Not the false start made by the first Local Development Framework group, which spent 2-plus years visiting sites of favoured developers.
Not the East Devon Business Forum and its Chairman disgraced ex-councillor Graham Brown which attempted to get an iron grip on it.
Not the officers and councillors who employed consultant after consultant until they found one they agreed with.
Not the same officers and councillors who had their drafts thrown out twice by the Planning Inspector.
NO! NO! NO! IT IS ALL THE FAULT OF – SIDMOUTH!!!
Sidmouth delayed the Local Plan! and Mark William’s loses it!
At a heated meeting of EDDC councillors tonight to approve the Local Plan, CEO Mark Williams lost control of himself in a big way.
In response to a fairly conciliatory speech from resident Richard Eley, on behalf of Save our Sidmouth, a furious Williams lambasted Sidmouth for delaying the Local Plan and increasing the number of houses in it!
“But for Sidmouth we would have had a local plan three years ago,” he ranted, adding that “the end result of all your objections is that we’ve ended up in the local plan with more houses than originally proposed.” (Gasps of astonishment from the public and cries of “rubbish” and “nonsense”.)
A few minutes later he rounded on Richard Eley again accusing him of “churlishly” calling the Inspector “idiotic”. Eley sprang to his feet and angrily denied he had used that word about the inspector, and demanded an apology – supported by more cries of “scandal” and “apologise” from the public.
He insisted on reading the offending part of his speech again which proved his point that the i-word was never used. In fact, he described the decision to include land at Sidford for a business park as “stupid”.
After more moments of mayhem and shouting from the public, a reluctant apology was extracted from the CEO.
Many observers were left wondering if Mr Williams might not need a long rest –as in retirement on a generous pension………