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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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Please check this site regularly

There is a lot going on at the moment, both in front of the scenes and behind. Please don't forget to bookmark this page and check it regularly - there will come a time when we need to move quickly and there will then be a lot of important information on the site.

Also, please pass on the web address of this site to anyone and everyone you think might want to join with us.

Monday, October 30, 2006

David beats Goliath in a situation similar to ours!

In a small publication - Local Council Review, November 2006 - is an article about a parish council (Shotley) which in 2005 drew up a parish plan which set out is need for employment, education, health care and leisure facilities on a brownfield site which had been abandoned by the Navy in 1976. Prior to that the site had on it listed buildings, sports facilities and other infrastructure.

However, the District Council (Babergh District Council) chose to ignore this and decided to approve a scheme for 325 houses with token community and transport benefits. Areas around the site realised that there would be severe transport problems for the whole area with this scheme. They all formed an alliance and successfully lobbied the Government Office for the East of England to call in the application.

During the subsequent enquiry 52 local people gave evidence and they even made a DVD showing the various traffic problems, the effect of the development on built heritage and spectacular tidal flooding which periodically cut off the site from the mainland.

This is the verdict of the Secretary of State:

"The scheme would make a valuable contribution towards meeting the housing requirement of the district and without it there would be a deficit .... However, the immediate advantage of meeting housing requirements does not take precedence over the need to provide well-designed and sustainable communities and the long-term advantages that can be secured through the use of sustainable locations.

Secondly, the Secretary of State agrees that the proposals to demolish the etensive collection of buildings on the site needs to be carefully justified to ensure that an existing resource is not wasted.

Lastly, the inspector considers that there would be negative (traffic) impacts in terms of local pedestrian and cycle users, increase in noise,vibration and emissions and the effect on the character and appearance of the villages ... There would be significant negative impact on the Woolverstone Conservation Area. [The Inspector] is concerned over the tendency of the B1456 to flood ... and the severe disruption to residents and emergency services that arises at such times"

The current situation is that a new use must be found for the land but the local District Council refuses to commission a planning brief. However, Shotley Parish Council and the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) may commission their own." End of quotations

As you can see, this is almost word for word the situation we are in at the moment and this is very heartening information that we will make use of when the time comes.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Two excellent articles about what to do about unpopular development

In today's Observer, there are two very interesting articles. One of them What if its in your backyard is about how to fight planning decisions that you disagree with.

It makes several useful points, amongst which are:

Know your rights about access to information: if the matter has anyting remotely to do with the environment, which includes almost all planning applications, ensure that your request for information is being dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations, rather than the Freedom of Information Act.

Don't accept photocopying charges of more than 10p per copy - "It's not lawful to charge much more".

It goes on to tell the case of a group of only 5 residents in Nidderdale who, dissatisfied with a decision to develop a psychiatric hospital in their area, raised £15,000 and were successful with a judicial review which halted the plans. Another planning application has been put in, which they intend to take as far as necessary again.

The other article - "The stage is set for urban renewal" tells the story of a Development Trust which bought up properties with the aid of grants from the Arts Council, the Wales Lottery Fund and the Welsh Assembly and turned them into arts and community venues.

The article starts: "Gwyn Roberts drove past a dilapidated theatre in Bangor, north Wales, one day in the 1990s and wondered how it was that an area with such a rich tradition of entertainment had ended up without an arts venue .... " It goes on to tell how they have bought and renovated 20 properties so far and its latest project - the community arts centre - was opened by Bryn Terfel last year. It makes its money from, amongst other things, renting space to 27 local businesses involved with the arts. The Trust how has a paid staff of more than 40 people.

So, ask yourself now: Which town in East Devon now has no arts facility, no indoor sports facility, no community centre, no youth club? And then ask yourself which East Devon towns have ALL these facilities - and even swimming pools? No prizes for correct answers.

Food for thought.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bob Buskin's comments in this week's Midweek Herald

On page 7 of this week's Midweek Herald, there is a report of the meeting of Seaton Development Trust last week, which more than 500 people attended.

Bob Buskin is a Seaton councillor and is also the local representative of Liatris - the main developer of the Seaton Regeneration Area. He did not attend the meeting but is quoted in the newspaper as saying that members of the Trust are "do gooders" and added that some had only been in the town for a few years and did not know what was best for the town. He went on to say "The holiday park doesn't actually bring in much money to the town; holiday makers arrive on Thrusday and leave again on Sunday".

