‘Green wedge’ protesters rally support

Save the green wedge campaigners in Seaton on Monday. Photo by Chris Carson

Save the green wedge campaigners in Seaton on Monday. Photo by Chris Carson - Credit: Archant

Placard waving campaigners take to the streets of Seaton to oppose farmland development

Placard-waving residents marched through Seaton this week mustering support for their fight to save a wildlife haven from development.

East Devon planners threw out an application to build 170 houses along with offices, business units and a sports complex on the ‘green wedge’ between Seaton and Colyford in June.

But the company behind the bid - Seaton Park Developments Ltd – have appealed against the decision and also lodged a fresh amended outline planning application.

Opponents say the farmland, off Harepath Road, is an important countryside area - a home for many animals including protected bats. They are raising a petition and have launched a fighting fund to employ a barrister to put their case at the appeal inquiry.

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A banner-carrying spokesman told the Herald on Monday: “It is important the people of Seaton and Colyford make their feelings known.

“This development will result in urban sprawl and will be detrimental to the Axe Estuary Wetlands.”

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The protestors plan public meetings to rally support at Seaton Town Hall on Tuesday, August 27, and Colyford Memorial Hall the following day.

They say it is important opponents lodge objections to both the new planning application and the appeal.They point to the fact that the original application was turned down on four grounds:

* The site forms part of an important area of countryside between Seaton and Colyford, identified as “Green Wedge” in the East Devon Local plan;

* The application site is of high importance to several bat species, both for foraging and commuting and would be contrary to polices for local nature reserves;

* The application would result in significant loss of the best agricultural land around Seaton;

* The local planning authority is not satisfied with the proposed 20 per cent affordable housing offered and would look to a higher percentage to meet local needs.

To comment on the fresh planning application people should write to East Devon District at the Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL by September 4, citing application number 13/1641/MOUT.

To comment on the appeal they should write to the Planning Inspectorate 3/09 Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN by September 11. The appeal reference is APP/U1105/A/13/2202124 and the application reference is 12/1185/MOUT.

It is understood the planning inquiry will probably take place in November or December and last three days.

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