Plans for 12 Sidford homes set for ‘ok’

PLANS to build 12 homes on land designated for jobs in Sidford are on the verge of being given the go-ahead.

The outline proposals for dwellings at a site in Frys Lane have been recommended for approval by district council officers - despite concerns from representatives and residents.

The fate of blueprints will be decided by the authority’s development management committee next Tuesday, January 8.

Ward members and Sidmouth Town Council all said they could not support the scheme as they thought existing employment sites should be retained.

The site, close to the junction with Brook Lane, has historically been home to a chicken run, coal yard, engineering and scaffolding firms. Traffic fears for the ‘rat run’ are also expressed among 11 objections from members of the public.

A council planning expert tells committee members in a report: “The site is currently under-used but has the potential to continue use for employment generating land. The main concerns raised are regarding the traffic generation arising from residential development, the potential impact on residential amenity and the loss of employment land.

“The highway officer is clear that the potential harm of employment land to traffic generation would exceed that arising from 12 dwellings on the site.”

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He adds that the loss of employment land is ‘acceptable’ and recommends the application be approved.

It is suggested the development will feature four pairs of semi-detached houses and four detached dwellings. The proposed homes would range from two to four bedrooms.

An associated access road, footways and parking and turning areas are also proposed. Plans say ‘outward expansion’ of Sidmouth and Sidford is “limited by landscape and other environmental constraints” - and “further development is therefore likely to be confined to its existing built-up framework”.

Councillors have called for existing employment sites to be better utilised in light of a 12-acre plot north of Sidford being earmarked for a business park in the district council’s Local Plan.