District Council


15th April 2015         Eight-week consultation on draft Local Plan starting on 16 April


A fresh public consultation on the future blueprint for planning in East Devon will be launched on Thursday 16 April and will run until Friday 12 June.


Planning Inspector Anthony Thickett has advised East Devon District Council of the matters that he wishes to see consulted upon, following the completion of extra work that planning officers were required to do to supplement the previously s_ubmitted draft Local Plan.

 The Inspector has given the council a list of questions and these will be available for interested members of the public to view online, at Knowle and at libraries and town council offices* across the district for a period of eight weeks.


 Awareness of the latest opportunity to comment on aspects of the draft Local Plan 2013-2031 will be raised via a number of channels, including public notices, a press release, social media, EDDC’s website, emails and letters to all individuals and agents on the Planning Policy service’s database, and documents placed in council offices and libraries*, plus Exeter Central Library.

 As before, it will be possible for people to s_ubmit comments online or on forms that may be emailed or sent through the post. These will be available on the council’s website and at the various access points around East Devon. The online documents can be accessed at:


 In this final round of consultation, the council will be asking residents to comment only on revisions** to the earlier version of the draft Local Plan.


The Inspector’s questions that are open for comment will be grouped together in four clusters, plus there will be a fifth section for comment on any proposed changes not covered by the Inspector’s questions.


The four specific clusters concern:


·         Housing levels and development in the plan

·         Gypsy and Traveller provision

·         Site allocations

·         Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)


CIL supporting documents and forms for making comments can be viewed at: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/community-infrastructure-levy-cil/cil-examination/

Each access point will have a package of information available, including guidance notes explaining what the Inspector wants to know and how to fill in the electronic forms or paper documents.


Comments must be received by 12 noon on Friday 12 June 2015 at the very latest. The responses received will be collated and sent on direct to the Inspector for his consideration. It is anticipated that the Inspector will be able to reconvene hearing sessions in July.




26th March 2015               DRAFT LOCAL PLAN COUNCIL..................SIDFORD VOTED OUT!


Brilliant news this afternoon The Full Council supported my amendment .. Seconded by Graham Troman for the land north of Sidford be deleted from the draft local plan.


Here is my full representation to Council on the amendment:-


Having attended the Special Development Management Committee on Monday I must say Chairman that I found the whole process very frustrating…… First of all following the public speaking non committee ward members were given their chance to speak and I was then almost closed down by the Chairman and the Chief Exec had to have a quiet word ….. I addressed the committee on the Sidford site in the local plan and in the afternoon Cllr Sullivan moved an amendment which was duly seconded by Cllr Allen that the Sidford site be removed from the draft plan and replaced by land north of the A3052 in the vicinity and to the east of the Sidmouth Garden Centre what Cllr Sullivan forget to include was the very important part of the amendment that being ‘To be developed as and when required following other sites reaching their full potential’. ……. The Sidford site has always been contentious with many valid reasons to delete it from the draft plan …. Flooding, traffic, impact on the AONB…No proven need.. and more recently the River Sid Project, Visibility Assessment and that the site would be significantly surcharged however members the most disturbing game changer the deletion of the text on ancillary to primary use of each unit which would appear to leave the door open to a mini Cribbs Causeway on our doorstep and which would put the final nail in the coffin of our town centre businesses….. Cllr Troman gave some important facts and figures which I hope he can give again this afternoon.

Come the debate by committee some 4 to 5 hours after Graham Christine and I had addressed the committee it appeared that members around the table  had forgotten what we had actually said in the morning and I therefore seriously challenge the procedure and that of the Chief Executive who during other debates and amendments allowed deletion of some sites but resisted that of Sidford and instead suggesting a form of words to the Inspector regarding the unprecedented opposition to this site………whilst this form of words would and is  a step in the right direction I still believe that we could go the extra mile and therefore Chairman when you take into consideration that this council now lends its support to a link road into the Alexandria Industrial Estate where there is room for further employment opportunities and as I mentioned at Mondays meeting that as the County member I shall do everything I can to see the implementation of the link road….. I therefore wish to move the following amendment Chairman that (d) the land north of Sidford be deleted from the draft local plan….. We don't need the site because evidence shows net inflow of workers to Sidmouth plus Sid water pollution study plus AONB plus Town and District member and local residents and organisations opposition.


