District council refuse Sidford Business Park proposal

A site layout showing the fixed layout of buildings for the proposed development at the site at Two

A site layout showing the fixed layout of buildings for the proposed development at the site at Two Bridges Road in Sidford. - Credit: Archant

Fresh plans to build a multi-million pound business park at Sidford have been refused on account of the number of lorries to would bring.

Landscape Framework Plan of the application

Landscape Framework Plan of the application - Credit: Archant

East Devon District Council (EDDC) announced the news today (Tuesday) that the site would be a ‘detriment to highway safety’ due to the increase of HGV traffic it would bring to inadequate road.

Therefore the controversial plans will not go before its development management committee, as previously expected.

Last week, more than 100 people attended a campaign meeting objecting to the proposed plans for 8,445sqm of employment floor space at the Two Bridges site.

The decision has been labelled as ‘common sense’ by Sidmouth councillors.

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Cllr Stuart Hughes, who is also the county councillor for highways, opposed the application for reasons including the increase in traffic, flood risks and the visual impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Cllr Hughes told the Herald: “I am delighted that a combination of appropriate planning policy and common sense has enabled EDDC as the local planning authority to refuse this application. It is not now necessary to bring it to the full development management committee for their decision given agreement that it should be refused.

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“I am very pleased that my representations as both a district member and the county member for Sidmouth have been listened to. For me the application, as submitted, did not stack up on a number of planning grounds, and I will continue to represent the best interests of the residents of Sidmouth and the Sid Valley as I have done for the last 27 years.”

The application received 255 comments of objection and 111 in support of it. A campaign group was also planning to present a petition of nearly 1,400 signatures opposing the plans to the council.

Cllr Mike Howe, the development management committee’s chair, said: “I recognise that there is a lot of local opposition to the provision of a business park on this site, but its inclusion in the Local Plan follows an examination by an independent planning inspector and the suitability of the site was confirmed by him. Sidmouth needs space to support local businesses and provide jobs and this site is the best location to do that. There were many varied objections to this application but it is only the high level of HGVs that would be drawn to the site, which justifies its refusal.”

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