EDDc confirm Knowle ‘planning application’ for August

A planning application will be made to East Devon District Council (EDDC) in August to determine the future of the authority’s Knowle offices and the much-cherished parkland adjacent.

Before this, there will be a public consultation consisting of a mobile display unit, which will be in Sidmouth on July 10, 11 and 14.

The bid is an “initial planning proposal” to bring together information from a range of required studies and to identify development possibilities, said a spokesperson for EDDC.

They stressed that the authority has no plans to move as yet and the application is very much preliminary.

However, Councillor Ann Liverton, addressing a meeting of Sidmouth Town Council on Monday, branded the timing of the application for August, when many people will be away on holiday, a “cynical” means of burying bad news.

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She called for residents to “put pressure” on EDDC to keep them informed and to have their voices heard to prevent the “desecration” of the precious Knowle parkland along Station Road and next to Knowle Drive.

Chris Townsend, Sidmouth’s town clerk, said that there was no need to be alarmed and that the problem was EDDC’s lack of communication about their plans for public rights of way at the Knowle.

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He said he felt there would be some form of public access provided in the future.

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