Thanks must go to all the other speakers who supported and voted for the amendment...(Speakers) Peter Sullivan, Christine Drew, Frances Newth, Mike Allen, and Ray Bloxham ...............The residents and businesses of Sidford, Sidmouth will hopefully be delighted and we shall now work together into getting a link road into the Alexandria Industrial Estate so that it can reach its full potential.

25th March 2015

Graham Troman moved an amendment which I duly seconded on the Knowle relocation that the Knowle Exmouth model be worked up and reported back to the first committee cycle after the 7th May 2015

The vote took place with 13 supporting the amendment 1 abstention and 37 against

In seconding the amendment I must say that I was totally taken back at the joint OS Audit and Governance meeting when Cllr Troman raised the issue of the Knowle/Exmouth model and was told that this hadn't been worked up....Why not? That is the question as it would appear to me to be an excellent option and would retain some jobs in the town.
To invest in your most valuable asset makes common sense and therefore Chairman the amendment would give time for this option to be thoroughly worked up.
More Haste less speed comes to mind here Chairman something that clearly hasn't been applied to the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan with a call for more information and a scheme now at least 5 years away.
At the special O/S Audit and Governance meeting I mentioned the notice of motion that I seconded by Graham Troman put to council well over 18 months ago regarding relocation and Michael Heseltines report to government No Stone Unturned in which he raised the issue of creation of further unitaries.....Not a dead duck as some would like us to believe but very likely to happen within the next 7 to 8 years no matter who forms the next government....that notice of motion still hasn't been debated?  What I can say is a unitary Devon would see Sidmouth Town Council taking on more services and will require more accomodation and a scaled down Knowle would certainly fit the bill.

Finally Chairman I found the additional recommendation put to and accepted by the special meeting of O/S  by Cllr Claire Wright to put a covenant on the remaining land which the Town Council would take responsibility for totally unnecessary. And furthermore Chairman I believe it smacks of the pot calling the kettle black when you consider that this Council is proposing to build on the grassed terraces which are one of the finest features of the Knowle Grounds.
Its therefore a shame that Cllr Wright hasn't attended a meeting of the town council since becoming the County member for Sidbury because if she had she would have seen for herself how the town council as custodians looks after the land its responsible for so that local residents and visitors to our town can enjoy what they have to offer both now and for the future........and so. Chairman I would urge members to support Cllr Tromans amendment this evening.



23rd March 2015

Draft Plan representation to Development Management Committee

Thank you Chairman for allowing me to address the Committee re employment land provision for Sidmouth and the Sid Valley……Cllr Peter Sullivan will be moving an amendment later today which calls for the contentious Sidford site to be removed from the draft plan and replaced by land north of the A3052 in the vicinity and to the east of the Sidmouth Garden Centre….This land has been confirmed available by the land owners and whilst also located in the AONB is by far more environmentally acceptable and is supported by the majority of local residents. It is indeed very close to the second choice site for Devon County Council’s replacement for the Woods Farm Recycling Centre and therefore.. if it had received the most popular vote would have been developed by now…. It would be up to you and the DMC members to decide how much should be allocated  but certainly not 12 acres…..

 There are many valid reasons why the Sidford site should be removed from the draft plan…flooding…traffic…and the impact on the AONB looking across the valley descending down the A3052 from Trow Hill……..There are also several other reasons that have just come to light and which support the removal of the Sidford site from the draft plan  …The River Sid Project…..Visibility Assessment and the site would be significantly surcharged…..and also what I believe to be the most disturbing element…. in that the goalposts have been moved so far  following the deletion from the text of (with any retail “ancillary to primary use of each unit”.)  which madam chairman would certainly indicate to me that we could end up with a mini Cribbs Causeway on our doorstep spelling disaster for our Town Centre businesses and traffic chaos for Sidford and Sidbury…. I don’t believe County have carried out any vehicle movement predictions based on this significant change?

