Third time lucky for Sidmouth vets’ plan?

Plans for a new veteniary practice in Sidmouth have been submitted to the distrcit council.

Plans for a new veteniary practice in Sidmouth have been submitted to the distrcit council. - Credit: Archant

A BUSINESSMAN hopes it will be third time lucky for his bid to build an out-of-town veterinary practice.

Sidmouth Garden Centre owner Ian Barlow has resurrected proposals for a surgery in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – and has changed the location of the proposed premises.

Mr Barlow had seen two previous planning applications for a vets, on a staff parking and storage area on his land, rejected. An appeal against the most recent decision was also dismissed.

A new outline application from Mr Barlow and a neighbour details proposals for a single-storey building - with a green roof - that will be ‘cut into’ the hillside on land next to the garden centre. Plans say the proposed ‘low profile’ premises will be sited ‘much further’ down the hillside adjacent to the A3052 than previously suggested - and will appear detached from the garden centre buildings.

“By utilising a very small corner of the adjacent field, this revised scheme will no longer take up land used by the garden centre for parking and external storage,” say proposals.

The mooted practice will be ‘complimented’ by the use of natural materials for its walls - which will be finished predominantly in timber with areas of natural stone around corners and doors.

“The idea is to create a building with an organic quality that has a close affinity with the surrounding landscape,” say plans.

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“The proposed building will be screened by recent housing built on farmland directly south of the application site on the opposite side of the A3052.”

Access would be via the garden centre site.

Proposals had garnered two letters of support from members of the public this week – and an objection from the Sid Vale Association (SVA).

Alan Weaver, of the SVA conservation and planning committee, said the civic society feels the project would have an ‘adverse impact’ on the AONB and additional traffic would be ‘hazardous’. Supporters say the garden centre is an ‘ideal site’ for a vets and the service provided would be a ‘beneficial addition’ to communities in Sidmouth and Sidford.

The district council will decide the fate of plans.