Save Our Sidmouth

Fact File on Knowle Plan, and Land to be appropriated. REMINDER: Deadline for objections, 20th Feb 2015


Knowle Plan
Please click here for details of Land to be appropriated by EDDC

You may be aware that EDDC published two notices in the Herald last week, giving notice that they intend to appropriate land for housing, under sections 122 and 123 of the Local Government Act of 1972.

The land to be so appropriated, (the total area of land they say they need for development). includes 0.6ha of Public Open Space, (POS). The plan, which I have included above, shows the POS, note that the remainder of the land, (actually the “hard” area, of buildings and roads), are not shown, but I include a pdf which shows the total land which EDDC are appropriating.

COMMENTS ON THESE PROPOSALS HAVE TO BE WITH EDDC LEGAL DEPARTMENT BY 20TH FEBRUARY, 2015, quoting ref OFF.1-0014/HGL . (More info here: Enquiries by telephone to the Council HQ now confirm that objections by e-mail are also acceptable, though you might consider a written objection, too, to be doubly sure it is registered. (There have been problems with this) . The e-mail address is of course on the new EDDC website.)

The following notes may help..


1. EDDC own all the land in question.

2. They have given notice of their intention ​to appropriate and dispose of the land for ​housing, and this would be for “residential and/or extra care assisted living uses”, ie to sell the land to a Developer to fund their move.

3. They are entitled to do this under the Local Government Act 1972.​. However, land can only be appropriated if the Council believes that it is no longer required for the purpose for which it is held (ie Public Open Space).They must dispose of it at market value or get the Secretary of State’s consent.​

4. They include 0.6 Ha of public open space which​ includes most of the Upper Terraces and part of ​the garden/workshop area.

5. ​EDDC will consider any comments and decide whether or not to proceed with the appropriation and disposal​

6. I understand that there can be no challenge to their decision except through a Judicial Review on the basis that their decision is unreasonable.​


1. ​EDDC have accepted the status of the land coloured red as public open space.

2. The land referred to in the notices is not the​ full extent of the land which EDDC propose to sell; the land referred to in the notices is only that part of the land which EDDC believe to be public open space.​

3. Sidmouth Town Council were not consulted but considered the proposals on 2nd February as an urgent item. They vehemently oppose the development of any part of the Knowle except the footprint of the existing offices.

4. The 2006 Local Plan, which is still the relevant development plan, designates the area in front of the former hotel (ie the terraces) as recreation land. The new proposed local plan which purported to designate the land for housing was rejected by the Inspector last year and carries very little, if any, weight.

Comments that could be made to EDDC.

1. ​Part of the​ land is designated​ on the current 2006 Local Plan as Recreation land​ under Policy RE1,

2. EDDC assumes, by its proposal ​that the land is not required for the purpose that exists at the moment. In fact It is required for public open space​ and is still used as such.

3. ​The land is affected by claimed footpaths which Devon County Council​ propose to register as public rights of way subject to the outcome of a public inquiry to be held in September

4. EDDC acknowledges that the land is public open space. It ​is regularly used by the Public as part of the Knowle Parkland and Gardens and its loss​ would be detrimental to the Public’s enjoyment of this publicly owned asset.​

5. ​One of the reasons why EDDC’s Development Management Committee refused planning permission last year​ was the loss of public open space. The committee considered that the land formed an important amenity for the residents of Sidmouth and should be retained for the benefit of the community. The Council were not satisfied that the land was surplus to requirements. EDDC should respect the committee’s decision.

6. The development​ of the Terraces would​ have a serious adverse effect on the appearance of the remainder of the​ gardens

There may be other valid reasons that could be put forward; if you have any please let me know urgently..​ Any comments to me please

This is a significant point in being able to challenge the Development. I believe that it is ESSENTIAL, that EDDC receives as many comments on their proposal as possible, and would urge you to do so, also asking other residents of Sidmouth.

Comments to EDDC’s Legal Department​ before 20th February.​ ref OFF.1-0014/HGL.

Please feel free to pass this information to whomsoever you wish to.

Richard Thurlow

Chair SOS

6 thoughts on “Fact File on Knowle Plan, and Land to be appropriated. REMINDER: Deadline for objections, 20th Feb 2015

  1. Pingback: Knowle landgrab fact file , & rapidly approaching deadline for objections (20 Feb) | East Devon Watch

  2. Is the land on the coloured map on this page the full extent of the land the EDDC are now intending to sell? Have they decided to leave the lower car park for the town?

    • The plan shows the extent of the land that EDDC want to sell.

      This includes most of the terraces in front of the building which is Public open space, and which we will object to.
      EDDC do not show the lower car park as part of the land being sold, but the ultimate destination of this is unknown . It might be that Sidmouth Town Council will be offered it.

      R J Thurlow

  3. Pingback: East Devon Watch

  4. The land for sale also includes the two upper car parks and the areas left white to the south west of the southern gardens. In all, the area in red together with the garden preparation areas is as large as the existing office buildings footprint.

  5. Pingback: DEADLINE FOR OBJECTIONS TO KNOWLE LANDGRAB IS 20 FEB. Your voice counts! | East Devon Watch

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