Sid Valley vision is ‘unsound’ - Natural England

15:03 18 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

Archant

A CONTENTIOUS vision for the future of the Sid Valley has been condemned as “unsound” by Natural England.

The conservation authority points to the allocation of an employment site of up to five hectares north of Sidford as the reason it cannot endorse the district council’s Local Plan.

Experts add that there should be no loss of “important” green space at Knowle if homes are built on the site.

They also say the potential loss of land designated for jobs to homes at Manstone Depot is another aspect contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework.

Natural England questions why no environmental strategy is included in the plan for Sidmouth, as it is for other places, given the issue’s “important role to both residents and to the town as an all year round tourist destination”.

The proposed earmarking of around 12 acres for a business park is “not justified”, says the authority in a report.

Its author points to an independent housing and employment study, commissioned by the district council in 2011, that states employment priorities in Sidmouth.

These include replacing existing poor stock, the potential for small industrial/hybrid schemes and a work-hub to encourage entrepreneurs.

“It is also noted that the report concluded there was some capacity at Alexandria Road within the town, which we note is proposed to be allocated,” says the report.

“We therefore agree that some development may be required at Sidmouth which, due to the constraints on the town, may include some development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“However, such development should be considered exceptional and in the public interest.”

The report concludes the employment allocation at Sidford is neither exceptional or in the public interest - and the plan is unsound.

Natural England’s views will be considered alongside the Local Plan by a planning inspector.

0 comments

Other News Stories

16:37
Sidmouth Folkweek 2014. Ref shs 9227-32-13AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Civic leaders have pledged to support Sidmouth FolkWeek with at least £150,000 of public money over the next five years.

Read more
10:13
Leaders of the West Hill Parish Campaign Group (L to R) - Ian Heard, Cllr Jessica Bailey, Dr Margaret Hall, Cllr Jo Talbot

Plans to split the Ottery parish in two and form a separate West Hill council are moving forward, with campaigners now looking for support from residents.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:09
Daffodils out on Peak Hill. Ref shs 2452-10-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Britain’s oldest civic society is launching a project to catalogue what makes the Sid Valley special - and residents are being asked for their input.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:55
Redrow plans for Ottery St Mary allotment site

Ottery St Mary’s allotments will be transformed into 31 new homes after district council planning bosses gave the scheme the go-ahead.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 5°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