LYME Regis Town Council may consider appealing against East Devon District Council’s decision to refuse permission for continued use of the park and ride site in Sidmouth Road.
It was announced last week that East Devon had turned down a temporary planning application from the town council, requesting permission to continue using land off Sidmouth Road, which lies just across the county border in Uplyme, as a park and ride facility.
The district council released a statement explaining its decision, saying it had turned down the application because of the lack of evidence submitted to justify the need for the facility, and that as a result it would have a harmful impact upon the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
It added that the town council had been given “ample time” to collate evidence requested following previous application, and had bpreviously advised that no further temporary applications for the site would be accepted.
Deputy Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Steve Miller, has now responded to the comments, saying: “Lyme Regis Town Council was extremely disappointed to learn, immediately prior to a busy bank holiday and the school half term, that East Devon District Council refused the application for continued temporary use of the Sidmouth Road park and ride site.
“We are surprised by the tone and content of the press release issued by East Devon District Council, a copy of which was not supplied to the town council. We believe such a release is not normal practice on refusal of a planning application.
“The town council will obviously review available options before deciding how to proceed, which may involve appealing the planning authority’s decision.
“In the meantime, the work to obtain the evidence previously requested by East Devon District Council has already been commissioned via independent experts Hydrock and will continue. However, this has been made more difficult by the refusal of the Sidmouth Road application.
“This work will ascertain the best parking, transport and signage strategies for the town and will be pursued by the town council in the best long-term interests of the residents and businesses of Lyme Regis and those visiting the town we all love.
“The 400-space Charmouth Road Park and ride site will continue to operate throughout the peak summer periods. In addition, the town council has just agreed to extend the bus service to include all June weekends.
“The town council is grateful for the help and support it received from West Dorset District Council, its local representative and the landowner in achieving the permanent permission for the use of the Charmouth Road facility, which is also in an area of outstanding natural beauty.”
Ticketing options include a £6 return fare to cover up to five people of any combination of ages. Bus pass holders travel free-of-charge. The service runs frequently from 10am to 7.30pm, utilising two double-deck buses.