No development!

SIR - If readers of your newspaper have responded to the consultation process on the Local Development Framework in East Devon, I have no doubt that their views, like mine, as I responded too; will be considered in accordance with the proper consultation and legal procedures.

On Tuesday, the feedback from the public was received by the Development Control Committee of East Devon District Council. The Development Control Committee is made up of Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors who are all involved in the consultation process to achieve a Local Development Framework for the whole of East Devon.

Pressure Groups who want no development at all in the district have expressed criticism of the legal process involved, but my own personal experience of being a District Councillor at a time of change in the plan for local development is the exact opposite. During my time, a consultative document was issued in the same way as the Local Development Framework. I had three meetings in my council ward, Ottery St Mary Rural, and asked all those present whether they wanted development. The message was clear, the people did not. This feedback was reported to EDDC and the result was that we did not have any major development.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Two significant applications for development in the Ottery Rural ward have been heard in the last month by the Development Control Committee. On both occasions, the Leader of EDDC, Sara Randall Johnson, has spoken strongly against development and both have been refused.

I think residents of West Hill, Tipton St John and Aylesbeare would find it quite difficult to identify planning applications in the last 10 years that have been approved by the Development Control Committee that they have been really concerned about. The only cases that caused me real concern were those refused by EDDC and yet were allowed by the Planning Inspectorate at Bristol.

Tony Wilkinson

Honorary Alderman of East Devon

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(retired EDDC councillor for West Hill, Tipton St John and Aylesbeare)

Charnwood, Warren Park, West Hill, Ottery St Mary