CDE not listening

On Thursday, April 14, I attended a meeting held at the Venture Hall, Budleigh Salterton, by Clinton Devon Estates for the people who have allotments at Greenway Lane to discuss and air views on ‘how CDE can best make provision for allotment and facilities within the proposed schemes’ - for their proposed idea to build 50 houses, some ‘affordable’, on the existing allotments site.

From the beginning of the meeting, I felt that I was being treated as though I was seven years old.

We were all seated at small tables, with small chairs, in groups.

We were told that, following an introduction by CDE personnel, Lacey Hickie Caley, the architects and a freelance landscape architect, with a sprinkling of councillors and a councillor/allotmenteer, there would be a ‘facilitator’ sitting at each table to hear our comments and views and make note of them on a big sheet of paper with big marker pens.

It truly took me right back to primary school.

However, I asked, at the beginning, if we could ask questions directly as a whole group and this was not encouraged.

For the past three weeks or so, a group of allotmenteers have been calling door to door in the area to ask people’s opinion on Budleigh Town Council and CDE’s decision to build houses on the allotment site.

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The meeting was the opportunity to make public opinion known. We have collected 1,000 signatures saying that we do not want the allotments to be moved and we do not want houses on the site.

In my opinion, CDE were not really that interested in the petition. They were more intent on explaining, yet again, what they are going to do.

CDE could clearly gauge the feeling of the group as a whole and it seemed to me that they did not take that much notice.

The meeting was shambolic to say the very least.

Maybe it is now time for those ‘other more suitable sites’ to be looked at?

Bridgee Malone

(via email).

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