Save Our Sidmouth

EDDC claims Sidford employment site will still be developed….Are their claims watertight?


In today’s Sidmouth Herald, Cllr Phil Twiss (Con), states that reasons for refusal for the business park planning application are based on “detailed concerns” that “can all be overcome”.

Looking closely at the Highways report from Devon County Council, comments from EDDC local Ward members, the Sid Vale Association, Natural England, and the flood of others who wrote objections in the public consultation, Cllr Twiss’s opinion seems overly lightweight. The consultees’ and individuals’ comments, most solidly based on planning grounds, are registered on the EDDC website, under Planning Application ref 16/0669/MOUT.

Councillor Twiss was responding to a press release from the East Devon Alliance, copied below for your information:

‘The EDDC statement to the Sidmouth Herald (30th September 2016) claims the Sidford site will still be developed, because it is in the Local Plan. This is not necessarily the case, says Chair of East Devon Alliance (EDA), Marianne Rixson, who is also an EDDC Ward Member for Sidford-Sidmouth. She says “EDDC’s press office statement is inappropriate. It’s not EDDC’s land, and any application has to be measured against policy. Most importantly, the outcome of future planning applications should not be predetermined. Decisions on planning applications are made by the Development Management Committee (DMC), who must judge individual planning applications on Planning Matters (i.e. whether an application fits EDDC strategy and policy, e.g. on in-commuting). The Local Plan is only one aspect.”

The EDDC officer’s report on why Tim Ford’s planning application has just been refused, seems to corroborate Cllr Rixson’s point. It makes a clear distinction between a local plan allocation and a planning permission. EDDC’s statement apparently confuses the two things.

A Local Plan is not set in stone. It can adapt to ‘material changes’, such as the dramatic re-assessment of Highways problems, in Devon County Council’s late but welcome final report on this planning application (ref 16/0669/MOUT, Two Bridges Road, Sidford on the EDDC website). For those familiar with the narrow roads, rat runs, and frequent traffic chaos in the area, it makes interesting reading.’

Note from SOS: A video of traffic chaos on the access road at Sidbury can be seen on the Facebook page (right-hand column), Say No to Sidford Business Park, which was set up by Sid Valley Residents.The page details serious problems with the narrow access road from Sidford Cross (School Street), and the rat runs in Frys Lane and the significantly named Brook Road.

2 thoughts on “EDDC claims Sidford employment site will still be developed….Are their claims watertight?

  1. It does appear to read that way. However maybe there is a reason to say this (and I cannot actually believe that I am defending EDDC!!!)…

    1. The probably need to demonstrate that they don’t have a pre-disposition to prevent building on a site formally identified in the Local Plan.

    2. Of course the highways issues “can” be overcome (though possibly only in theory rather than in practice)…
    For example, “all” you need to do to solve the narrow main road is to compulsory purchase the buildings on one side and knock them down. However, in practice this is probably completely impractical and unaffordable, and so won’t happen.

    And of course, every application needs to be considered on its own merits and issues. So, for example, were Ford’s to scale back their application to one 2m x 3m single storey lock-up shed and hard-standing for 1 car, with a community football pitch and grazing for 500 sheep, I suspect that it might be passed. But that makes no more sense than knocking down one side of a street.

  2. Pingback: EDDC claims Sidford employment site will still be developed….Are their claims watertight? | Deirdre Dee Coaching

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