This letter, copied with the author’s permission, was published in today’s Sidmouth Herald:
I was delighted to read, on page 4 of last week’s Herald, that residents have got a second opportunity to voice their concerns on the proposed business park between Sidbury and Sidford. Then on page 10, I read that the County Council have withdrawn it’s proposal for a path between Sidbury and Sidford, because Ford’s have offered to pay for it, should they get permission for the business park. The proposed path is now part of a section 106 agreement between the District Council (as the planning authority) and Fords. Such an agreement is described as a ‘ a DEAL to mitigate the impact of development’. I wonder if the use of the word ‘deal’ indicates what is really happening here- that the offer to fund the path is being used as a “bargaining chip”, to quote Stuart Hughes. As the business park has yet to receive the the go ahead and another period of public consultation is in progress, I wonder how the council can justify their decision?
I have written to them to ask for an explanation and I suggest others do likewise. Meantime, may I urge readers with concerns about the proposed business park, to write or email the District Council. The reference number to quote in correspondence is: 16/0669/MOUT. The deadline for comments is 16 September and not 2 September, as is given in the EDDC website.