Nothing can be done to prevent the increase in heavy goods traffic until the business park is built.
The proposed employment site at Sidford would increase traffic:
The villages of Sidbury and Sidford have in recent years been blighted with an increase in HGVs using the narrow roads with pinch points and no pavements, with fears the impact would get worse when a new business park is built on the outskirts of Sidford.
East Devon District Council, on the grounds of harm to highway safety, relating to increased heavy goods vehicle usage of the area’s narrow roads, had refused the plans for land, currently used for agriculture, the east of Two Bridges Road in Sidford, to be turned into a new multi-million pound business park.
But applicants Tim and Mike Ford challenged the refusal and while a planning inspector admitted that the blockages that occur were inconvenient and did have an effect, he allowed the appeal because the significant benefits outweighed the effects and inconvenience of the increase in HGV traffic in the area.
Nevertheless, the county council will be monitoring things:
Cllr Hughes said: “There has been a lot of concern in Sidbury and Sidford about the increase of HGVs using the road to the business park following the planning approval. We will keep an eye of things to see how it pans out and we will be monitoring impact on the traffic carefully and consider any interventions that may be needed on the highway, including a weight limit.”
But it will have to wait:
After raising the issue again at the East Devon Highways committee meeting on Friday, July 10, Cllr Hughes expressed frustration that nothing would be done to prevent the increase in heavy goods traffic. “If and when the business park is built, then they will look at the route through Sidford and Sidbury and if there is a big increase in HGVs, which I’m pretty certain will be the case, then they will look to do something.”
photo: Cllr Marianne Rixson