WENDY LAUD, of Lower Coltscombe, Slapton, writes: Having read Chris Thomas's letter, Gazette, May 8, concerning the Coltscombe development, I would like to point out that he was factually incorrect on several counts. First, this development has not been designed specifically and only for the use of severely handicapped people. In Mr Costello's application on the site page it is indicated clearly that only two of the pods will be high-dependency units. Second, Chris Thomas states that it is a 'very small' development. At present Lower Coltscombe is a tiny hamlet consisting of six barns, only one of which is detached, one farmhouse and a tiny cottage, so I do not agree that in this setting the development is very small. The plans are for six pods consisting of 12 semi-detached units, a hydrotherapy pool, fitness centre, community hall and a 3,500-square-foot house for Mr Costello himself, together with parking for 22 cars. I do wonder how familiar he is with Lower Coltscombe, as he writes that the residents 'amount to half-a-dozen properties, most of which fall into the million-pound bracket'. I wish! This is totally untrue and wildly exaggerated, as none of the properties fall into this bracket; in fact, only two of the eight would fetch over £500,000 and the remainder would fetch far less. However, my guess would be that Mr Costello's proposed house, if built, would be worth well in excess of £1m. My late mother was severely disabled for the last 14 years of her life, so I am fully aware of the needs of the disabled, having helped care for her, and I take offence at Mr Thomas calling the Lower Coltscombe residents 'this lot'. None of us are in any way prejudiced against the disabled. However, Lower Coltscombe is situated in an area of 'protected undeveloped coast' where no new holiday sites are permitted, so no development of any kind, whether for the disabled or not, should be allowed. Mr Costello seems to think if he adds the tag 'eco' and 'disabled' he will be allowed to ride roughshod over this policy. Even if Lower Coltscombe was not protected, the site that Mr Costello proposes to build on is simply not fit for purpose. It is complete nonsense to try to build this sort of facility on a steep hillside, which is accessed only by extremely narrow lanes, and even if his disabled visitors have motor transport, the surrounding villages and beautiful countryside are almost impossible to enjoy from a wheelchair. I know this from personal experience. I would suggest that Mr Costello withdraws his application forthwith.
Emotive words and snob slurs
Thursday 14th May 2015 10:00 pm