I have sent the following letter to the Midweek Herald and asked it to publish it:

I read the comments of Bob Buskin on Seaton Development Trust’s meeting with some dismay. As the representative of the major developers of the Seaton Regeneration site, he must really get his facts right.

The holiday camp (which he says opens only Thursday to Sunday and provides no economic benefit to the town) is actually open seven days a week, has a maximum occupancy of 80% over the season and provides 147 jobs. It also accounts for a great deal of turnover for Seaton businesses. One local shopkeeper told me that on the rare occasions that the holiday camp is closed, her takings drop by some 33%. There is no doubt that it needs a face-lift but the terms under which the holiday company leases the business from the developer does not allow it to make long-term investment, as the developer can give the holiday camp as little as 12 months notice to quit should they get planning permission on the site.

The holiday camp currently houses Seaton’s only gym and swimming pool. It also acts as a local conference facility and hosts the Grizzly running event (voted the third most popular UK run after the London Marathon and Great North Run) by a leading UK running magazine. The Grizzly attracts 2,200 runners and is a major contributor to the economy of Seaton in the off-season of tourism.

As for Mr Buskin’s derogatory comments about “do gooders” and recent incomers (of which I am one) I would say only that the alternative seems to be leave Seaton’s fate to its old dinosaurs. This has already given us the dreadful 1960s and 1970s developments in Seaton and left us dragging our heels as tourists opt for the more pleasant seaside towns around us.

More than 500 people turned up to the Development Trust’s meeting and more than 300 turned up to a meeting a couple of weeks earlier about our lack of community facilities. Were all these “do gooders” and “incomers”? I think not.

For those interested in what is happening about the regeneration area please have a look at my blog [this URL then given] and have your say about this important matter. If we get this wrong, we get it wrong for a hundred years - our young people will not thank us for that.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wise words of a tourist in Seaton

One of the comments below from a regular tourist to Seaton includes the following about the regeneration area:

We could stay at home for the facilities proposed

Precisely. This is a development project, not a regeneration project.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Youth activities in Seaton - the future

Many of you will be aware that the Youth Club (by the Tramway) closed in August this year. So far, it has not been replaced. I gather that the trustees who used to run it are surrendering the lease to East Devon by the end of this year. This also makes the short mat bowls club, the ballroom dancing club and the craft fairs and indoor boot sales homeless.

A number of us have been attempting to persuade East Devon to let us have temporary use of the building for a new youth club and for other community activities. It appears that there is a meeting of the "Asset Management Group" of EDDC next month and all those with an interest in this property (short term - it will be pulled down when the regeneration area is developed) have been asked to let Rob Spiers of EDDC know of their interest. So, if you think your community group or activity group could use this building on a temporary basis please get in touch with EDDC. It's rather like charity shops being given short leases of shops - it can be done (that's if you are a "Can Do" local authority, of course).

In the meantime, one of the speakers at the Gateway Town meeting on 1 November (more details nearer the time - I am giving a brief talk on Seaton's history and the local book "Winefred") is going to speak about having a "Youth Festival" in Seaton in 2007.

Where? There's only the skateboard park left ...... and for how long?

Important meeting Town Hall 25 October 7pm

It was great that so many people turned up to last week's meeting organised by Seaton Development Trust (more than 500 - see today's View from Seaton for details). However, the meeting TOMORROW night is at least as important, and possibly more so. This is where they will see whether the people of Seaton are prepared to do some work to get what they want for the Regeneration Area.

Last week the Trust decided to set up seven working parties, each one of which would take on a particular aspect of the development that is important for Seaton and they now want volunteers to attend a meeting in the Town Hall tomorrow evening (Wednesday 25 October) to join these groups. The groups are

Community facilities
Flooding and the environment
Employment and business
Children and Young People

So, if you have an interest or expertise in any of these areas, PLEASE go along to the meeting tomorrow evening and volunteer your services.

If we get this regeneration area wrong, we will be stuck with it for a hundred years.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Good `News - we have professional planning help!

