Seaton Town Council to reconsider Green Wedge planning application – after public meeting’s request
After Tuesday’s public meeting attended by over 150 residents – which almost unanimously opposed application 22/2781/MOUT – on Thursday I wrote (as the meeting had asked me to) to the Town Mayor, Town Clerk and councillors asking the full Council to reconsider their planning committee’s support for the bid. I drew their attention to the Environment Agency’s objection on grounds of flood risk (see the text of my email below).
I didn’t get a reply but on Friday, the Council posted on the planning portal: “In light of comments submitted by the Environment Agency on 20 February the Town Council would like to reconsider the application. It is hoped that a meeting can be held on Monday 6 March and any comments could be submitted by the end of that week or the beginning of the following week.”
I also got an email from Cllr Marcus Hartnell saying: “Since the meeting … further information has been received from the Environment Agency (EA) concerning flood risk. This is of concern to me, and recognising the overwhelming consensus from those who attended the public meeting, and to ensure the response from Seaton Town Council is robust, I have put forward a motion that the planning application is reconsidered and debated at the Full Council meeting on 6th March. My motion was sent to the Town Clerk yesterday and is now confirmed to be included on the agenda.”
THE MEETING ON 6th MARCH IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – the agenda is still to be published.
HERE’S MY EMAIL:
Dear Amrik, Jules and councillors,
I write at the request of a public meeting about this development, held on Tuesday 21st February in the Gateway, which I chaired. The meeting of over 150 Seaton and Colyford residents was unanimous, apart from Cllr Marcus Hartnell, in opposing this development.
The meeting expressed its disappointment that Seaton Town Council’s Planning Committee, attended by only four out of its seven members, had voted to recommend approving the development in principle (subject only to Highways concerns), despite strong opposition from the public. Our meeting was reminded by several former town councillors that the Town Council had consistently opposed applications for development on this site in the past, in line with the vast majority of local opinion as well as the adopted Local Plan.
We feel that the Planning Committee did not fully consider the range of issues that are raised by this proposal. Indeed I am informed that apart from Cllr Hartnell no member actually spoke to the issues. The Committee was unaware, for example, that concerns about flooding due to the development, raised by local residents, have been reinforced by the Environment Agency’s objection to it on grounds of its inadequate Flood Risk Assessment.
As I recall previous proposals for this site (and other major developments), in view of their importance to the town and the strength of public feeling, have been considered by the full Town Council. I therefore assume that in line with usual practice, the Planning Committee’s minutes will be on the agenda of the next Town Council meeting for its consideration, before any response is submitted to EDDC.
We request that the full Council then take that opportunity to revise the Town Council’s recommendation. I wish to notify you that I and other participants in Tuesday’s meeting intend to attend the Council to speak on this matter.
Please confirm that time will be provided in your next full Council for proper consideration of this matter which has aroused wide public concern.