Campaigners will press on with “Say No to Sidford Business Park” activity

Say NO To Sidford Business Park Campaign

Press Release – 16 October 2018

The Campaign is relieved for local residents that the District Council has, for the second time in as many years, refused a planning application to build a Business Park on agricultural AONB land at Sidford.

We are pleased that the views of local residents have been listened to once again. Over 250 residents submitted letters of objection, and 1,400 residents signed this Campaign’s petition objecting to the proposed Business Park.

The proposed Business Park is the wrong thing in the wrong place, and we urge the applicants to end the years of uncertainty and concern that has hung over local residents, particularly those in the immediate vicinity to the site, by publicly stating that they will not pursue this matter to appeal.

Whilst we are pleased that the District Council has refused to give planning permission for a Business Park we are disappointed that the Council has only done so on highways concerns. We believe that the refusal could, and should have been more wide ranging.

Until the applicants end their attempts to build a Business Park on this site the Campaign will continue to do all it can to reflect the clear views of local residents.

Owl and the Say No Twitter page help out Stuart Hughes about Sidford Business Park

“Rather than attend the Say NO public meeting on Wednesday evening it appears Stuart preferred to hit the gym at some point. He was so proud of his achievements there that evening that he tweeted about it:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/10/10/where-was-eddc-and-dcc-transport-councillor-during-the-say-no-to-sidford-business-park-meeting/

After that post, it appears that this was taken up on the Say NO Twitter page.

It now appears that Councillor Hughes has deleted this tweet!

Owl wonders why one would delete a Twitter post illustrating how fit one is – even if it does show where you were when a crucial public meeting was taking place on your patch. We all know how important it is to keep fit.

However, his absence is noted, especially as he was so vociferous about opposing it in 2015:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/06/10/how-did-business-park-on-a-sidford-floodplain-come-to-be-in-the-local-plan/

and taking into account its grubby history of which surely no Tory politician should be proud of and ought to want to put right:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/06/18/sidford-business-park-a-grubby-history/

It’s a good job that Owl and the Say No twitterati had the foresight to take a screen grab of the original tweet at the time – a great help if ever he wants to refer to a deleted tweet in future.

Say No to Sidford Business Park meeting

Owl says: notable by his absence was District Councillor and DCC Transport supremo Stuart Hughes, who, it seems, may have preferred going to his gym than attending the meeting:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/10/10/where-was-eddc-and-dcc-transport-councillor-during-the-say-no-to-sidford-business-park-meeting/

“The only way to ensure proposals like the Sidford Business Park and others like it stay in the dustbin of history is for the community to buy it themselves.

Those are the words of campaigners who would like to see the Two Bridges site, where the multi-million pound scheme is proposed, turned into an area for the good of the community – but it would only work if the plans were rejected and the landowners agreed to sell.

More than 100 people attended the latest No Sidford Business Park meeting on Wednesday at St Peter’s Church Hall, Sidford.

Permission is being sought to build 8,445sqm of employment floor space but among the concerns raised are flooding risks and the extra traffic, especially lorries, it could bring to the area’s ‘inadequate’ roads.

During the meeting, John Loudoun from the group, revealed they now had 1,379 signatures on their petition, which opposed the plans and was only carried out in Sidford and Sidbury. And by the time they present the petition to East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Development and Management Committee, campaigners say it will have more than 1,400 names on it.

John said: “The call to you and everybody out there – and your friends, your family, your neighbours – is please come along on Tuesday, October 30, at 9.15am at The Knowle and be with us when we present the 1,400 signatures to the committee.

“Let’s try now and make sure that this is the second time that we actually kick this planning application and any others like it into the dustbin of history.”

Councillor Marianne Rixson said: “I really can’t see what has changed since last time.

“If we are lucky, it could be refused again, which would leave us potentially facing yet another revised application at some date in the future. But personally, I don’t relish the prospect of wading through another 500-plus pages of documents so I have a radical suggestion. How would you feel about trying to raise the money to buy this land. I can’t promise they would agree to sell but this is the only way we can guarantee that this development or something similar couldn’t happen. Once the Japanese knotweed on the site has been eradicated it could then be a community asset and used for the public good.”

Cllr Rixson said she believed the landowner, Tim Ford, paid around £402,000 for the site.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/nearly-1-400-residents-say-no-to-sidford-business-park-1-5733085

“Air pollution linked to greater risk of mouth cancer, finds study”

“High levels of air pollution are linked to an increased risk of mouth cancer, new research has revealed.

Scientists have previously linked high air pollution to a host of health problems, from an increased risk of dementia to asthma and even changes in the structure of the heart, with recent research suggesting there is no “safe level” of air pollution.

Now researchers say that at very high levels of air pollution, the risk of developing mouth cancer appears to rise.

Writing in the Journal of Investigative Medicine, researchers in Taiwan describe how they discovered the association by looking at air pollution data from 66 air quality monitoring stations around the country collected in 2009, and combing this with data from the health records of more than 480,000 men aged 40 and over from 2012/13. In total, there were 1,1617 cases of mouth cancer among participants.

