Planning officers and some councillors appear to have taken it upon themselves to change this core remit of East Devon District Council. And worryingly, under the
Freedom Of Information Act — can provide no paperwork on any aspect of the issue.
And East Devon District Council has also admitted that no committee ever approved this decision.
Moving away from protecting the countryside — which seems to have happened some time during 2008 — has huge implications for future planning decisions — AND if the environmentally damaging planning strategy is not dramatically amended, it will be ever easier to build anywhere in our beautiful countryside — two thirds of which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
A planning application to build a large industrial pig unit on the edge of West Hill at Venn Ottery in the AONB has so far been refused. However the developer claims he was told there would not be a difficulty with his application and intends to appeal.
How can this fundamental shift in policy been allowed to happen so casually?
The campaign group I am part of which uncovered this deplorable situation —Communities Before Developers — will be taking this further.
For more information visit: Communities before developers
Picture: Looking out over the Sid Valley (Sid Vale Association)