Disappointed by council

PUBLISHED: 15:13 25 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:53 10 June 2010

Having just returned from the Budleigh Salterton Town Council meeting, held in the Public Hall on Monday, October 13, I was totally dismayed at the one-sided and biased comments made by many of the councillors towards the planned redevelopment of the Long

Having just returned from the Budleigh Salterton Town Council meeting, held in the Public Hall on Monday, October 13, I was totally dismayed at the one-sided and biased comments made by many of the councillors towards the planned redevelopment of the Longboat Cafe on the seafront.I was expecting to hear a balanced discussion regarding the pros and cons of such a new building design but, instead, got an ill-informed and emotive attack on the proposal. Incredibly, and I am not making this up, none of them had been down to the cafe and completed a site visit and discussed the issue with the owner about the actual size of the building and how high it was going to be, but based their viewpoint on a picture. When a site visit was proposed in order to obtain true facts and dimensions, apparently there was not enough time left before planning went to East Devon District Council, when it is no secret that Mr Hushon had offered an open invitation to all the council to do this for weeks.No mention was made by the council of the positive commercial benefits to the town or the increased trade by such a venture. Similarly, no mention was made to providing a focal point for tourism and, probably more importantly, all-year-round employment to people of Budleigh. I also do not think they mentioned or appreciated that running a business and supporting a family is quite difficult when totally dictated to by the weather, and particularly our weather to be more precise!Much was discussed regarding what can only be described as the ugliest building in Budleigh - the shelter amenity. I have lived here for a number of years and can honestly say that I have not seen anyone sit on the top. It looks like it should be used for cage fighting or to keep someone in at Her Majesty's pleasure. As for the lower level, the public can only sit in there because the previous evening's deposits, left by late visitors, have been thoroughly cleaned and bleached by the cafe staff.Clearly, many people are concerned over the loss of view of the lovely bay of Budleigh brought about by the higher structure. Surely, being able to enjoy the beautiful setting in a comfortable and relaxed environment throughout the inclement winter months will be appreciated by more people than the six parked cars or passing pedestrians it could possibly affect?People of Budleigh should expect their councillors to be armed with the correct facts and figures regarding a proposal of such importance to the town and its seafront. Whether you agree or disagree with it, it is very disappointing that, on this occasion, ours were found wanting.Robert Tansley,Budleigh Salterton.

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