Save Our Sidmouth

Flaws identified in ‘Statement of Common Ground’, as Knowle Appeal Inquiry begins.

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The PegasusLife Appeal against EDDC’s refusal of their planning application for Knowle is being considered at the Inquiry which may continue until the end of this week . Today’s session starts at 9.30 am. Public can attend.

Inspector Michael Boniface opened proceedings  yesterday, setting out the four issues he would be looking at, namely:

-the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area

-the effect on the neighbours’ living conditions, with particular regard to loss of privacy and overbearing impact to Hillcrest, and overbearing impact to BlueHayes and Old Walls.

-whether the development should be categorised as a Grade C2 or C3 use

– the impact on the grade 2 listed summerhouse

After brief introductory statements on behalf of the Appellant and of EDDC, twelve members of the public indicated that they would like to speak.  They were:

Richard Thurlow (Sid Vale Association)

Ian Barlow (Chair, Sidmouth Town Council Planning Committee)

Deidre Hounsom (Chair, Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group)

Peter Nasmyth (liaising with SAVE Britain’s Heritage)

Knowle Residents’ Association members, Kelvin Dent (Chair) who also read a submission on behalf of Peter Atkinson; Piers Brandling-Harris; Edward Dolphin; Robert Whittle; Barry Curwen; Michael Temple; Dr Mossop; Steven Matthews.


EDDC’s agreement with PegasusLife (‘Statement of Common Ground’) was found to be based on erroneous or inadequate information, as argued in some of the speeches, including this one:

Piers Brandling-Harris – Public Inquiry APP/U1105/W/17/3177340
I live at Heathers, Knowle Drive directly adjacent to the existing southern entrance to the site that currently leads into EDDC Garden Depot.
I wanted to speak today as I do not feel that my interests have been represented in the build-up to this Inquiry. In the Statement of Common Ground (dated 14 November 2017) I have read that it is agreed that only Hillcrest, Blue Hayes and Old Walls are materially impacted by the proposed development, a statement I strongly take issue with for the following reasons:
Current plans describe the building of a 20ft x 18ft x 8ft refuse storage facility, only a few metres from my northern boundary, in what is currently a woodland setting.
Even with the best of initial intentions, and a carefully written mitigation strategy, this facility will be noisy in daily operation, smell and attract vermin. Experience tells me that over time large items will end up being left in the open, together with any inevitable “overspill”. It will be visible to us through the thin skein of bushes and small trees at our fence-line, and also to the public from Knowle Drive. It will impact directly on the enjoyment of our rear garden, particularly in warm weather or when the wind blows from the north.
Despite us making representations at a variety of meeting forums with Pegasus Life representatives they have doggedly pursued their proposed refuse strategy with only minor adjustment – for example, in an earlier plan the store would have been positioned only a few metres from my kitchen window over the hedge to the west!
I thoroughly object to this proposal – it seems to have been made more for the convenience of waste contractors and amenity of the future customers of Pegasus Life. I don’t believe I am alone in this either as, when I gave evidence of our situation at the DMC hearing in December 2016, one of the members, Cllr Ingham, actually said “we wouldn’t do that to anyone” in reference to this facility.
Furthermore, hard-standing car parking for residents will be extended down to the north-west corner of our border fence from the existing Depot space. I have read in the same Statement of Common Ground that a proposed public benefit is a reduction of traffic from the present, a situation that does not ring true for us given that there will inevitably be considerable staff and resident movement at all hours every day. This area will also have to be lit for safety late into the evening as opposed to its current dark and quiet state after working hours on 5 days of the week only.
I invite you to conclude that these examples will, in fact, very greatly impact our lives and will be brought about by the overbearing size of the proposed development – I contend that such arrangements would not be necessary if it the overall scale of the project were smaller, and with such facilities provided within the existing footprint of the site.
Finally, I extend an invitation to you to visit this site during your tour of the proposed development in order that you see the reality of our predicament. Thank you.


The Inspector immediately agreed to make site visits to Heathers and other properties, after the Inquiry has finished. He invited anyone interested to accompany him. The routes and schedule will be posted here , for your information, when decided.


One thought on “Flaws identified in ‘Statement of Common Ground’, as Knowle Appeal Inquiry begins.

  1. Pingback: Flaws identified in ‘Statement of Common Ground’, as Knowle Appeal Inquiry begins. | Deirdre Dee Coaching

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