‘Restore Knowle as hotel when EDDC leaves’, say critics

13:00 17 March 2014

Set in delightful grounds, the headquarters of EDDC at Knowle. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7664-15-12SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk

Set in delightful grounds, the headquarters of EDDC at Knowle. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7664-15-12SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk

Archant

Critics of the loss of employment land at Knowle claim it should be returned to its former glory as a hotel when East Devon District Council (EDDC) relocates.

The site is proposed for housing that many fear will be luxury second homes – but development of the parkland was slammed as ‘industrial-scale vandalism’ at Sidmouth’s second Local Plan hearing on Tuesday.

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce president Derek Parry said there is no case for redeveloping Knowle, adding: “Residential use for Knowle represents vandalism on an industrial scale.

“Building in this unique site would be Sidmouth’s equivalent of building in London’s royal parks.”

Kelvin Dent, of the Knowle Residents’ Association, said: “I was concerned when you [Inspector Anthony Thickett] referred to Knowle as a brownfield site – it’s important we don’t regard it as vacant.

“EDDC is one of Sidmouth’s biggest single employers, and it has only taken the decision in principle to relocate.”

Shop owner Barry Curwen said: “There’s no justification for the change of use [to housing] at Knowle – it is still eminently viable.

“This council has a bad history of granting plans for residential properties on employment sites when there are other sites readily available.”

Julia Harbour said Knowle is an important site for rare bats and other wildlife, and that the best option is to retain the buildings.

She asked: “This is a tourist area but we have lost two hotels – why does no one consider that it could be a hotel again?”

EDDC planning policy manager Matt Dickens said there was a lack of demand for office space and Knowle was not a feasible alternative for most other employment uses because of the proximity of the neighbours.

Henry Gordon-Lennox, the authority’s principal solicitor, said the parkland at Knowle is going to be handed over to Sidmouth Town Council.

0 comments

Other News Stories

A car crashed into a house in Ladymead, Sidmouth

Man, 21, arrested in relation to Ladymead incident

Read more
12:23
Alfington residents are calling for traffic controls in their village, the group is pictured alongside a 30mph sign that was hit by a lorry travelling through the village recently. Ref sho 5885-30-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Ongoing problems with speeding on Ottery’s outskirts have prompted residents to call for action - ‘before there is a fatality’.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:23
Reverend Mac Dick present prizes to the runners-up in Ottery Station logo competition

It is full steam ahead for Ottery’s community hub as its success is reflected in more than 100 competition entries to design a new logo.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:31
Beer primary school leavers with headteacher Martin O'Mahony. Ref shb 1500-30-15TI Picture: Terry Ife

Beer Primary School ‘is in safe hands’, says its outgoing headteacher.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:31
Kat and John Lort of The Loft with staff Karl Main and Dave Legg celebrate making the top 100 of the best restaurants outside London. Ref shs 5681-31-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The owners of a popular Sidmouth restaurant say they are ‘going out on a high’ after it was named one of the best places to eat at in the country.

Read more
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Catherine and Lex Cochrane ran the Ottery St Mary 10km to raise more than £350 for the Devon Freewheelers

A couple who embarked on a whirlwind two-year mission of marathon running and mountain climbing have donated their latest fundraising efforts to the Devon Freewheelers.

Read more
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Les Lane,last year's president of the Sid valley rotary presents the keys to Mo Ayling. Ref shs 1555-31-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Blackmore Gardens was buzzing all day as the Sid Valley Rotary Club’s summer fair returned in Saturday’s brilliant sunshine.

Read more
Friday, July 31, 2015
Paranormal activity or trick of the light? The supposed ‘ghost’ can be seen in the reflection of the mirror as  organist Nigel Ogden speaks.

This haunting image has left concert-goers wondering whether they weren’t the only ones enjoying the music – as a spooky shape resembling a ghost seemingly photo-bombs the shot.

Read more
Friday, July 31, 2015
Lion President Ian Skinner presenting cheques to the local winners of the 2nd and 3rd prizes in last Sunday’s main yellow duck race. Mrs Richelle Hull (to the left of Ian) received a cheque for £100, and Mrs Melanie Pugsley (far right in photo, holding daughter Farah) received a £75 cheque.

A range of good causes have received a welcome cash boost thanks to a record breaking year at Sidmouth’s annual duck derby.

Read more
Friday, July 31, 2015

Fire crews were called to tackle a major corn field blaze on Sidmouth’s coast path this morning (Friday).

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 13°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
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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


Devon's trusted business finder