Martin Herbert, of Beeson, writes:

I refer to the apparent conurbation, by stealth and ineptitude of Stokenham, Chilling­ton, Oddicombe and Frogmore.

In a joined-up thinking world, the first thoughts before granting of any sizeable planning applications should be the existing infrastructure.


We all know the A379 will not cope with the additional traffic the proposed number of houses will generate.


GPs: The existing Health Centre in Chillington would appear to be currently operating at full capacity.

Hospitals: The additional congestion of the roads would mean that a trip to Derriford or Torbay hospitals, currently a three-hour round trip, not including waiting time and appointment duration, would escalate to a day out with a possible overnight stay.

Emergencies: In an emergency, the above scenario could result in an increase in the number of ‘dead on arrival’ pronouncements.

South West Water

Has anybody thought to ask South West Water for its opinion regarding the total number of new houses proposed?

Surface water: The existing drainage is already struggling with rain water run-off from the fields. If that land is then concreted over it will create an increased run-off resulting in a fair number of existing homes becoming uninsurable.

Foul water: Can the existing drainage and water treatment works cope with a substantial increase in use? I doubt it.


Is there capacity for a sudden influx of new pupils without jeopardising the quality of teaching and attention the existing school children enjoy?

I could go on with the negatives but instead would offer some proposals after these simple questions:

* Do we need this number of new houses?

* Who will be able to afford and live in them?

* Where will they work?

* Will we need a Job Centre?


Sorry, I haven’t really got one – except maybe congestion charges.


I propose a new multibillion-pound hospital to incorporate the services supplied by South Hams Hospital and Dartmouth Hospital and the Chillington Health Centre in a ‘one-stop health shop’.

However, the cost of the proposed new houses would be beyond the majority of new hospital staff therefore ancillary accommodation would also be required.

This project should be commenced at least 15 years before any housing projects are approved.

On the bright side, the buildings vacated by the existing hospitals and health centre could be demolished to make way for more unwanted housing.


As we seem to be determined to destroy the tourist industry which directly or indirectly employs the majority of people in this area, I propose we spend as little money as possible. Instead I would suggest outfalls into Slapton Ley at one end and Frogmore Creek the other. Eventually we could award ourselves a brown flag for bathing water quality.


Enlarge existing/build more – again before any housing projects are approved.

Affordable homes

If South Hams Council approves the applications being tabled it will have inadvertently solved the problem of ‘affordable homes. 

The youngsters, upon seeing the despoilment of their birthplace, will no longer want to live and work here.

The demise of the tourist industry will necessitate people upping sticks and moving to other parts. We will be left with an awful lot of empty houses!