Homes plan will have ‘profound effect’

SIR - The Sidmouth Herald of September 12 included EDDC’s advertisement about its Planning Policy for East Devon in the next 15 years.

We were invited to view details on a 140 page website. A public consultation process would run from September 6 until November 30. My formal invitation to make comments arrived about 10 days ago - halfway through this timetable.

Apparently, the council’s policy will now be to actively encourage, within controlled limits, residential, commercial and industrial developments across the whole district in, and on the outskirts of, the larger towns, and even in a few of the smaller villages. In some cases, this seems likely to require relaxation of the very strict Planning Controls currently applied in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It seems that about 19,400 new homes are to be built, including several thousand in the proposed New Town of “Cranbrook” on the East side of Exeter. Obviously, there will be a need for a good many contracts to extend or enlarge roads, public utility and transport services and public buildings to support all these extra residences.

Although one or two readers’ comments have appeared in your “Letters Pages” recently, it is little short of amazing that the response, so far, should be so subdued on a subject which will quickly have the most profound effect on the rural environment of East Devon and on the quality of the lives of its inhabitants forever afterwards.

Has no one “noticed the elephant in the room”?

John Chipchase via email