 The amendment that Cllr Sullivan will be moving also makes it clear that the land north of the A3052 should only be developed as and when reqd following other sites reaching their full potential …. THE Alexandria  Industrial Estate still has room for further expansion and it is heartening to see that the District Council is supporting the provision of a link road into the site from the B3176 and as County member I shall see how this can now be progressed.

 I BELIEVE MY FELLOW WARD MEMBER GRAHAM TROMAN WILL BE ADDRESSING ISSUES RELATING TO Housing numbers, predicted jobs formula and the loss of previous employment sites over the past 20 years and therefore I now move to the second issue of the provision of a Green Wedge between Sidford and Sidbury which Cllr Sullivan shall also be moving an amendment later.

 21.6 of the draft plan MAKES THE CASE FOR GREEN WEDGES and I believe that there can be no better candidate than that of the land between the settlements of Sidbury and Sidford firstly to protect the historic village of Sidbury from being absorbed into Sidford and Sidmouth  and secondly to maintain the landscape setting in the AONB between the two settlements so that they can be enjoyed by both present and future generations.

 I do hope that members will be able to support the amendments today



16th March 2015

It has been proposed by myself and seconded by Graham Troman that the Draft Local Plan recommendation for a business park to be created between Sidford and Sidbury on the A375 be amended by the following resolution.......

That (d) Land north of Sidford be removed from the draft plan and replaced by land north of the A3052  in the vicinity and to the east of the Sidmouth Garden Centre.   To be developed as and when required following other sites reaching their full potential.    (This site is similar to the former  second choice site for Devon CountyCouncil's Civic Amenity and Recycling Centre ). If the site has not been developed by the first plan review, then the employment allocation for Sidmouth should be re-examined. Furthermore the employment site must be subject to the highest design and landscaping standards.


 That the land north of Sidford between the Built Up Area Boundaries of Sidford and Sidbury and in the AONB be designated a Green Wedge.



2nd March 2013

A heartfelt congratulations to EDDC's scaled down Development Management Committee who yesterday refused the Knowle Outline Planning Application and in doing so hopefully kicked into touch any aspirations of certain East Devon members of relocating to Honiton..... I congratulate ALL the eloquent speakers (members of the public/East Devon Sidmouth members/Town Council) who all raised valid points and the Committee took many of these on board in reaching their decision.
So now we need to move on and concentrate on the important issues here in Sidmouth ....the rock revetment of Pennington Point is surely the No.1 priority?

My submission to the Development Management Committee:-

This afternoon you will hear from many concerned residents of Sidmouth who have many valid points to raise in relation to this outline planning application as indeed have the 1,800 or more letters of objection that have been received and therefore I do hope that the Committee will not merely pay lip service to those who have objected to either ALL or parts of the application ...Or....the Sidmouth Town Council who have looked at this application on three occasions and have I believe not only been realistic in their comments but have also had a balanced view.....As it stands the officers recommendation appears no more than realising as much money as they can from the site and in parts creating what can only be described as a BLOT ON THE LANDSCAPE.

As an ajoining ward member I support the Town Council's response in their split decision and as worded in their submission.....in supporting Zone C to development being restricted to the footprint of the existing office buildings and subject to sympathetic and appropriate design in keeping with the character of the area and adjacent properties.....and also their advisory notes regarding the access to Knowle Drive being closed off to avoid a rat run through the site and ALL current and proposed Rights of Way being maintained through the site.

I am also unable to support development in Zones A,B,D and E for reasons given.....especially A and B and E.

Both Zones A and B will result in the loss of existing Car Parking which is in short supply here in Sidmouth and has been highlighted in our local plans since the 1990's....The Knowle Park and Walk scheme has proved very popular over the years and has prevented further congestion in the town at weekends.


Development of the lower grassed car park is detrimental to an important gateway to Sidmouth and would be a BLOT ON THE LANDSCAPE if it were allowed to go ahead....Just look at what has been allowed at the top of Yarde Hill on Sidford Road!!!

As for the Care Home facility ....We are already over subscribed in Sidmouth and I doubt very much if anyone has spoken to the County Council who are trying to establish what future use would the town wish to see for Green Close....A flagship facility which has always received my backing and now needs a change of direction perhaps by providing respite care for dementia sufferers...(this is being debated at Town Council on Monday).

