Campaigners claim ‘victory’ over confidential minutes

PUBLISHED: 19:00 18 February 2011

CONFIDENTIAL documents relating to controversial plans for the future of Sidmouth, Ottery, and the rest of the region will be revealed for the first time.

CONFIDENTIAL documents relating to controversial plans for the future of Sidmouth, Ottery, and the rest of the region will be revealed for the first time.

Campaigners have claimed victory after news that minutes from three-years of East Devon District Council (EDDC) Local Development Framework Panel meetings are to be made public.

Communities Before Developers (CBD) has long opposed the authority’s vision for the region until 2026, which is now under review.

Panel members had a say on the proposed quantity and location of new housing and industrial sites in plans. All discussions took place behind closed doors and minutes were confidential.

CBD campaigner Claire Wright said the campaign group lodged a freedom of information request over the minutes.

Last week she received an e-mail from the authority’s deputy chief executive and monitoring officer which said: “The development of land in the district is of interest to a great many people and, having studied the minutes of these meetings we do feel that the content of these discussions should be in the public domain.”

Mrs Wright hailed the move as “vital.” An EDDC spokesperson this week added: “The council is always looking to improve its responsiveness to customer needs. This is a good example of an improvement to the service as a result of feedback from residents.”


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