• Building on Knowle gardens - set for approval

    23rd November 2012 | News | Claire
  • Councillors sitting on EDDC’s Development Management Committee on Tuesday 4 December, will now make the final decision on whether the application is approved – or refused.

    It is an unsurprisingly long report and I have pasted the conclusion from the officer’s report, below:……………………………………………………

    The loss of jobs within Sidmouth is a significant issue that weighs against this application particularly in the current economic climate. This cannot however be separated from the wider economic benefits of this development for the district as a whole.

    The loss of parkland and gardens although clearly of great importance to the local community and as such its partial loss is regrettable, the facts of the matter are that the loss is not significant in terms of open space provision in the town or considered to be so significant in terms of any historic significance that the parkland had in the past and may still be considered by some quarters to have today to justify the refusal of this application on this ground alone.

    The development retains virtually all of the important trees on the site, seeks to retain the main ecological features and put in place appropriate mitigation where this is not possible. The indicative layout demonstrates that an acceptable design and layout can be achieved which would respect the amenities of the nearby residents.

    The site is also located within the built-up area boundary of the town in a location which is sustainable in terms of the 3 aspects of sustainable development detailed in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which includes a presumption in favour of such sustainable development. These issues and the significant provision of affordable housing weigh in favour of the development and justify approval of the development overall.

    The link to the reports for the agenda is HERE

    I submitted a response to the application back in September, which you can read HERE.

    The meeting will be in the council chamber, The Knowle, Sidmouth, starting from 2pm on Tuesday 4 December.  I should think it will be standing room only, so get there early.

    Many months on, we are no closer to finding out what the (true) costs are of moving to Honiton, what the (true) costs are of staying in Sidmouth and how much EDDC has spent so far, on what seems to me to be an exercise in how much taxpayer’s money you can cram through a drain grill, on a pet project.

    Rather we are patronised. Don’t worry your heads, it will all be cost neutral, we are told.  What the costs are though, on one can (or more likely, will) tell us.

    Certainly, residents in Exmouth and Sidmouth, will have been aware of a continual programme of asset stripping, which looks likely to continue..

    The application has been rushed through the system with indecent haste, accompanied by a plethora of secret meetings and a plethora of secret reports, all apparently and rather conveniently unable to be shared with the press and public.

    Far from being “too transparent” according to one of EDDC’s ruling group, the process has been immensely opaque.

    I hope people turn out in their droves on Tuesday 4 December, .