• Another business forum member gets permission for office units

    4th January 2013 | News | Claire
  • Mr Page-Turner recently issued a press release, claiming that the forum was transparent and bemoaning a possible loss of public funding, as a result of the EDBF scrutiny task and finish forum, which was set up in September 2012.

    EDBF honorary secretary and EDDC economic development officer, Nigel Harrison, supported Mr Page-Turner’s application, although it was contrary to EDDC’s planning policy.

    So did several other members of EDBF.

    Mr Page-Turner has his own mini business park at Luppitt, it transpires, where most of the units were given permission in the months following EDDC’s decision to act on EDBF’s wishes and approve many planning applications for industrial and office use, on the basis that there isn’t enough of them in the district… despite an independent report advising to the contrary.

    For Mr Page-Turner’s application approved last year, Devon County Council was concerned enough about the proposal for offices and an art gallery in the narrow country lanes of Luppitt, to recommend refusal. 

    EDDC’s conservation officer also objected.  And planning officers duly recommended refusal but with Mr Page-Turner’s ward member (and planning committee member) Cllr David Key’s backing (the David Key who chaired the corporate overview committee in 2007 that adopted the wishes of EDBF to allocate much more industrial land and office space), and support from several other members of EDBF… the application was approved by the planning committee last April.

    The next EDBF scrutiny meeting is on Wednesday 23 January, starting at 6pm.  Members of the press and public are welcome to attend.  The meeting will be held in the council chamber at the Knowle, and public speaking will take place at the beginning of the meeting.

    See Sidmouth Independent News for the full story:

    http://sidmouthindependentnews.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/reflections-on-the-meaning-of-transparency/