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16th July 2014 - PLANNING UPDATE
As you may know, Gilpin yesterday received permission from Devon County Council for its latest plans for the site. The permission is temporary and means that they can use the site as a base for their demolition business until 2017 (to an extent, they were already doing this in breach of conditions set out by DCC, however we expect that the traffic and activity will now increase).
There was a coachload of objectors from the town and four Forum members spoke against the proposal.
However the Development Management Committee took very little notice of any of our objections - indeed most were not even debated.
The omens for the day did not start well when we noticed that Mike Deaton, a senior planning officer at DCC, had 'liked' Georgina Gilpin's (misleading and inaccurate) comments on the Forum Facebook page. He hastily removed the like, although not before we had screen grabbed it.
At the Development Management Committee it was Mike Deaton who sat next to the Chairman to give planning advice on the application to the voting members.
We now have to wait to see the exact nature of the conditions that DCC set for the site.
We also have to make a decision on how to respond to this setback.
We would like to hear from you with your thoughts on how to proceed.
We have several options including possible judicial review of the process (which we feel was not handled correctly - but review is expensive).
A formal complaint has already been sent by the Forum to the Chief Executive of DCC with regards to unethical behaviour and unlawful breaches of due process by DCC, and also regarding Conditions. DCC have repeatedly refused to divulge a key report apparently justifying why enforcement action of planning breaches were continually held in abeyance.
We will also need to monitor the activity at the quarry from this point forward and make sure that conditions are adhered to fully and that DCC acts quickly and decisively to enforce any breaches of conditions.
A lot of people in the town have been fighting this battle long and hard. We have stopped the most catastrophic threat to our future twice and we can be proud of that. We are obviously concerned that Gilpin's latest tactic is the thin end of the wedge and it was noticeable, that despite their recent misleading charm offensive, Sam Gilpin clearly stated at our Public Meeting that he would consider further industrialisation of the site.
I'd like to thank you all for your support over the past few years. I think that if Gilpin think that this setback means that we will all throw in the towel, they are very much mistaken.
All at Buckfastleigh Community Forum
15th July 2014 - BCF Letter to Cllr. Norrey view here
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