Over developed?

SIR - According to my Sunday broadsheet, the Tories have fallen out with those who seek to protect what is left of the Green Belt, labelling the mounting opposition to their new planning rules as a smear campaign by those with vested interests.

On our doorstep, not only are we to be inflicted with Cranbrook on the Flood Plain, but other towns in East Devon are expected to approve the building of many extra properties, without any mention being made as to how these are to be accommodated within the existing infrastructure.

There are alleged to be almost a million unoccupied properties in Great Britain, before we start building new homes in the Green Belt, surely these should be brought onto the property market by whatever means are deemed to be appropriate.

If the birthrate amongst the indigenous population is allegedly falling, for whom are all these additional properties required? Apart from tourism, there are no major employers in the South West whose demand for labour is seen that new housing is essential to accommodate their expanding workforces.

Of greater concern, is the fact that, by allowing building in the Green Belt, productive agricultural land will be lost for ever. Surely, we require every acre of productive land to be utilised for food production.

What does the future hold for Sidmouth? If the green belt and the AONB are no longer sacrosanct, will new housing stretch from the tree line in the East to the tree line in the West, with Sidmouth, Sidford and Sidbury forming a new conurbation, yet to be named?

Richard Crouch

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16 Cottington Court, Cotmaton Road, Sidmouth