Objectors angered

I attended the East Devon District Council Development Management Committee Meeting on August 25, where the Longboat application was decided, and I would like to make some comments.

I attended the East Devon District Council Development Management Committee Meeting on August 25, where the Longboat application was decided, and I would like to make some comments.

1. This was a full planning application, which has taken many months to come to committee, and, as such, I would have thought full details of the plan would have been available, and a simple vote to approve/reject would have taken place.

Instead, Mr Belli (the development manager) and Chairman Councillor Diviani eventually suggested a proposal to defer the application for confirmation of the design detail, but to approve the basic design in terms of overall size/height.

This meant the committee members, who objected to the basic plan, would have to vote against the deferral proposition to stop it, and those who had reservations about significant design detail, who may have voted against approval for those reasons, could now vote for the proposition to defer in the hope that their concerns would be addressed later.


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The proposition was carried by what I heard stated as eight votes to six, with Councillor Hall voting against the deferral (and hence against the basic plan) and Councillor Franklin voting for the deferral (and hence for the basic plan). In voting for the proposition to defer, by default, the basic plan was approved.

2. As reported in the Journal, Chairman Diviani said "residents had to realise Budleigh Salterton may be unique to them, but the council viewed it as part and parcel of East Devon". This angered objectors.

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Of course, in some ways, he is right, but this statement does not acknowledge the fact that, from a planning point of view, it is different. Unlike Exmouth seafront, for example, Budleigh seafront is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and forms part of the World Heritage Site, (not to mention the Site of Special Scientific Interest and Conservation Area).

The East Devon AONB management strategy states: "East Devon AONB is a relatively quiet, rural area with few major roads and only one town of any size, Budleigh Salterton, within its boundary." In my view, Chairman Diviani, EDDC planning officers, and Councillors Franklin and Florey have not adequately acknowledged this inconvenient truth.

3. There seems to be an assumption by EDDC and some of its councillors that all development is good and that anyone who objects is a "dinosaur" standing in the way of progress.

Only time will tell whether the demolition of the 124-year-old Longboat House, the demolition of the public shelter and roof terrace (without any plan for replacement), the loss of a character seafront cafe, the loss of some seafront views and the construction of a large seafront cafe/bar/restaurant is "good for Budleigh" as is being assumed.

Mike Crear,

Fore Street,

Budleigh Salterton.

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