D-day looms for new Sidmouth vets bid

Proposals for Sidmouth Garden Centre recommended for refusal

A BID to build a veterinary practice at Sidmouth Garden Centre faces being rejected for a second time.

Revised proposals for a single storey premises on land at the top of the business’ car park have been recommended for refusal by planning experts.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) Development Management Committee members will decide the fate of blueprints at their Knowle base on Tuesday.

Officers want to see the project turned down after claiming it will be “detrimental” to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in which the garden centre sits.

Business owner Ian Barlow saw original plans for a veterinary practice refused planning permission by just a single vote in December - but said he was hopeful negotiations with EDDC would lead to a successful application second time round.

New plans saw the location of the proposed building changed to an area of land to the north of the existing garden centre that is currently partly used for storage and car parking.

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If given the go-ahead, the project would see a new and totally independent business utilise the new premises that would see “mutually exclusive” use between it and the garden centre.

In a report to committee members, an EDDC officer said: “While less visually intrusive and more closely related to the existing buildings on the site than the previous submissions, they, nevertheless, are considered to be detrimental to the natural beauty of the area.”

The officers added: “It is considered that the garden centre site is an exceptional, if now relatively substantial, development on the northern side of the road (A3052) which should be tightly constrained in order to minimise its visual impact on the wider countryside.”