'It's a flood plain experiment'

PUBLISHED: 10:37 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 22:25 15 June 2010

I went to view the exhibition of Tesco's plans for developing in Seaton and I came away rather depressed. It would appear from their 'Vision for Seaton' that they haven't listened to local peoples wishes at all and have simply regurgitated, for the most p

I went to view the exhibition of Tesco's plans for developing in Seaton and I came away rather depressed.It would appear from their 'Vision for Seaton' that they haven't listened to local peoples wishes at all and have simply regurgitated, for the most part, the much-maligned Liatris plan. The major difference seems to be that they only plan to build a large supermarket and a fuel station (more of 'A Vision for Tesco' really) and then hope that this will attract more developers in the future, but what happens to the rest of the land, the tourist provision and leisure facilities in the meantime? Tesco state that the land set aside for regeneration is "currently unusable" but this isn't true - as many a holiday maker to Lyme Bay Holiday Village will know, along with the locals who use the gym, swimming pool and child day care facilities. A holiday village has been on part of the land since 1937, that's over seventy years of use and many will remember well that the other half of the site was also used for many years as part of a larger holiday park. So how can the land be called unusable?Tesco state that: "The regeneration site is currently unsuitable for development for environmental reasons. In order to build on it and make it attractive to other developers, we need to raise the level of the site by some two metres to meet the Environment Agency's requirements for flood protection."Tesco may wish to raise the height of the site to enable them to build what they want and make it attractive for other developers to make a profit from building in Seaton, but what does that mean for the people who already live and operate businesses there?Whilst the supermarket and other developments built on the raised land might be protected from flooding, what about those nearby who will then be situated at the bottom of this newly man made hill?The days of forcing land conditions to meet the requirements of a building plan are surely in the past?If the land conditions, as they are, don't fit the building plan then the plan should be changed to suit the land conditions. Granted this might mean less profit for developers, but what is more important - the town and it's people or the profit margins of already wealthy international companies?Seaton should not become a potentially disastrous experiment for flood plain development.David LeeMusbury


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