‘Dismissive of hard graft’
SIR - I write in response to the front page article of October 15 relating to the future of Alexandria Industrial Estate. Amongst other things, the article quoted a councillor stating that the estate is “is so far past its sell-by date it’s unbelievable”. To my knowledge, no such views had been expressed to any of the leaseholders or freeholders prior to the Herald article.
It would indeed be welcome if access were improved, but given that many of the businesses there have recently engaged in expensive upgrades to secure future employment and business, the councillor’s view does seem dismissive of the hard graft that any basic level of research into the estate would have revealed.
The Council has stated that it believes an alternative industrial estate should be created and the existing site used for housing.
Is the Council planning to make a Compulsory Purchase Order of all relevant parcels of land on the estate?
If not, surely it is the choice of the owners to continue trading on the existing basis from their property, whether for five years or a lifetime.
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In the event of any future sale, would the Council intend somehow to impose its desire that the land be sold to a housing developer, as opposed to a new small business or indeed a supermarket chain?
In publicly declaring the view that the site should be turned over to housing, the Council will clearly have negatively impacted on job security for all of those who rely on the site.
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It is certainly likely that businesses will now be reluctant to commit to the site long-term and this will, inevitably, be detrimental to local employment. Did the Council consider this, and if not, why not?
In July of this year, the Herald published an article suggesting EDDC’s offices may be moved from Knowle.
In response, the Chief Executive was swift and forceful in his criticisms on the basis that the article was disconcerting for staff and potentially misleading.
Perhaps Sidmouth Town Councillors have forgotten this, or maybe they do not consider that the private sector merits equal consideration.
R W Taylor
Castle Plant & Tool Hire