Civic leaders oppose Sidford employment site

15:06 20 January 2013

Development of a business park in the Sidford valley is unnacceptable, say town councillors. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2244-39-12TI

Development of a business park in the Sidford valley is unnacceptable, say town councillors. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2244-39-12TI


CIVIC leaders have reiterated their view that fields on Sidmouth’s outskirts should not be turned into a business park of up to 12 acres “under any circumstances”.

Town councillors made the call as they formulated a final response to the district authority’s controversial Local Plan – a blueprint for homes and jobs until 2026.

Their verdict will be considered by a planning inspector who will decide whether the document is sound or not.

A well-attended meeting at Sidbury Village Hall last Wednesday saw councillors agree that all existing employment sites in the town should be retained - and the earmarked land north of Sidford should not be developed.

They pointed to the fact that it is in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is situated on a flood plain and would cause traffic problems with restricted vehicular access.

Members added that evidence and justification for additional employment allocation should be included in the Local Plan.

Councillors recognised the need for some employment land but said initial emphasis should be on “maximising” existing sites within the town.

They suggested that East Devon District Council (EDDC) should be encouraged to compulsory purchase a strip of land adjacent to the Alexandria Industrial Estate to enable a better access to the site to “help achieve its full potential”.

Support was expressed for a ‘vision statement’ for Sidmouth in the plan - which sets out an ambition to accommodate “modest employment” and “limited housing growth” with “the objective of retaining and consolidating the existing qualities and character of the town”.

But councillors queried why this section was “contradicted” elsewhere in the document by an “assumption” to locate a five hectare site near Sidford.

The town council accepted Sidmouth’s housing allocation should be set at 150 dwellings.

Members wanted a piece of land west of Woolbrook Road and south of Greenway Lane – opposite a new development - reinstated as a ‘reserve’ housing site.

They said allocated land at the Manstone Depot and Knowle are principally employment sites and should be of lower priority for housing.

Councillors added that necessary improvements to infrastructure should be carried out before additional housing is approved.


Other News Stories

A service to dedicate the new Sidbury and Sidford Royal British Legion standard was held at St Giles church in Sidbury on Sunday afternoon. Ref shs 6500-39-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Poppy Appeal volunteers are hoping for another successful season of collecting - after raising a record £13,000 last year.

Read more
Fire in derelict Ottery building

An arson attack that destroyed a derelict building in Ottery has prompted its owner to install tougher security measures.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:16
Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club take on the River Dart Struggle

A group from Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club (SSLSC) negotiated a ramshackle craft through rapids and weirs to a third-place finish in one of the toughest raft races in the country.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:02
Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8760-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A vital footway across the River Sid may have to close if cliff erosion in the area worsens, according to County Hall.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:35
Matt Booth

The results of yesterday’s (Thursday) Sidmouth Town Council by-election have been announced.

Read more
Thu, 13:25
The Sidmouth Friends of the Samaritans held their AGM this week. Pictured are chairman Sue Kensdale with from left Ron Harbour (treasurer), vice chairman Gerald Hayne and Denis Jones (sec). Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3446-08-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to

A long-running fundraising group, which has donated more than £114,000 to charity, is to fold as it cannot find a new committee.

Read more
Thu, 10:25
Daffodil bulb planting at Peak Hill in 2013. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6320-44-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

Planting this month is set to take Sidmouth past the half-way mark in turning it into the ‘Valley of a Million Bulbs’.

Read more
Wed, 16:25
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Campaigners who have decided not to pursue a bid to secure legal protection for Knowle’s parkland claim the bid has cast doubt on future use of Localism legislation in East Devon.

Read more
Wed, 12:25
The Radway cinema in Sidmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7345-13-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

James Bond fans need to act fast as tickets for a VIP screening of the super-spy’s latest silver screen outing have almost sold out.

Read more
Wed, 06:25
Prospective town councillors Matt Booth and Deirdre Hounsom

Residents in the West ward will go to the polls tomorrow (October 8) to fill a vacancy on Sidmouth Town Council.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Find a job in Sidmouth

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications