'Nothing has changed' highways outlines objection to business park proposals
PUBLISHED: 20:00 20 June 2018
Highway bosses have submitted fresh opposition to a new proposed business park at Sidford as ‘nothing has changed since the last time’.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, head of highways for Devon County Council, spoke exclusively to the Herald saying the department specifically objected to the distribution element of the application.
A change of use is being sought for the agricultural site, in Two Bridges Road, to provide 8,445sqm of employment floorspace.
The plan has received 102 letters of objection ahead of the deadline today (June 15) for comments.
Councillor Hughes posted on Facebook that the council would be submitting its objections and said the news would be welcomed by residents in Sidford and Sidbury.
He said: “Nothing has changed from the last time. The distribution element was a concern last time because it would bring big lorries through narrow streets in Sidford and Sidbury.
“They are very narrow and just aren’t big enough for this sort of traffic. It is the wrong site for a business park, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
Resident Jackie Green said highway’s focus on the distribution element could ‘play straight into the developers hands’.
She said: “Any down-playing of the impact of the rest of the plan, two thirds of the development, risks making it easier for the application to be approved. Worse, if the B8 [class for distribution] is deleted, it would leave a space for even more B1 buildings (office and light industrial), which require more dedicated parking spaces than B8.
“This emphasis in the Highways objection will not ‘be welcomed by all local Sidford and Sidbury residents’, as Stuart Hughes claims, nor by any other users of the Sidford-Sidbury road. The plan as a whole is wrong, not just bits of it.”
The plans state the applicants aim to create 250 jobs and have addressed concerns raised when a scheme for a larger business park were submitted in 2016.
District council ward member David Barrett said he must remain impartial as he is a member of EDDC’s development management committee, which may be involved in making a final decision about the application.
EDDC will make the final decision about the plans.