From a correspondent:
This past week has uncovered so many national and local breaches, contraventions and violations in acceptable behaviour and conduct – that it is difficult to know where to start!
Firstly, most would agree that Dominic Cummings failed to adhere to lockdown rules that the majority of the nation has rigorously followed to Stay At Home – Save Lives and Protect the NHS. His excuses, lack of apologies and general demeanour in the rose garden of Number 10 showed an egotistical attitude by displaying a ‘do as I say – not as I do’ mantra, which was further abetted by a floundering defence by the dishevelled PM at the lectern!
This lack of convincing leadership at a time when our country so desperately needs confidence is so disappointing – but, fortunately, it is balanced by the amazing stories of the bravery of our NHS staff battling Covid-19 and by ordinary people, in their communities, striving to improve a bad situation for their neighbours, friends and relatives.
Secondly, the farcical fiasco of East Devon’s Extraordinary Meeting on Thursday evening, where a Conservative councillor was heard swearing, during a YouTube video link, that was deemed so offensive and unpleasant that ‘the plug was pulled’ on the broadcast, before all the votes were cast to elect a new Leader! This hiatus left a few councillors unable to vote before the online stream crashed – but after official ratification on Friday – thankfully Councillor Paul Arnott was democratically elected Leader with a large majority. Furthermore, to those who purport to be Independent, when it is clear to all that they are ‘batting for the other side’ – you have been rumbled!
Finally, to the deception by Property Developers, who outwardly promote an ethos of quality developmental design, profess to listen to communities (purporting to build bridges by taking on board local views) to achieve ‘the best quality community development south of Bristol and beyond’ (their promotional quote) – Practice what you Preach!
In February, the Developers for Winslade Park presented an exhibition, within a Public Consultation, on the vast, commercial and residential proposals for the local community of Clyst St Mary. Much of it was innovative, attractive and worthy of support. However, last week, the plans submitted to East Devon District Council (EDDC) for the Winslade Park proposals significantly differed from the Public Consultation.
The proposals now include additional, large numbers of residential units on a valued local community sports field (not shown within the public exhibition proposals) in addition to residential units on an adjoining, agricultural green field, when both of these green areas are protected by the Local and Neighbourhood Plans and are outside the Built-Up Area Boundaries for this village. 14 supportable, traditional houses, on the brownfield area, have now been replaced by an unsightly three-storey block of 59 apartments (also not shown at the public exhibition) overlooking the Grade II Listed historic Manor House and existing residents’ back gardens.
Yesterday, published documents submitted to EDDC, now show that in December 2019, numerous residential apartments were proposed on high risk flood zones but, when EDDC Planners advised caution, these proposals were substituted by a three-storey large commercial unit. The justification for continuing with development in flood zones being that business units are a less vulnerable classification than residential! The Developers have also neglected to mention their ambition to include another large residential area on green fields (previously used for horticulture/agriculture by St Bridget’s Nurseries) with around 64 proposed dwellings also showing a new roadway connection from Winslade Park to the A3052. This formed part of their original development proposals in December 2019 but having now satiated the entire area with their current, vast development proposals – the option to include even more development on protected green fields, at this point in time, was obviously, thought ‘a step too far’ for this East Devon rural village to tolerate!
By over-developing the commercial floorspace to provide up to 3,000 jobs, (the Developers’ estimated numbers at the exhibition); by ignoring Strategy 26B of the Local Plan to provide homes on the brownfield areas resulting in them being diverted to green open spaces; by neglecting to consider the effects on sustainability for congested highways, local educational facilities and limited services and by proposing development in high risk flood zones in a fragile area – the consensus of local opinion is now – Enough is Enough – for the small East Devon village of Clyst St Mary!
It has, indeed, been a week of falsification!