Questions over applications
Previous newspaper reports regarding building affordable homes in Seaton at Harepath Road, stated the application was turned down by the council and the reason given was to preserve the green spaces of Seaton .
Previous newspaper reports regarding building affordable homes in Seaton at Harepath Road, stated the application was turned down by the council and the reason given was to "preserve the green spaces of Seaton". We now read in the local paper that Seaton Town Council voted on Monday, July 20 in favour of the Sainsbury's development at the Underfleet, Seaton. This proposed green site is very much bigger, some 170 metres by 110 metres, than the site rejected for affordable housing.
Also the proposed site is a children's play area, skate/cycle area, picnic area for families and a junior football pitch - all amenities which are used extensively by young and older persons alike. Where is the consistency of reasoning to (a) reject a need for affordable housing but (b) support the development of an existing children's play area, not owned by Seaton Town Council and build a superstore thereon.
Sainsbury's revised plans raise the following questions:-
1. A biomass plant has now appeared on the plans. Apparently, it is to provide energy to run the store by burning wooden pellets. Is this a greener step forward by burning wood fuel? In the local press, Sainsbury's had a two-page advert. Yet, there is nothing to show where the biomass plant will be sited. There was mention of it in the written benefits' section. How will the smell effect local residencies? Will windows have to be closed to minimise the smell? Will we have unsightly chimneys?
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2 Sainsbury's state that the relocation of the green park children's play area to its new proposed site, approx 10-15 metres away from and alongside the Underfleet, will be considerably safer than its present location. How can 10-15 metres alongside the Underfleet be safer than its present location some 50-100 metres away from the Underfleet.
3 Sainsbury's state that the noise of vehicle movements to and fro, and within Sainsbury's yard, day and night will have a negligible effect upon local houses and flats. How do they know?
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What a waste of time and energy it would have been - if approval was given to Sainsbury and one of the other large retailers bought this land. The proposed sale would have to go to tender!
Viz a viz comparison - Sainsbury's versus Tesco. Tesco own their land and would certainly improve the appearance of the present eyesore and retain the children's park area as it is at the moment - a large green space.
Sainsbury's would concrete over the children's green park area and Tesco's land would still be an eyesore. No possibility of change of use regarding the development of the children's green park play area was revealed in pre-purchase searches in 2006/2007!
Whichever one is approved - it will be the wrong decision in the eyes of many. Do we need another supermarket with its attendant problems and benefits peculiar to its own plans?
EC Backhouse, chairman, Fleet Court(Seaton) Ltd.