“Regeneration plans and meetings” – are they worth the effort

A correspondent writes:

“For years Exmouth and Seaton have had regeneration areas and Regeneration Boards. Until recently, all the Regeneration Board meetings were secret – now they are published but often with redacted parts.

But are these meetings, Boards, plans, consultations worth the bother?

Seaton’s regeneration area began life with a relatively small supermarket, housing, community and leisure facilities and a hotel, with 40% affordable housing in a total of over 400 houses. What they got was an enormous Tesco, less than 300 houses and no affordable homes.

Exmouth is now going the same way: it started as a purely seafront-themed “upgrading” but changed into expensive housing and cloned businesses.

So, we must ask ourselves: what were all these plans, meetings and consultations actually FOR? What we are ending up with on both sites is nothing like what was initially planned, or discussed or consulted on.

Regeneration Boards are top-heavy with the developers on each site, who appear to use them to push forward their plans, unchallenged either by councillors or officers – in fact, the total opposite, leaving said officers and councillors to ram through their development agendas.

Surely, this makes a total mockery of our officers, councillors and Regeneration Boards but, more importantly, the electors of East Devon, who were sold pups – coincidentally just before two major district elections.