PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 July 2013
We currently have a situation with a planning application from Clinton Devon Estates to build 350 houses in the beautiful Maer Valley approved, although this has been widely condemned by residents and campaign groups alike, who were concerned about the widespread environmental damage this would cause and the loss of fauna and habitat in this idyllic location.
This outline planning application for development was considered at the EDDC’s management committee meeting at Knowle, Sidmouth, on June 11, with the public invited to express their views.
The council received 45 representations against the scheme prior to the day and a number of further objections at the meeting with no one in favour; this seemed to count for nothing. It was noted that Littleham councillors, to their credit, spoke against the application and voted accordingly.
Unfortunately, when the vote was taken the Plumb Park development was narrowly approved, despite all the objections.
One must ask what’s going on here – how could this possibly happen?
It is proposed to use Buckingham Close as the only access to this estate. This is a quiet road of elderly residents. There is also located here, the Davey Court Care Home. This large establishment is due to be extended for the care of dementia patients.
How are residents and patients going to cope with excessive noise from building works and lorries daily conveying building materials to site, all of which will go on for years to come, and have a direct impact on people’s quality of life?
It was evident at the meeting that the subject of there being only one access via Buckingham Close was of great concern, especially considering that 350 new homes will have to be serviced by this road, including emergency vehicles when necessary.
Every councillor at the meeting expressed concern over access, yet still gave approval – how ludicrous is that?
Previous planning constraints were a safeguard to the green belt and greenfield sites generally and would have prevented the kind of desecration now envisaged. However, new planning rules brought in over a year ago, amid considerable criticism, have resulted in the most deregulated planning system for 50 years, with developers now successfully arguing that they must build on green fields and claiming that brownfield projects would lose money.