Sidford Business Park approval ‘sticks two fingers up’ to residents

Councillor Stuart Hughes who is the county councillor for highways was not in support of the applica

Councillor Stuart Hughes who is the county councillor for highways was not in support of the application. Pictures: Archant - Credit: Archant

The decision to grant a controversial application for a multi-million pound business park between Sidford and Sidbury sticks ‘two fingers up’ to residents of both parishes.

That was the scathing assessment of district councillor Stuart Hughes, who along with hundreds of others, has reacted with shock and upset at the decision to grant the 8,445 sqm development at Two Bridges Road.

A planning inquiry was held last month after applicants Mike and Tim Ford lodged an appeal against East Devon District Council's decision to refuse Sidford Business Park on highways grounds.

The inquiry, in which both cases for and against the development were heard by Planning Inspector Luke Fleming, was held over three days.

As part of his decision notice published today (August 20), Mr Fleming said there was no 'substantial evidence' to suggest highways safety would be compromised.

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Cllr Hughes, who has previously stated his opposition to the massive development, told the Herald today: "It's a sad day for the Sid Valley."

Cllr Hughes said he appreciated the decision was cast as part of a democratic process, but said the campaign against the business park was a 'good one'.

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He said: "I fear for the worst - if we move ahead with this, it will be sticking two fingers up to the people of Sidford and Sidbury."

Cllr Hughes said large lorries still struggle to pass each other through Sidbury, and added: "You have to see it to believe it.

"I have seen two lorries meeting head-on on several occasions."

The application which was granted on appeal is outline, meaning the final details of the development are yet to be agreed.

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