Not in keeping

We write to put some perspective on your report in the Exmouth Journal regarding Devon County Council’s planning application for the building in the Strand Gardens.

It would appear, from your article, that as the town ward councillors sitting on the planning committee, our views on this application were influenced by our own personal feelings, as stated, on The Strand redevelopment as a whole.

This is not the case. No councillor, as an elected representative, can allow personal feelings/opinions to overrule good judgement using accepted guidelines.

Our objections to the proposed building were made using established planning protocols and took into account public comments, just in the same way as we would scrutinise an application for development in the “Colonies” and the same way our colleagues on this committee would assess the recent spate of ex-Rolle College site developments in The Avenues.

We would like to stress that we were only two of seven councillors who voted for an objection and the others agreed with the reasons put forward for refusal by the Exmouth Town Council planning committee.

It is important to understand that we did not discuss the use of the proposed building. prior to the meeting. Our chairman had given us advice that the building’s use was not for us to comment on.

We are not against a building on The Strand. We purely feel that what is proposed here is not in keeping with the area, it is too big, it is an over-development, concerns over noise pollution for local residents and, if used as a caf�, we would question the Saturation Policy.

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Steve Gazzard and Ian Stewart

Exmouth Town Ward Councillors.