West Hill supports association

AFTER two months’ consultation and three public meetings, West Hill has given overwhelming support to the Residents’ Association’s response to East Devon District Council’s Local Development Framework Core Strategy.

Residents’ Association vice-chairman Dick Beardsall said many people were disappointed with the strategy.

He said: “It proposes unjustified and unjustifiable levels of development, and fails to reflect local needs and circumstances or to protect the environment.”

The association has made a series of recommendations on how the strategy could be improved. This includes basing future housing plans on local needs and taking advantage of large scale developments in the West End of the district, which includes Cranbrook, to ensure other rural areas are protected.

Members felt the strategy should state clearly that West Hill is not an appropriate location to develop employment land. Some employment may be created through the development of existing rural enterprises such as horticulture but emphasis should be placed on the provision of high-speed broadband to promote the home-working economy of the village.

Another suggestion is to abandon the categorisation of towns and hub-villages and set out policies which reflect characteristics and needs of existing settlements.

The association also proposes adopting a fairer, more practical approach to providing affordable housing.

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“There has been terrific support from residents and all our councillors,” said association chairman Dan Jelly. “We feel we have put together a considered and positive response. It is now up to the district council. We can only hope that they are prepared to listen.”

The public consultation on this draft of the core strategy finishes on November 30.