Keep it as a park

East Devon District Council’s proposed building development for the Knowle carves up about two fifths of the whole estate and yet the whole area around the present offices is, by EDDC itself, designated “parks and gardens”.

The building plan takes up the whole of the north section of the park and a huge area to the west extending well to the south. The latter they are calling a brownfield site, yet there we find: a laburnum archway in the style of the famous one at Bodnant Gardens; many trees and shrubs; a public footpath in constant use; a badgers’ foraging area (the sett only yards away); several picnic tables; two large plant-growing polytunnels; and a raised vegetable-growing bed.

Is EDDC not aware of the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which specifically EXCLUDES “gardens and allotments” from the definition of a brownfield site?

The area is an integral part of Knowle’s “parks and gardens” and belongs, like the rest, to the people of Sidmouth.

Michael Temple

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