Following consultations with "Planning Aid" (the independent body given money by the Government which tries to ensure that communites get a say in planning issues in their areas) we have had some good news - they have assigned us not one but two volunteers with a planning background to help us with our problems. This is REALLY good news.

For those who don't know what Planning Aid is, they give as their aims:

Planning Aid provides free, independent and professional town planning advice and support to communities and individuals who cannot afford to pay planning consultant fees. It complements the work of local planning authorities, but is wholly independent of them.

Planning Aid can help people to:

* Understand and use the planning system
* Participate in preparing plans
* Prepare their own plans for the future of their community
* Comment on planning applications
* Apply for planning permission or appeal against refusal of permission
* Represent themselves at public inquiries.

Planning Aid helps to meet one of the key aims of the government's planning reform agenda, which is to place community engagement at the heart of the planning system.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More than 500 people attend meeting at Town Hall

Around 500 people turned up at Seaton Town Hall this evening to the meeting of Seaton Development Trust about the regeneration area. The meeting was overwhelmingly against the illustrative plan of EDDC and the developers put forward at the brief exhibition held in September 2006.

Seaton Development Trust has set up seven groups for interested parties to become involved in areas such as community, tourism, flooding and the environment.

The Trust's next meeting will be on 25 October 2006 in the Council Chamber, First Floor, Town Hall. If you are interested in the work of the Trust or want to volunteer to help in any of the groups, please turn up.

If you want to join Seaton Development Trust, please mail a cheque for £2 (payable to Seaton Development Trust Limited) to me: Membership Secretary, Seaton Development Trust, c/o
3 Mareeba, East Walk, Seaton EX12 2NP. If you wish to add a donation to the membership fee (which will cover the period from now until 31 December 2007) please do so.

Seaton facts and figures

See links on the right for the full pdf document.
It's worth a view, with the aid of a calculator I can see that the average growth of population in Seaton is around 85 people, roughly translating to a requirement of ooh 40 odd houses.

So, it would appear that the Signet/Liatris 450 house plan requires not just the trans-shipment of several metric tonnes of infill, but several busloads of people...what will they sell the would be Seaton homesteaders?...err...shopping and diy seem to appear at the top of their priorities, things like regenerating the local economy or community issues don't seem to appear on the radar.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tesco downscales store in North Devon after protests

This item comes from BBC Devon

Plans by supermarket giant Tesco for a superstore in a north Devon town have been withdrawn and replaced with a smaller scheme for the same site.

The proposed store in Torrington would be on the site of a football ground, swimming pool and children's play area called Vicarage Field.

Tesco said it had changed its plans following public consultation.

But those opposed to the plans said even a smaller store would mean the community lost vital facilities.

In July, several residents held a protest in the town against the company's original plans, which were for a 30,000sq ft store.

Protesters are still concerned about the effects a new store could have on local businesses.

Torridge District Council said it would adhere to its usual impartiality and standard procedures used for all planning applications before making any decision.

Harbour Road properties and current businesses

Re the posting below: the Harbour Road properties which make up the Riverside Works were deliberately excluded from the Signet Plan and that area was left blank in their proposal - in fact, for this reason, many people thought that this was the holiday village area and so assumed that it would remain.

I would imagine that they were excluded so that working out how to relocate the businesses there would not hold up the development - it could take many months or even years to work out what to do with these businesses, depending on what each owner wants, the sort of leases they have and how much it would cost to buy them all out. I assume that the redevelopment can go on around this area and it can be dealt with later or not at all.

As regards the businesses fronting the other part of Harbour Road (from the Underfleet to Beach Road) these were never included in the regeneration area. Quite why this was so I have no idea but presumably it is anticipated that these businesses will sink or swim according to what gets built.

It would be good to hear from anyone who owns a business in either area how they see what is happening. We have heard from the Licensed Victuallers what they think and from at least one business in Seaton on this site, but the rest of the business community seems to be very quiet about exactly what they think.

Several business owners seem quite sure that nothing will be built and everything will go on much as it always has. Maybe they are right, but it could be a big shock to some of them if they are wrong.

More thoughts on the regeneration area

My apologies if this appears twice - the first posting seems to have got lost but may turn up:

Seaton has a natural marshland that supports a diverse wildlife population and this has led to the formation of a designated Local Nature Reserve that now gives enjoyment to so many people.

