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Disappointingly, last month the conservatives at Devon County Council voted en bloc, against the motion proposing to protest to the Government about the loose planning rules and the havoc they are causing locally.
The motion was proposed by Lib Dem, Councillor Julian Brazil and seconded by me.
I told councillors about the national planning policy framework’s (NPPF) ambiguous position on traffic - that the effect must be “severe” before any application can be refused. But there is no definition of “severe”.
I read out a statement by The King’s School headteacher, Faith Jarrett, who is extremely worried that the catchment area of the school will gradually reduce, as a result of all the housing being built locally, over and above allocations in EDDC’s local plan.
Cllr Brazil asked for a recorded vote - so how each councillor voted would be on file. But the conservatives voted, once again en bloc, against a recorded vote!
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And so we lost. But I have a feeling that the NPPF will really make its presence felt in East Devon, in the year.
Last month a major appeal inquiry took place for around 160 houses on the green wedge between Seaton and Colyford... and then the Feniton triple inquiry appeal for 230 houses starts early in January.
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I will continue to campaign against the aggressive pro-development national planning rules and the devastating effect that they are having on our countryside and services.
Thank you very much if you did write to your councillor about this issue.
I hope that many of you will now write your MP about the chaos that the Government has created. We are relying on Neil Parish and Hugo Swire to represent our views to their senior colleagues at Westminster.
Independent Devon county and
East Devon district councillor
Ottery St Mary Rural Ward