It’s clear where resiidents stand

PUBLISHED: 10:43 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:41 10 June 2010

LONGBOAT?restaurant plan: I see from the East Devon District Council website that, following the conservation officer s change of opinion, the planning Officer has now presented his recommendation for approval.

LONGBOAT?restaurant plan: I see from the East Devon District Council website that, following the conservation officer's change of opinion, the planning Officer has now presented his recommendation for approval.

He acknowledges that at the western boundary the proposed building rises some 3.5 metres above the pavement and for some length will, therefore, obscure the sea views. He also acknowledges (as advised by the applicant) the bulk of those likely to use the facility will be visitors.

In the statistics relating to the amended plans, he refers to 270 letters having been received.

Perhaps I can add and, in particular, for the benefit of our three district council representatives, that 194 of these are not in favour of the scheme, most of which are from local residents.

Only 30 of the letters of support are from local residents and another 46 in support are in proforma format from persons living as far away as South Africa. No doubt most only passing through.

I am not suggesting visitors should not have a say but, taking into account the above figures, plus strong opposition from our town council and the Otter Valley Association, it is very clear where the bulk of residents stand.

It is noted from the planning officer's report that Councillor Hall is opposed to the scheme in its present format, but there is no observation in respect of our two other elected district councillor representatives, Messrs Florey and Franklin. No doubt they will have an opinion when the matter will be soon debated, which will be eagerly awaited.

One of your correspondents last week somewhat despairingly said she was against the scheme but felt opposition futile and I feel some sympathy with her views.

Perhaps the system should be changed so that visitors elect the district councillors and tell them what the town needs to look like and local residents do not count, but just passively go on paying their ever-increasing rates to ensure the wages, final salary pensions and, of course, expenses claims of all those officials involved are well funded.

The Longboat is an asset and I feel sure most would support some sympathetic development, but as a single-storey building, which does not take away the attractive views which we, as residents, treasure so much.

Kevin Curran,

Cumberland House,

Coastguard Road,

Budleigh Salterton.

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