From a correspondent:

NIMBY is an acronym for the phrase ‘Not In My BackYard’, which is a characterization of opposition by residents to proposed undesirable developments in their local area. 

Large development companies often use this colloquialism in a derogatory sense, labelling NIMBYS as obsessive, ‘nerdish anoraks’ for blocking housing, economic and employment growth benefits, lacking forward-thinking and fearing changes to the identity and character of their neighbourhoods.  

However, in reality NIMBYS usually are normal, ordinary people who have a very strong sense of what is right and what is wrong, are often open-minded to innovative, progressive development that will enhance communities but will not tolerate over-development and inappropriate designs just to ‘line the pockets’ of development company directors and shareholders!  

For centuries people have identified that ‘An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle’ – so most would agree that their homes are a sanctuary, an oasis and a shelter from undesirable encroachment, with any invasion being vehemently defended.  

So it is no surprise that, when inappropriate development is proposed directly in their back yards, that they will oppose any detrimental effects and they will summon those who have been elected as decision-makers at East Devon District Council (EDDC) to ensure that firstly they represent the people who will be substantially affected by this development and secondly that they make the correct judgement on the density and designs of homes that will remain in this  historic, rural community for several lifetimes! 

The precedent for this development ship has already sailed with the approval in December 2020 by EDDC Planners of the Outline Hybrid Application (20/1001/MOUT) commending the economic benefits of 2,000+ jobs alongside up to 94 housing units in a village community that actually has no local housing need. 

However, the majority of the proposed housing directly overlooks existing residents’ homes and back gardens, from not only a green field open space (Zone A) historically outside of the Local and Neighbourhood Plans but also from 40 towering four-storey apartment blocks on brownfield land (Zone D) opposite a Grade II* listed Manor House. 

The present Reserved Matters plans appear to show a welcome reduction in the Zone A green field housing but unfortunately the Zone D proposals still contain three blocks of 40 four-storey apartments, with an access road (serving a minimum of 80+ apartment vehicles) directly in line with the boundaries of existing residents’ homes, making them vulnerable to excessive vehicle noise, air and light pollution. However, a worthless, ‘spitting in the wind’ politically-correct ideal showing ‘grass-roofed’ covered parking for the apartments is also planned to ‘green up’ and  mitigate the intense, substantial harm of such over-development in this countryside location. 

These urban apartment proposals fail to promote sympathetic, considerate, neighbourly designs in a rural community and display a harmful intensity and over-development of the brownfield site and require a major rethink before they will persuade NIMBYS to become YIMBYS!