‘Let us build on your green belt’

13:44 20 February 2014

Archant

A DEVELOPER has urged a government inspector to allow hundreds more homes to be built in Sidmouth – and says the valley’s protected green belt should not be off-limits.

A Persimmon Homes representative this week told a public inquiry into the district council’s controversial Local Plan that it should be allowed to ‘extend’ into the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The firm questioned the 150 dwellings currently earmarked for the town - at Knowle, Port Royal and the Manstone Depot - and said ‘affordable’ homes were needed.

It wants to develop a plot off Woolbrook Road, which district bosses have previously deemed big enough for 257 homes. However, the authority did not make the site part of its Local Plan - a blueprint for development until 2026.

Simon Coles, speaking on behalf of Persimmon, told inspector Anthony Thickett that Sidmouth needed a lot more dwellings.

He said: “Sidmouth is the second largest town in East Devon. But it has a very, very low allocation of housing stock. It is difficult to conceive that there will be just 150 units. I stand to be corrected, but I have seen no evidence of a market housing need [full-price homes].”

He said the council’s 2010 list of those who needed a home advised 415 ‘affordable’ properties were required - eight times the amount.

Mr Coles added: “The council has referred to the AONB as a constraint, and access to schooling being a constraint. East Devon is pretty much washed over with it [the AONB].

“The AONB hasn’t been a constraint to West Dorset, which has seen several hundred units and employment land allocated at Barton Farm, near Sherbourne [230 homes].

“And it’s not been a constraint to allow housing developments in the Cotswolds.

“So what we are saying is that the AONB isn’t representing quite the constraint that the council would have us all believe.

“In actual fact, Sidmouth has the potential to expand to meet not only the affordable housing needs, but also the need for local people to buy homes to able to live and work in the area. And they can do so by extending into the AONB.”

He said that contrary to concerns about education, Persimmon’s Woolbrook site was ‘very close’ to three schools.

“We say the allocation for Sidmouth doesn’t meet the needs of the town and that should increase by making a strategic allocation.”

The comments came when housing was being discussed at the 19-day inquiry into the Local Plan on Wednesday. Sidmouth will be singled out for specific attention on Tuesday, February 25, from 9.30am.

1 comment

  • Wonder why he didn't mention Persimmon's financial interest in the project. Entirely altruistic motives?

    Report this comment

    Alberic

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

Other News Stories

3 minutes ago
Sue Bath from Sidbury is representing Great Britain at the World Dragon Boat Championships.

A once ‘overweight and unfit’ Sidbury woman has been selected to represent Great Britain in the World Dragon Boat Racing Championships, two years after she took up the sport.

Read more
Sidmouth Victoria Hospital. Ref shs 7754-40-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth’s minor injuries unit will be open for four-days-a-week from Monday (June 1) due to a staff shortage.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30
Fashion show

Exmouth Players is hosting a fashion show in early June as a fundraiser to help refurbish the green room and kitchen at the Blackmore Theatre in Exmouth’s Bicton Street.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:59
Beryl and Colin Kingman, Jan Baker, Tony Lavers and Ian McKenzie-Edwards hope to prevent Sidford Social Hall from potential closure. Ref shs 7362-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

It is ‘make or break’ time for Sidford Social Hall - which faces closure unless members of the community come forward to secure its future.

Read more
Tue, 16:28
Georgia Ruse and Chloe Towers with two of the brollies they used to keep dry. Ref shs 6981-21-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A pair of kind-hearted teens swapped revision for rushing to the rescue of a stricken pensioner who had been knocked over by strong winds.

Read more
Tue, 12:31
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7701-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Campaigners have expressed their disappointment after a bid to safeguard Knowle’s parkland was rejected this week.

Read more
Sunday, May 24, 2015
The Ottery 10K run took place at the weekend. Ref sho 6997-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A popular 10-kilometre run through Ottery St Mary made a successful return after a three-year break - with hundreds of fleet-footed fundraisers taking part in aid of a cancer charity.

Read more
Sunday, May 24, 2015
The cut out card

This small item is just one of the objects featured in a new exhibition at Sidmouth Museum.

Read more
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1231-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Dan Lavery is determined Devon Freewheelers will help save lives – as a Belfast ‘hidden hero’ undoubtedly helped saved wife Shelley’s life in 2005.

Read more
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Afternoon tea for Nancy Bowstead an RBL member for 70 years. Ref shs 6853-21-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A registered blind Royal British Legion (RBL) stalwart of seven decades is saying goodbye to Sidmouth - but will continue to raise money for the cause at the age of 93.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life
Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder