DCC Hustings: Sidford tonight 7 pm

From Save our Sidmouth website:

Who do you want to represent us? Quiz Devon County Council candidates at hustings TONIGHT, 7pm, Sidford Social Hall

All six candidates have been invited to answer the public’s questions at tonight’s hustings, organised by the Sidford-Sidbury Residents’ Group. Don’t miss this chance to assess who will be your best choice.

Jeannie Alderdice (Green)
Ray Davison (Labour)
Stuart Hughes (Conservative)
Lewis Ragbourn (Liberal Democrats)
Marianne Rixson (Independent East Devon Alliance)
Richard Wright (UKIP)

Whatever happens at national level, your vote at the local Devon County (DCC) elections on 4th May will affect your daily life. Sid Valley has experience of this, having being let down by a flawed County Highways report, which initially supported a proposed Business Park site at Sidford. The report was only re-assessed, and the proposal rejected, after massive public pressure inspired by meticulous research from our newly elected District Councillors and the Sid Vale Association (a founder-member of the Save Our Sidmouth, SOS, campaign).

As reported in the Sidmouth Herald (14 April 2017), the date limit for an appeal on the Business Park refusal expired on 27th March 2017. Richard Thurlow, Chair of the Sid Vale Association (SVA) Conservation and Planning Committee , is quoted as saying, “We were all delighted when the application was refused in September last year, but there was always the chance that the decision might be appealed. We can now feel relieved that this ‘Sword of Damocles’ has been lifted. However, the site still exists in the Local Plan as an ’employment site’ and we must still be aware that other proposals might come forward–and we must be prepared to fight them if they do.”
Meanwhile, South West Water began drilling boreholes on the ’employment site’ in January this year. Results of their testing for water quality, apparently relating to a possible new supply for a rapidly expanding Sidmouth, are awaited.

Who do you want to represent us? Quiz Devon County Council candidates at hustings TONIGHT, 7pm, Sidford Social Hall

Sidford Fields industrial estate: no appeal by developers … but

… stay on guard! It probably simply mean that they are formulating a new planning application to overcome objections. And they have very, very influential backers and allies.

And DO remember that it has been DCC candidate Marianne Rixson (Independent East Devon Alliance) that saw off this application – not ex-Monster Raving Loony Party member and current Conservative candidate for DCC Sturat Hughes.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said it is now up to the landowner to consider future options for the site off Two Bridges Road.

However, the wider 12-acre plot has a strategic allocation as employment land in the authority’s Local Plan, so EDDC expects the site will be developed by 2031, according to a spokeswoman.

EDDC refused plans for the major development in September.

Councillors said the proposed development would harm the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, depend on ‘unsuitable’ roads and impact on neighbours without adequate mitigation.

A petition to ‘say no’ to the business park attracted more than 1,100 signatures and 384 objections were lodged with EDDC.

The applicants had until last Monday, March 27, to appeal the refusal.

The Sid Vale Association was among the opponents.

Richard Thurlow, its conservation and planning committee chairman, said: “We were all delighted when the application was refused in September last year, but there was always the chance that the decision might be appealed.

“We can now feel relieved that this ‘Sword of Damocles’ has been lifted.

“However, the site still exists in the Local Plan as an ‘employment site’ and we must still be aware that other proposals might come forward – and we must be prepared to fight them if they do.”

The landowner and applicant were approached for comment.


(Greater) Exeter area rainfall expected to increase by 73% say researchers

“The trend of paving over gardens is putting Exeter homes at risk of flooding as the city is set to see a 73 per cent increase in rain, and paved gardens could see the city’s drains overwhelmed. …”


One can presume that this includes the East Devon area. Cranbrook is already a concrete jungle and those close to rivers or on flood plains will be particularly hard hit.

And just imagine the effect on properties around it of building on and paving over the proposed Sidford Industrial estate, not to mention its effect on the River Sid!

