EDDC suddenly sprang a planning application for an “artwork” in a very prominent position in Seaton – an area known as Fisherman’s Gap in the middle of the town’s seafront. It was accompanied by much trumpeting of its beauty, its form, its desirability! Several town councillors were not enamoured, saying thar the view itself already had beauty, form and desirability but that did not stop the town council from supporting EDDC’s planning application.
However, the Environment Agency slapped everyone’s wrists:
A letter, dated September 18th, to EDDC from the Environment Agency said: “We object to this proposal for the following reasons.
“The proposed sculptures are located on land that forms part of the Seaton Coastal Defence Scheme; a flood alleviation scheme that is operated and maintained by the Environment Agency.
“The proposed sculptures and interpretation pillar appear to be located in a manner that would: a) prevent the closure of the main flood gates that facilitate vehicular access through the sea wall, and, b) would restrict our access to the flood wall for necessary inspection, repair and maintenance purposes.
“It is also important that the applicant notes that any structures such as those proposed within seven metres of such coastal flood defences will require our Flood Defence consent under the terms of the Water Resources Act 1991.
“We will withhold our consent for any structures that would restrict our ability to safely access, operate, maintain and rebuild such a structure.”
An EDDC spokesperson said: “We are working with the Environment Agency to address their concerns about the exact location of the hot spot.
“Of course public safety with regards to flood defence is always our priority and we will therefore be considering how we can overcome any such concerns. We are committed to the hot spots as a way of extending the reach of Seaton Jurassic to the seafront and encouraging visitors to see for themselves our amazing beach and coastline.”
Full details of the proposal and how to comment are available on EDDC’s website at http://www.eastdevon. gov.uk via the planning portal (planning ref 14/1897).