Call a public meeting

Regarding “allotment holders betrayal” – how I agree with both Jeremy Browne’s letter (October 13) and Bob Wiltshire’s (October 20).

Bob Wiltshire’s opinion that “this whole project is fundamentally wrong” is shared by county councillor Christine Channon, who has publicly questioned county highways’ assessment of traffic problems in Greenway Lane.

It is also shared by over 1,000 residents who have signed a petition against it. Of the 106 residents who wrote to East Devon District Council, 105 objected and only one supported it (D Rowland, Journal, July 7).

Not a single soul waiting for affordable housing wrote in favour of the application. Why?

Most of the 1,000-plus objectors would agree with Mr Rowland, that provision of affordable homes is a “worthy aim” - but at what price? Clinton Devon Estates’ proposal was for 48 houses, 40% of which would be affordable.

Subsequently, they submitted amended plans for 36 dwellings (still only 40% affordable), but with a greater loss of established allotments.

The two schemes were debated on September 20 by EDDC’s Development Management Committee. The amended scheme was not supported, but the original one for 48 houses was approved. Councillor Dent, our sole representative with a seat on that committee, voted for approval.

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It is customary for a declaration to be read at all town council planning meetings stating that district councillors “reserved their final views on planning applications until they were in full possession of all the relevant arguments, for and against”.

What additional information did Cllr Dent gather at EDDC to justify voting against a petition by over 1,000 residents and an overwhelming majority vote of the town souncil on September 5?

An alternative site, adjacent to Hooker Closer, is for 60 dwellings with 67% affordable. Public response is said to be “very supportive” (see “Cheaper homes are on the way”, Budleigh Journal, October 6).

May I suggest that Cllr Dent arranges a public meeting at which we can all talk through our apparent differences?

Anita Jennings

(via email).