Say no to Sidford Business Park group calls for help and funding

Janice Falkner, Cllr Cathy Gardner, Desley Jones, Cllr Marianne Rixson and John Loudon with the pain

Janice Falkner, Cllr Cathy Gardner, Desley Jones, Cllr Marianne Rixson and John Loudon with the paintings currently being raffled off to raise money for the Say No to Sidford Business Park group. - Credit: Archant

Campaigners against a proposed business park development in Sidford have urged residents to pledge time and cash to back their fight.

More than 150 people attended a public meeting called by the ‘Say No to Sidford Business Park’ group on Tuesday, outlining their concerns about fresh plans for the site in Two Bridges Road.

The group formed two years ago but has relaunched to object to the proposals, which looks to change the use of the land to provide 8,445sqm of employment floorspace, flood attenuation and hedgerow works, foot and cycle ways.

Councillor Marianne Rixson, district councillor for Sidford, told residents how they could voice their objection before a public consultation ends on June 15.

East Devon District Council will then decide the fate of the application.

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Sidbury resident John Loudoun told the meeting: “The campaign desperately needs some money; things such as leaflets, adverts, the meeting hall - it all costs money. So far, the campaign has relied upon the generosity of a number individuals, but that’s not sustainable and it’s not fair and equitable.”

To assist with fundraising, resident Janice Faulkner donated two paintings - of views from the Sidford fields - to the campaign group to raffle off.

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She said: “I have been longing to do them for a while and I wanted to do a painting of the fields before they are destroyed. It is such a beautiful area and it could be lost forever.

“I thought it could be a way to raise bit of money for the campaign to say ‘no’ to Sidford Business Park.”

The campaign has also received support from Sidbury Traffic Action Group (STAG), which is working to stop drivers from breaking the 20mph speed limit in the village.

Desley Jones, of Sidbury WI, said: “We will pass on any relevant data and information we collect and hope that, in achieving our aim of enforcing the 20mph speed limit ,it will confirm to the planners, highways and councillors that our little roads can no longer cope with speed and indeed the volume and size of the traffic that comes through.”

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.

The current proposal represents 37 per cent of what was previously submitted.”

Sidmouth Town Council opposed the application last week.

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