Three Sidmouth sites included in review of East Devon employment sites

View from above of countryside in Sidford, the site of the planned new business park

The Sidford Business Park site is among three in Sidmouth identified by the district council - Credit: Google Maps

Three SIdmouth employment sites – including the controversial Sidford Business Park site – are among those being reviewed by the district council. 

Members of East Devon District Council’s strategic planning committee are set to discuss the Employment Land Review to year ending March 2021 at its next meeting.  

The document identifies employment land across the region with three sites in Sidmouth:  

  • Alexandra Road Industrial Estate 
  • Manstone Lane 
  • Sidford Business Park site at Two Bridges Road 

The Alexandria Road site is in multiple ownership and is described by the district council as being an ‘ageing’ site set in two parts.  

The dcoument added: “The southern part, with its own access road, is occupied by a builders’ merchant in an old railway premises and several small units with road frontage adjacent to the old station building.  

“The northern area is occupied by a range of industrial and business units and a self-storage facility. Road access to the site through Pathwhorlands is not ideal, and this has been a constraining factor on past development.  

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“The estate extends to just over four hectares in area and is shown on the plans below.” 

The Manstone Lane site is smaller at 0.76 hectares and is on two non-connected pieces of land. One part is home to nine units at the ‘Manstone workshops’ while the other has a council-owned storage yard. 

The Manstone workshops in Sidmouth

The Manstone workshops in Sidmouth - Credit: Google

Finally, the third site is a site near Two Bridges Road in Sidford which has permission to change the use from agricultural land to 8,000sqm of floorspace to create the new Sidford Business Park. 

The application was initially dismissed by the district council on grounds of ‘diminishing highway safety’ but that decision was overturned at appeal. 

A reserved matters application for the site was granted last year. 

The report is being brought before the strategic planning committee to ‘ensure the council has an up-to-date monitoring available employment land’ within East Devon. 

EDDC officer James Coles, in his report, said: “The National Planning Policy Framework requires local authorities to support sustainable economic growth by setting out a clear economic vision and strategy for their area and to ensure there is sufficient land available to support growth.  

“National planning policy guidance advises on what employment considerations can be monitored, which form the basis of this report.” 

The committee will meet virtually on Tuesday, June 7, at 10am. Councillors are recommended to note the report. 

The meeting can be viewed on the district council’s YouTube page.