The following press release has just been issued, on behalf of the Sid Valley residents who organised the Public Meeting:
An overflowing Sidford Social Hall was witness to a series of strong arguments against the proposed business park development in AONB at Sidford Fields by Fords Group, Sidmouth. Among the many speakers at the Public Meeting, organised by Sid Valley Residents on Monday (12 Sep) and chaired by Cathy Debenham:
Alan Green, Director of the Norman Lockyer Observatory said the light pollution from the development would be ‘a total disaster and will destroy us after 104 years.’
Marianne Rixson, East Devon Alliance and EDDC Councillor (Sidmouth-Sidford), presented research showing that Exeter and Honiton currently have 1.6 million square feet of available employment units, so East Devon hardly needs any more, especially in AONB and on a flood plain.
Richard Thurlow, of the Sid Vale Association pointed out that Fords have applied for B2 Light Industrial use, which is not only against the Local Plan, but against locals themselves.
Pam Ward, a governor of Sidbury School said that the increased traffic and kind of vehicles involved would become a serious safety issue for local children.
As a result of the meeting forthcoming actions may include:
• Hiring of a planning consultant to document and present the counter arguments for the DMC – the money was pledged immediately by one audience member.
• Concerted protests to the land owner, Sir John Cave (without disruption to this week’s Sidbury Fair).
• A re-assessment of the sustainability report.
• A re-investigation of Devon Council’s Highway’s Committee report on the proposal’s traffic impact, which is long out-dated (2012)
• Written objections to EDDC planning before the application’s comment’s deadline this week (Friday 16 September)
• Mass public attendance at Knowle at EDDC’s Development Management Committee (DMC) meeting when the decision on Fords’ planning application will be made, possibly October 4th or November 1st 2016. Precise date will be publicised as soon as confirmed.
Over 100 emails and contacts were collected from locals keen to join the protest. There was a serious mood in the room to boycott Fords. There were calls for an eventual Public Enquiry.
Whatever happens, it is clear that the DMC’s decision will not go unnoticed.
More information at:
Facebook- ‘Say NO to Sidford Business Park