Sidford Business Park: a begged question

If the Sidford Business Park was turned down because of

“the potentially lethal combination of narrow roads and increased heavy goods vehicle usage” …

why was it hurriedly and grubbily added to the Local Plan at the last minute?

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

“Planners have said NO to Sidford Business Park and turned down the controversial plans over a potentially lethal combination of narrow roads and increased heavy goods vehicle usage.

East Devon District Council planners rejected plans to build industrial, storage and non-residential institutions on agricultural land to the east of Two Bridges Road in Sidford.

They were refused on the grounds of harm to highway safety, relating to increased heavy goods vehicle usage of the area’s narrow roads and the decision was made by officers with the Chairman of Development Management Committee, Cllr Mike Howe, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/planners-refuse-controversial-sidford-business-2120014

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.

EDDC objects to Sidford Business Park ONLY on Highways grounds

Owl says: Well, in Christine Keeler’s famous words [corrected by slap on talons to Mandy Rice Davies!] “Well, they would do, wouldn’t they”!

“East Devon District Council Website – 16 October 2018
News
Sidford employment site outline planning application refused on highway safety grounds

When this content has been created
16 October 2018

Local planning authority’s concerns over a potentially lethal combination of narrow roads and increased heavy goods vehicle usage has resulted in refusal of Sidford business park planning application

East Devon District Council has today (16 October 2018), refused an application for outline planning permission for the Sidford employment site ( – Land East of Two Bridges, Sidford – on the grounds of harm to highway safety, relating to increased heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) usage of the area’s narrow roads. The decision was made by officers with the Chairman of Development Management Committee in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. The meeting was attended by ward members, Cllr David Barrett and Cllr Stuart Hughes.

Details of the application can be viewed on the online applications page of the East Devon website – insert application reference 18/1094/MOUT.

The site is allocated in the adopted East Devon Local Plan and is acceptable in principle, but the allocation is primarily for light industrial uses. The applicants included a significant amount of warehouse space in their application, which would be reliant on HGVs to deliver goods to the site and then distribute them from there. Devon County Council, as Highway Authority, objected to the application based on the number of HGVs likely to be generated by the proposal, which significantly exceeds the figure envisaged when the site was allocated. East Devon District Council has agreed that the numbers of HGVs combined with the narrow roads, both in the vicinity of the site and through Sidbury, would lead to conflict between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians to the detriment of highway safety, and it was on this basis that the application was turned down.

The planning application has generated comments from 369 people and organisations, of which 255 were objecting to the proposal. A petition of 1,398 residents of the Sidford area and over 200 signatures from the wider area was also received. There were a wide range of objections raised to the application, including concerns regarding flood risk, visual impact, impact upon listed buildings, impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty, light and noise pollution and questions over the need for the business park, which the council considered in detail – many of them having also been considered through the Local Plan examination.

However, the council concluded that the application is acceptable in terms of these matters, with only highways safety amounting to a reason for refusal. In order to progress the development, the applicant now has the choice of appealing against the council’s decision or submitting a revised application to address the concerns raised. Any appeal or further application will be publicised in the usual way and there will be a further opportunity for comments to be made and considered by the council or a Planning Inspector in the case of a an appeal.

Councillor Mike Howe, Chairman of East Devon’s Development Management Committee, said:

I recognise that there is a lot of local opposition to the provision of a business park on this site, but its inclusion in the Local Plan follows an examination by an independent Planning Inspector and the suitability of the site was confirmed by him. Sidmouth needs space to support local businesses and provide jobs and this site is the best location to do that. There were many varied objections to this application but it is only the high level of HGVs that would be drawn to the site, which justifies its refusal.”

Sidford Business Park – Sidmouth Herald ignores hard work of independent councillors

“East Devon District Council (EDDC) announced the news today (Tuesday) that the site would be a ‘detriment to highway safety’ due to the increase of HGV traffic it would bring to inadequate road.

Therefore the controversial plans will not go before its development management committee, as previously expected.

Last week, more than 100 people attended a campaign meeting objecting to the proposed plans for 8,445sqm of employment floor space at the Two Bridges site. …”

Disgracefully, the newspaper then allows two councillors who played very little part in public protest (and one of whom allowed the hasty decision to include it in the Local Plan) and no mention or comment from Independent Councillors (particularly East Devon Alliance councillor Marianne Rixon) who have been constantly doing all the hard work and (at least in this article) none of the recognition.

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/district-council-refuse-sidford-business-park-proposal-1-5738301

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