Call for Brixington planning concerns

BRIXINGTON residents are being urged to call their town councillor if they fear that a new planning application could blight their lives.

Town councillors influence district planning decision for the building of new homes or extensions if residents object.

But many give their views, for or against an application, straight to East Devon District Council - bypassing their town representatives.

The result is that town councillors are often oblivious to the strength of local feeling when it is time to decide whether to back or oppose the application, leading to views not being taken into consideration.

Cllr Maddie Chapman, one of five town councillors for Brixington said: “We have been elected to represent the people of Brixington and if people have a problem with something it is our job to represent those views to the district council.

“I can say what I think at the planning committee and I can give my view but when it come down to it’s what residents want and not what I want that matters.”

The problem was highlighted recently by a controversial application in Cheriswood Avenue to build a three bedroom home in a garden.

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There were nine letters of objections ranging from concerns about a loss of privacy, loss of light, highway safety concerns to overdevelopment.

But when it was time for Cllr Chapman to give her recommendation she didn’t have a single objection.

“If I had known the strength of feeling it would have made a difference,” she said.

“But it wasn’t until after I made my recommendation I found out people were against it but by then it was too late.

“We can’t represent people’s views and do our job if we don’t know there is a problem.

“Send your concerns to East Devon but also tell us – we will fight your corner. We are here to help the people who elected us. Just give one of us a call or drop your views into the town hall.”

Brixington councillors are: Michael Ackland (01395) 275062, Maddie and David Chapman (01395) 279029) Mayor Darryl Nicholas (01395) 274912 and Trevor Cope (01395) 270128.