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Stand Up For Seaton (SU4S)

Community Action for Seaton's Regeneration Area, 80% owned by Tesco - a floodplain on a World Heritage site bordered by nature reserves, tidal river, the sea and the unspoilt town. SU4S is a state of mind - no members, no structure, no politics. SU4S has objected to 2 planning applications by Tesco, including one for a massive superstore/dot com distribution centre which led to the recent closure on the site of 400 tourist beds with the loss of 150 jobs,a gym and pool - all used by locals.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Monday conundrum - (or how we got to live with the marsh project)

Is purchase of more acres of marshes in Seaton dependent on money to be
received from the major developers of the Seaton Regeneration area?

Can we get one thing clear? East Devon District Council [EDDC] is saying
that the Seaton Wetlands project is NOT linked to the planning
application for the Seaton Regeneration Area.
However, on EDDC’s own website, they have a copy of their own press
release dated 9 November 2006 which can be found

It states (amongst other things):

“In his report to EDDC’s Executive Board, Mr Karime Hassan, Corporate
Director Environment,suggests how this contribution could take shape by:
……… Agreeing with the developers that they will part-fund the
acquisition of land between Seaton Marshes and Colyford Common to create
a high quality wetlands wildlife reserve of regional significance.
Whilst each of these proposals would be linked to TDP’s [Liatris –
Seaton Regeneration area] development proposals, they are dependent on
two key events – a series of successful land deals [with EDDC] and,
subsequently, permission being granted by EDDC’s independent Development
Control Committee."
[after they have been guided by EDDC officers who act as a major
landowner on the site, a major developer on the site and the planning
authority for the site AND who have already agreed that the day that
planning permission is granted on the site EDDC will sell its land to

Can someone explain to me how the Wetlands project ISN’T linked to the
Seaton Regeneration area planning application having read the above?

There is one simple way to prove it, of course – don't use the
developer's money to buy more wetlands acreage. Section 106 money is
"dirty money" if used to purchase the Wetlands rather than giving the
people of Seaton what THEY want and need - community facilities which
are being lost and not replaced and the overnight accommodation for
350-400 tourists per night which are being lost and not replaced. The
Wetlands is an excellent concept – so excellent it will have no problems
attracting other funders.

Please explain to us: why have we not been consulted about this? Who
decided how the money should be spent? How can the "independent
Development Control Committee" make an informed decision if they are not
in possession of all the facts and if they are unaware of how the people
of Seaton feel about this betrayal?

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thanks to everyone who turned up to see us today

Thanks to everyone who turned up to see us at the Town Hall today - it was very encouraging. It was great to see so many people and to hear what they had to say - it was really interesting and stimulating.

Please use your votes on Thursday - whatever your political persuasion. Let's get a really good turn-out to show EDDC that Seaton has become a force to be reckoned with. And let's all keep building up the ever-increasing community spirit in Seaton that will keep it that way!

Stand Up For Seaton!

Some Independent candidates having "open day" on Saturday 28 April

Eight Independent candidates
who have the support of the Stand Up For Seaton campaign (see sidebar) who are standing for Seaton Town Council in the elections on Thursday 3 May 2007 will be holding an "Open Meeting" at Seaton Town Hall on
Saturday 28 April 2007 between 11 am and 4 pm.

If you want to meet them and ask them questions before the council election or give them feedback about any issues concerning Seaton please feel free to turn up any time on that day.
Any other truly independent candidates, who are not being backed by registered political parties for their election campaign, who want to publicise their meetings are free to contact us and we will also publicise their events.

The 8 Independent Stand Up For Seaton candidates supported by the Stand Up For Seaton web log: Sandra Semple, Mel Greenyer, Sophie O'Connell, Julia Roebuck, Claire Wise, Graham Jones, Bob Palacio and Pepita Collins

Friday, April 27, 2007

Stand Up For Seaton meets up with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage

Members of Stand Up For Seaton spent this afternoon being filmed with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage fame. Hugh made contact with Stand Up For Seaton himself as he had read our blog and seen the plans for the Seaton Regeneration area and wanted to to talk with us about them.

Stand Up For Seaton members then spent a couple of hours briefing him on the current planning application. They told him of the enormous opposition to the planning application in the town. He thought that the plans were completely unsuitable for Seaton and found it difficult to believe that they was even being discussed as a possibility. We also showed him the Seaton Development Trust alternative to the Liatris plan - the "Seaton Eye" (see link on the right) which he found very exciting.

Hugh supported our ideas for a "local food hall" rather than a "big four" supermarket. After the meeting, he spent some time on the beach with his film crew.

He has asked Stand Up for Seaton to keep him briefed on the situation in Seaton and has promised to help in whatever way he can.

Sandra becomes the subject of her first ever political rumour!

Fame at last - I am the subject of a political rumour sweeping the town!!!

The rumour is that I shall be on the council for only six months if elected. I'm not sure where the rumour started but, rest assured that, should I be elected, I am in it for the long haul!

And that ISN'T a rumour!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why this blog exists (a long post, sit down with a cup of tea!)

It is probably worthwhile repeating why this blog exists.


In October 2007 Tesco bought out Liatris Holdings Limited and now own
and control the vast majority of the Seaton Regeneration Area. They
have retained Liatris's planning consultants (TDP Partnership) and have,
as yet, come up with no new plans about what they wish to do with the
site and how they intend to do it.

Many groups have attempted to contact the Tesco spokesperson
(melanie.chiswell@uk.tesco.com) - most without success, although she has
agreed to speak to one sub-group of Seaton Development Trust at some
time in the future. As of today's date (1 February 2008) Tesco has made
no contact with Seaton Town Council to consult on the site and has made
no arrangements for a public consultation.

Previous part of this post (26th April)
The current planning application is for a major part of the Seaton Regeneration area site. This site is 18 hectares (44 acres) and is the only large remaining development site in the town. A part by the river (not in this planning application) is owned by a local company. The vast majority of the central area of the site (the holiday village, derelict caravan park) is owned by a developer (Liatris Holdings Ltd), the remaining part of the site (where the car park, tramway, tourist information centre and derelict youth club are) is owned by East Devon District Council (EDDC).

It is bounded to the north by a local nature reserve (25 acres), to the east by the River Axe, to the west by the town centre and to the south (some 200 m away) the beach and sea area - part of the World Heritage Jurassic coastline. The Southwest Coast path passes through the town and Seaton will be a major terminus for a new SUSTRANS cycle route from Minehead.

The town currently has a population of around 7,500 with a bias to those over 50 and particularly those over 65. Its largest industry is tourism. This is both day tourism (to visit the nature reserve, the Jurassic Coast, the beach, Seaton Tramway) and long-stay tourism (a 400 bed holiday village which is occupied 80% of the time, 50 weeks a year).

The town has no community centre, no youth facilities (the youth club on the development site has just closed), no arts facility, no indoor sports facilities, no meeting rooms for local clubs and societies. We do have a Town Hall (owned by EDDC but this consists of one massive ground floor room and two very small rooms upstairs (max 20 people per room) with no access for people with disabilities as it has only stair access. The Town Hall costs so much to hire, few local groups can afford to use it.

At the moment, the people of the town use the facilities at the holiday village - gym, fun pool, a 30 place day nursery at which 28 of the children are local and meeting rooms.

We worked with EDDC for about 4 years to develop a plan which was a compromise between what local people wanted and what EDDC felt we should have - this became the Seaton Regeneration Area Development Brief (see link opposite). It stated that we needed community facilities, an iconic Jurassic Coast Visitor Centre, some housing, some live/work units and some shops It was based on a wide boulevard (with central parking) which led the eye down to the river from the town or up to the town from the river. It retained the land where the holiday village is for long-stay tourism (much was made of the need to retain this facility in the Local Plan and the Development Brief). However, buried on the back page of this development brief there was a killer paragraph which says:

"Whilst a broad assessment has been undertaken to determine the overall viability of the development brief, this has not been able to take into account the full range of contributions which would be sought or the precise level of infrastructure costs. There will therefore need to be a more detailed appraisal of costs and values before the level of contributions can be determined. ..... The actual disposition of the uses within the site however is not prescriptive."

It transpires that EDDC had known all along that the site would need to be raised and that this would require infill but had not told us this. This made the entire development brief unviable - four wasted years. No detailed appraisal of costs and values was then made by EDDC - this came from the developer when he put his planning application in and showed that cost of infilling were so high, almost none of the benefits described in the document would be affordable.

In order to progress the current planning application, it will be necessary to:

1. Bring in 1 million tons of infill to raise the site up up to 2m. This will take 65-90 lorries per day, 10 hours per day, 6 days per week for between 3-4 YEARS (yes, that is right YEARS). This approximates to roughly one lorry every 3 minutes in one direction or other on the two minor roads which lead into the town - Seaton Down Hill or Harepath Road. Lorries will also have to come through local villages to reach Seaton.
2. We lose the holiday village and with it 90% of our overnight tourism capacity (and more than 60% of the tourist capacity in the area from Branscome to Axmouth and north to Colyton).
3. We therefore lose all our community facilities, none of which will be replaced (actually there has been talk of a small room - 30 sq m which could be a meeting room OR gym OR nursery but it is only talk). There will be no replacement of the overnight tourist accommodation.
4. Flood relief to the site and surrounding properties will be by means of a monsoon drain (50 ft wide, 10 feet deep, 20 feet across the bottom). This will be grassed and paved and called a "walkway and cycleway" even though it leads to a dead end. If it fills with more than 10 inches of water it will sweep a man off his feet. This will be the ONLY public open space on the site with the exception of a small paved square at the entrance to the supermarket (called a "town square" but actually the entrance to supermarket, tramway and visitor centre and the only primary route into town, which would be through the back of the Co-op car park).
5. The "iconic" visitor centre will have a footprint of only 500 sq m and will need to be 3 storeys high to accommodate interpretation material. It will be between a main road (the Underfleet) and a 5,000 sq m supermarket which itself will be next to a 2,600 sq m non-food store (our current largest shop - a Co-op supermarket - is 750 sq m). This cannot be iconic or worth a long trip for a visit.
6. The supermarket will be 6 times the size of our largest shop in the town, the non food store nearly 4 times larger. The supermarket will have 555 parking spaces which will need to be shared with tourists who will be allowed to stay for no more than 3 hours - after that they will pay a fine. There will be no links to the small, independent stores in the current high street (Fore Street). What is called the "link" is turning a roundabout into a T-junction, which has to happen anyway.
7. On the entire site there will be about 650 houses in total - this will mean about 1,500 extra people in the town, of which some 300 are expected to get jobs with the new store and small shops. (150 will lose their jobs at the holiday village, so the net gain would be about 150 mostly part-time and low-paid jobs). This will leave several hundred people on the site without jobs. Our quota for the district to 2011 is 300 homes in total, according to the Local Plan, of which about half have already been built. There will be no extra infrastructure (roads, community facilities etc) either for the town or for the new residents on this site.
8. Affordable housing should total about 180 homes. However, in November 2005 the developer applied to a public inquiry to reduce this to 75 due to the cost of building up the site.
9. Our local district council will receive money from the developer both for the land it owns and for allowing the developer to build on the site. They will spend this money on: (1) the affordable houses (see 8 above), (2) the tiny visitor centre (see 5 above) and (3) the purchase of 250 acres of marshland in addition to the 25 acres they currently own to develop a national nature reserve. There is no money for community facilities. We believe that the Wetlands project should use money from other sources and not from the regeneration site as we think it can attract all its funding from outside sources. The money will be spent on nothing else. Officially the money is to "replace or enhance" facilities which will be lost. EDDC say that the tiny Visitor Centre and the extension of the marshes is adequate replacement and enhancement for lost facilities.
10. The District Council has already agreed (in November 2006) that as soon as the developer receives planning permission (from the District Council) on that day it will sell its land to the developer to "facilitate development". It will not be offered, with planning permission, on the open market. At first they wanted to delegate this to two people (one councillor and one council officer) but we forced them to ensure that this is considered by the Council Executive Committee.

The planning application has so far attracted nearly 900 objections and 8 letters of support. One letter of support has as many cons as pros and one states that the writer supports the planning application because he might at last be able to get his hair washed and cut, instead of cut only, at a new barbers shop!

The developer paid for a 4 page "wrap round" to the local newspaper to trumpet the development before objections had to be in. This therefore persuaded only 6 people to write in support of their plans.

Meetings on this matter have never resulted in an audience of less than 300 and sometimes up to 600. When given only 48 hours notice of a debate about selling the District Council's land at the council offices some 10 miles away, we managed to get 130 people to turn up to protest on a wet and windy November night.

Since then the developer's agent has refused to meet with us. He has now said that he will meet with no more than 4 people, he wishes to control the agenda and he prefers to meet on a Friday after 2 pm!!!

The developer has never ever made contact with us, everything is left to his agent (who operates from Wolverhampton). All we know is that the company belongs to a larger group which has made its money out of developing (and selling) casinos - in particular a casino in a small seaside town (Westcliffe on Sea) which was the second largest casino in the country. It also seems to work in partnership with small holiday companies who sell "unviable" concerns to it which they then develop. Liatris Holdings Ltd is managed from the Channel Island by a group that manages money for "high net worth" individuals.

And there we are - a town united in its repugnance for what is being foisted upon it. An effort to build a modern slum - probably populated by older people and second-homers - with a massive supermarket suited to a town two or three or four times our size (though interestingly Sidmouth is the only town in the area that doesn't have a supermarket this size even though it is twice as large as Seaton) on one of the most beautiful sites in the country - and a flood plain at that.

Who listens to us? Well, you are reading this blog - perhaps you will listen to us. Or, if you are a resident of Seaton, work with us to get a better deal - we deserve it after the decades of under-investment by our local district council.

There ARE alternatives - have a look at the one worked up by Seaton Development Trust by clicking here or the link in the right hand column and see which you prefer - the developer's plans or those created in the town.

If you want to help, get in touch, either through this blog or by contacting any Stand Up For Seaton campaigner.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Liatris/Terry Dinham reply

Recall that Stand Up For Seaton, Seaton Development Trust and Seaton Town Council wrote jointly to Terry Dinham (Liatris's agent) to suggest a meeting (with or without EDDC). Here is the reply which was addressed only to the Chair of the Town Council:

"I would be very pleased to meet you [the Town Council] again to discuss our development proposals. If you feel that other unelected groups should also be represented then I have no objection to this, however, in the light of difficulties we experienced at last summer's meeting, I would only wish to attend such a meeting if it is limited in numbers and follows an agreed agenda.

I therefore suggest that your side is limited to a maximum of five attendees. I will bring my colleague George Newcombe and possibly one other colleague. I would be pleased if EDDC were represented, but you will need to agree this with them. I further suggest the agenda is based around your Council's formal objection to our planning application.

A 2pm start on a Friday afternoon would be best for me.

Terry Dinham FRICS."

The meeting referred to "last summer" was actually called by Terry Dinham to "explain" the masterplan that had been in the Town Hall for two days earlier. He had not set an agenda nor had he tried to control the type of people at the meeting, which was limited by the size of the small room upstairs at the Town Hall where it was held.

There were no difficulties at all, as far as I recall (I was there). They presented their masterplan and we all explained why it was not acceptable. They were very unhappy to hear that we did not like it (and bear in mind this was BEFORE we learned about the million tons of infill, the monsoon drain and the supermarket 6 times the size of the Co-op and the 650 homes) and got really very irate.

It was at that meeting that I (and others) brought up: the lack of community facilities, the enormity of the supermarket and the lack of overnight tourist accommodation. Mr Dinham said that there was no space for community buildings and we would have to buy land from the developer and find the money to build our own building, he said that "shopping is a leisure activity" and said that there would be a "small hotel" of about 30-40 beds on the Axe Riverside site (where he had absolutely no control over what would be built).

I find it more and more puzzling that these top notch businessmen are finding Seatonians so difficult to deal with. Surely, they all participate in the cut and thrust of commercial life? Surely they have come across people much more difficult than we simple townsfolk?

And where does this "Friday afternoon at 2 pm would suit me best" come from? Does he have a holiday home in Sidmouth!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Seaton, Cranbrook, community space

Someone has said to me re the item below (Cranbrook New Town to get a purpose-built, flexible use community centre as soon as the 150th house is completed), "Ah, but what about Seaton Town Hall - that's community space".

Well, let's look at this. One very, very large room with absolutely no storage space on the ground floor. So if, for example, a group is rehearsing for three or four days, it takes a block booking and no-one else can use it. This is NOT multi-use, multi-purpose. A multi-purpose building is capable of being used by several groups at the same time with halls and rooms of different sizes, rooms which can be made larger or smaller by partition, etc. Most community centres (and practically all of the new ones) have indoor sports facilities, shower rooms, etc and are, of course, fully accessible to people with disabilities. Seaton is the only town in East Devon without an indoor sports hall.

The Town Hall has one room upstairs (the Council Chamber) which seats no more than 20 people (with great difficulty) and can't be used if the council needs it for meetings, which are frequent. It also has a space about the same size opposite that room, with a small kitchenette, where a full-height, folding, plastic door can be pulled over to give some semblance of privacy. Both rooms upstairs are approached by a flight of stairs with a full bend half way up. There is no lift or stairlift. They are therefore totally inaccessible to people in wheelchairs or anyone who has a problem with stairs. There are no toilets for disabled people on the first floor either, of course. In both rooms you can stand outside and hear every word of what is being said inside even when doors are fully closed (very embarrassing when the Housing Benefit people visit Seaton as they have to whisper so as not to be overheard, which is very difficult if you are deaf).

The Town Council has considered changing the Council Chamber into an office and renting it out to try to get some much-needed income for the town but can't do it because there is no access for disabled people and no toilet facilities for them on the first floor.

EDDC dictates the prices of hire for each of the rooms (the Town Hall belongs to EDDC NOT to Seaton Town Council). The ground floor hall is almost always completely booked out for Saturdays but is often not booked at all during the week. Why? The cost puts people off, the size of the ground floor room is not flexible enough for many activities (10 or 20 people are lost in such a big room) and the rooms upstairs are too small and inaccessible.

Groups using the Town Hall are starting to cut down their expenses in order to pay for using it: for example, drama groups that took it for a week to rehearse are now taking it for only 3-4 days or finding other ways of cutting costs such as not having an orchestra but having only 2-3 musicians.

I went to a meeting of Town Hall users about two years ago when the Manager of the theatre at Exmouth said that in order for Seaton Town Hall to be a suitable venue for more events, it would need (a) a better foyer with dedicated box office, (b) better seating arrangement and (c) better arrangement for the bar and (d) better storage. He mentioned that, if you made some of these changes you might use the Town Hall for things such as weddings. Would you use the Town Hall, with its chipped aubergine paint, uncomfortable chairs and echoing vastness for your wedding!

At a meeting about 2 years ago, I suggested that, as most rooms lie idle during the week due to the cost of hire, EDDC should have a trial period of offering cut-price use of the facilities on some weekdays. I was told that the extra ost of employing the caretaker to open and lock up would mean that this could not be done. You therefore have a situation where people can't afford to use the Town Hall so it stays empty and because it stays empty we are told that we don't need any other facilities. Work that one out!

EDDC has tried for years to get Seaton Town Council to take on the Town Hall and run it. They have resisted this because they would then have to take on the insurance of the building and all its repairs - something the Town Council cannot afford. And no doubt there would be many strings attached to running it, too. Not to mention a board of trustees would be needed to take it on - in its current state and with its current problems.

At a meeting for potential Town Councillors hosted by Mark Williams, Chief Executive of EDDC, he mentioned that Town Halls could take over services such as street cleaning, etc from EDDC. When I asked him if EDDC would then rebate the town for the cost of these services which EDDC would no longer have to provide (e.g. salary, pension costs, national insurance, etc) he said that it was "not that easy". Therefore, the situation could arise if the town council ran its own services (including the Town Hall) that we would be paying twice for them - once to EDDC for services they no longer provided and once from the town council budget. This would mean that EDDC could then spend the money they saved in other towns where EDDC still employs people direct. Obviously, not a sensible thing to do.

No, the only route is a multi-purpose, purpose-built community centre. However, the Liatris site cannot provide this because (a) Liatris say they can't afford it if they have to bring in a million tons of infill to raise it and (b) EDDC can't afford it because the Section 106 money that Liatris gives to EDDC to be allowed to built on the site will almost certainly be used to purchase the remaining 250 acres of wetlands on Seaton Marshes to extend the current nature reserve to bring in 30,000 tourists who will have nowhere to stay because tourist accommodation on the site is being demolished to be replaced by housing and supermarkets. Or it will be used for the tiny visitor centre which no-one in their right mind would make a special trip to visit or on a few (very few) affordable houses (down from 180 to 75 at the moment).

1,200 - 1,500 extra people in the town and just the Town Hall as the only focus for community life. To paraphrase Through the Keyhole: Who lives in a town like this - over to you EDDC.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What's Cranbrook New Town got that Seaton hasn't got?

The new town of Cranbrook to the west of Exeter Airport is going to be the "jewel in the crown" for East Devon District Council planners. They get a blank canvas, so they can do anything they like. Cranbrook will have 2,900 homes - that's about 200 less than Seaton currently has and about 850 less than Seaton will have if the Liatris plan goes through.

There is a document available to the public on the EDDC website


called "East Devon New Community: Cranbrook: Employment and Retail Strategy" dated November 2006. Here are a few extracts:

Section 3.2: Multi-purpose community building - 500 sq m to be provided on the 0ccupation of the 150th dwelling.
Well, isn't that nice - we have 3,100 dwellings and we have NO multi-purpose community building. What are we being offered with Liatris? A community ROOM - 90 sq m. So Cranbrook gets a community building more than five times the size of ours as soon as the 15oth house is built.

Section 3.4: Up to 17,500 sq m of employment floorspace and up to 6,700 sq m of retail floor space.

Now here's a conundrum. If the Liatris plan does go ahead, we get ZERO sq m of employment floorspace and 7,600 sw m of retail floor space IN ADDITION TO OUR CURRENT HIGH STREET SHOPS. So, we end up with much more shopping space than Cranbrook (assuming the current Town Centre remains viable, of course ..... ah, I see.)

And, it says on page 12 of the report, that the 6,700 sq m of shopping space will result in 200-250 jobs. That's funny - we are being told that 7,600 sq m of shopping space will result in 300-350 jobs. How you cram 100 jobs in 900 sq m is going to be interesting to see!!!

So, if you live in Cranbrook you get 500 sq m of community space; if you live in Seaton you MIGHT get 90 sq m but there is no guarantee.

If you live in Cranbrook you get 6,700 sq m of retail space. If you live in Seaton you get more than 10,000 sq m of retail space - 7,600 sq m on the Liatris site plus the Co-op (750 sq m) and let's say 50 independent shops of 50 sq m each (that's being conservative) = 10,850 sq m.

Cranbrook will serve Exeter Airport, is very close to Exeter and to the M5. Seaton is in the middle of nowhere. Yet Cranbrook gets a community centre more than 5 times bigger than the one being offered to us by Liatris (currently we have nothing) and gets 30% fewer shops.

What's going on here?

You have up to TWELVE votes for Town Council

On speaking to people in the town square on Saturday, we found several people who thought that they got only one vote for Town Council and one vote for District Council.

Please be aware: you have UP TO TWELVE votes for Town Council and UP TO THREE votes for District Council.

There are 19 candidates for 12 seats for Town Council. 8 people are standing as "Independent: Stand Up For Seaton". You could therefore, if you wish, vote for all eight of them.

There are ten candidates standing for District Council.

Your vote on 3 May 2007 is VERY important. Please do make an effort to vote. The voting station is at the Town Hall and it is open from 7 am in the morning to 10 pm at night.

People can win or lose seats on just a handful of votes.

How long has the Wetlands project been on the cards and why now?

When I went to the "Truth about the Wetlands" exhibition (NOT consultation - again) recently, I asked one of the Countryside Team at EDDC how long the project had been talked about. He said about ten years.

Which begs the question: if it has been talked about for many years, why is it suddenly progressing now? Ten years ago EDDC was in a much better financial position than it is now so could have afforded to purchase the extra 250 acres of marshland presumably at any time. There were lottery grants and grants from utility companies then as there are now.

So, what is different now except the Liatris plans - which give EDDC to use money from the regeneration area to fund the project? EDDC keeps telling us that the project CAN stand alone without this money, yet in the last 10 years it was never spoken of publicly and never worked on as far as we know.

Remember people: money used for purchase of acres of wetlands (that we can already enjoy in Seaton), if it uses Liatris money, will be at the expense of affordable housing AND community facilities.

I would like to say: your choice. But, of course, it isn't - it's whatever EDDC decides is best for us. Unless our new district councillors after the 3 May elections can discover a bite or even a bark!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Reply from the developers - Liatris/Terry Dinham

Many weeks ago Seaton Town Council, Stand Up For Seaton and Seaton Development Trust sent a joint letter to Terry Dinham (agent for the developer - Liatris, as Liatris will NEVER speak directly to anyone) suggesting that we all meet (with or without EDDC representatives) to find a way through the current impasse about the regeneration area.

I said some days ago that we had not received a reply to this letter - which is correct. However, Seaton Town Council has received a reply. It does not offer a meeting but says that, should a meeting ever occur, they will deal only with the town's "elected representatives" - - i.e. Seaton Town Council.

That means that they will deal with 12-15 people (depending on who is elected to town and district councils on 3 May this year - see above and right - make your choice) out of a total population in this town of over 7,100 people. And until earlier this year, one of the town councillors was a paid employee of the development company (Mr Buskin declared this on the Register of Interests until he removed it just prior to the meeting of the Seaton Town Council Planning Committee, which he did not attend) which voted unanimously to advise EDDC to refuse the planning application. (Unfortunately, EDDC rarely takes our advice).

Mr Buskin has decided not to stand for the council this time round but a record 19 people have indicated that they will stand for election on 3 May, including the 8 independent candidates that are supported by the Stand Up For Seaton campaign.

So, it seems Liatris and Mr Dinham are too scared to meet members of other community groups, particularly Stand Up For Seaton. Scaredy cats! Come on, you dealt with the big boys with your casino interests - surely you can't be scared of a few "simple people" out in the sticks!!!!! Shame on you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Who pays for the Wetlands - the official line

Many of you will have seen the (very, very) glossy brochure on the new "Wetlands Nature Reserve" produced by EDDC. If you haven't got your copy, rush out and get one, they could become collectors items.

Why? Because it says on the back: .... who will fund it? The answer: A number of funders have already been identified, from statutory bodies to utility companies and charitable trusts. Significant funds will be sought via a grant from the National Lottery.

Remember folks, you saw it here - NO MONEY FROM LIATRIS (after all, they are not a statutory body, they are not a utility company and they are not a charitable trust, nor are they the National Lottery and no other organisation is mentioned). Unless, of course, they have missed a bit out .....

OK what odds are you offering me that NO Liatris money will go towards the Wetlands!

Pull the other one, EDDC!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

EDDC - smoke, mirrors, puff and spin

EDDC has sent out a press release saying that the Audit Commission's report on them has shown that they are a "good" council. This, in Audit Commission speak, means average.

The press release then goes on to spin the areas they are said to be OK in. What the press release DOESN'T do is mention the areas that the Audit Commission said they were weak in.

For the benefit of Stand Up For Seaton blog readers we will list these (again):
  • Its development control (planning) service is an area for improvement.
  • People are not clear about what the council's priorities are.
  • It does not always tell residents what standard of service they should expect.
  • It does not yet have strong clear plans in place to meet its future ambitions
Do these press office people REALLY think that we can't see past the spin!

Flood Risk on a Flood Plain: the experience in The Vale of York

In 2001 there were dreadful floods in York. A special Adjournment debate on planning guidance for developments on the flood plain in the Vale of York was called at the House of Commons. Here are some of the comments from that debate:

“How can a property owner protect land from acts of God such as floods caused by unprecedented weather that persists over several days, when the impact of that natural hazard is compounded by the actions of public authorities? The Environment Agency is looking closely at the impact on the flooding of the newly developed and recently opened park-and-ride scheme at Rawcliffe.

The floods caused 170 homes in Rawcliffe to be flooded and their occupants to be evacuated in the first week of last November. The park-and-ride scheme was deeply unpopular among residents, who resented it. The glossy, flashy consultation exercise cost many thousands of pounds, but not one resident of Rawcliffe received a leaflet about the scheme, or was consulted about it. People there could not believe their misfortune when the outcome of the consultation was to move the scheme, which had been so successful at Clifton Moor business park, to a greenbelt site at Rawcliffe. Injury has been added to insult: many of the families evacuated from the 170 homes have no realistic chance of returning for two or three months yet.

The park-and-ride scheme may have compounded the effects of the flood. Rumours that City of York council officials are to be feted, welcomed and congratulated in Downing street are especially inappropriate and insulting to residents of Rawcliffe, as the evacuees have no homes to go to.”

….. “Evidence given to the Select Committee on the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs showed that car parks and other developments can compound flood conditions. Tarmac allows water to accumulate until it is released in one big and dangerous whoosh.”

….. “In their planning policy guidance on development and flood risk, the Government absolve themselves of any statutory responsibility to make good losses to businesses, farmers or home owners. I fear that they may find the electorate unforgiving in this regard.”

…..”In its conclusions, the Select Committee recommended that only very exceptional development should be allowed in the functional flood plain. It also said that flood-proof construction techniques should be encouraged, and that sustainable drainage systems should be adopted. “ [sustainable drainage has NOT been adopted for the Seaton Regeneration area because the water table is too high before the site is built up]

“I heard today that tomorrow morning, at York race course, the Environment Agency's regional office for Yorkshire and the Humber will announce, together with the flood defence committee, a 63 per cent. increase on this year's flood levy for 2001-02. By any standards that is a massive increase--an increase of £10.7 million--and it will inevitably be passed on in an increase of at least 1 per cent. in council tax payments.”

We have been told that people on Harbour Road in Seaton (the lowest part of the area which encompasses the regeneration area) are lucky as their flood risk will improve. Why? Because the developers don't have to put flood relief channel through their site if they don't want to so they are very lucky that they are constructing the monsoon drain. Actually they are doing this for themselves and to reduce the flood risk to their own properties, not for anyone else.

God help us if the developer finds a way to build without the monsoon drain in order to get more houses on it! Literally up the creek without a paddle.

Let’s put it to the insurers of properties in Harbour Road and see what they say. By rights they should be saying: "Great - you used to have a flood plain for the water to go on straight away but now you have a 2m high island behind you and a monsoon drain, so now it goes down the road, turns left, goes through the site, turns right and goes into the river. That's MUCH better - here's 10% off your insurance premium".

Flood risk and the Environment Agency

Here is the current policy from the Environment Agency on building in flood risk areas:

Flood Management Through Spatial Planning
The Sequential Test

"Carrying out Strategic Flood Risk Assessments and undertaking the Sequential Test will help Local Authorities to allocate development sites and prepare policies in the future. We believe that the Sequential Test in its current form is a fundamental principle of spatial use planning and expect it to be carried out fully. Avoiding risk is a more sustainable and long-term solution than relying on construction of flood defences or local mitigation measures, such as the raising of floor levels."

Whoops - we are constructing flood defences, local mitigation and raising floor levels on the Seaton Regeneration site. Naughty.

Watch this space for a suggested way of avoiding flood risk on this area which is currently being worked on by Seaton Development Trust.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Councillors, council officers and secret deals

Below is the text of an email sent to all EDDC councillors this evening:

Dear Councillors,

This email is being sent to all councillors and will appear on the Stand Up For Seaton website (www.standup4seaton.blogspot.com).

Many of you will have seen the BBC1 television programme on the pros and cons of supermarkets aired on BBC1 this evening and the situation which pertained in North Norfolk District Council.

Irrespective of the pros and cons of this issue, you will have seen that, in the case of Sheringham in Norfolk, it was not possible for councillors to stop or even debate about the building of a major supermarket development in the town because two of the officers of North Norfolk District Council (its former Chief Executive and a Planning Officer) had already entered into a legally binding secret agreement with a major supermarket without consulting councillors or other officers. When an inquiry was held it was found that nothing illegal had ocurred but that appropriate checks and balances had not been in place to stop this happening and it could happen again unless such checks and balances were created. I gather that the current Chief Executive operates under very different rules.

You will recall that in November 2006 the Executive Board of EDDC was requested to devolve decisions about EDDC's land on the Seaton Regeneration area to an officer of the council and one councillor (a portfolio holder) but that, due to a demonstration which took place at that meeting, this was changed by the Executive so that the whole Executive should have to discuss and vote on this issue rather than devolving it to only two people. It was however still decided at that Executive Board meeting that, should planning consent be given by EDDC to the current developer, then on that same day EDDC would sell its land to that developer to "facilitate development" without putting it on the open market.

As councillors - representing the interests of your voters - it is imperative that you ensure that no such agreements similar to those in North Norfolk currently exist within EDDC and that they are not allowed to exist in future.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

How reliable is the "East Devon Local Plan"?

The East Devon Local Plan to 2011 is supposed to be the “bible” for what is allowed/not allowed, encouraged/not encouraged, wanted/not wanted as regards planning in East Devon. If you live in Seaton this is a document to make you want to weep. It is an important document which, in theory, has a strong legal backing - well, let's all have a laugh about that!

The policy on the Seaton Regeneration Area says:

Local Policy LSE 1 (Seaton Regeneration Area)

Within the Seaton Regeneration Area, as defined on the Proposals Map, mixed use development proposals will be permitted. Individual proposals will need to accord with the principles established for a comprehensive scheme in the Interim Supplementary Planning Guidance for the Seaton Regeneration Area, to include the following:

1. Enhanced pedestrian and cycle access to and through the Regeneration Area, including linkages between the town centre, Seaton Marshes, sea front, Axe riverside and harbour;

2. Enhancement of community, leisure, tourism and recreation facilities, including the Seaton Tramway and Holiday Village;

3. Promotion of the harbour area as a distinctive gateway to Seaton;

4. Retail and commercial frontage development along Harbour Road and The Underfleet, complementing town centre facilities;

5. Employment floorspace within the mixed-use areas;

6. Residential development, involving a variety of dwelling types and sizes, to accommodate approximately 400 units;

7. Flood management measures for land currently within indicative floodplain;

8. Measures to retain nature conservation interest within the northern area of the regeneration area and to enhance neighbouring areas of conservation importance.

We are, of course, getting none of the above except (6) and (7) - where we are getting not 400 units but at least 650 (384 in the current planning application, up to 116 more on land owned by Liatris but not yet developed and around 150 on the "Racal" site, also not yet developed and one million tons of infill as "flood management" to raise the site by up to 2 metres.

The Local Plan also says,

“Planning permission for individual schemes will be granted provided mechanisms are in place that will achieve the delivery of a comprehensive regeneration scheme for this area. Necessary and reasonable developer contributions towards infrastructure, affordable housing, public realm, visitor and community facilities will be a priority for the delivery of regeneration”

There will be no contribution towards infrastructure, almost nothing towards affordable housing, the public realm will be money spent on a visitor centre and purchase of more acres of wetland (about which we have never been consulted) and there will be no replacement community facilities except those to be contained in a room 30m x 30m which must be either a gym or a nursery or a "community room".


“The proposals seek to improve linkages between the holiday village and the rest of the town, and to promote greater use of the publicly accessible facilities at this site. A strategy for upgrading the holiday village visitor facilities, accommodation and the associated environment will be prepared in consultation with the operator, which should include improved pedestrian routes through the site.”

This is, of course, not going to happen - the holiday village is to be demolished under the current planning application.


“Residential development, involving a variety of dwelling types and sizes, to accommodate approximately 400 units”.

See above - at least 650 dwellings.

The Local Plan will be replaced eventually by something called the “Local Development Framework” (LDF). All councils will have to create one of these and they must be unique to their area – they cannot just copy the bits of someone else’s plan that they like the look of. It will set out “how the planning system will shape the local community”.

The LDF MUST contain something called a “Statement of Community Involvement” (SCI). This MUST show how and when planning authorities intend to consult local communities and other stakeholders when preparing documents. A key outcome of the SCI will be to encourage 'front loading' - meaning that consultation must begin at the earliest stages of each document's development so that communities are given the fullest opportunity to participate in plan making and to make a difference. Every Statement of Community Involvement must provide open access to information, actively encourage the contribution of ideas and representations from the community and provide regular and timely feedback on progress.

Why bother to replace the Local Plan with a Local Development Framework. The Local Plan isn't worth the paper it is written on. Save us a lot of money, EDDC, and just carry on doing what you want when you want, ignoring the Local Plan - why change a winning formula?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Axmouth harbour "development" and SU4S

Much has appeared in this week's local press about a possible development at Axmouth Harbour. Mention is made of a meeting attended by several local organisations (including Stand Up For Seaton) in February 2007 with the potential "developer". Since then, a "questionnaire" has been circulated by a local political party asking people in Axmouth if they are "for" or "against" development of the harbour into a marina.

You will probably also have seen a comment by the "developer" to the effect that he is sick of Seaton and its politics and, for him, the last straw was "when he discovered that a member of the Stand Up For Seaton campaign had been asking searching questions about the activities and probity of Worldwide Developments".

It is entirely true that the Stand Up For Seaton campaign has been asking such questions. It is entirely proper that these questions are asked of any and every potential and actual developer who wants to build in Seaton.

We want to know much more about this group which has indicated an interest in very widespread development in the town. If, as it says, it has an excellent reputation this will not be a problem.

Point us to at least three projects that you have done (preferably in the UK ) with major (not minor) public or private investors, give us the names and addresses of the groups and the name of the highest-level contact person in each of the groups that you worked with so that we can talk to them. Give us company accounts for the last few years along with a list of the directors of the company (or companies) that intend to be part of the development and a list of other directorships that they hold.

This is part of a process called "due diligence" which is central to the way projects are managed between parties who have not worked together before and is normal business practice.

We see the marina idea as a "concept" rather than a "project" and as such we have no view on it at all - many concepts make it no further than preliminary talks (which is what has happened here so far) and we would all be wasting valuable time making any decisions with almost no information.

Should it move from the concept stage to the project stage we would want a great deal more information than we currently have before we even began to think of making a decision for or against it. And, in making our decision, we would be guided only by what would be best for Seaton (and Axmouth). We are nowhere near that stage.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Our Conservative party candidate has a (sort of) reply from EDDC

Seems our prospective Conservative Party candidate has something we haven't got, as he has had a reply from EDDC - well, sort of. Here it is:

"Dear Mr Parish,

Redevelopment of land to include housing, retail, petrol filling station, leisure/tourist development with access and open space, land adjacent to Harbour Road Seaton

Thank you for your letter dated 22 March 2007 concerning the above planning application.

"I am not able, at this present time, to give you a precise date when the planning application would be considered by Committee. However, it is likely to be some months away and everybody who worte in on the application will be notified in writing when we have a date.

I am aware of the concerns of residents in Seaton and of the problems of transporting the fill to the site. As such, the officers are considering these planning issues with a view to resolving the concerns and accordingly that is why I cannot give you the exact timing of the processing of the application.

I trust the above is of assistance
A S Carmichael - Principal Planning Officer - For Head of Planning and Countryside Services."

So, that's it then - they aren't concerned about the lack of community facilities, the lack of overnight tourist accommodation, the piddly smallness of the Visitor Centre, the vastness of the supermarket that we don't want or need, the open drain which is the only open space.

No, they are working (presumably with the developers since they are working with no-one else) to help them to overcome the problem of importing the fill into Seaton - AND THAT'S IT. No worries about anything else - just helping the developers to solve their problems. Isn't it good to know we have such a helpful Planning Department. Well, helpful to the developers that is.


Thanks, EDDC - for nothing.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Where do we currently stand with the Liatris Planning Application?

The story so far .....

1. Several weeks ago (around six weeks ago if my memory is correct, though it may have been a little longer) a joint letter signed by Stand Up For Seaton, Seaton Town Council and Seaton Development Trust went to the developer's agent (Terry Dinham) saying that there was obviously a problem with the planning application [nearly 900 letters of objection, 8 letters of support] and suggesting that we meet (with or without representatives from East Devon District Council who received a copy of the letter) to discuss possible ways forward. There has been no reply from the developer's agent to that letter to date.

2 Stand Up For Seaton and one of our current MEPs for the South West (Member of the European Parliament - Neil Parish - who will take over from Angela Browning as the adopted MP for the new constituency which will include Seaton at the next General Election) have each written to East Devon District Council asking them for details of the timetable for action on the decision about the Liatris planning application - or, in our case, an explanation of what is delaying a timetable if this is the case. Neither Stand Up For Seaton nor Mr Parish have received a reply from EDDC to date.

3. Stand Up for Seaton requested to know (a) how much Section 106 money is being expected of the developer (b) for what projects is it earmarked and (c) how much for each project. EDDC has said that it will not divulge this information until it has made it available to the EDDC Development Control Committee. There is no timetable for when this information will be available to that Committee or to us.

So, basically

(a) we (i.e. the people of Seaton) are not being told by EDDC what is happening (if anything) or, if nothing is happening, why not;

(b) neither we nor the SW MEP have been told if there is a timetable for hearing the application, (if there is one) or why there is no timetable (if there isn't one);

(c) we have been told that currently have no right to know anything at all about the financial deals which are being discussed between the developer and the officers of EDDC;

(d) the developer's agent refuses to communicate with us, the town council or Seaton Development Trust, though we know he is continuing to have talks and meetings with EDDC officers, although we are not allowed to know what they are about;

(e) it appears that EDDC are not prepared to act as intermediaries between us and the developers to get a meeting set up.

The Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations - how to use them to get information you need

There is yet another newspaper article on the dreadful situation in the Wye Valley where planners and developers got together secretly to put together an enormous development, keeping people in the area in total ignorance of their plans. Planners and developers denied that there was a "secret plan" but campaigners - who were using a web blog just like this - were able to use the Freedom of Information Act to find the secret document which each side had said did not exist.

Should you feel that there is information out there that would be beneficial to the local population on any matter whatsoever - not just this planning application - you can use not only the

Freedom of Information Act

to request it from any public authority, you can also use another act

Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999

which may be more suitable to the current planning application or similar situations.

You can ask for the information under both acts at the same time in one letter, you don't have to do two separate letters. Do try to be totally specific about what you want - organisations can fudge the issue by misinterpreting letters if it suits them. The more specific you are the less likely this is to happen.

If you want to know how the Freedom of Information Act works there is a useful guide at


And, if you find out anything interesting, please let us know!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Where does the money go?

As a condition of granting a planning application in Woodbine Place, Seaton, EDDC has insisted on a contribution of £7395.73 towards "open spaces".

Now, I wonder where that money will go? And I still wonder where the Section 106 money from the two large sheltered housing schemes built recently in Seaton ended up.

Perhaps someone would like to ask.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dirty tricks in Middle England

Some of you will have seen the item in the Daily Telegraph for 31 March 2007, “Dirty Tricks in Middle England”. It is a story not dissimilar to ours. In this case two local authorities entered into secret agreements with a developer (in this case, Imperial College London, which wanted to redevelop the site of an agricultural college it had shut down).

