Sid Valley vision is ‘unsound’ - Natural England

15:03 18 January 2013

Development of a business park in the Sidford valley is unnacceptable, say town councillors. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2244-39-12TI

Development of a business park in the Sidford valley is unnacceptable, say town councillors. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2244-39-12TI


A CONTENTIOUS vision for the future of the Sid Valley has been condemned as “unsound” by Natural England.

The conservation authority points to the allocation of an employment site of up to five hectares north of Sidford as the reason it cannot endorse the district council’s Local Plan.

Experts add that there should be no loss of “important” green space at Knowle if homes are built on the site.

They also say the potential loss of land designated for jobs to homes at Manstone Depot is another aspect contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework.

Natural England questions why no environmental strategy is included in the plan for Sidmouth, as it is for other places, given the issue’s “important role to both residents and to the town as an all year round tourist destination”.

The proposed earmarking of around 12 acres for a business park is “not justified”, says the authority in a report.

Its author points to an independent housing and employment study, commissioned by the district council in 2011, that states employment priorities in Sidmouth.

These include replacing existing poor stock, the potential for small industrial/hybrid schemes and a work-hub to encourage entrepreneurs.

“It is also noted that the report concluded there was some capacity at Alexandria Road within the town, which we note is proposed to be allocated,” says the report.

“We therefore agree that some development may be required at Sidmouth which, due to the constraints on the town, may include some development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“However, such development should be considered exceptional and in the public interest.”

The report concludes the employment allocation at Sidford is neither exceptional or in the public interest - and the plan is unsound.

Natural England’s views will be considered alongside the Local Plan by a planning inspector.


Other News Stories

Fire in derelict Ottery building

An arson attack that destroyed a derelict building in Ottery has prompted its owner to install tougher security measures.

Read more
Proud staff at Lewis Pharmacy who recently won three awards. Ref exe 1033-41-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

An Exmouth pharmacy is celebrating after completing a hat-trick of national awards.

Read more
Trustees who prepared the breakfast (l to r)  Simon card, Wendy Mills, Helen Maynard, Margaret Nicholson, Albert Nicholson, Eve Deanus and Carol Rapley.

Colyford’s Big Breakfast raises cash for defibrillator

Read more
Is the row over dogs back at Instow beach?

Parish Council meeting on Thursday, October 15 to review the situation

Read more
Residents protest against the plans at the site in March. Picture: Jim Bell

Benefits outweigh the harm, says Government inspector

Read more
County Hall in Exeter.

A lethal mixture of alcohol and medication caused the death of a Budleigh Salterton pensioner, an inquest heard.

Read more
Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club take on the River Dart Struggle

A group from Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club (SSLSC) negotiated a ramshackle craft through rapids and weirs to a third-place finish in one of the toughest raft races in the country.

Read more
The manager of TRIP Community Transport, Neil Hurlock.

The money will be put towards the purchase of a new wheelchair-accessible bus, which the charity has been steadily fundraising for.

Read more
Get your chickens an Eglu and help raise money for the British Hen Welfare Trust today (Friday).

Support for British Hen Welfare Trust from the Omlet Eglu

Read more
Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8760-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A vital footway across the River Sid may have to close if cliff erosion in the area worsens, according to County Hall.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Find a job in Devon

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications