Prove me wrong
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 March 2013
I was pleased that Mr Williams replied to my letter in the Journal concerning the planning process.
If my “wild” opinion is what it takes for the council’s chief executive to listen to the residents of East Devon, I’m delighted to have his attention at last.
As for his assertions, may I say that the proof of the pudding is all around us.
I believe poor planning decisions are evident everywhere one looks in Exmouth; often EDDC has ignored the objections of the town council completely, which is undemocratic in the extreme.
For example: the destruction of an historic building to make way for a bowling alley, which blocks views for hundreds of residents, has no architectural merit and which was an eyesore on the seafront for many years;
The imminent destruction of another historic building, despite fierce local opposition, to make way for a mere motel, not remotely in keeping with our beautiful Georgian seafront;
The destruction of the Coastwatch Tower and Harbour Café which are landmark buildings much enjoyed by residents;
Approval for a new five-storey block of flats on our beautiful estuary shoreline.
The local people of Exmouth, whose views councillors are supposed to faithfully represent, are not stupid.
Time and again they see their wishes ignored, local knowledge sidelined and valid objections overruled, and Plumb Park is another case in point.
It has been turned down before, for the reasons I outlined in my letter: what could explain a reversal?
Perhaps Clinton Devon, possibly our largest local landowner, is taking advantage of the Government’s wish for new-build homes, seemingly at any cost to the environment.
My “wild” opinion is amply supported by the “consultation” held, where CDE appeared to ignore local objections, and the “feedback” section of the website, which gives no option for anyone to object to the plans.
Objections were unwelcome and do not appear to have been unrecorded, and this is undemocratic, not transparent.
I stand by my assertion and say to Mark Williams, prove me wrong.
Otherwise residents will suffer not only the destruction of Exmouth’s historic buildings but also its green open spaces and much-needed soakaway.
Of course, if East Devon District Council has a fund put aside to compensate residents for flooding Littleham valley, go right ahead.
In five years, Mr Williams will be saying “floods could not have been foreseen” but we have an opportunity to amend these plans, now, to the maximum 200 homes (not 350) recommended by Littleham councillors or preferably shelve them altogether.
Mr Williams’ defence of the planning process is admirable, and expected, but he will not be believed unless residents’ views are respected and the plans are amended.