Battle bus booked to fight ‘green wedge’ plan

PUBLISHED: 10:26 07 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:26 07 November 2013

Green wedge campaigners pictured during a demonstration in Seaton earlier this year. Photo by Chris Carson

Green wedge campaigners pictured during a demonstration in Seaton earlier this year. Photo by Chris Carson

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Protesters plan to turn out in force to oppose the latest bid to build on a wildlife haven between Seaton and Colyford

“Green wedge” campaigners are going into battle again to fight fresh plans for a massive housing development they say will destroy a wildlife haven between Seaton and Colyford.

A coach has been booked so protesters can demonstrate outside East Devon District Council’s Sidmouth HQ ahead of Tuesday’s planning meeting (November 12).

Placard-waving residents will urge the development management committee to reject a revised scheme to build some 170 homes, along with offices, business units and a sports complex on farmland off Harepath Road – a habitat for birds and animals, including rare bats.

The committee threw out a similar application earlier this year, a decision which is now the subject of an appeal hearing on December 10 at Colyford.

In the meantime opponents are being mustered to object to the latest amended planning application for the site from Seaton Park Developments Ltd.

As in the previous case planning officers are recommending approval. They say that while recognising some adverse impacts of the scheme it is considered these could be mitigated with the benefits of providing more housing and employment space.

But both Seaton Town Council and the Burgesses of Colyford remain fiercely opposed to the application which they say would destroy a vital green wedge between the two communities.

And 130 letters of objection from residents have also been received, many claiming there is little difference from the first application.

In addition, a petition signed by 337 has been gathered by the Seaton and Colyford Green Wedge Community Action Group.

Meanwhile a coach to carry protesters to the council meeting is being organised by Colyton parish councillor Robin Pocock and his wife Bonte.

Mr Pocock said: “As a campaigner I simply cannot understand the thinking behind EDDC’s officers’ decision to recommend approval of this application. Apart from abstentions the first application was unanimously turned down and one of the members of the development management committee went so far as to say that it was possibly the worst application he had ever seen.

“This second application is even less worthy of consideration. The allowance for parking has been removed as have the changing facilities required for those using the football pitches. The Seaton and Colyford Green Wedge Community Action Group will be resisting this second application as vigorously as it did the first and our coach-full of campaigners will be attending Knowle at 10am to make our views heard.”

Howard West who chairman of SACGWCAG told The Herald: “

The action group is most disappointed and amazed at this recommendation by the planners (to approve) and will be at the hearing on Tuesday next to make their feelings known.”

Anyone wishing to book a seat is asked to call Mr Pocock on 01297 551422 or e mail bonrob@btinternet.com


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