Revealed: reasons for Sidford business park refusal

An image from proposals for the business park.

An image from proposals for the business park. - Credit: Archant

Planning chief details landscape, wildlife and traffic concerns.

Details of why an application to build a 9.3-acre business park between Sidford and Sidbury was rejected have begun to emerge.

The decision, which had been expected to be made by councillors at a public meeting in the coming weeks or months, was unexpectedly revealed today (Tuesday).

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is yet to comment on the situation surrounding the refusal of planning permission.

However, in a report published today, Ed Freeman, EDDC’s service lead for planning strategy and development management, said: “The application has failed to demonstrate how the quantum and mix of development and the parameters for its scale and massing could be incorporated into this rural location whilst reflecting both the local vernacular styles and reinforcing the existing landscape.

“Without robust landscape mitigation and an associated design code with adequate detail, the development would:

• Result in harm to the landscape;

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• Make inadequate provision for green infrastructure;

• and fails to work sensitively with local habitats resulting in an over -engineered appearance to the regraded stream and proposed flood attenuation ponds

“It is considered that the proposal therefore fails to meet the requirement for the highest design and landscaping standards set out within the policy which allocates the site for employment development and fails to adequately respect the landscape which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and which should therefore be afforded the highest level of landscape protection.”

Mr Freeman added: “The proposed development would use access routes that by reason of their inadequate road width (with unsuitable footway provision) and a potentially unsatisfactory junction, are unsuitable to accommodate the increase in traffic likely to be generated by the currently proposed quantum and split of employment uses. In addition the directional split of traffic generation has also not been justified.”

He said that ‘insufficient information has been submitted to justify the noise assessment and its findings that are contained within the Environmental Statement,’ adding: “As such it is not considered possible to accurately understand or assess the likely amenity impact that the development would have on near neighbours or secure appropriate mitigation.”

Mr Freeman also said: “No mechanism has been submitted to secure necessary contributions towards or the management and maintenance of both the hedgerow bounding the proposed cycle route and the surface water attenuation and drainage scheme proposed. In addition there is no mechanism to secure the necessary junction assessment in respect of Sidford Cross which is likely to require an improved signal system and which falls outside of the identified strategic infrastructure list associated with the adopted CIL [Community Infrastructure Levy] charging scheme.”

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