Councillor speaks out over community complex

PUBLISHED: 20:30 12 September 2011

Community Complex plans.

Community Complex plans.

Archant

More discussions needed, Mike Allen says.

I would like to comment on the present situation with the Honiton Town Council discussions regarding the Local Plan for 2011-2026 and the community complex.

My concern is that the town council has been returned unopposed not elected and has made plans which will affect Honiton seriously for the next 25 years which are contrary to extensive consultations and in the case of the community complex, in regard of a town poll.

Honiton Town Council has recommended that no new industrial premises nor housing should be built beyond the present town boundary. What this means is that as they have also determined to protect the green space in the town that the only future is a major redevelopment on the Centre of town which in the present circumstances can only mean more and more housing cramped into the town. It also means that there will be little space for new offices and once the intended move of the East Devon District Council to Honiton occurs, there will be little industrial space for new businesses or for those who wish to expand. My concern is that the town will become more congested with traffic and more cramped to live in. If the plan to have a town centre plaza comes into place we could lose the current large aspect to the High Street

This needs much more debate in the town and I feel the town council should call a general meeting to discuss this plan, not push it through behind closed doors

Secondly, the town council community complex committee is recommending 12 to 3 to proceed without delay to planning permission for the building on the car park in Dowell Street opposite the fire station. This is despite the pronouncement of the chair of this subcommittee that it is unsuitable unless £150-250,000 is spent on foundations.

I would propose that we instead take seriously the alternative potential for a Cattle Market site as part of redevelopment plans for the centre of town or look to purchase the Royal British Legion site and sublease it to the local organisation while bringing in council offices to ensure the council can meet its obligations to house its offices in legal surroundings.

I can see no reason for the rush to spend over £1.8 millions on a location which will only worsen the Dowell Street situation of congestion and illegal levels of air pollutants.

Mike Allen

Honiton Town Councillor


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