‘Horrendous’ developments

SIR - I, too, share Clare Wright’s concerns about the proposal to build 19,400 homes in East Devon - but this is not the full story of what is in store for East Devon and residents should be aware of other developments which, combined, are truly horrendous.

In addition to the above, there is the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point. This consists of Cranbrook in East Devon, a new town of 28,500 high density dwellings, plus two new urban extension villages, Newcourt and Monkerton outside Exeter.

On the industrial front, there will be a new Exeter Airport, Flybe Academy and hotel and adjacent to this, a Skypark (approved by East Devon District Council). This is a massive industrial estate of 107acres that will include 1.4 million sq feet of office and industrial/manufacturing space.

As well as this, there will be a Science Park, which is a knowledge based, high tech business estate. This will include an hotel, conference facilities and 40,000 sq feet of offices. We have not finished yet, in addition, there will be an Intermodal Freight Terminal which is a rail link which will need substantial storage facilities to transport goods around the south west; this combined huge industrial carbuncle will also require a new large, extended road network.

This is a massive construction programme which has been foisted on us by the last government and agreed by East Devon Council. It is a gigantic industrial development on ‘employment land’ allocated for the purpose; and this is not ‘employment land’, it is agricultural and farm land which will be needed to grow food when other countries reduce selling food to the UK (which they will do), in order to feed their own growing populations as the world’s available resources struggle under an ever-increasing, burgeoning population explosion.

Advocates of ruining our beautiful county, say it will attract jobs and business from abroad, and I am astonished by their ignorance. If you look at large new developments in other areas of the UK and abroad, we know that this will mean importing foreign workers from outside who will, in turn, require housing, schools, welfare and so on, and so the cycle continues. In whatever part of the first world you develop, local people only get the low level jobs, high level workers are brought in from outside.

We should also learn lessons from the industrial North and Midlands of England, where huge swathes of derelict brown field sites are left when industry dies; why build here when there are hundreds of brown field sites that could be developed in other parts of the country, why choose beautiful and valuable farmland? This is quite ludicrous and surely someone can stop it, as it’s a blatant attempt to concrete over our beautiful county which is, and always has been, a tourist and farming area and not an industrial area. Why make East Devon into yet another industrial area, when other parts of the country are crying out for jobs and new industry? Surely development in an environmentally sensitive area such as Devon, should be better managed?

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We have a new government and a returned MP - can he not help? Councillor Giles says that “We do not like the huge and damaging housing figures and have been told that we cannot introduce much lower housing figures later” - surely someone can do something? Surely this cannot be right?

G Clarke

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