Bizarre approach

SIR - I attended the meeting at the Knowle on March 15 at which EDDC’s Development Management Committee considered the feedback from the LDF consultation.

Many members of the public spoke with passion and expertise condemning this ill-thought through strategy.

Their concerns were shared by some of the ward members who spoke. Even some of those representing developers criticised the proposals as counter-productive.

But the attitude of the chairman of the LDF Panel and of the officers was one of complete self-satisfaction.

The most striking point of the afternoon was the statement by head of planning services, Kate Little, that it was now necessary to employ consultants to provide the evidence base on housing and employment which is an essential part of preparing the strategy. I agree entirely with this. But, what is beyond comprehension, is that neither she nor the panel saw any need for this evidence to be obtained before producing and publishing a “Preferred Approach”, which they did last September.

It was clear, well before then, that the housing and employment figures set out in the Regional Spatial Strategy could no longer be regarded as a sound basis for future plans. Nothing has changed since that time.

As EDDC lurches from one bizarre decision to another – Cloakham Lawns (Axminster), Pinhoe, the LDF Preferred Approach – one can only hope that the coming election will result in a change of leadership of those who hold the future of East Devon in their hands.

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Dick Beardsall

Orchard House, Lower Broad Oak Road, West Hill, Ottery St Mary