Proposed Sidford Industrial estate – flooding issues

Being planned on older flooding regulations because the application went in before they changed.

Today’s newspaper:

“The A375 between Sidford and Sidbury road is partially flooded and difficult driving conditions are reported on the A375 Sidbury Hill in both directions. Cotford and Woolbrook Road are also flooded.”

The Environment Agency is already in trouble for not spending money it was allocated for natural flood prevention schemes.

What about unnatural flood increase schemes?

If you had a child car seat that you bought a while ago that was declared unsafe for children under new regulations, would you continue to use it?

Why are developers allowed to ignore new regulations if their planning applications went in before changes which are designed to keep people and property safer?

UPDATE 5 pm: “The A375 is closed at Sidbury due to flooding and a landslip.”


EDDC hints at return of Sidford Business Park planning application in future

Owl NEVER knew that delegated decisions could be made this way! And so quickly!

The latest press release sounds like a hint that if the applicant can put in lots of trees to largely camouflage it, hide it and baffle some noise, dig into their pockets for a little bit of traffic management and change the use of some of the buildings to generate slightly less traffic, they will be able to push it through.

Bet their agent is finishing off plan B as Owl writes. Keep those barricades up, Sidford – you may need them sooner than you thought yesterday!

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has this morning shed light on why it refused an outline planning application for a 9.3-acre business park in Sidford.

The decision was made yesterday (Tuesday) at the authority’s weekly planning chairman’s meeting.

In accordance with EDDC’s constitution, as both Councillor David Barratt, the ward member for Sidmouth Rural, and Sidmouth Town Council were opposed to the proposal – and the officer recommendation was also for refusal – the application did not need to be determined by the development management committee (DMC).

“The application was therefore presented by officers at the DMC chairman’s delegation meeting, where the decision was made in consultation with the ward member and DMC vice-chairman Councillor Mike Howe (standing in for the Cllr David Key), an EDDC spokeswoman told the Herald.

“The reasons for the refusal were that the application failed to demonstrate how the developers would achieve the high standards of design and landscaping, which are a requirement for all developments taking place in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The proposal also did not sufficiently prove that traffic likely to be generated from the proposed mix of uses at the site would not be harmful to highway safety.

“Members attending the delegated session were also not satisfied that any noise impact would be acceptable and were concerned that the application did not show how a cycle route would be put in place. The proposal also failed to include possible junction improvements and did not show how the site would be landscaped to reduce its impact on the surrounding area.

“The applicant has a right to appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate within six months, or they may wish to attempt to address the reasons for refusal through the submission of a new planning application.

“It is important to note that the council remains committed to seeing the Sidford Two Bridges site developed for employment purposes – its allocation remains in place and is supported by the Local Plan. All future applications for the site’s development must fulfil the requirements of the Local Plan and should include specific details that justify the extent and mix of proposed employment uses.”


The full refusal for Sidford Business Park

[Has Owl said Hip Hip Hurrah, Councillor Marianne Rixson? What the heck, here is another one for her!]

Council Offices, Knowle
Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8HL

Applicant: Fords And Sons Application No: 16/0669/MOUT
Address: (Mr T Ford)
Alexandria Industrial Estate
EX10 9HA
Date of Registration:
22 March 2016

Agent: Context Logic Ltd Date of Decision: 27 September 2016
Address: (Mr J Marchant)
Threshers Stone
Church Road
Colaton Raleigh
EX10 0LH

Proposal: Outline application accompanied by an Environmental Statement (with all matters reserved except access) for the development of up to 22,800sqm of floor space for use classes B1 (Office Light Industry), B2 (General Industry) and B8 (Storage and Distribution) with details of, and associated strategic landscaping for, the access, linking cycleway and footway, and flood improvements/attenuation.

Location: Land Adjacent To Two Bridges
Two Bridges Road

The Council hereby refuses permission to carry out the development described in the application and the plans attached thereto for the following reasons:

1. The application has failed to demonstrate how the quantum and mix of development and the parameters for its scale and massing could be incorporated into this rural location whilst reflecting both the local vernacular styles and reinforcing the existing landscape.

Without robust landscape mitigation and an associated design code with adequate detail, the development would:
o result in harm to the landscape;
o make inadequate provision for green infrastructure; and
o fails to work sensitively with local habitats resulting in an over engineered appearance to the regraded stream and proposed flood attenuation ponds.

It is considered that the proposal therefore fails to meet the requirement for the highest design and landscaping standards set out within the policy which allocates the site for employment development and fails to adequately respect the landscape which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and which should therefore be afforded the highest level of landscape protection. As such the proposal is considered contrary to national guidance and to Strategies 5 (Environment), 26 (Development at Sidmouth), 46 (Landscape Conservation), 48 (Local Distinctiveness in the Built Environment) and Policies D1 (Design and Local Distinctiveness) D2 (Landscape Requirements) EN5 (Wildlife Habitats and Natural features), of the adopted East Devon
Local Plan 2013-2031.

2. The proposed development would use access routes that by reason of their inadequate road width (with unsuitable footway provision) and a potentially unsatisfactory junction, are unsuitable to accommodate the increase in traffic likely to be generated by the currently proposed quantum and split of employment uses. In addition the directional split of traffic generation has also not been justified. As such the proposed development is therefore considered contrary to paragraph 32 of the National Planning
Policy Framework and Strategies 26 (Development at Sidmouth), and Policies TC7 (Adequacy of Road Network and Site Access) of the adopted East Devon Local Plan
2013 – 2031.

3. Insufficient information has been submitted to justify the noise assessment and its findings that are contained within the Environmental Statement. As such it is not
considered possible to accurately understand or assess the likely amenity impact that the development would have on near neighbours or secure appropriate mitigation. As
such the proposal is currently considered contrary to Policies D1 (Design and Local Distinctiveness) and EN14 (Control of Pollution) of the adopted East Devon Local Plan
2013 – 2031.

4. No mechanism has been submitted to secure necessary contributions towards or the management and maintenance of both the hedgerow bounding the proposed cycle route and the surface water attenuation and drainage scheme proposed. In addition there is no mechanism to secure the necessary junction assessment in respect of Sidford Cross which is likely to require an improved signal system and which falls
outside of the identified strategic infrastructure list associated with the adopted CIL charging scheme. As such the proposed development is therefore currently considered
contrary to Strategy 50 (Infrastructure Delivery) and Policies TC7 (Adequacy of Road network and site access), EN22 (Surface run off implications of new development) and
D2 (Landscape requirements) of the adopted East Devon Local Plan 2013 – 2031.

In accordance with the requirements of Article 35 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 in determining this application, East Devon District Council has worked proactively and positively with the applicant to attempt to resolve the planning concerns the Council has with the application.
However, the applicant was unable to satisfy the key policy tests in the submission and as such the application has been refused.

The plans relating to this application are listed below:
PETER BRETT General Correspondence

General Correspondence
G416B Proposed Combined Plans
G417C Landscaping 11.08.16
H100K Other Plans 11.08.16
G415D Sections 11.08.16
H102A Proposed Site Plan 11.08.16
H103 REV P1 Location Plan 11.08.16
Other Plans 12.08.16
058-001A Landscaping 11.08.16
CIL Form – Additional Information
H101B Other Plans 31.05.16
General Correspondence
Arboriculturist Report 05.05.16
Design and Access Statement
Additional Information 06.05.16
Additional Information 22.03.16
Additional Information 22.03.16
Additional Information 22.03.16
Additional Information 22.03.16
ENVIRONMENT Additional Information 22.03.16

Fords of Sidmouth sell business “to concentrate on property business interests”

“Fords of Sidmouth directors Tim and Mike Ford ‘will support the transition of their business into the Clearvac Group and will then focus on their property business interests’.”


One might think they already believe their business park planning application is in the bag.