Housing fears

Exmouth to turn into housing estate.

The chairman of East Devon District Council planning committee, Cllr Mike Allen, has made it clear where he stands (Exmouth Journal – August 11).

Despite the huge adverse reaction from the public, he insists that massive amounts of building on green fields is the right thing for East Devon - seemingly, exactly the same thing he proposed before the public consultation.

The public feedback to consultation was overwhelmingly against such large numbers of houses.

Let’s be clear, the proposed plan allows for 15,000 houses that do not currently exist to be built on green fields, farmland and woodland - almost no brown field sites are proposed.

This number does not include a very large number (easily hundreds and, potentially, thousands) of other houses that can be built under other planning rules.

Under the new planning rules proposed by the Government, all a council has to do is identify an area for development in its local plan and then any developer will automatically be granted permission to build anything they like - there will be no appeal nor objection process.

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Thus, if EDDC includes St John’s Wood in its local development area plan, it can be built on at any time thereafter and no-one can object - ie a huge eastward extension of Exmouth with a minimum of 1,000 houses built on pristine woods and fields right next to the highly-protected Pebble Beds and Bystock Ponds areas of Woodbury Common.

In my opinion, the issue of local development was mostly buried in the recent local elections, but all the local candidates of all parties seemed to promise to protect us from over-development. Only a few candidates now seem to actually be interested in the issue – eg Claire Wright (Exmouth Herald, August 19) and Trevor Cope (Exmouth Journal, August 11).

If you do not care about Exmouth becoming an over-crowded dormitory town for Exeter and Sowton, then do nothing - your county council will make it happen for you - regardless of the lack of sufficient schools, roads, doctors or any other infrastructure.

If, on the other hand, you think that another 3,000 houses in Exmouth is ridiculous, then I strongly urge you to make it clear to your local county councillor that you object to such irrational housing targets proposed for Exmouth.

John Connolly

Old Bystock Drive, Exmouth.