Sidmouth business owner’s land offer

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 December 2010

Sidmouth Garden Centre. Photo by Simon Horn ref shs 4604-45-10SH

Sidmouth Garden Centre. Photo by Simon Horn ref shs 4604-45-10SH

Archant

THE owner of Sidmouth Garden Centre has invited council chiefs to consider using land surrounding his business to house a park and ride, recycling centre and industrial estate- in the week he revealed plans for a new veterinary practice there.

THE owner of Sidmouth Garden Centre has invited council chiefs to consider using land surrounding his business to house a park and ride, recycling centre and industrial estate - in the week he revealed plans for a new veterinary practice there.

Ian Barlow says growth in the town is “inevitable” but has urged against “piece meal” developments in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) within which his business sits.

A park and ride scheme, state-of-the-art recycling centre and new industrial estate have been linked to land to the north of the town.

Mr Barlow said he has offered his car park, for free, to Devon County Council (DCC) to trial a park and ride scheme. He added there is capacity and potential for recycling and industrial estate ventures on the land. The long-mooted park and ride measure is planned for a spot just fields away on a Persimmon Homes-owned site.

DCC has also earmarked land at The Bowd, Core Hill Lane and Two Bridges Road in Sidford as the potential home for a new £2 million recycling centre.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) planners mention a new industrial estate to the north of the town in their draft strategy for the region for the next 15 years.

Two developments totalling more than 200 homes are currently being built nearby in Woolbrook Road and Stowford Rise.

“Growth is inevitable. It’s how can we grow without ruining what we’ve got,” said Mr Barlow.

“The AONB is our biggest asset in the area, everyone is agreed on that. The thing is we’re (the garden centre) already in the AONB - we’re not trying to extend into it any further, and should try to use what facilities we’ve already got here.

“You’ve got an area in a natural dip already here with a car park.

“Why would you want to rip up the AONB when you’ve got this here right next to the building line?

“The AONB is important, it is why people come here, but there has to be a balance. Councils have a golden opportunity by planning ahead for the future of Sidmouth.

“If you screen an economically friendly industrial estate properly it won’t even detract from the AONB, solve problems of having to build houses in these fields, and free up the Alexandria Industrial Estate. Then you have industry away from domestic dwellings, the two shouldn’t be side by side.”

Mr Barlow said blueprints, for a 250 square metre premises at the top of the garden centre’s car park were submitted to EDDC last Friday.


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