VERY IMPORTANT update on Sidmouth Business Park appeal

NOTE: a planning inquiry is much more formal than a hearing and usually involves lawywers, examination of evidence and cross-examination:

Public Inquiries & Hearings

We have now been advised by the District Council that the Planning Inspector has determined that instead of holding a Hearing into the planning appeal as we previously had been told, the Inspector has now decided to hold an Inquiry which could last up to three days. The first of these days is due to start on 16 July. We are assuming that the Inspector will therefore have penciled in the Inquiry to be held on

16, 17 and 18 July

The Inquiry will be held in public and will be held locally. If you have any interest in attending then put these dates in your diary now!

In our last Update we asked you to consider submitting additional evidence to the Planning Inspector and we know that a number have done so, and thank you to those who have.

The District Council’s latest communication advises that the Inspector has put back the date by which additional submissions can be made. The new deadline by which any additional comments have to be received by the Inspector is now

17 May 2019

We again would encourage as many of you as possible who wish to, to submit comments even at this late stage. As the District Council refused planning permission solely on grounds related to highways matters you should only submit highways related comments. In doing so you might want to address matters that include –

Evidence or statements regarding the effect of noise, vibration, damage and pollution on your properties (and vehicles) due to HGV or other traffic

Effect on the health of residents attributable to air quality

Effect of pollution on children walking to school and in the playground of the primary school

Road safety issues – lack of pavements or narrow pavements, plus no lollipop lady, crossing nor traffic lights to help you cross safely with your children

Traffic delays due to congestion at the various pinch points on the A375 in both Sidford and Sidbury

Evidence of vehicles mounting and/or diving on pavements

Where possible your comments should be supported by photographic evidence.

We believe that it is important for as many photographs and/or videos are submitted to the Planning Inspector showing images of traffic congestion/difficulties along the A375 at any point between Sidford and Cotford in Sidbury.

Attached, once again, is a brief guide as to how to present any submission that you make.

Best wishes

Campaign Team

GUIDE TO PRESENTATION OF SUBMISSIONS:

Guidance on submitting additional evidence to the Planning Inspector

All comments and evidence must –

• be received by the Planning Inspector by no later than 22 April 2019. Anything received after this date will not be considered by the Inspector.

• quote the planning appeal reference for in order for it to be considered by the Inspector. The reference is – APP/U1105/W/19/3221978.

• quote the address of the appeal site i.e. the Business Park. The address to be quoted is – Land East of Two Bridges, Two Bridges Road, Sidford.

• your name and address

• state “I am against the appeal proposals” and explain whether it is for the same reasons as given by the District Council or, if not, explain your own reasons

The reasons given by the District Council in refusing the planning application were –

“1. The proposed development, by virtue of the proposed B8 uses, would result in an increase of HGV traffic on the surrounding road network, both in the vicinity of the site and through Sidbury which both suffer from inadequate road widths and a lack of footways. As such increased HGV movements within this area will result in conflicts between vehicles, and between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, to the detriment of highway safety. 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.”

The Planning Inspector asks that any additional submissions are –

• in a font such as Arial or Verdana in a size of 11 point or larger

• use A4 paper wherever possible

• number the pages of the documents

• make sure photocopied and scanned documents are clear and legible

• use black and white for documents unless colour is essential

• put any photographs (both originals and photocopies should be in colour),
maps, plans, etc, in a separate appendix and cross reference them within the main body of the document

• print documents on both sides of a page. You should use paper of good enough quality that something printed on one side of the page does not show through to the other side

• do not send original documents

• if possible, send 3 copies

You should send your written submission and/or photographs/videos –
By post to:

The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/C Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN

By email to: west2@pins.gsi.gov.uk
Planning Portal: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk

Remember all evidence must be received by the Planning Inspector by no later than

17 May 2019

Sidford Business Park: deadline for appeal comments approaching

“Representatives for and against the multimillion pound proposal to build on land at Two Bridges in Sidford have until April 22 to send in evidence and comments to the Planning Inspector.

The Say NO to Sidford Business Park has mounted a final push for objectors to send in statements relating to highway concerns after the application was refused on those grounds back in October last year.

The campaign has raised £1,500 towards legal representation at appeal proceedings.