Briefly turning to Zone E......this should be resisted at all costs as it would have a devastating effect on the Civic Arboretum with loss of valued trees....It will also create additional problems in both access and egress onto Station Road from Knowle Drive.

And so members I do hope that you will take these issues into account during your deliberations this afternoon.

Stuart Hughes CC


14th January 2013

A very good response from Natural England to the East Devon Local Plan Consultation

Strategy 26 Sidmouth – additional comments

We advise that we consider this strategy unsound due to its allocation of 5 ha of employment land ( see below ). In addition the proposed loss of employment land within the town at Manstone Depot (which is now proposed for non- strategic residential land)although significantly smaller than that proposed within the AONB also appears to be contrary to the NPPF.

If residential land is to be allocated at the Knowle, there should be no loss of Green Infrastructure and surrounding parkland as this is an important green space within Sidmouth. Not only is it an important feature for balanced communities – Strategy 4, but because Sidmouth is only approximately 5 km from the East Devon Pebblebeds. It is vitally important that all existing Green Infrastructure within the town is maintained and enhanced to protect the internationally designated site from increased recreational pressure.

Given the importance of the environment’s important role to both residents and to the town as an all year round tourist destination, it is strongly recommended that a similarly worded statement as Strategy 25 (Seaton) bullet point 5 is incorporated. This will also need to make reference to the nationally and internationally designations that surround the town.

Proposed employment allocation north of Sidford

We advise that we consider this non strategic allocation (phased or not phased ) unsound as it is not justified due to not meeting the tests in paragraph 116 of the NPPF.

In the report by Tyms in 2011 East Devon Housing and Employment Study 2011, we note that it is considered that the employment priorities at Sidmouth include: replacing existing poor stock;

occupier expansion land; the potential for small industrial/hybrid schemes; and work-hub to encourage entrepreneurs

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

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

It is noted that employment allocations at Sidmouth are regarded as non-Strategic only (table following Paragraph 6.10 entitled Employment Land Provision and Allocations) and that allocation will be made at a later stage of site identification/ plan production. It is noted that the Alexandra Road site outside the AONB has been allocated together with the proposed allocation 1967 at Sidford in the Plan. Whilst another current employment site Manstone Depot is now proposed for residential land. It is questioned why, by default, the employment allocation in the AONB is exceptional and in the public interest whilst employment provision within the town itself is lost.

As proposed allocation 1967 is major development within the AONB, in order to show its deliverability, it needs to be in conformity with paragraph 116 of the NPPF; that is:

1. the need for the development, including in terms of any national considerations, and the impact of permitting it, or refusing it, upon the local economy;

2. the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the designated area, or meeting the need for it in some other way;

3. and any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated.
Whilst some assessment has been made in respect of the second bullet point, this is not considered sufficient and we advise we do not agree with its conclusions regarding the environmental impact of developing in this area.
We agree do with the appraisal within the report ENV 032 Strategic Landscape and Visual Appraisals - Honiton and Sidmouth that the Landscape Characterisation of the proposed allocation is Unsettled Farmed Valley Floor. This is a relatively rare feature within the AONB which is vulnerable to change. The sewage works and associated buildings in the landscape are noted but whilst that scale and massing is considered acceptable in this particular landscape, the additional development of that proposed would not. This is due to the impact from mass and scale that could not be mitigated against even with design guidelines. We advise the proposed allocation is not compliant with the Management Guidelines of the District Landscape Character Assessment to maintain “the inherent absence of settlement and development” of this feature nor the AONB Management Plan Landscape key objective to ensure distinctive landscapes .... are maintained. Therefore this allocation is not compliant with Strategy 46 of the Plan.

It is advised that:

 Even if evidence regarding need is clearer and justified

 and further consideration of the impact on alternatives shows there is no scope for meeting the development elsewhere or some other way,


 given the landscape character of the site, we do not consider that any proposal in the proposed allocation would maintain the distinctive landscape to comply with the Landscape Character Assessment and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty management plan and Strategy 46 of the Plan and therefore would not be justified.


It is not considered that this allocation is exceptional and in the public interest due to both its non- strategic allocation designation and its non-compliance with both the NPPF and Plan’s own policies. Therefore, we advise that the allocation is not justified and the Plan unsound.


