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

Archant

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.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:35
North Devon Road Runners Jo and Frank Biederman with their medals.

North Devonian pounds the streets of the capital for charity....

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00
Tony is raising money for Devon Air Ambulance Trust.

Tony Farnaby is taking on a 190 mile-long ride around Devon for the lifesaving charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:09
Elections take place on May 7

East Devon’s election chief has apologised after an error was identified in the postal voting papers sent out to some electors.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:31
The smaller of the two new minor injuries rooms. Ref shs 7706-40-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Health bosses announced this week that talks to decide the future of community hospitals in East Devon will be temporarily suspended.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:19
Large barrel jellyfish washed up on the beach at Sidmouth,

This large barerel jellyfish caught the attention of passers-by when it washed up on Sidmouth beach yesterday (Sunday).

Read more
Yesterday, 10:09

The nine-turbine wind farm is set to be operational in North Devon by summer 2016.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:36

A new 210-place primary school could be opening in Exmouth, offering children a different kind of curriculum.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:36
The TK Maxx store in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah Howells

Walls around the building on Joy Street have come down revealing new TK Maxx store building.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:28

Fire crews have been called to a fire at the Spar store in Budleigh Salterton.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:07

Woman claiming to be from the council tried to con elderly Barnstaple man, as police warn people to remain vigilent of fraudsters.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Family Notices 24


Devon's trusted business finder