The fight will go on

In the wake of the decision to refuse the Knowle Outline Planning Application, I would like to thank all those who donated to the Save Our Sidmouth fighting fund.

This allowed us to employ a planning consultant, who helped us to present a most powerful rebuttal of the Knowle application.

We certainly understand the need for more jobs and houses, but the district council plans are confused and contradictory. They say they want more jobs for Sidmouth, and have specifically stated that they want better paid, office jobs, yet, at the same time, they draw up this plan to remove 380 of the best paid jobs in the town – mostly office jobs – by closing down this major employment site.

Something in excess of half a million pounds will have been squandered on this ‘ambition’ to vacate the Knowle site, money which could more sensibly have been spent on the necessary work on the existing council offices.

Our fighting fund will also be used to contest the Local Plan, including the 12-acre Sidford development.

This industrial site is the result of the excessive plans for more than 130 acres of employment land across East Devon. That will be considered in public by an independent inspector later this year, or early next, when our consultant will be representing us.

The consultant will certainly look closely at any revised plans that might come forward for the Knowle site.

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We believe there are perfectly viable alternatives to the wholesale destruction option which East Devon District Council brought forward this time.

Alan Darrant

Save Our Sidmouth