To members of our electorate (Sidmouth Town, Sidmouth Sidford, and Sidmouth Rural Wards)

As your East Devon District Council representatives for Sidmouth we write in response to many discussions, comments and statements which have circulated regarding the Drill Hall, Knowle, employment land and housing provision.

Firstly, we would like to reassure everyone we have listened, consulted and taken on board the numerous comments since calling the EDDC meeting at (Stowford Community Centre), (Annual Town Council Assembly) and the special extra ordinary Town Council meeting held at EDDC recently. 

Our view is a united one and we have separated each of the following responses for clarity.

The Drill Hall

We will call for a full development brief for the whole of the Port Royal site, in consultation with Sidmouth Town and East Devon District Council.  We will thoroughly examine this to ensure a suitable and beneficial development takes place and incorporates a full redevelopment scheme suited to the surrounding area.

The Knowle

If EDDC decides to relocate, we would seek to secure a continued EDDC presence within our Town such as a one-stop shop and additional services, which could be utilized for the benefit of residents this would be sought as part of the bargaining process.

Concerning the public open space and the many beautiful trees we will fight to retain these for the general enjoyment of the public and will ensure that custodianship is passed to the Sidmouth Town Council with secured 106 monies from the site sale for their future up keep.

Employment land provision

We will seek the retention of Alexandria Industrial Estate as employment land with necessary conditions to prevent any future proposals for use as a supermarket site as we believe this would have a detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of our Town. If such an application were made for a supermarket, it would have to meet very stringent requirements.

The current Sidford/Sidbury site is not the most suitable site for employment provision and we cannot support this as a current proposal.

However looking at the bigger picture, we are not adverse to new employment land provision and additional submissions are expected to be received by EDDC for Sidmouth over the next few weeks.

We would welcome retention of all existing sites and the use of smaller sites to accommodate expansion for employment land opportunities elsewhere within the Sid valley providing they were practical and suitable.

Housing provision   

(At the special Town Council meeting held at EDDC recently) We believe that provision of up to 150 houses being built over a fifteen-year period (within a built up area) is sufficient given previous reductions to meeting the necessary requirement for the Sid valley.

Councillors      Frances Newth, Peter Sullivan, Sheila Kerridge (Sidmouth Town Ward)

Stuart Hughes, Graham Troman, Christine Drew (Sidmouth Sidford Ward)   Chris Wale (Sidmouth Rural Ward)


Holidaymakers and local people are being urged to exercise extreme caution on and close to East Devon’s cliffs.


Following the tragic death of a woman in West Dorset yesterday and a number of cliff falls in East Devon, people are being reminded that they need to be very careful when walking or sunbathing on the stunning heritage coastline.

In recent weeks there have been a number of cliff falls in East Devon and the following action is being taken:

     At Budleigh Salterton, East Walk: Material has fallen and covered one bench seat but has not blocked the footpath. Contractors will be on site tomorrow (Thursday 26 July) to remove the majority of the material and geo-consultants will be on site shortly to carry out a full inspection and remove any dangerous material.

   At Sidmouth, East Beach: Three falls have happened 150m to the East of the River Sid. Two crowd barriers have been put in place to deter people from using the beach but not close it off for people walking from Salcombe.

    At Seaton, Old Beer Road: Devon County Council have closed the road and footpath. DCC have contractors carrying out an inspection of the landslip beneath the road and EDDC have asked them to extend their inspection eastwards to the Chine Café and report back on the cliff condition.

 At Seaton, West Walk: Four or five slips have occurred behind the beach huts causing them to be pushed out into the footpath. The beach huts have been moved and the majority of the soil removed. Geo-consultants have been asked to carry out an inspection of these cliffs and remove any dangerous material. When the beach huts are taken away in October, a machine will be brought in to clear behind the wall so any further minor falls will not affect the huts or the foot

    Axmouth Harbour, National Trust Cliffs: Approximately 15,000 tonnes of material has fallen onto EDDC’s footpath (DCC’s Public Right of Way) and damaged 30 metres of concrete stand up on top of the harbour way. EDDC are in discussion with Natural England about removing the material and repairing the concrete wall.


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