In a swingeing attack on EDDC Deputy Chief Executive and Head of the Relocation Project team, Richard Cohen, Sidmouth resident Richard Eley told last night’s Public Meeting, that he had no confidence in Mr Cohen because (we quote) he was:
“The man who moved the southern boundary of the Knowle to include the parkland without telling anybody and in contradiction to the specific instructions of the Development Management Committee (1). I was told this would not be investigated because the Inspector (2) would look at it, which he would not do because it was not within his remit. So this has never been investigated by anybody at the Knowle.”
“He did it without managing to record that process; without recording any conversation or without writing a single email, or keeping a single note or sending any kind of correspondence to any third party. Because I made a freedom of information request, and there was nothing there.”
“He did it unilaterally, on his own, secretly, and he didn’t tell a single soul, and I only found out by accident.”
And in another gross miscalculation, added Mr Eley, Richard Cohen had underestimated the size of the Knowle offices by 40%.
He concluded, “This is not the kind of person that I would trust to do these calculations. When he says, ‘It’s going to cost £15.5 million to refurbish (the Knowle)’. I would tell him, “That’s a load of rubbish!”
(1) editorial note: after the DMC had refused EDDC’s outline planning application for the Knowle in March 2013
(2) editorial note: at the public examination of the draft Local Plan, in February 2014.