Quay residents hit out at district council

MARINA residents have formerly complained to the district council over their handling of a controversial 14-flat development that planners passed in February. Exmouth Quay Residents

MARINA residents have formerly complained to the district council over their handling of a controversial 14-flat development that planners passed in February.

Exmouth Quay Residents' Association fear that the Spinnaker Court development by Eagle One in Shelly Road would 'destroy' the Exe estuary.

But despite the plans prompting over 100 letters of objection and town planners twice recommending refusal in June and December, EDDC's development management committee backed the plans on February 16 by a nine - seven majority.

An official complaint has been sent to Denise Lyon, EDDC's monitoring officer and deputy chief executive, accusing the planning system of being grossly in favour of developers and discriminatory against the public.


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Residents' association secretary Roy Pickering said: "Certain aspects of the way in which this decision was reached are highly questionable and, in our opinion, may amount to maladministration."

Residents called on a marine engineer of 30-years experience Paul Winfield, technical director in the Coastal and Rivers Division of consultants Royal Haskoning to speak on their behalf at the committee.

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He said that in his opinion the proximity of the building to the sea wall would impact on the wall's future maintenance costs.

He added that Environment Agency's requirement of a minimum gap of seven metres from the landward edge of any flood defence had been ignored

"...the wall will have a design life of about 60 years," said Mr Winfield. "Clearly, the wall will need to be reconstructed on at least one, and possibly two, occasions during the 125 year lease period of the habitable dwellings.

"The costs of all future maintenance and reconstruction will be significant and will be borne by current or future leaseholders."

They also say that expert advice costing at least �5,000 was ignored and that the planning officer's report was biased in favour of the developer.

A separate complaint has been sent to the Environment Agency, and Mr Pickering added: "(They said) the proposals were inconsistent with their own requirements.

"However, at the eleventh hour their advice was changed and was materially contradictory to their own previous written documents, with no evidence to justify the variation.

"It appeared to be a spineless and irrational capitulation, completely at odds with their own specific advice on the Exmouth Quay location."

Chris Fayers of Eagle One said: "We made a planning application and went through all the due processes, and it was approved by the full planning committee.

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