The team focused on tiny particulates of pollution known as PM2.5s, and took the men’s exposure to this air pollution as being based on where they lived. They then sorted the participants into four groups, from lowest to highest levels of exposure.

After taking into account factors including age, exposure to ozone, levels of other particulates, age, smoking status and whether the men chewed betel quid – a mixture of ingredients that includes areca nut and betel leaf and is known to increase the risk of mouth cancer – the researchers found that men exposed to the highest levels of PM2.5s had an increased risk of mouth cancer. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/09/air-pollution-linked-to-greater-risk-of-mouth-cancer-finds-study

“Say No to Sidmouth Business Park” public meeting: 10 October, 7.30 pm, St Peter’s Church Hall

“The Say No to Sidford Business Park group is inviting residents to hear about the campaigns activities in recent months and its newest proposals.

The group is keeping tight-lipped until the meeting next Wednesday (October 10), but says the announcements will demonstrate the depth of local opposition.

John Loudoun from the group said: “I think it’s important to get a sense of what we have been doing over the past few months, in order to try and put it before councillors so they understand the depth of opposition there is to the planning application.

“This has now been going on for a number of months and it is not going anywhere particularly fast. We are going to be making an announcement as we have a proposal to put to the people.”

The meeting will start at 7pm, in St Peter’s Church Hall, Sidford, on Wednesday.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/say-no-to-sidford-business-park-campaigners-to-hold-another-public-meeting-1-5726601

Swire opposes Sidford Business Park

“Hundreds of people have lodged objections against the controversial application to create 8,445 sq m of employment floor space at the Two Bridges site.

The plans, which could create 250 jobs, represents 37 per cent of what was previously proposed and submitted to East Devon District Council (EDDC) in 2016.

Sir Hugo has hit out at the plans and raised concerns, slamming it as an ‘unwanted development in the wrong place’.

In a letter to East Devon District Council’s leader Councillor Ian Thomas, Sir Hugo said: “We have already seen Sidford absorbed by Sidmouth. It was because of this that I objected to a proposal for a cycle path between Sidford and Sidbury as I believed it would not be long before someone insisted on an illuminated path which could lead to gradual urbanisation between the two.

“Likewise, it seems to me to build a business park between Sidford and Sidbury, albeit nearer to Sidford, is an unwanted development in the wrong place.

“You will be familiar with the well-rehearsed arguments both for and against but I cannot see how this proposed development would do anything but detract from the area and to lead to more congestion and pollution on what is an already overused road.

“Equally I cannot see why the Alexandria Business Park could not be properly redeveloped to accommodate any need for new light industrial space.”

Sir Hugo then urged the council to turn the ‘unwanted’ planning application down.

Say No to Sidford Business Park campaigners held a protest last week that was attended by more than 80 people.

Petitioners have also been going door-to-door to gauge people’s views.

A Say No to Sidford Business Park spokesman said: “Obviously we welcome the position taken by Sir Hugo on what is a very important issue for local people. On this matter, we feel he has got it completely right.”

When the Herald went to press, EDDC had received 368 comments about the application, 254 of which were objections and 111 of which were in support.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/mp-sir-hugo-swire-opposes-plans-for-new-business-park-at-sidford-1-5637131

80+ people protest against proposed Sidford business park

“Protestors made their feelings clear as part of a march saying ‘no’ to the proposed multi-million pound business park development in Sidford.

In excess of 80 people turned up to the ‘Say No to Sidford Business Park’ campaign event on Monday.

Residents were armed with homemade placards voicing their opposition to the application, which is looking to create 8,445 sq m of employment floor space on the Two Bridges site.

Councillor Marianne Rixson said that there was more than 1.6million sq ft of commercial property available in Exeter and Honiton catering for B1, B2, and B8 business use.

The plans also did not ‘conserve and enhance’ the area under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) guidelines.

She told the crowd: “This development is going to be within our AONB which is precious.

“The height of these buildings are going to be raised by 1.5m for them to flood proof the site, which with the 7.5m on top is going to be 9m high – that is twice the height of a normal bungalow.

“There is a duty to conserve and enhance, this is not going to do either.

“Also it says it should be in exceptional circumstances; we have very low unemployment and there is plenty of property elsewhere, where is the exceptional need?”

The youngest protester at the event was just two years old, with many children joining adults to raise their concerns about developing in the AONB.

Sidbury pupil Billy Bonfield, aged six, said: “I do not want people to build a big industrial estate.”

His mum Becky added: “He goes to Sidbury School, there’s always gnarl ups on the road – it’s just not big enough.”

Concerned cyclist Sue Dyson said: “I’m in fear for my life going up School Lane. If there is more traffic, I think I wouldn’t be able to do it, it’s bad enough as it is in.”

Graham Cooper added: “The best idea is to redistribute the employment space across the area and develop brown field sites first.

“You mustn’t go and develop AONB land unless there’s proven to be a need.”

Campaigners are currently taking to the streets of Sidford and Sidbury with a petition which they will look to present to East Devon District Council.

The campaign has raised £750 so far to spend on signs and posters and urged people to keep donating.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/residents-march-against-plans-for-sidford-business-park-1-5624746