‘Saving the identity’ of a unique East Devon village… Clyst St Mary residents out in force at last night’s meeting.

It appeared that the entire population of the village of Clyst St Mary had turned out to listen and voice their objections at another Extraordinary Meeting that had been called by the Bishops Clyst Parish Council on Tuesday night, 20th January 2015, to discuss the inappropriate number of planning applications that have recently been submitted to East Devon District Council for development in their village (including 304 residential units plus employment use at Winslade Park by Friends Provident, 93 dwellings on land near the Cat and Fiddle by Turnstone Group, a solar farm in Oil Mill Lane by Solstice Renewables and 40 houses on land off Clyst Valley Road (with the demolition of a residential estate house in Clyst Valley Road to gain access) by developers acting for Plymouth Brethren).

Clyst St Mary has also already agreed two planning applications totalling 93 dwellings for social, affordable and private needs, which is felt to be sustainable for a small village of this size and the current additional proposals would increase the size of the village by around 120%, which, the villagers felt, was certainly not sustainable.

The normal venue for Council meetings is the local School Hall but the previous Extraordinary Meeting had attracted such huge numbers of residents wishing to object, that it was assessed that a larger venue was necessary and the Village Hall was chosen, which was equally packed to capacity.

At the previous meeting the Parish Council had unanimously agreed to employ Charlie Hopkins, an experienced planning consultant, who had successfully assisted other local campaigns with their objections. With the support of the newly formed Save Clyst St Mary Campaign Group, financial pledges from the villagers were offered together with existing funds from the Parish Council to enable the employment of a consultant.

Charlie Hopkins was attending this latest meeting to explain to the villagers the very complex planning issues involved and he recommended to them their best course of action in objecting to such inappropriate proposals.

Many locals spoke with great passion about their views on saving the identity of their unique East Devon village by ensuring that only sustainable development is acceptable and the solidarity of the residents was expressed by them voting against every one of the ten current proposed planning applications.

To date The Save Clyst St Mary Group have received many financial pledges from the villagers and a Post Office account is now available for anyone to submit donations in support (Nat West Bank PLC 56-00-49 A/C 32633181 ). They would urge anyone who has not yet become involved in their campaign to contact Gaeron Kayley by e-mail at saveclyststmary@gmail.com or visit http://www.saveclyststmary.org.uk

Please support us in protecting our unique very special village because

‘Alone we can do so little but together we can do so much.’