Save Our Sidmouth

Richard Cohen on the marketing of Knowle and related issues

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Despite constant challenges from all over the District (EDDC’s planned move from Knowle is not just a Sidmouth NIMBY matter),the Head of the Office Relocation Project, Richard Cohen, seems to be blindly heading for disaster.
Some very recent examples of critics from other areas are in a letter in today’s Exmouth Journal, and in reports from January’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee. (See and

Here is the e-mail from Mr Cohen, received today (05/02/2015) by Chair of Save Our Sidmouth:

‘Mr Thurlow

In response to your recent e-mails:

Knowle/Manstone Marketing -The marketing of Knowle and Manstone that Savills conducted on the Council’s behalf was an exercise that adopted an open approach. Interested developers were at liberty to propose removal or retention of existing structures. The marketing brochure went as far as to describe some of the internal features of the building alongside a range of other information.

Disposal of Public Space – The advertisement in the Sidmouth Herald is a matter of compliance with the Local Government Act 1972 legislative requirements. It covers a number of spaces within the identified development boundary but it does not automatically follow that these areas are public open space to which policy RE1 applies.

Planning Statement – Our planning consultant offered detailed advice that considered both the current Local Plan (including Policy RE1) and the site allocation within the draft Local Plan. These are matters that will be considered as part of the planning process, and the issues you raise will form part of that, to the extent it is appropriate to do so.

Future Running Cost Predictions – In line with work ongoing with our auditors to test modelling and assumptions, we will be using DECC’s future energy cost scenarios as an element within our general running cost calculations. These will be modelled and reported back to the Council in a future relocation report.


Richard Cohen
Deputy Chief Executive
East Devon District Council’

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