“… reluctantly” and “through gritted teeth.”
In the autumn, further details for the proposed industrial estate to the north of Sidford were presented:
This has now been considered by the District Council’s planning committee:
And this week they recommended it for approval, much against their wishes.
This is from the coverage by Philippa Davies at the Herald:
The latest planning application for the Sidford Business Park has been ‘reluctantly approved’ by East Devon district councillors – because there was no scope for them to refuse it. Outline planning permission has already been granted for a development with a footprint of 8,445 square metres, following a successful appeal by the applicants in 2019 against the district council’s refusal.
The application that went before the planning committee this morning (Wednesday, December 15) related to the dimensions of the buildings, but this had also been considered during the appeal, with no objections raised. So although many of the councillors are unhappy with plans to build two office blocks 7.5 metres high at the front of the business park, close to people’s homes, the layout and position of the buildings had already been deemed acceptable at the appeal stage. Councillors at today’s meeting expressed frustration that there was no opportunity for them to object to the application, which was recommended for approval.
And this is from Joe Ives, local democracy reporter in East Devon:
The size of buildings at a controversial business park to be built in Sidford has been agreed by East Devon District Council (EDDC) “through gritted teeth.”
The development, which was rejected by EDDC’s planning committee before being approved on appeal by the government’s Planning Inspectorate in August 2019, has been a source of contention for both the council and local residents. The council had previously refused outline application for the eight square kilometre business park because of concerns over dangers from increased HGV traffic through Sidbury and Sidford as a result of the development. There are also worries about the visual impact, as it is in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’
Either way, with the inspectorate’s 2019 decision the council had little choice but to support the proposalsfor the final details of the height of the buildings. EDDC’s planning committee voted in favour of the ‘reserved matters’ application for the size of the buildings from the applicant, 0G Holdings Retirement Benefit Scheme. It means the industrial estate will mainly consist of six-metre tall buildings. There will be two 7.5-metre high buildings, roughly two storeys in height, next to the entrance at Two Bridges Road. The developer says the visual impact of these buildings will be partly mitigated by new trees.