Victory for ‘green wedge’ protesters

PUBLISHED: 16:02 12 June 2013

Save the Green Wedge protest at the Knowle council offices by Seaton and Colyford residents. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhs 3939-24-13AW

Save the Green Wedge protest at the Knowle council offices by Seaton and Colyford residents. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhs 3939-24-13AW


Councillors throw out plans for a massive homes, sports and business development between Seaton and Colyford

Plans for a massive homes, business and sports development on farmland between Seaton and Colyford have been rejected following widespread opposition.

Placard waving protesters were at East Devon District Council’s Sidmouth HQ yesterday (Tuesday) to urge members to save what they say is a vital green wedge separating the two communities.

They called on the development management committee to reject a bid to build some 170 homes, along with offices, business units and a sports complex on farmland off Harepath Road.

Both Seaton town council and the Burgesses of Colyford fiercely opposed the application from Seaton Park Devon Ltd – as did MP Neil Parish. Colyton and Axmouth councils also lodged objections.

Howard West, mayor of the Ancient Borough of Colyford, called on the planning committe to “stop these indiscriminate building programmes being instigated by central Government to build, build, build, in these beautiful areas of East Devon.”

Spekaign ahead of the meeting he said: “With an application in Seaton to build over 90 riverside apartments recently approved, and outline planning already given for over 365 houses in the Seaton regeneration area, why do we need a further 172 houses in the most beautiful part of Seaton with views across the Axe Valley, and the hills beyond - especially as Seaton has been nominated as one of the “Gateways to the Jurassic Coast”?

But despite widespread condemnation of the scheme the committee had been recommended to approve it, subject to a legal agreement

In a report its planning officers said the outline application would help address the persistent under provision of deliverable housing sites.

“To allow 170 houses on this site would be a significant step in improving this supply in this area,” they said.

“The site lies in a sustainable location on the edge of Seaton with nearby public transport and the development itself provides a range of employment and recreational facilities.

“Whilst developing greenfield land would not protect the natural environment, providing the right sort of housing in its place would satisfy both social and economic roles.

“While the loss of high grade agricultural land and part of the green wedge weigh against the application on balance it is considered that the social and economic benefits justify a recommendation to approve.”

But at yesterday’s meeting the committee rejected the application with 11 votes against it, none in favour and two abstentions.

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