PUBLISHED: 07:10 09 March 2013
So, Mr Williams, the chief executive of the district council, is upset over criticism of planners and some of our councillors (Journal, February 14) following recent letters in your Opinion columns.
Perhaps Mr Williams is full of his own self-importance, but many people thoroughly agree with Chloe Fox and Philip Smith’s comments.
We must remain concerned at the motives of those who take decisions on our behalf that are contrary to the wishes of the majority.
No one is immune to criticism; if they don’t like the heat, then stay out of the kitchen.
If any incompetence by our officials is noted, as seems to be happening over the Plumb Park episode and other recent events, then people’s frustrations come to the fore and cannot be ignored.
In my opinion, the main villain in all this is Clinton Devon Estates, which seems to be trying to force through a development nobody else wants.
Our council were seen as being seriously at fault for appearing to encourage CDE at the initial stages of this planning application; hence the inevitable criticism.
The erection of the proposed 350 houses will include turning donkey hill into a theme park and the rest of the area into a concrete jungle.
Their plans will include artificial footpaths and cycle track radiating in all directions (perhaps they are trying to encourage the obese in our community to exercise more).
Their architect, John Baulch, must be really naïve to think that the public would be taken in by claims of new street planting, new hedgerows, fruiting trees and woodlands etc; presumably all this will form a new green infrastructure, which we already have in abundance and intend to retain.
We also have the loss of farmers’ livelihood to consider; one of whom has been farming in the Maer Valley with his family for two generations.
Clinton Devon Estates clearly think, as vast landowners, they have the right to interfere with every aspect of our lives.
Their excuse for all this environmental damage is they claim a need for new housing in East Devon and have identified these green fields as their preferred location. Perhaps they should consider their own back yard as an alternative; certainly there is enough of it.
Mr Varley, CDE estates director, claims that traffic problems at Littleham Cross and the dangerous overstretched sewage system have now been addressed.
I doubt this is the case.
The fact is that the elderly people residing at Davey Court rest home and the residents in surrounding areas will have to suffer considerable disruption, noise and stressful living conditions during a five-year construction phase, whilst Clinton Devon Estates continue to line their pockets.
Your correspondent, Mr Philip Smith, has already raised the issue of flooding, especially in Littleham Road and donkey hill.
Have CDE submitted a flood assessment report with their planning application, which they are required to do?
The Environment Agency should also have been consulted; failing to do this would automatically scotch any planning application.
I trust that when the council next convenes, its deliberations will put emphasis on the environmental impact this development will have and the planning application overwhelmingly refused.