Feeling betrayed

At the Budleigh Town Council meeting on Monday, June 27, outline planning of the allotments adjacent to 53 Greenway Lane by Clinton Devon Estates was proposed.

Despite a clear direction of refusal, a compromise, consisting of totally impossible conditions, was proposed by councillors Alan Dent and Stephen Hall. If all the council members had been present, this would never have happened.

At the next council meeting, held on September 5, chaired by John Shiel, when an alternative outline was proposed alongside the original outline, they were both overwhelmingly defeated.

The tragedy is that our town council should have turned the proposal down in the first place. As a result of not doing so, the town council has given mixed messages to East Devon District Council and this has proved to be very damaging.

EDDC passed the proposal on September 20. It appears that three of our town councillors spoke in favour of the proposal, despite the same town council voting against it. This is a disgrace and certainly shows they are not on the side of those who they were elected to represent. We were betrayed.

Budleigh Salterton has done more than any other town with regard to development over the past 10 years, with a population increase of over 7.5% against the East Devon average of 4.6%.

The development of the allotment area will adversely affect so many people living in Budleigh Salterton and it is unnecessary. Affordable homes are not so affordable. They are more expensive than rented homes and we already have enough standard homes. What is wanted is social housing.

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Further, Greenway Lane is already overwhelmed with traffic and housing, and the bus company is already threatening to divert its buses from this route. To further develop this area would be ludicrous. (Also, more housing has already been approved in Clarence Road, and this is opposite 53 Greenway Lane.)

Dr David Evans has a good site and outline planning proposals will be submitted shortly. Clinton Devon Estates has an alternative site. Yes, it is outside the green line, but so is part of the allotment development.

Further, Lord Clinton put a covenant on the allotment land in 1987, which, it appears, is being totally ignored.

This includes the statement ‘…not to do or permit or suffer to be done on the property hereby conveyed any act, matter or thing which may grow to be a nuisance, annoyance or inconvenience to the trustees, their lessees or tenants or the owners or occupiers of any adjoining or neighbouring property’.

The world, including the UK, is rapidly changing. Comments like ‘we can only consider the proposal that is before us’ smacks common sense and realism in the face.

Surely, if we are to move forward sensibly, in a balanced fashion, and make the right decisions for Budleigh Salterton, all possibilities should be considered. Making a decision just to fulfil a short-term gain proposes to ruin people’s lives and a large part of the town.

I ask the town councillors of Budleigh Salterton to call for an immediate referendum, and let the voices of their town be heard.

Jeremy Browne

6 Long Copp, Budleigh Salterton.

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