Campaign champ

Councillor Longhurst’s suggestion that Mr Adams, of Strategic Land Partnerships, considers bequeathing the land that his company is proposing to develop at Courtlands Cross for the benefit of the community and of future generations is opportune.

Farmer Long made a similar gesture some years ago and is remembered affectionately by the community.

The proposal presents an opportunity for Mr Adams to be magnanimous and remembered for his generosity, rather than as a developer.

On two occasions in a little over 12 months, more than 1,200 objections to the proposal to develop, what is effectively a small village, on green belt land north of Courtlands Cross, have been lodged with East Devon District Council. This must be close to a record?

Similarly, the number of reasons why the first application was turned down was impressive.

Oblivious to this put-down, Strategic Land Partnerships has exercised its right to a ‘free’ application within 12 months. Free to the applicant, but at a cost to the hard-pressed council tax payers of East Devon and a council that is faced with making cuts to services.

The community and the local council have overwhelmingly rejected the proposal for development on fields straddling the East Devon Way at Courtlands Cross.

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It is quite possible that we are now in a situation where a developer is intent on submitting a series of planning applications until he either wears the community down, finds a chink in the case presented by the council for rejecting the proposal, or takes the matter to a higher level. So much for ‘localism’ and the views of small communities in rural areas.

Any successful campaign needs a champion who can inspire others and galvanise action.

Councillor Longhurst has championed the campaign to protect our community and the fragile environment of the Exe Estuary fringe from further degradation.

The community at large recognises Councillor Longhurst’s drive and is extremely grateful to him for his energetic approach to challenging this quite unnecessary expansion of the urban area.

Hywel Parry-Jones

Whitecroft, Courtlands Lane, Lympstone.