Victory for 'green wedge' campaigners

PUBLISHED: 12:13 15 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:39 15 November 2013

Green wedge campaigners pictured during a demonstration in Seaton earlier this year. Photo by Chris Carson

Green wedge campaigners pictured during a demonstration in Seaton earlier this year. Photo by Chris Carson

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Second bid to develop a 30-acre farmland site between Seaton and Colyford is rejected - but the fight goes on

‘Green wedge’ campaigners have won the latest round in their battle to prevent a massive homes and business development they say will destroy a wildlife haven between Seaton and Colyford.

East Devon District Council on Tuesday refused, for the second time, an application to build some 170 homes, along with offices, business units and a sports complex on farmland off Harepath Road – a habitat for birds and animals, including rare bats.

Members of the development management committee branded the application for the 30 acre site as ‘terrible’, ‘unacceptable’ and ‘ecological vandalism’.

The outline plans have met with widespread opposition from residents, who wrote more than 150 letters of objection.

Councillor Mike Allen said: “This is a terrible application. It would mean absolutely unacceptable damage to the environment and ecology.

Councillor Mike Howe said the revised plans were ‘even worse’ than a similar application the committee had turned down in June.

“I can’t see how we can approve it,” he added. “This proposal just makes no sense to me.”

But despite the decision the fight against the scheme continues as applicants Seaton Park Devon Ltd are appealing against the council’s refusal to allow their original application. The hearing will take place in Colyford on December 10 and opponents are busy raising funds to pay for legal representation.

Councillor Peter Sullivan said that the developer submitting a new application while the decision of first was still being appealed had left a ‘bad taste in his mouth’.

“I have been looking for visible differences from the first application, but I can’t see any,” he said. “I think the developer is trying to push the boundaries too far in this instance.”

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