Sidmouth employment land controversy

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to create an employment site of up to five hectares on land between Sidford and Sidbury will be pursued by the district council – despite objections.

Planners plotting the future of the Sidmouth parish this week decided to proceed with their vision to create jobs and homes.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) Local Plan Panel members ruled on Tuesday that three hectares of employment land would be developed first – with the situation on the remaining two to be reviewed in five years.

A report is now set to go to EDDC’s Development Management Committee in May – and residents will be consulted again, according to the authority. Councillor Stuart Hughes was among Sidmouth representatives who spoke out about creating an employment site between Sidford and Sidbury.

Giving his personal opinion, he said he wanted to see a mixed housing and employment site developed on land owned by Persimmon off Woolbrook Road – adjacent to where the county council wants to create a park and ride scheme.

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“It ticks all the right boxes,” said Cllr Hughes.

He said of the site currently earmarked by EDDC: “It’s in the wrong location. It will urbanise the whole of Sidbury, right through to Sidmouth. It will be one big, joined-up area. It will put pressure on Sidford Cross and roads. It would be unfair on the people of Sidford.”

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