Chief exec defends planning process

13:01 13 February 2013


The chief executive of the district council has responded to an assertion that the authority would be ‘corrupt’ if they rubberstamped plans for 350 homes at Plumb Park.

This week an application was lodged for 350 homes over the next five years on land owned by Clinton Devon Estates.

Last week a reader, Chloe Fox, in a letter, concluded with the statement that if planning permission is granted for Plumb Park it would show that the planning process in this part of Devon is “corrupt beyond redemption or common sense”.

Mark Williams, on behalf of councillors and officers said: “Such a wild and unsubstantiated statement not only casts a slur on the honest and diligent staff of EDDC’s planning service, but also seeks to demean elected councillors who are doing what they were elected to do and governing the district with care and consideration for the general benefit.”

He said that ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion’ and there is probably no greater cause of local dissent than planning matters.

But he added: “That does not – or should not – entitle those who have a different agenda to make offensive comments about people who have taken the trouble to understand the tight constraints of planning regulation.

“We work within those constraints to deliver homes for people to live in and jobs to help people earn a living, whilst doing our best to protect the outstanding environment that is East Devon.”

1 comment

  • I'm pleased to see that the chief executive of EDDC thinks that we are all entitled to our opinions , there wouldn't be a need for letters pages otherwise! OK , let's put opinions to one side for a minute and concentrate on facts , which to me are more important than opinions , particularly when our town is the subject of so much heated and divisive debate . Mr Williams, on his watch, has seen EDDC berated week in week out by the population of East Devon , from Seaton to Ottery, Exmouth to Sidmouth by actions of the council over a number of years with letters in the Exmouth Journal, Sidmouth Herald and Midweek Herald , so across the whole region. EDDC has ignored a petition against a supermarket , on the estuary side , of 10,900 signatures presented to government in 2008 . Undertakings were subsequently given that no build would take place . EDDC has ignored a petition of over 12,000 signatures against the suggested development of the Elizabeth Hall site in 2012 . EDDC as managers, has allowed the Hall to deteriorate , using the state of the Hall , and the cost of renovation , as reason for its sale. Private Eye magazine , over the past recent years , has a number of times highlighted EDDC 's ignorance towards its citizens opinions. Mr Williams has chosen to comment on the last sentence of the letter and failed to address the substance ... Typical !

    Report this comment

    Michael Fairclough

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

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