District siding with developers

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Justin Haque and Katy Bowen, of Start, Slapton, write:

We would like to express our dismay at the South Hams Council’s attempt to assist

the proposed development at Green Park Way, Chillington.

The decision to publish the revised drainage plans over the Christmas period with a deadline of January 13 illustrates a cynical attempt to get this issue passed when the considerable amount of resident opposition is otherwise distracted.

Furthermore, it shows the district council’s continued desire to steer developers over the line on applications that are considerably more lucrative to the council than protecting ­residents’ interests.

The drainage revision itself is a ‘sticking plaster’ on the flash floods that have occurred in Chillington and the A379 over the past couple of years.

The published suggestions will do little to mitigate the ­present flooding threat and, more importantly, the future flooding effect of the proposed 65-house development on Green Park Way.

It should be noted that the proposed site for development was completely rejected under the 2011 Rural Area Site Allocation Plan.

Last year the National Trust criticised local councils for not protecting the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This is a case in point, since this site’s sheer scale and position will have a major impact on the surrounding AONB.

It seems strange that the ­district continues to navigate the developer past any practical, legal and planning obstacles that are set before it. Its decision to create a ‘local centre’ within the joint local plan by merging Chillington and Stokenham fails to meet 90 per cent of the required criteria.

The seemingly endless ­‘ribbon development’ along the A379 is suburbanising this once rural area at an alarming rate.

South Hams council is ignoring the needs of the existing ­residents, the observations of the National Trust regarding the AONB and simply promoting all developers’ interests.

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