It also has a floodplain that acts as a safety valve for a much wider area, not simply the immediate location. Surely essential when severe weather and tide combine to threaten to do their worst?

A large building programme could seriously change the water table and damage the marshes wildlife and the loss of floodplain puts the lower valley in and around the Axe at risk.

There are many established businesses in the Harbour Road area and it would be wrong to disrupt their activities by pointless relocation. Any relocation would in any case mean moving into ‘green’ land and so worsen, not improve, Seaton as a whole.

Finally and of high importance is the future of Lyme Bay Holiday Village. This provides affordable holidays to many, brings in visitors throughout the year and helps boost Seaton’s economy as well as providing employment. The added bonus of the Holiday Village is the excellent fitness and leisure facilities that are used by local residents and visitors, at no capital or running cost to the Local Authority. Lyme Bay Holliday Village should be reassured of a long-term future in Seaton to encourage them to continue to invest in this site.

There are of course two ‘blots’ in the area, notably the former ‘Blue Waters Holiday Park’ and the former ‘Racal’ site. Let us concentrate attention on these areas and get on with making improvements. At least part of this land should be used as a public open space.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A "national supermarket" and building on flood plain

A local correspondant has sent us the following information. I have removed the name of the supermarket and the city:

Having recently moved to Seaton from the southwest outskirts of a Midlands city, we have some potentially useful angles on supermarket tactics and flood plains.

A national supermarket has two completed 24-hour superstores and a third in the final planning-permission granted stage in the city, all within a three-mile radius, and two head-to-head with existing rival superstores. They believe they can put anyone else out of business.

One of these was a straightforward redevelopment of a vacant commercial site, but in a position where it has exacerbated traffic problems on a major road at a bridge which is the only river crossing for several miles. The only disruption to their plans was that the NRA blocked their plan for a petrol station where they originally planned it, because it was on a flood plain. They were able to resite it within the overall development, but it split their parking area.

As I understand from other developments, any building on flood land has to be compensated by digging out a corresponding area of new flood land. The developer appears to be naive and ignorant in claiming that he is offering new land, rather than increasing flood hazards.

I suspect that at this preliminary stage he is not getting technical advice from a supermarket's lawyers.

The development west of the city I know of, which has taken the longest to push through, has an unpalatable history. Directly or indirectly they acquired a number of commercial properties (which they let out on short lease) together with a whole block of perfectly viable residential properties which they boarded up and allowed to deteriorate. After much haggling over traffic arrangements and the relocation of a youth club at their expense, permission has been granted in spite of much local opposition. A smaller superstore chain has been refused planning permission in a nearby location on the ground that there were enough supermarkets in the area already. But the local MP tells us that the Borough Council does not have the £m required to employ the best legal brains to contest the application successfully through the entire appeals process.

The lesson appears to be that, if if a national supermarket is dead set on a development, we are unlikely beat them, but a national supermarket does not yet appear to be directly involved in Seaton.

Regrettably, we may not be able to exclude a superstore which will have an adverse effect on the town centre and smaller retailers, but the developer will have a great deal more difficulty in justifying the major new housing development at the expense of tourist accommodation.

I hope some of these points may be helpful. May I just point out that our little e-mailer does not receive attachments, but only straight text.

Yours sincerely
Mr and Mrs Barlow, Seaton

Standup4Seaton promo materials

The 6-up strip and the poster are now available for download from
Sandra's website here


Stand Up For Seaton Blog poster

I have also made a "Stand up For Seaton" blog poster (colour or black and white) for anyone who is prepared to put one in their window. Happy to send the template.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Stand Up For Seaton blog info flyers

For those of you who would like to have them, I have created a sheet of "blog info" flyers (6 flyers per A4 sheet - you would need to cut each sheet into 6 and print as many sheets as you want) giving information about the blog URL address which can be distributed to anyone and everyone whom you think might want to contribute to the debate about the Seaton Regeneration Area. I can send the template to you by email if you contact me at:


The more people who contribute, the more we can show the strength of opinion.

Please don't forget to go to the Seaton Development Trust open meeting about the Regeneration area on

Wednesday 18 October 2006 at the Town Hall - 7 pm.

