‘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

Yesterday, 16:55

A pensioner - with less than two years to live - faces dying in prison after being warned to expect 11 years behind bars for admitting a catalogue of historic sex offences, including rape, indecent assault and child cruelty.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:22
Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8755-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An environment quango has been accused of putting plants and fossils before people after it blocked a bid to protect Alma Bridge.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:25
Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

People are being urged to register to vote in the general election ahead of the deadline at midnight tonight.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:58
The planning protest in the Knowle, Sidmouth. Ref shs 5750-16-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Residents have a chance to give feedback on a blueprint for future development across East Devon in an eight-week consultation launched this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:41
Richard Page competing in 2015's Marathon des Sables.

A former Sidmouth College head boy says he is ‘over the moon’ after finishing among the top 10 per cent of runners in a week-long endurance race across the scorching Sahara Desert.

Read more
Sunday, April 19, 2015
The Exeter Morris Men performing at Exmouth's Bicton Inn. Photo: Paul Strange.

Morris dancing is one of the most English of pastimes, so it’s only fitting that people attending a St George’s Day festival should have a chance to see it in its full glory.

Read more
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Barbara Hodge celebrated 20 years with Fields

A hard-working employee and the second of four family generations to work in Fields’ department store has celebrated 20 years’ service.

Read more
Friday, April 17, 2015
Ducks are part of a new animal husbandry project at Sidmouth College

Caretakers have vowed to ‘outfox a fox’ after Sidmouth College’s flock of chickens and ducks was decimated by a wily predator this week.

Read more
Friday, April 17, 2015

With the recent warmer weather set to continue, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to take precautions to reduce the risk of wildfires.

Read more
Friday, April 17, 2015

Police are appealing for witnesses to a serious collision in Sidford which left a 65-year-old pedestrian with life-threatening injuries.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

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