it makes me wonder how he will cope with understanding the delineation of various boundaries, designated throughout East Devon.

    Another piece of interesting information, from yesterday’s West End hearing, was the suggestion that more than half of the 15000 homes proposed to be built in East Devon, over the period of the Plan, will be completed by “one” consortium.

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