The King Alfred’s Way application is back before the DMC and, as before, EDDC planners have given it a “free pass” dispensing with any need for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) despite it being in an AONB. A little known study of environmental sites of European Significance in South East Devon, which includes the Pebblebed Heaths and the Exe Valley, has confirmed the need to reduce the demands local population growth makes on these site for recreation.
Local authorities have a legal duty to ensure no adverse effects occur to these sites as a result of this growth. Surely the first step is an EIA for such a significant development right on the doorstep of the Pebblebed Heaths?
We can reasonably assume that John Varley, as Clinton Devon Estates Director, is delighted that he doesn’t have to spend money on carrying out an EIA. It is one less hurdle to jump.
More interesting would be to know what view John Varley takes of this, wearing one of his other hats, as a £21K pa Board Member of the Environment Agency (mission – working to protect our environment). Perhaps he could let us know?