Redrow: Council isn’t doing its job


- Credit: Archant

East Devon District Council has just returned half the money it had previously secured as a payment from Redrow Homes to Ottery St Mary – as amelioration for the damage the new Redrow development will do to the town’s resources.

The story is long and tedious, but in essence Redrow have run rings around EDDC and smarmed their way to doing virtually nothing by way of community support linked to their housing development at Butts Road.

The £230,000 they first agreed is now cut to £115,000, which Redrow wants to spend on moving Ottery’s allotments, to make space for their next assault on the town.

That this was to be the case was decided by senior EDDC figures in March.

So how come we in Ottery didn’t know anything about it until after the decision was made?

Well, darn me if it didn’t just slip their minds to tell anybody – not a word to district councillors or the town council who represent the town. Well, you wouldn’t want to own up to yet another cock-up, now would you, especially given EDDC’s rock-bottom performance of late.

EDDC’s top brass really must wise up about business practice. Redrow are not your friends – they are a private company. Head office: Cheshire; nearest branch: Bristol.

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They have zero interest in the welfare of Ottery St Mary, or any other East Devon community, or in East Devon as a whole, or in any of your cabinet members, or any councillor, or anyone else, beyond what they can chisel out of the area to grace the bottom line of their balance sheet.

That is what business means – you can’t blame a private company for behaving like a private company.

In their view £115,000 is a half a house-worth of money, and although they are building 130 of them, and probably more soon, they don’t want to waste money that doesn’t have to be spent – especially if it’s only on ingratiating themselves with the locals, and especially when there’s a loophole that says you don’t have to, and even more especially if EDDC are happy to oblige them in the matter.

EDDC’s job, which they are evidently not doing, is to rack developers for as much cash as they can, to offset the needs that follow from development which are NOT met by the developer, which are legion and which taxpayers and council taxpayers end up paying for.

The urgent need for a complete change of personnel at the Knowle has never had a more striking example.

Chris Wakefield

Ottery St Mary