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Philip Evans


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SEATON: No to more apartments?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


ANOTHER full house in expected at Seaton Town Hall tonight (Tuesday) when the town council meet to discuss the plan by McCarthy & Stone to build 43 retitrement apartments on the Seaton regeneration site. In the first of their new schedule of meetings, which sees the council move away from holding their full council meeting on the second Tuesday of every month, tonight’s meeting has been switched to the main hall because a large crowd of residents are expected to attend. There is growing dissatisfaction in the town over the plan to build the retirement apartments on the site adjacent to Tesco rather than the expected 100-room hotel, as originally planned. One councillor is expected to claim that Seaton has been “stitched up” by East Devon District Council, the planning authority and Tesco over broken promises for the development of the generation site. Two hundred houses are also planned for the site but the town council was up in arms when it was revealed that none of these would be affordable homes. Whilst there is an acceptance that the proposed Jurassic Coast Centre, also planned for the site, will bring more people into the town, some traders are still sceptical about the siting of such a facility. Despite sterling efforts of the Town Development Team, now hived off into a separate organisation and not a town council committee, to attract more people into the town centre, footfall numbers have declined dramatically since the demise of the Lyme Bay Holiday Village site where Tesco is situated. One motion that will go before tonight’s meeting will come from district councillor and former mayor Peter Burrows, who will move: “This council informs East Devon District Council that Seaton wishes to see a growing vibrant town with an opportunity for business to expand. This will not be achieved if we continue to allow more homes, specifically for older people, being built.” Another subject of much concern in Seaton is the unkempt state of the former Woolworth building in Marine Place, which has been unoccupied for many years. Deputy chairman John Meakin will table a motion at tonight’s meeting urging the council to contact the owners of the building and ask them to tidy up its appearance. On a more positive note, town clerk Chris Drake will present a report tonight on how the £82,000 of planning gain (Section 106) funding from East Devon District Council will be spent in the town. In a consultaion process with the people of Seaton, with 279 responding, 47 per cent voted in favour of creating a mini-adventure golf course to replace the simple putting green in Seafield Gardens at a cost of £74,000. Other matters to be discussed at tonight’s meeting will include the setting up of a Seaton Youth Council to encourage younger people to engage in the election process and be able to express their views in a friendly environment. Councillors will also discuss dedicating a seat at the Cliff Field Gardens in memory of the late Chris Byrne-Jones.


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