'New indsutrial estate for Sidmouth'- plea

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 October 2010 | UPDATED: 12:06 19 October 2010

The entrance to Alexandria Industrial Estate.; Ref shs 4148-41-10SH

The entrance to Alexandria Industrial Estate.; Ref shs 4148-41-10SH

Archant

PLANNING chiefs plotting Sidmouth's future should hand the town a brand new industrial estate- and build houses on its current one, civic leaders have urged.

PLANNING chiefs plotting Sidmouth’s future should hand the town a brand new industrial estate and build houses on its current one, civic leaders have urged.

Town representatives have asked East Devon District Council (EDDC) to change a strategy document which proposes the creation of 12 acres of employment land and 720 new homes in the town.

They want to see a new employment site to the north of Sidmouth AND improved access to the Alexandria Industrial Estate - branded “past its sell-by date”.

Residents might have to “swallow” a new industrial estate being built in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for the good of the town, said Councillor Graham Liverton at a Sidmouth Town Council Trustee meeting on Monday.

“We have to bite the bullet,” he said, “if Sidmouth is to survive and carry on it’s vital.

“We want to get away from Alexandria Road. That industrial estate needs to be moved, it would be better for housing.”

He wanted to see an industrial estate, recycling centre and bus depot created “in one hit” on the same site near a main road.

“We will have to look at an AONB as Sidmouth is surrounded by them,” added Cllr Liverton, “We’ll have to look for the least outstanding.

“Sidmouth can’t stand still, but it can’t lose what attracts people here either. We’ve got to take it on in the least damaging way.”

Councillors pointed to a strip of land near Waitrose off the A3052 as a potential site.

Cllr Chris Gibbings said the current Alexandria estate “is so far its sell-by date it’s unbelievable,” adding: “Turn it into housing, we need a proper industrial estate.”

Cllr Ann Liverton warned the Alexandria estate needs an entrance re-vamp regardless of what happens there.

“Houses will mean more traffic and make the entrance a lot more inadequate,” she said, “you have to have a new entrance or that site becomes unusable for everything.”

Cllr Mary Jolly said she’d “hate” to see an industrial estate opposite Waitrose as sights up Core Hill are “very special.” She suggested utilising land opposite Sidmouth’s old rail station.

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