‘Hands off our garden’

Seaton’s Mayor and residents in the resort feel they have been kept in the dark over access proposals for Windsor Gardens.

The Mayor of Seaton and residents in the resort are up in arms over plans to put a temporary access route through Windsor Gardens.

They say they have been kept in the dark over the proposal.

The decision to provide access for developers was made by East Devon District Council during a cabinet meeting last week.

The proposal was discussed in Part B, which meant members of the public and press were excluded from the discussion.

Seaton’s Mayor, Councillor Peter Burrows, told the Midweek Herald he first heard about the access plans at the meeting.

He said: “I couldn’t believe that they gave permission in principle without allowing Seaton residents the chance to voice their opinion. So much for open government.

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“If this had been a proper planning application, there would have been a site visit before any decision was made.”

Cllr Burrows added: “I made these points at the council meeting last week, but they fell on deaf ears.

“If it had been in Sidmouth, this would never have happened.”

Neighbouring resident Pete Markham has spoken of his anger and upset as his property, in Cross Street, is near the proposed access route.

Cllr Burrows said Seaton Town Council will be taking up the fight for a proper consultation to take place to allow residents and businesses that are affected to have there say before any access is allowed.

It is believed that the access could be in place for a year.

A spokesman for East Devon District Council said: “The district council has come to an agreement with this developer to allow access over a strip of land in Windsor Gardens for the duration of the building works.

“Once these works have been completed, the developer will make good the gardens and carry out a degree of enhancement work at no charge to the council.

“This will include rebuilding the retaining wall, which is currently in a poor state of repair. These improvements will be for the benefit of Seaton and the agreement we have with the developer will ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum.

“The next step is to hold a site meeting with the developer at which EDDC’s Seaton Champion, Councillor Steph Jones will be present on behalf of ward members.