Development floodgates open

SIR - The deviousness of East Devon District council is now plain for all to see, the cat is well and truly out of the bag!!

Firstly, all householders received a leaflet from them asking “How should East Devon’s small towns, villages and rural areas change? They go on “You can help us plan East Devon’s small towns, villages and rural areas”.

They have, apparently, been collecting ideas since 2006, to form their vision until 2026 and entitled it The Local Development Framework Core Strategy; they say that they want us to help them prepare it … all very laudable, but read on and read carefully.

In the eyes of the planners, development is necessary to make our smaller towns, villages and rural areas livelier, paying particular attention to encouraging housing for local needs. They plan to accommodate moderate-sized development in what they call hub rural settlements with around fifty new homes in small towns and large villages, with smaller scale development planned for smaller villages.

In other words, they plan to desecrate the whole of East Devon! You, the general public, the one’s who fund this authority, should get used to the idea that, like it or not, the floodgates for development are to be opened, nowhere is sacrosanct and they want your help to carry it out.

They refer to the vibrant and growing city of Exeter, but, conveniently, omit the fact that Exeter is expanding fast, in our direction.

Then, on Friday, October 29, the leader of EDDC proudly announced that they (EDDC) has been secretly beavering away on finalising the legal work to enable them to commence building what we all long for, their Jewel in the Crown – “Cranbrook en Floodplain” with its accompanying factory area, otherwise known as Science Park and Business Centre …. Which, on their own admission, they had been keeping under wraps; how democratic of them.

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This will mean several thousand more homes, don’t be fooled by what is known already, this is just the tip of the iceberg, the first phase of development, like the new towns in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it will mushroom in all directions.

If, as they claim, all this planned development is to meet local needs, the birth rate is going to have to soar and the male population force-fed Viagra to fill the houses created.

Despite this massive development, EDDC declares it is their aim to protect the beauty of our coast and countryside. What hogwash … you all have until 5pm on Tuesday, November 30 2010, to make a quick point, submit detailed observations or share their consultation with your friends … I can’t wait.

With the festive season fast approaching, I am mindful of the immortal words of Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” – Bah, Humbug!! – or, on reflection, perhaps, the observation of tiny Tim “God Bless us, everyone” (or should that be “God Help Us”).

Ralph E Gray

Perrimead, Hawkins Lane, West Hill, Ottery St Mary