It seems the word “consultation” has a different meaning in East Devon compared to other areas.
Yesterday, 18th November 2014, a ‘public consultation’ about a proposal to build 150 houses in land off Marley Road, took place in Brixington Community Church Exmouth.
We are told that anyone going there expecting to learn much about the proposals was likely to have been disappointed. The exhibition consisted of around six display boards and there were a number of representatves of Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners Ltd who had laid on the event.
Their event did not get off to a good start when it was learned that
an oak (?) tree situated at what is to be the site entrance had been felled very recently. None of the representatives present could offer any explanation, or say who was responsible. Local comment was to the effect that the tree, with a diameter of around seven feet, was in a healthy condition prior to felling. Many present felt that this showed contempt for local opinion and the local ecology.
Many residents raised the issue of flooding,and drainage. This is already a problem resulting in run off coming down from the area and across Dinan Way at times. We were told that this would be dealt with by the use of attenuation tanks, devices that collect water and then release it gradually. The suggestion was that EDDC would ensure that no flooding or drainage problems were generated. Comment was made that the same promises were made to the residents of Feniton but have proved pretty worthless.
It transpires that this site, and an adjacent one to the north, were put forward to EDDC a couple of years ago as land to be included in the Local Plan for housing. Neither made it to any form of the provisional local plan.
Many will be aware that because EDDC have failed so miserably to produce a local plan that the Inspector will approve, that this has left a gap in planning practice which has, and continues to be exploited by developers. Many at the exhibition were left in no doubt that this proposal sought to exploit the mess that local planning is in. It was suggested that one of the exhibition team admitted as much.
That another plot, north of the one subject to this plan, was seen as having development potential, leads one to suspect that if this is approved a further one may follow. This would mean that The Eagle development for 350 houses at Goodmore Farm might be followed by another 150 here, and then an unknown number above.
In answer to a question about the likely price of ‘affordable houses’, the agents could not give an answer.
The exhibition provided no information to take away and digest. The consultants have provided no website though comments can be submitted to email@example.com