Knowle: now for the way forward


- Credit: ©ARCHANT } NORFOLK 2002.

SIR - Save Our Sidmouth is very pleased that, by a vote of six for, three against, the EDDC Development management committee rejected EDDC’s application for the development of the Knowle, their headquarters in Sidmouth. This was despite the EDDC’s Planning Officer’s recommendation of approval.

The application was refused on the following grounds:

l Loss of parkland which is an important amenity and open space facility for local residents contrary to policy RE1 (Retention of Land for Sport and Recreation) of the adopted East Devon Local Plan

l Detrimental impact on the economy of Sidmouth through the loss of the employment land currently used as the council offices and the loss of the park and walk facility within the existing car parks which is an important facility used by visitors using the businesses in the town. This loss would be contrary to policy E3 (Safeguarding Employment Land and Premises) of the Local Plan

l Harmful impact on the visual amenity and character of Station Road which forms an important approach to the town through which many tourists and other visitors to the town pass. The loss of amenity and character to this area would be contrary to policy D1 (Design and Local Distinctiveness) of the Local Plan.

l The harmful impact to the setting of the listed building known as Balfour Lodge which formed one of the original gatehouses to The Knowle contrary to policy EN9 (Extension, Alteration or Change of Use of Buildings of Special Architectural and Historic Interest).

The quality of the speeches, from constituent organisations of SOS, from objectors, and local councillors was very high, and contributed greatly to the debate.

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EDDC will now review their position. As SOS has always said, we would be very happy to discuss ways forward with them.

Richard Thurlow,


Save Our Sidmouth