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COLYTON: Green wedge objectors argue parish council not showing enough support

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A COLYFORD resident has expressed disappointment at the “lack of support” from Colyton parish councillors in fighting the proposed development of the green wedge between Colyford and Seaton.
Colyford resident Bonte Pocock, wife of parish councillor Robin Pocock, spoke about the “divide” between the village and Colyton at last week’s parish council meeting.
She said she was disappointed at how few councillors had got involved with the campaign against the development of 170 houses, light industrial units and other facilities on land between Colyford and Seaton, both at East Devon planning meetings and fundraisers for the Seaton and Colyford Green Wedge Community Action Group, which has been raising money for a planning consultant to represent them at an appeal hearing for the proposed development, which was held last week and continues today (Tuesday).
Speaking in the public forum at last week’s meeting, the night before the appeal hearing began, Mrs Pocock said: “What you probably won’t know is the fact that I used to be on Musbury Parish Council when we first came here and I have always had an interest in local government and affairs. I have been very involved with Robin with this planning application and have been disappointed at how few Colyton parish councillors have come to our fundraising effortsand planning meetings.
“There seems to be a divide between the Colyton parish councillors and the ones from Colyford. That’s how it seems to us.
“If there was an application that affected Colyton as much as this one affects Colyford, the people of Colyford would turn out to support you.
“Please come along over the next four days to show we are in this together.”
Councillor Rodney Turner replied: “If that’s the opinion felt in Colyford I’m quite diappointed. A lot of us work full time andf are putting a lot of time into this community.”
Council chairman Andrew Parr pointed out that he had been chosen by fellow members to attend the planning meetings at East Devon to represent all of them, so it had not been necessary for everyone to attend.
Councillor Bob Collier, chairman of the parish’s planning committee, said he had not been able to get involved as he knew the landowners of the proposed site so he had a personal interest.
He added: “I have always considered it to be one parish and we have got to give and take. I’m sorry to hear people feel that way.”
The appeal hearing for the original green wedge planning application, refused by East Devon District Council earlier this year, opened last Tuesday and was expected to finish on Friday but overran and will continue today (Tuesday) with a site meeting. Applicants Seaton Park (Devon) Ltd. are appealing against East Devon’s refusal of their plans, while members of the community action group argue it should not be allowed.
A second similar application for the green wedge, submitted by the same company, was also recently refused.


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