Fears over more large scale developments

PUBLISHED: 09:25 17 January 2011

The LDF protest group gather outside EDDC's council chamber at Sidmouth

The LDF protest group gather outside EDDC's council chamber at Sidmouth


Campaigners want planning strategy clarified.

A CAMPAIGN group is calling for clarity over a draft planning strategy that, it says, has been “overwhelmingly discredited by residents”.

Communities Before Developers (CBD) fears major planning applications are being approved on the back of the proposals, before they are reconsidered.

Last month, 450 homes on grade one agricultural land at Westclyst were approved using the strategy and, in September, over 400 homes on greenfield land were approved at Axminster. And developers wanting to build 56 homes at Tipton St John, also on open countryside, are using previous LDF-related approvals as justification for their scheme.

Jonathan Underwood, a CBD campaigner, said: “It is utterly bizarre that the LDF can be used to approve planning applications when the council leader herself has rejected it. The only explanation is that there can be no real intent to revise the LDF at all.”

In a statement, CBD said; “The LDF was put together by councillors on the Local Development Framework Panel and went straight out to public consultation in September without even being debated by the council – something which many councillors found unacceptable.”

Campaigner Claire Wright said: “Thanks to a series of reckless decisions, we now seem to be in state of planning ambiguity - a developer’s paradise.

“It is unacceptable that EDDC should park an inconvenient problem until after the elections, it is absolutely vital that councillors now act responsibly and urgently by rewriting the document now. Otherwise we will get ever deeper into the mire, as more major planning applications start to flood in.”

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