We would still like to hear the opinions of younger people in the community. As I said in "View from Seaton" last week, you (and your friends) will have to live with this development long after us more mature specimens!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Flood Risk in the Regeneration Area

The following letter has been sent by a correspondent to this site to several newspapers but has not been published yet. If you have any comments on flood risk, please pass them on.

Dear Sirs,
I wonder if you would be kind enough to consider publishing this letter before next weeks important public meeting in Seaton called by the Development Trust to consider all aspects of the town regeneration plans :
"In order to protect the proposed new buildings from flooding the developers are suggesting raising some land levels by about 1.8 metres. This does not apply to the non-built areas, which will remain at natural flood plain level. Originally the plan was to source the necessary material from the adjacent marshlands thus helping to create wildlife ponds for the Nature Reserve. This might have been a win-win approach but apparently the plan is now to import the material, presumeably by heavy lorry; many of them. Their route is unknown but this will not be a pleasent experience for many of us, and can in no way be considered a "sustainable" activity.
Figures used by the Environment Agency are based on a tidal level of 3.51 metres above OD, which is half a metre less than we already sometimes experience. Account IS taken of a government estimate from 2001 of a 5mm per year rise in sea level. However, new figures, already being applied, but not to Seaton, are ; 2mm for 20 years, 4mm until 2050 and 8mm after that. If the new buildings are to last more than 50 years or so then the figures being used are already too small.
The Developers are using a 200 year return period storm event to arrive at their proposed levels but global warming is acknowledged to reduce a 200 year event to a 20 year event. That is, with increasing global warming, the frequency of storms and floods will increase by a factor of ten. When adding a fresh water flood (which the Environment Agency say has a negligable effect !) - the risks of which are becoming greater all the time, with a tidal surge AND sea level rise due to ice-cap melt and thermal expansion of the oceans, combined with developers always wishing to keep costs to a minimum, it is likely that the predicted highest water levels, and therefore the amount of material needed to raise the land, are a severe under-estimate.
The Environment Agency openly consider that one effect of the plans will be to make existing Harbour Road properties more vulnerable to flooding than they already are.
A formal "Flood Risk Assessment" for the area will be provided by the developers. It may not be un-biased. This will be judged by the Environment Agency and will, with any necessary amendments, then be used to inform local planners. Strangely, at the present time, there is another government policy to actually reduce the numbers of buildings on flood plains due to their increasing vulnerability and insurance implications".
No doubt the costs of protecting the new buildings, especially if done properly, will mean very little of the developers profits being reinvested for community benefit and town regeneration, which was always seen by EDDC as the prime objective. A little lateral thinking in terms of following the Dutch example of new buidings on stilts to keep them above the rising waters would be far more sustainable and would add a special distinctiveness to Seaton's regeneration as a visitor-must on the World Heritage coast tour".
Thank you,

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A note on the 450 homes in the regeneration area

Do note that originally, only 350 homes were projected for the whole regeneration area. This went up to 400 for the whole wite in the East Devon Local Plan and the lead developer has now asked for 450. This is not the total number which will be built - there is provision for homes above shops, etc and if Axe Riverside decides to build homes on its site fronting the river, these will be extra to the 450. It looks as though we will get at least 500.

The provision of 350/400/450 homes was made before all the home building work that has gone on in Seaton for the last 3-4 years. Just on Harbour Road alone I can count around 50 new homes; add to that the developments at the top of the Underfleet, at Riverside, the new developments on the road out to Colyton and you are coming up to at least 100 new homes built recently - and there must be many more.

This is creating a large extra population which has no community centre, no sports centre, no arts centre, no cinema (the Film Club does a sterling job but only once every two months), no youth club - in a town where public transport stops around 8pm. The Town Hall has one large room and, if it is booked, no-one else can do anything there. The rooms above it are not accessible to people with disabilities and anyway plans are moving ahead to turn the Council Chamber upstairs into a commercial office to generate revenue.

There are a number of groups catering for the engaged teenager or the sporty (scouts, football teams, etc) but what do we do with the bored kids who don't like that sort of entertainment?

Developers and Section 106 - important information

I think we have to be clear about developers and their responsibilities as regards Section 106. For those who do not know what a Section 106 is, this is cash and/or other things that a developer has to hand over to a council in exchange for making a profit on their development. Usually, the more profit they make, the greater the Section 106 requirement - perhaps a community centre or affordable housing or other benefits for a community. Fro example, if I understand the article in last week's Midweek Herald correctly, Persimmon in Honiton has agreed to give thecouncil £500,000 for building their new estate and that has been pledged towards a new community centre

HOWEVER it is my understanding that the developers in Seaton are suggesting that the cost of raising the flood plain and moving the tramway is so high that there will be very little (or no) Section 106 benefits available. They have to prove this by something called "open book accounting" - i.e. letting the council see their accounts for the project. If the council agrees with them that their accounts show that they will make very little profit from the scheme, they can agree to forgo a Section 106 requirement in order to get a development done. And the development will then be only shops and houses - there will be no requirement to do anything else. (They will have to do things like "public open spaces" but this will be ONLY for the 450 homes, not for the whole community).

When (or if) there are any benefits, it is entirely up to the local council to decide how to spend the money. IT IS NOT EVEN OBLIGED TO SPEND THE MONEY IN SEATON. If they decide to use the money for affordable housing, this housing could be built anywhere in East Devon; if they decide that all the money should go towards funding the visitors centre, then that is where the money will go; if they decide to use the money to build an extension at The Knowle, that is where it would go. It is almost certain that they will not fund anything tourism oriented - they will leave that to market forces i.e. if a tourist operator thinks he can make a buck out of Seaton he can put up a planning application and see where it goes; however, the council is under no obligation to go looking for such operators.

Be clear - do not rely on Section 106 for regeneration in Seaton.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A better idea for the regeneration area

Anonymous says in a comment below: "Come up with a better idea for regeneration ...". Anyone willing to have a go at this? Have a look at the Development Brief (see link at right hand side of this blog) and compare it with the developer's illustrative plan (also linked on the right hand side) and spot the differences!!! to make a start:

Developer: shops and 450 houses, visitor's centre and tramway
Development brief: shops, 400 houses, visitors centre, tramway, live/work units, boulevard, new tourist facilities, community facilities.

And to clear up a misunderstanding: I am NOT suggesting that the holiday camp should be pickled in aspic and kept as it is. What I am saying is that currently it has 450 tourist beds and a lot of community facilities. We want to ensure we do better than this, not worse, in any regeneration plan.

Development plan: riches (financial) for the developer
Regeneration plan: riches (some financial, some quality of life) for the community

Friday, October 06, 2006

World Heritage site may lose its status

A contributor has sent me a copy of an article in the Daily Telegraph of Thursday 14 September headed "Developers threaten Italy's heritage sites". In the article it says (in part):

"One of Italy's most beautiful areas of natural beauty, the Val d'Orcia, is at risk of losing its status as a Unesco World Heritage Site after property companies began marketing newly built homes inside the protected area. .....Francesco Bandarin, the director of Unesco's World Heritage Centre in Paris, visited the Val d'Orcia last weekend to assess the damage. The organisation is beginning procedures to consider whether the area, given the prestigious world heritage status for its scenery and hill top town that inspired Renaissance painters, should be delisted. ....."

World Heritage status is not for life - it can be taken away.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Seaton residents - thoughts on "regeneration"

Below I give part of the text of a letter I received today from a Seaton couple who do not wish to be named. The letter was very wide ranging so I have taken here only those points that relate to the holiday camp/regeneration area:

We believe that any changes should be positive for our town and its people. In the context of Seaton,the word 'regeneration' literally translated means 'bring new and more vigorous life to an area'. That is what we need.
We need to keep the life and vigour that the holiday camp provides and expand this into other areas. We need to preserve the natural marshes for posterity as a valuable nature reserve, with boarded walkways as far along the estuary as possible so that visitors and locals alike can really appreciate the beauty of the area without traffic to negotiate. This has been done remarkably well at Budleigh Salterton so why not here?
We need to get a quality hotel (if not hotels) as they have in Sidmouth so that we attract more people to the area.
We need to call a halt to retirement homes and think of the young people who can breathe new life into the town.
We need diversity of shops and or light industrial premises.
We need to get the sailing club and the boatyard people to stop being so blinkered and thinking out of the box, embracing the bigger picture.
The view from the boat yard is stunning, but totally spoiled at present.
We should be thinking of developing a proper area for water sports - what a bonus that would be. ......

What do YOU think?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Contact Information for the Developer's Agent for the Seaton Regeneration Area

Remember: to give your views on the
Seaton Regeneration Area

Terry Dinham
Signet Planning
12B Hornbeam Park Oval

Our meeting gets good press coverage in View from Seaton

Today's View from Seaton (free at many local outlets) has full coverage of our meeting at Winston's last week (for which we must thank the licencees for allowing us to have the room free of charge).

Latest is that Seaton Development Trust has decided to have a public meeting about the WHOLE development site on

Wednesday 18 October


at 7pm in Seaton Town Hall

All welcome. If you have a view (any view) on the development be sure to attend to make it known.

As part of the TOWN DESIGN GROUP, I am currently working with others on the group on an exhibition to be held some time in November to try to find out from Seaton residents how they would like the new development (whatever it is) to look in order to write a Town Design Statement. This has been done for most other areas in East Devon and is meant to help developers and planners (!) to know what local people want in their towns. This is about buildings, street furniture, lighting, roads - all those things that make a difference to how an area looks. If you have a view on how things should look (in the regeneration area) or the rest of the town, feel free to comment here. (And if you have any specific skills in this area, please do get in touch with me, we are always on the lookout for expert advice).

We are particularly interested in the views of YOUNG PEOPLE in the town about the loss of facilities on the regeneration site. We know that many young people don't participate in what goes on in the town because they think that their views will not be taken into account. However, if we don't hear what those views are we can't take them into account at all.

Lyme Regis has a very young (20s) Town Councillor - just a thought!

We also now have a Youth Council in Seaton which is busy working on all sorts of things - particularly thinking about events like the very successful one in the Skateboard Park in the summer. They are also working on their comments about the Regeneration area.

So, PLEASE, if you are young (however you define this) or middle aged or senior (I choose my word carefully!) or anything in between, use this blog as your forum.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Welcome to those visiting this site for the first time

As many of you know, the origin of this site is that, as a gym user at the Lyme Bay Holiday Village, I was concerned that we will lose it if developers of the Seaton Regeneration Area get their way about how they develop the site (see the links on the right, particularly the illustrative plan which the developers have put out for consultation). In this plan, the site has a re-sited tramway, a Jurassic Coast Visitors Centre, a supermarket, a DIY store and shops and 450 homes. There is no provision for tourists to stay, for leisure facilities for tourists and locals and no provision for a much-needed community centre for the town.

I was asked to arrange a meeting - specifically for Holiday Village facilities users. On Tuesday last week more than 300 people turned up to that meeting (that with only minimal publicity). Not one person spoke in support of the current developer's plans and very many people spoke against it.

The Holiday Village is in the odd position of being forced to sell back the land to the developer if planning permission is given for any type of development on that land. If this happens, they will be given 12 - 18 months notice to quit but they will not be allowed to appeal.

The current situation is that no plans have yet gone in to East Devon District Council. The current plan is illustrative only - this means it has no legal status - it is simply an idea, any part of which can be changed before plans go in.

When they do, they will be put on display at the Town Hall. We will then have as little as 3 WEEKS to put in our objections to those plans. If enough of us object, it may be decided to have a Public Inquiry, where all the evidence about the development will be examined to see if it is the best use of the site, given current requirements of the East Devon Local Plan and the Development Brief (see side links for these documents).

When the developer's agent (Mr Terry Dinham, Signet Planning, 12B Hornbeam Park Oval, Harrogate HG2 8RB) was asked what tourists would do when they come to Seaton, he suggested that they could shop. If you disagree with this (or any aspect of the plan) PLEASE DO WRITE TO HIM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITH A COPY TO ME (info@semple.uk.net).

As soon as I can, I will prepare a document which will show where the planning application differs from the Local Plan and the Development Brief - these are the only two documents which can be referred to when objecting.

In the meantime PLEASE feel free to add your comments to what I put here - the more the better. We need to prove how strong community feelings are about the current plans.

Welcome to the blog spot for all those who have an interest in the Seaton Regeneration Area - particularly the fate of the facilities at the Lyme Bay Holiday Camp. We hope to use this forum to pass on information to people and for them to give their views to us and ultimately to the developers and East Devon District Council.