Comment on the Darts Business Park decision

From a correspondent:

Many East Devon residents strongly identify with Cllr Paul Arnott’s comments below on this planning application:

“While I am sympathetic to the need of the economic argument for units in the area, the fact is it is trumped by this not being part of the Local Plan or the Neighbourhood Plan. I am sympathetic to what they want to do but it may have to come back when we have revisited our Local Plan. With regret, I cannot support this.” 

Even though Clyst St George Parish Council and the EDDC Economic Development Officer are in support of this extension to the Darts Business Park because it will provide local employment and Darts Farm are to be congratulated for their ongoing successful diversification – it is hugely refreshing to read that Cllr Arnott seems to have grasped the key point that this site was not allocated for further development in either the District Local or the Neighbourhood Plans. Surely, The Town and Country Planning Act requires that decisions should be made primarily in accordance with development plans, which provide policies to guide decision makers?

The public perception is that there is little point in spending tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of pounds consulting Planning Inspectors to achieve the East Devon Local Development Plan, with countless hours (even years) expended  by parish and local authority staff and members on the production of District, Neighbourhood and Village Plans, if crucial policies within them are ignored?

East Devon residents understand there is a balance to be achieved between a successful economy and the loss of a much-valued, local natural environment. We also realise the special significance of protecting the characteristics of the countryside in East Devon and we understand that if we kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, by continuously encroaching on our environmental landscapes – we will never get these natural resources back!

Thank you, Cllr Arnott for championing the importance of local development plans, even though the vote went against plan policy on this occasion in favour of economic growth. We look forward to a new future for EDDC with the Democratic Alliance and the Independent Progressive Group.

We are convinced that another opportunity to uphold such development plan policies is only a breath away!