Budleigh council anger over EDDC

PUBLISHED: 11:38 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 10 June 2010

THE war over the proposed Longboat Café development rages on as Budleigh Salterton Town Council accuses the district council of refusing to listen to the town.

THE war over the proposed Longboat Café development rages on as Budleigh Salterton Town Council accuses the district council of refusing to listen to the town.

In last ditch attempt to sway the decision over the future of the seafront café, Budleigh councillors have hit out at the district council - blaming it for failing to protect the town and its residents.

The town council is unanimous in its opinion that East Devon District Council is more concerned with hitting targets than having regard for local people or the democratic process.

Members have drafted a hard-hitting letter to EDDC, criticising the council for failing to consult the people of Budleigh over the controversial development.

In an open letter to EDDC, Budleigh members say:

l EDDC is preparing to ride 'roughshod' over the town.

l They are 'depressed' EDDC is not protective of Budleigh, or concerned about its residents.

l They believe EDDC has 'little regard' for the democratic process.

l They feel EDDC has not considered the views of the 'majority' of local people or town council when thrashing out decisions over the Longboat.

l EDDC has failed to listen to the views put forward by the town council in relation to the proposed restaurant.

lEDDC has viewed the town council's input with 'little or no importance'.

Ever since the cafe proposal was put on table, the town council has offered to work with district planners to avoid a 'carbuncle' from being built on the seafront. But members claim their offer has continually fallen on deaf ears.

Correspondence setting out their wishes sent from the town to the district council has been 'lost', Budleigh members say.

A spokeswoman for Budleigh town council said: "The town council has offered to assist EDDC by gathering opinion that can then be used to arrive at an informed and consensual decision about any development of the beach and its surrounds.

"Though EDDC has not yet deigned to respond, the town council remains ready to help."

EDDC said there were 'significant misunderstandings' as to what the public could or could not achieve in raising objections through the planning system. It said all views expressed were considered, but could only legally be taken into account where they raised material planning issues.

An EDDC spokesman said: "Sheer force of numbers expressing a preference for or against a proposal is unable to sway the proper legal application of planning law and policy."

The planning committee is presently 'minded' to accept the principle of redevelopment of the Longboat Cafe but a final decision has been deferred until the remaining details of the application are received.

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