Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Campaigners: ‘We need root and branch reform of EDDC’

PUBLISHED: 17:30 15 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:15 28 April 2014

SOS chairman Richard Thurlow says the Government's rejection of the Local Plan leaves the East Devon district 'dangerously exposed' to developers

SOS chairman Richard Thurlow says the Government's rejection of the Local Plan leaves the East Devon district 'dangerously exposed' to developers

Archant

‘SHAMBOLIC’ East Devon District Council’s latest Local Plan knockback has prompted calls by campaigners for a ‘root and branch reform’ of the authority.

Save Our Sidmouth (SOS) says the council has left the region ‘dangerously exposed’ to developers after the document was rejected by a Government inspector – for the second time of asking – following a public inquiry.

The warning came last week after the inspector, Anthony Thickett, told EDDC bosses: “I do not consider that the Local Plan is sound – nor at this stage can it be made so by main modifications.”

Mr Thickett’s criticisms highlighted a lack of justification for the number of houses proposed, unreliable support documents, a failure to comply with the national guidelines, inappropriate and out of date evidence, a failure to co-operate with neighbouring authorities and to assess the necessary five-year supply of housing land.

The plan, five years in the making, was also only valid for 12 years – instead of the 15 asked for by the Government.

Issues such as the contentious employment site at Sidford will not be commented upon by the inspector until EDDC resubmits its housing proposals.

SOS chairman Richard Thurlow said EDDC’s ‘incompetence’ – on the plan and its relocation project – has cost tax-payers’ cash, adding: “The Local Plan has been rejected in its entirety.

“The district is dangerously exposed for the next year or so to the depredations of developers, since we don’t have a plan in place.

“The Local Plan preparation demonstrates EDDC’s shambolic and woeful performance. They have had five years to produce their plan, and now they are back to square one. We need a root and branch reform of EDDC.”

Mr Thurlow also accused council bosses of ‘a considerable glossing over of the truth’ by saying they expected more information would be required for the plan.

Without a Local Plan in place, national guidelines point in favour of planning development.

East Devon Alliance vice-chairman, Dr John Withrington said: “We should not be surprised if the Local Plan has to recommend many more houses than it does at present, to recommend substantially more growth in villages in East Devon, and for developers to be even more aggressive in their proposals as a result. And all this could have been avoided had EDDC got its act together.

“Given the seriousness of the situation, the starkly complacent comment by council leader Paul Diviani, that he is ‘very relaxed’ about starting work again on the Local Plan, is incomprehensible.”

1 comment

  • Richard Thurlow isn't the only one who thinks that EDDC is a shambles under the current Tory leadership. And not only a shambles, but secretive and wanting to avoid public scrutiny and accountability. Aside from the development free-for-all that has resulted from the lack of a Local Plan, other recent examples include: * Keeping minutes of meetings confidential possibly in contravention of the Freedom of Information Act and or the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, most notably relating to the current intent to spend millions of pounds possibly unnecessarily (we don't know because the information is being kept secret) relocating the council HQ to the very edge of East Devon rather than to Honiton as promised; * Severely restricting the ability of local residents to speak against planning applications; * Criticising hard working independent councillors in this very newspaper (see the letter from local leading conservative party member John Rowland in in yesterday’s OtterySidmouth Herald heavily plagiarized from a comment from the "mysterious" Elizabeth Jones on independent EDDC Councillor Claire Wright's blog) who are simply trying to find out what is going on and hold EDDC Councillor's accountable for their decisions on our behalf. I urge everyone who cares about their local community to read the blog's from local independent councillors and make their own judgements about whether EDDC needs a 'root and branch reform'.

    Report this comment

    Paul

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 06:30

A gifted and artistic Methodist minister, who penned the Herald’s Religion column for many years, will be remembered most of all for his unshakable faith. The Reverend Allan Bowers’ life was shaped from an early age by the church, the thrill of being in front on an audience and his love of painting.

Read more
Saturday, April 29, 2017

A new climbing wall has been officially opened at Ladram Bay Holiday Park.

Read more
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lynette Talbot’s hard work and willingness to ‘get her hands dirty’ is recognised.

Read more
Saturday, April 29, 2017

A seaweed harvester from Sidmouth is feeling ‘quietly confident’ after being shortlisted to receive £100,000 worth of support from an organisation set up to help new food and drink businesses.

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

Lewis Jefferies hopes to one day promote conservation and sustainability.

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

RNLI lifeguards will return to East Devon’s beaches from Saturday (April 29) as patrols for the 2017 summer season get underway.

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

The owner of an Ottery sweet shop has thanked the community as she opened her doors for the final time,

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

Sidmouth’s Devon County Council hustings has been cancelled

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

The Countess of Wessex will be in attendance at this year’s Devon County Show.

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

‘Selfish’ 4x4 drivers ‘trashing’ the beautiful countryside surrounding Sidmouth could be threatening England’s first wild beavers in more than 300 years.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications