Sidford resident attacks planning condition revision

Sidmouth town planners demand district planning chiefs refuse Hallam House Development permission to alter planning conditions

SIDMOUTH town councillors have demanded district planning chiefs refuse Hallam House Development permission to alter planning conditions – and instead insist work is carried out within three months.

Councillors, meeting last Wednesday, said the developer hadn’t completed work relating to parking and boundary treatments at its Sidford Cross development - conditions of planning consent - and wanted to “renege” on those aspects, having sold most of the houses.

Planning chairman, Councillor Ian McKenzie-Edwards, said a communal area, parking area, access, a boundary wall, shrubs and lighting were an issue.

“It looks as if it has been unattended for 10 years - it has not been finished,” he said.

Councillor Mary Jolly added: “They’re selling houses under false pretences. They haven’t done what was asked of them in the planning permission.”

Sidford Cross residents Linda and Peter Morling say any changes to the conditions “makes a mockery of the initial planning application consultation, negotiation and consent process.”

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They fear conditions will not be implemented once the last house is sold.

“It appears East Devon District Council is more concerned at avoiding appeal and enforcement procedures, rather than meeting the overwhelming wishes of purchasers, local neighbours and the town council,” said Mr Morling, who, with neighbours, has objected to the variance application.

A boundary wall was, they claim, built without a membrane and is now showing damp patches, leading to flaking paint.

Persistent calls to EDDC “have failed to persuade Building Control to attend a site inspection.”

Fences, instead of walls, were erected either side of the entrance to the parking area, which has not been finished in paviers as shown on plans, just Tarmac.

There is no lighting behind the properties, which is dangerous for those parking there, said Mr Morling, who has erected his own light to help residents.

“They have blatantly ignored every detail of specification to such an extent that what we have got is basic and the finish is appalling.”

An EDDC spokesman said: “EDDC takes planning enforcement extremely seriously.

“In this case, there are some issues around standard of finish – over which we have no control – and others concerning items that have been completed in variance from the agreed plans.”

He said the application for amended plans would be determined “in accordance with its planning merits.”

No response from the developer’s agent was forthcoming before going to press.