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of houses proposed, unreliable support documents, a failure to comply with the national guidelines, inappropriate and out of date evidence, a failure to co-operate with neighbouring authorities and to assess the necessary five-year supply of housing land.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.”

Other News Stories

12:41

Rugby club photos from 1977 annual dinner found in the Sidmouth Herald’s picture archive.

Read more

The television and radio broadcaster posed for a selfie with the 92-year-old from Tipton St John.

Read more

Inspectors say school’s hard work is paying off to be rated across the board.

The school previously required improvement in its last report two years ago.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:36

The Ottery drama group is raising money for Hospiscare during its five night run. Tickets are still on sale.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:51

Some great pictures of the Sidmouth Rugby Club teams from 1977.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:11

Devon and Cornwall police are appealing for information after a spate of distraction burglaries.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:54

Final recommendations on how many councillors should be each ward could see some areas left with one representative and others with five.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:53

“Parents don’t really understand the severity of our situation – the education of their children is being detrimentally affected.”

Read more
Mon, 18:55

The club awarded prizes following its annual primary school garden competition.

Read more
Mon, 18:03

The Friends of Sidholme Music Room has raised £30,000 to have the largest chandelier in the music room professionally restored to its former glory.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°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