A group spokesman said: “We had been anticipating having to put a plea out to raise significantly more funds in order to fund legal representation at the appeal hearing. At this stage however we do not think this is necessary as we believe we have sufficient funds to support the work that is required over the next few crucial weeks.

“We may however possibly need to consider raising additional funds in a few months time should we decide to seek a professional representative to take the lead on our behalf at the appeal hearing.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/say-no-to-sidford-business-park-raise-1-500-towards-planning-appeal-process-1-5979874

Say No to Sidford Business Park Facebook page here:
https://m.facebook.com/sayNOtoSidfordBusinessPark/

Could it (should it) be time to have a congestion charge for commuters to Exeter?

And what about “funnel roads” such as that running through Sidbury and Sidford – should they have exclusions from plans for more and more polluting vehicles passing inches away from residential properties – where children and vulnerable older people live?

“Dozens of councils could face legal action over delays in tackling toxic gas from diesel vehicles.

Only London and Birmingham have imposed or promised charges on the most polluting cars while other cities allow drivers to emit harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) without any fee.

Many local authorities, including those covering Manchester, Bristol, Southampton, Newcastle, Bath and Derby, have missed legal deadlines set by the government to submit plans to clean up their air.

ClientEarth, the campaign group that won three legal cases against the government over illegal levels of air pollution, has written to 38 councils in England and Wales warning them of the legal risk of failing to act.

Katie Nield, a ClientEarth lawyer, said: “We are extremely concerned given the urgency of the situation at the glacial progress of action from local authorities. It is now almost a decade since legal limits came into place and they are still being broken in large parts of the country. Every week that goes by without action is another week where people are breathing in harmful air pollution which damages their health. This is particularly true of vulnerable groups like children.”

Tackling air pollution was ultimately the government’s responsibility but local authorities “should not be using government inaction as an excuse not to do all they can to protect people from breathing dirty air”, Ms Nield added.

Air pollution contributes to far more deaths than previously thought, according to a study last week which said it had shortened the lives of 64,000 people in the UK in 2015.

Clean air zones, in which polluting vehicles are charged a daily entry fee, are the fastest way of reducing NO2 to within legal limits, according to a Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) report in 2017.

Cars are the biggest source of NO2 in cities but London and Birmingham are the only cities committed to charging pre-2016 diesel and pre-2006 petrol models. Manchester, Bristol and Bath had been considering car charges but dropped the idea after being accused of penalising drivers on low incomes.

The High Court ordered the government in 2016 and again last year to take stronger action on air pollution, prompting ministers to order councils to produce plans to comply with the legal limit in the “shortest possible time”.

The councils have spent the past year discussing how to tackle pollution but most have repeatedly delayed taking action and missed deadlines for delivering final plans for Defra approval.

Jenny Bates, of Friends of the Earth, accused councils of “running scared of the motoring lobby” by refusing to start charging polluting cars.

Bath and North East Somerset council is planning a clean air zone in Bath, charging buses, lorries, vans and taxis “by the end of 2020” but cars will be exempt. It said many residents had objected to a £9 daily charge.

A spokesman for ten local authorities in Manchester, which has more than 150 roads with illegal levels of NO2, said it also planned to exempt cars from charges phased in by 2023. He said computer modelling had shown its plans would reduce NO2 to within the legal limit by 2024. Derby city council said it would submit plans for tackling air pollution to Defra next Tuesday.

Bristol city council said its mayor, Marvin Rees, recently had a “conversation with the minister” about tackling air pollution. Thérèse Coffey, an environment minister, wrote to Mr Rees in January saying she was “absolutely astonished at your delay in improving air quality for the people of Bristol as quickly as possible”.

Newcastle city council expected its air quality plan would be implemented “in late 2019 and into 2020”. Other councils sent the legal warnings by ClientEarth include Cardiff, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Leicester and Liverpool.”

Source: Times (pay wall)

Have we reached ‘peak industrial estate’ in East Devon? Seems so

If industrial estates are essential sites and supposedly we don’t have enough of them, why is Taylor Wimpey being allowed to build more than 200 houses on the former Parkhurst Close Industrial Estate in Exmouth – the largest town in East Devon?

Sidbury, Sidford and snow – a lethal combination for the A375

Developers take heed!

Last weekend, a car slid off the road into the dip alongside the bend in central Sidbury, smashing its windscreen and narrowly missing a row of lowlying cottages.

Radio Devon travel news announced (2nd February) that the Sidford-Sidbury Road (A375) was turning into a skating rink.

Radio Devon travel news announced A375 was closed due to burst water main.

Imagine of that car had been a lorry …..

Sidford Business Park – appeal lodged

“We have today received the news that most people living locally didn’t want to hear. Namely, that the applicants who submitted a planning application to build a business park on agricultural land in an AONB, have now submitted an appeal against the decision taken last October by the District Council to oppose their application.

This clearly is very disappointing and speaks volumes about the attitude of the applicants to the wishes of those who live locally. After all, the Town Council, the District Council and 1,400 local residents who signed our petition all oppose the proposed business park.

We are determined to immediately take steps to raise funds to allow the Campaign to represent the views of local residents at the planning appeal hearing that will now have to be held. Our next email will set out how we intend to raise the funds to do this.

However, in the meantime we would again remind you of our timely ceilidh fundraising event which is being held on Saturday 23 February in Sidford Social Hall, Byes Lane, Sidford, starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £5.00 and can be obtained by emailing us or from the Rising Sun in Sidford, the Red Lion in Sidbury or Paragon Books in Sidmouth.

It’s more imperative than ever to support us!

This is what we have today issued as a press release –

The Campaign is disappointed but determined to fight on!
The news that the applicants have lodged an appeal, whilst not unexpected, is nonetheless a massive disappointment, particularly for local residents who have overwhelmingly made their views known about this unwanted and unnecessary business park.

The fact that the applicants are going to an appeal when the District and Town Councils and so many local residents have all said that they are against the proposed business park shows how little the applicants care about the local area and its people.

The Say NO Campaign is absolutely determined to support the District Council and its rejection of the planning application at the appeal. But to do this we need to engage professional representatives to forcefully make our case against the business park development. This will take a significant sum of money that we must raise from our supporters. We will now be publicising how people can donate directly into our recently opened bank account, as well as continuing to accept cash donations.

Sadly, our fundraising ceilidh on the evening of 23 February at Sidford Social Hall cannot be timelier. If anyone wants to support the Campaign financially, or in any other way, we would invite them to contact us at

nosidfordbusinesspark@yahoo.com.

Sidford Business Park – disproportionate industrial development?

Recently posted comment:

“At the full EDDC Council meeting at the end of October 2018, independent Councillors Ben Ingham and Roger Giles, supported by 11 other councillors, tabled a motion to discuss the over provision of housing needs in our Local Plan and called for an independent assessment. In answer to a question as to why East Devon is taking a disproportionate share of development [58% more than Exeter, 53% more than Teignbridge and nearly three times that of Mid Devon according to independent analysis conducted by CPRE] Councillor Paul Diviani said:

“Because we have the land and we are good at it”!

[Perhaps he should be reminded that two thirds of East Devon lies in an AONB, or perhaps he doesn’t care].

This is not the argument that was put to Inspector Thickett at the public examination of the EDDC local plan in 2015 by Ed Freeman. Then, the argument for pitching the EDDC target at a minimum of 950 houses/year [about 30% more than could be supported by the evidence] was that we had jobs coming down the line. Specifically he mentioned 1,000 full time equivalent jobs a year.

Thankfully, we are effectively at full employment. Office for National Statistic population projections shows the South West population as a whole growing over the local plan period at around 0.8% per annum, including expected migration. However, we have an ageing population and the annual increase of those classified as of working age is only going to be 0.16% (16 to 64 for all genders). To satisfy this annual demand to find new jobs in East Devon [population 142,300] would only require around a couple of hundred a year, nowhere near the 1,000 that are being planned for.

The creation of jobs is generally a good thing but pursuing jobs as a primary objective is, I suggest, not what we need in Devon. What we need are better quality jobs to lift earnings and I am pleased to see that that is what ratepayers’ investment of £1.1M in the Exeter Science Park is aimed at achieving. But it only creates a one-off 158 jobs against the 1,000 a year needed to justify the development plan.

Can anyone provide an evidence based explanation of where these housing and job targets come from? Anyone believe that this is what they were voting for when they elected their councillors? And who are the “we’s” in Councillor Paul Diviani’s explanation?”