West End of East Devon

SIR - Re: LDF Consultation 2010. West End of East Devon

I write in response to the above. I must confess that I do this not in hope, let alone in expectation, that my voice will make any difference to the eventual outcome.

I bear in mind the contempt with which the huge majority of us, the electors and taxpayers, were treated last time (Cranbrook, Skypark1, Science Park and Intermodal Transport Terminal).

Many of the grounds of objection raised last time remain and are of even more force and validity this time:-

1. Flood Plain - I note the glib statistic quoted, and simply do not believe it.

One does not know the quality of the person or persons making the assessment, nor the criteria, and we know how statistics can be used (and misused).

To obliterate such a large amount of the flood plain with concrete is asking for trouble for the inhabitants on it themselves and for those in surrounding areas (ask those in the Hull and Tewkesbury areas).

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To add to the 2,900 houses at Cranbrook 1 another 4,300 at Cranbrook 2 and Black Horse, plus the other developments, domestic, business and commercial is ‘Mad’.

2. Traffic - If one looks at the whole package, or even part of it together with, as I say, the pieces already sanctioned and building, quite apart from developments at the airport, there will be 8,000 homes (with, at a rough guess, an average of just over two people per home = 20,000 people) plus cars.

Often, now, traffic around Exeter is gridlocked and large retail outlets and making a big noise about attracting more and more visitors.

With East Devon’s new plan making such a large contribution to all this there will simply be traffic chaos.

3. Infrastructure – Bland reference is made to ‘infrastructure’. The pressure on it will be enormous. Has any thought been given to the impact upon public services such as Police, Fire etc., let alone the Hospitals?

As it is now, one has to wait for lengthy periods for appointments for scans, operations, consultations and clinics.

Also, with increasing urbanisation, always comes an increase in crime.

4. I note that reference is made to an ‘Energy Centre’ at Cranbrook.

Is this another name for a Power Station (perhaps the one which, after protests, was not built a few years ago)?

5. The Airport. Very close to all this is, of course, the ever-expanding airport with now only one runway and, having sold off the Northern part, building more and more on the Southern side.

Where are they going to park the increasing number, and size, of aircraft? Where, also, are they going to circuit and stack them whilst waiting to land? Are there going to be more night flights?

Already the late night Mail plane is noisily offensive (an old 737 with old non-eco friendly engines).

All this is not environmentally attractive to any of us, let alone to those who will be living in the close vicinity if these plans go ahead.

I naively thought that these days ‘planners’ had become ‘environmental’?

Finally, I should say that I do not see how this really benefits us, the council taxpayers of the area.

It may be said that it will all mean more payers and more income for the Council, but it will mean huge expense and pressure on council services. I cannot perceive any chance of our services improving as a result, or (na�ve thought) any reduction in the amounts which we pay.

This is not a ‘NIMBY’ letter – these are very serious concerns at the impact upon all.

As an aside, however, there is a deep flaw in the theory that, if someone wants to move to another part of the country, one should simply ignore the impact upon those already there and build another house for the incomer.

In our lives, most of us have had to move several times, job and home, and have had to compromise on house and location. How many affordable homes are there in this mega-plan? There are not many in Cranbrook1. Are the majority going to be ‘prestige-style, executive houses again (with two or more cars per home)?

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PS: What about the question of ‘mineral and aggregate’ extraction to the West of West Hill and the possibly mooted concrete making facility in the same vicinity?