Windsor Gardens access plan provokes protest

Seaton Town Council urged to fight “tooth and nail”.

Seaton Town Council has been urged to “fight tooth and nail” against proposals to allow temporary access through Windsor Gardens.

The controversial proposal was agreed in principle by East Devon District Council during a recent cabinet meeting and has angered many residents in the town, some of whom turned out to a town council meeting last week.

Before the meeting of the planning and amenities committee commenced members of the pubic took the floor to air their concerns.

Former Seaton Town Councillor Bob Buskin said: “Please would this council use all the powers it has to fight tooth and nail.”

He added: “We have got to stop it somehow. It is just pathetic even to try and do it.”

Further concerns were raised by the public over the limited access to the area and fears that the route would not be restored and would become a road.

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One resident added: “Windsor Gardens is one of the few beautiful areas in Seaton.”

The meeting heard that 11 dwellings have currently been given permission and that approval was being been sought for a further four one-bedroom apartments. Councillor John Meakin said: “I am opposed to anything being built there – access is so ridiculous. It is over-developed.”

The council agreed it would object to proposals for the apartments on the grounds that the site was over developed, the lack of access and limited access for emergency vehicles.

When discussing the proposals for Windsor Gardens Cllr Meakin said he was concerned by the district council’s “lack of openess” after holding discussions in Part B, which excluded members of the public and press.

He suggested a cash bond be placed with the district council to ensure “something good comes out of it for the town” and that money is in place to reinstate the gardens.

Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Burrows was reluctant about putting forward this proposal and hoped it would not go that far.

The district council told the Midweek Herald that it agreed to allow access for the developer on the grounds that work will be carried out to enhance the gardens and rebuild a retaining wall.

Cllr John Seward urged the town to take action and feared if the land was allowed to be used for an access that it may never be reinstated and could stay as an access to the housing site.

He said: “The only way forward is for the whole town to take action. If we don’t want Windsor Gardens to go, or part of it to go, permanently the town has to be up in arms to stop it.”

Cllr Heather Sanham advised that a strong representation be made to the district council and set out its objection to the way the matter has been handled.

The council requested that a meeting be held with the district council.