Following the announcement by Sainsbury’s that they no longer plan to build a warehouse at the site near Clyst Honiton, East Devon Green Party (EDGP) says that East Devon District Council must now try and retrieve the situation.
The contractors for Sainsbury’s have done the ground works for a massive warehouse, the largest building in East Devon, but now Sainsbury’s do not want to use the site, and seem to be trying to sell it.
The problem has come about as a result of the 2011 decision by the council to give permission for a lorry depot and transit warehouse on a site that had been ear-marked for a rail freight depot.
That decision reduced the economic viability of a railway siding. The new proposal by Sainsbury’s that they should be allowed more development, without building a railway siding, and the announcement that the warehouse site is on the market, is yet more pressure on the possibility of a railway siding.
Local Green spokesperson Henry Gent said: “East Devon dug themselves into a hole back in 2011, when they changed the purpose of the site from a railhead depot to a lorry depot, while pretending that the railway siding plan was actually advancing. That hole now looks deeper.
“Back in 2011 Andrew Moulding, conservative councillor, claimed that the Sainsbury’s planning permission was part of ‘lining up all the ducks’ to build a railway siding. Now, three years later, it is more and more apparent that unless there is a change of attitude on the council, the railway siding is going to be a dead duck.”