Joy and anger over airport cash

PUBLISHED: 08:39 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:19 15 June 2010

HONITON'S aspirations for more sports pitches are set to be realised thanks to a £50,000 grant from Devon County Council.

HONITON'S aspirations for more sports pitches are set to be realised - thanks to a £50,000 grant from Devon County Council.The cash, part of the council's windfall from the sale of Exeter Airport, will buy land on the outskirts of the town for a sports hub identified as a pressing need in Honiton's strategic plan.Land has been identified for the project and Active Honiton and Honiton Development Trust will take the project forward.But hopes of a further payout from the windfall for the proposed Honiton Community Centre complex failed.At a meeting on Monday night, town councillors were told that a presentation given by Councillor Peter Halse to a committee at County Hall didn't get further than a few phrases.County councillor Roger Boote said the project was "very difficult to present" because, with the design change, it was not in a fixed format.He told Honiton Town Council: "It was not acceptable the way it was presented. It wasn't ready. Parts of the revenue and business plan were missing."He said it was a "one shot pot of money" and that it was unlikely the scheme would get a second hearing. Deputy mayor Councillor Vivienne Ash, an ardent supporter of the community centre project, was shocked to hear Councillor Boote's comments. She asked if those who turned down the request would give feedback. "I am surprised to hear what you have said," she told Councillor Boote. "We submitted quite a lot of detailed information."Councillor Alf Boom said a written response should be forthcoming.Chairman of the community centre's steering group, Councillor Michael Teare described the submitted reports as "excellent" saying: "We do need to look into this. At the moment that (decision) doesn't make a considerable amount of sense to us as a council."The plan was "flexible rather than speculative", Councillor Teare added.Former mayor Councillor Vernon Whitlock said he found it surprising that Honiton Town Council would not be getting any feedback. He said those who turned down the application are publicly elected and deal with taxpayers' cash, and that they are accountable for their decisions.Honiton Town Council is to make a written request for feedback.

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