Home threat to natural beauty

SIR - One of the most beautiful districts in the entire country, many residents would say that they loved best East Devon’s countryside, walks, beaches and pace of life.

After all, two thirds of the district is classified as an AONB and we have the only World Heritage Coastline on the entire British mainland.

You might think that our local council would recognise and celebrate these natural assets, which draw people here each year on holiday, giving our tourism businesses a welcome boost.

Unfortunately not! In East Devon District Council’s Local Development Framework document, which sets out housing numbers and other development for the next 20 years, the small print tells you that the council wants to weaken protections for these very treasures – see from p132 onwards. When challenged, some councillors like to trot out rubbish, such as ‘stagnation leads to decay’ or ‘the countryside cannot be covered in aspic’.

The council wants to build a massive 19,400 homes – growing the district by a third - as well as introducing flexible, built-up area boundaries, to make sure we get a good spread of creeping urbanisation or, worse still, urban sprawl. If that isn’t enough, the council also wants to bulldoze even more beautiful green fields to turn them into industrial estates – all over the district. EDDC claims this will create jobs.

We say it displays a flagrant disregard for what local people love about living here - and a worrying lack of imagination.

The council has admitted these plans are not to cater for local people; they are to attract ‘inward migration.’

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It is absolutely vital that if you are worried about the proposals to urbanise our district, that you write to EDDC and give your view. The deadline is November 30.

Cllr Claire Wright

Communities Before