Birds of a Feather will flock together – from an Eagle- Eyed Feathered Friend on GESP

“In response to an earlier post from a Correspondent commenting on the GESP and asking –

“Is the Watch readership so gobsmacked with this plan that there is a great silence (no comments posted so far) or are they happy that East Devon will take the lion’s share of the GESP growth?”

Your correspondent need not fear that the lack of birdsong from flocks of native species within the East Devon resident bird population in any way reflects any apathy or acceptance of such inappropriate development of our East Devon countryside that has been proposed in the recently published GESP Draft Policies and Site Options document.

Many of Owl’s feathered friends have chosen to settle in small, rural nesting places within East Devon and these bird populations remain territorial, watchful and perched in anticipation to defend their valued homes.

There has already been much tweeting, screeching, crowing, cawing, clucking and hooting in East Devon around the Clyst St Mary, Farringdon, Woodbury, Sowton, Clyst St George, Clyst Honiton and Aylesbeare areas concerning the indicative minimum number of homes (totalling around 17,000) plus substantially increased employment use on agricultural, green fields at Higher Greendale, Hill Barton, Oil Mill Lane and around the M5! This deafening, cacophonous sound of those defending their village environments and countryside must have reached the ears of those wise birds as far afield as Blackdown House, who are now sitting on strategic, high branches of control.

We are confident that the new breed of decision makers will protect our special rural environment from those predatory, vulture-like species, whose aim appears to be the total annihilation and destruction of our valued East Devon natural environment, primarily to feed their own self-sustenance. This raptorial flock (commonly known as “The Feather Their Own Nests Birds”) has already received suitable culling but their voracious, insatiable appetites have the potential to cause the ruination of many distinct, valued habitats throughout East Devon.

Hopefully those who hear this birdsong will listen and understand the significance of protecting our East Devon stunning countryside and idyllic villages because once our rural, green areas are subjected to build, build build – they are lost forever! 

 With a GESP public consultation due in September, we must ensure that birds of a feather will flock together to protect their special environment because their collective birdsong has the potential to be so momentous 

that it can effect change.

An Eagle-Eyed Feathered Friend “

One thought on “Birds of a Feather will flock together – from an Eagle- Eyed Feathered Friend on GESP

  1. Just to put this into context, the last EDDC Local Plan, created by the Tory administration with several controversial (and potentially corrupt) additions or attempts at additions (presumably to feather the nests of their rich land-owning friends) represented a 50% growth in housing in East Devon over a period of 20 years.

    In other words, imagine that you take all the housing currently in East Devon – in Exmouth and Sidmouth and Honiton and Ottery etc. and you take an equivalent area of land, mostly green farm land, halve it and then slap housing on it. That is a massive growth in housing – and judging by how recent developments have gone a chunk of it will be in AONBs and it will probably come without the necessary infrastructure to support it like schools and doctors.

    My theory for this massive growth – which is based on the most optimistic of growth numbers with an exaggeration thrown in – is as follows: The Conservatives believe (or as I should now say “believed” in the past tense) that the way to stay in power was to keep council tax down – if you look back that was the basis for a lot of their electioneering propaganda, including recent statements about how the Independent administration was going to spend and bankrupt the council. The way that they achieved that was to plan on building a massive number of new houses, each of which would attract a New Homes Bonus from the government. So by building lots of houses they could keep council tax down. Of course, whilst this might seem good in the short-term, there were a few major down-sides long-term. For a start, New Homes Bonus was a one-off capital receipt per home, not a regular income (or in Public Sector finance terms, EDDC Conservatives were funding regular expenditure with one-off capital receipts, a slippery slope that inevitably leads to doom once you step on it, and it turned out to be the first major gust in what is turning out to be a perfect storm of local government funding issues. First the Government cancelled the New Homes bonus, leaving East Devon with the worst of both worlds – a loss of funding AND a disastrous Local Plan. Then the government cut the Local Government grants to the bone (or even further). AND they capped the level of increases in Council Tax preventing the council from clawing back the increases that they used to influence the electorate in previous years. Top that off with the loss of income and increased costs of the pandemic, and there you have it, a perfect storm.


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