Rallying call for 'Green Wedge' protesters

PUBLISHED: 08:45 04 December 2013

Howard West with fellow Green Wedge campainers in Colyford on Sunday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mha 6250-49-13SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk

Howard West with fellow Green Wedge campainers in Colyford on Sunday morning. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mha 6250-49-13SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk

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Village mayor calls for a big turnout at Colyford planning appeal hearing on December 10

The Mayor of Colyford has issued one last rallying call for support as the village prepares to fight against plans for a ‘wildlife destroying’ housing development.

Howard West and his fellow “Green Wedge” campaigners will lock horns with a developer, who wants to build on a wildlife haven between Seaton and Colyford, at an appeal hearing on Tuesday, December 10, at Colyford Memorial Hall, 10am.

Plans have been submitted for the build of 170 homes, offices, building units and a sports complex on farmland off Harepath Road.

Mr West said: “The area the developer wants to build on is the gateway to the start of the Jurassic Coast for Seaton, a nationally recognised UK beauty spot.

“On top of this, it’s very good agricultural land, and there are approximately 400 houses, with planning permission, that could be built elsewhere in Seaton currently without this unnecessary development.”

Mr West also expressed his fears over the coalescence the development will cause.

“Colyford is an ancient village which is rich in heritage,” he said. “If the plans are accepted, it will lose its identity.

“I’m not against housing developments, but it has to be in the right place.”

The concerns have been echoed by Seaton Town Council, Colyton Parish Council, and the Burgesses of Colyford, and money has been successfully raised for an advocate to fight the village and towns’ case.

Tony Smith, who is a resident of Seaton and volunteer warden at the Axe Estuary Wetlands, expressed his fears over the proposed plans and the danger they could bring to the land and its wildlife.

He said: “There has been considerable investment by East Devon District Council and others to develop and promote the Wetlands as a visitor attraction.

“However, if this development goes through, surely it’s a backwards step? There will be a huge impact on wildlife, particularly for the very rare bat species known to be living and breeding in this area.”

Mr West added: “We have all done the hard part in donating money, which has given us the best possible chance of victory.

“Now comes the easy part – getting bums on seats. We need as many people as possible to attend the appeal hearing to show that Colyford and Seaton has a voice, and a heritage, to be proud of.”

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