For months the local authorities and Imperial College denied that there was any “masterplan” for the college and its grounds. However, the locality was lucky in that there were two journalists in the area who were prepared to do some digging and find out what was really going on.

They found that the local district council had signed a secret agreement with the developer and what was being planned was effectively a “new town” that no-one had been consulted about.

Here are some quotes from the article:

“Despite the councils’ insistence that their planning powers were not compromised, the people of Wye felt that, by signing the [secret] concordats, their authorities might risk critically compromising their roles an independent arbiters of development. The earlier concordat was proof that the residents of Wye had been kept in the dark for months.”

“His contacts had provided evidence that the original purpose of the development – the creation of a new science centre to pursue research into biodiesel – was on the verge of collapse and all that would remain would be the hundreds of acres of commercial housing …..”

[They managed to get a copy of the secret masterplan – a local council “mole” was prepared to help them] “something we had all been told all along did not exist showed up to 250 acres of housing with as many as 4,000 homes and 50 acres of commercial development.”

[Eventually they won and Imperial College was forced to drop its plans].

“The worst legacy of all, though, is the realisation in so many people that conventional forms of middle-class protest – patience, respectability, a willingness to work through the system, dialogue over confrontation – have little effect when public bodies work together with developers whose plans will affect the future of entire communities.”

“Had we relied on decency alone , the builders and surveyors and housing developers would be walking the verdant meadows of Wye at this very moment, with nothing but pound signs in their eyes. Next to that, nothing else matters.”

“William Cobbett saved some of his fiercest ire for what he called the “borough-mongers, the sinecurists and the tax eaters. We won, but in doing so we discovered that there is something wrong and rotten in the governance of England …..”.

If you wish to buy the book which describes what went on, it is called “Saved: How an English village fought for its future, and won) by David Newson. Available for £8.99 from Troubador Books.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How to reduce your exposure to pollution if Liatris are allowed to bring one million tons of infill into Seaton

Bearing in mind that, should the Liatris planning appliction be successful, there will be 65-90 lorries per day, 10 hours per day, 6 days a week coming through Seaton for 3-4 years (that’s one lorry every 3 minutes PLUS construction traffic) I précis below an article in today’s Guardian on how to minimise your exposure to air pollution. It is aimed at cities but, given the amount of lorry movement we can expect, our exposure to pollution will be similiarly high.

1. Watch where you walk – avoid walking along busy streets and thoroughfares, choose side streets and parks (not actually possible in Seaton if you are walking your child to school along Harepath Road or visiting the nursing home on Seaton Down Hill, but do the best you can).

2. When crossing the road stand well back from the kerb. “Every metre does count when you are in close proximity to traffic”. Don’t dawdle (so drag your child if he or she is a bit slow) and once you are over stay as far away from the kerb as possible - in Seaton this may mean m.

3. Avoid pollution spikes. In cities these are morning and late afternoon. However, in Seaton the traffic will be continuous for 10 hours a day, six days a week and children have to go to school just as people are going to work so I can’t offer any local advice on this one.

4. Wear a mask. Ensure they fit tightly and are cleaned regularly. If you fail to clean it adequately there is a danger of allowing oily organic compounds to build up on the filter. Perhaps we could have daily fresh masks as part of our Section 106 agreement.

5. Pushchairs. According to the Royal Commission report … “children living close to busy roads have an approximately 50% increased risk of experiencing respiratory illness, including asthma.” Do not push your child in a buggy too close to traffic. Position the buggy alongside you, away from the kerb, if you must go out with it (e.g. when delivering your older child to school or when you are walking into town).

6. Beware of exercising in traffic. You inhale three times as much pollution if you are jogging. Cyclists should stick to side roads where possible (unless, of course, you can’t get to work except on a main road – well, tough – back to number 4 – the mask).

7. If you are on a bus you are still exposed to pollution from outside it. Sit upstairs on a double decker. On a single deck bus, avoid the driver’s side – pollution can be 10% higher on that side. However, this won't be a problem as our buses stop at the same time as the lorries.

8. Protect yourself indoors. Pollution levels can be two to five times higher indoors. Ventilating near to the source of pollution is not really an option so they suggest having a good doormat to pick up pollution from outside. It isn’t necessarily a case of “the higher the better” either – studies show that pollution remains constant in cities up to a height of 700m. So, no opening windows and, again, maybe we can get Liatris to give us all doormats.

9. Don’t drive. Bit difficult this one when our buses don’t mesh with working times and stop between 6pm and 8.30 pm and are really expensive to use. Just do your best.

10. Get out of town.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

How to contact EDDC councillors quickly and easily

To send an email to ALL EDDC councillors use the email address:


which will automatically send your email to all councillors.

To send an email only to those councillors who are on the Planning Committee of EDDC use the email address:


which will automatically send your email to all of them.

The climate in Devon

According to a news article in the express and echo yesterday, Devon could be adversely affected by climate change. This most of us will already be aware of, but some of the highlights from the article are worth recounting here:

"Anywhere low-lying by the river; or built on a floodplain, is potentially at an increased risk of flooding, it makes more sense to consider flood plains and to be mindful of them when building"


"Along the coastline at Exmouth, sea defences have already been submerged, putting the land more at risk of flooding, and any replacements could easily be overwhelmed by rising sea levels in the future."

in noting this, the item mentions the effect known as "coastal squeeze" where hard defences and high tides meet, effectively narrowing habitat for coastal wildlife.

All this in an article about climate change to 2050...not 75 years away,43.

So, if you were an environmentally conscious builder/developer...would you build on a floodplain?
(...and 6 feet of infill that might in itself flood doesn't cut it)

HT:express&Echo/Met Office

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

More developers move in to Seaton

So, Liatris aren't the only ones sniffing around Seaton then. Seaton Heights sold (again) to people who currently specialise in time shares in Spain and the Caribbean and then the people on the Cliff Field side of Seaton being asked by McCarthy and Stone (those wonderful people who have already given us Haven Court) if they want to sell. Can't see much affordable housing coming out of that then.

And come to think of it - what DID we receive as Section 106 payments for Haven Court and Jubliee Lodge. Anyone notice any improvements for us after they went up?

Methinks something to investigate .....