We are just SOOOOO flattered that Terry Dinham needs a four page spread to deal with us! But is anyone else as cross as me about this? Honestly, you’d think that Liatris had ridden in on white chargers to save the town. Is this really what people think? Why do you think Liatris is developing this land – do you think they’ve fallen in love with this little place and want to help us? That would be so nice - like a fairy story come true!
Straight down to brass tacks:
What’s proposed: 386 homes. No, No, No – for the WHOLE site the proposal is:
Liatris – 386 now plus the 64 later they had to leave out because they are on Riverside Workshops land = 450
Dwellings above shops on the East Devon District Council part of the site: 30
Dwellings on the Axe Riverside site (old Racal site): the planning application isn’t in yet but expect about 150. Total number of dwellings on the site: at least 630.
And then, when they deal with Riverside Workshops - what do you think they will put there.
a) more houses
b) more shops
c) more parking spaces
d) a top of the range community centre as a thank you to Seaton for making their lives a misery as their 90 lorries a day 10 hours a day 6 days a week for two years trundle through Seaton, as the pilings go in hour after hour after hour and when the construction lorries bring in load after load of bricks, windows, doors .....
Answers on a postcard to: Terry Dinham!
Who will buy these homes? What jobs will the 1,000 or so people get? How will they commute? Where will they commute to?
NEW AND REPLACED COMMUNITY FACILITIES: apparently according to page 2 the Tourist Information Centre is a “community facility”. Hope you can play your short mat bowls there, friends. And the Youth Club will be replaced: point it out on the plan, Terry – I can’t see it. We are losing: a swimming pool, a gym, meeting and conference facilities, short mat bowls club, ballroom dancing club, table tennis club, craft and other sales space, Grizzly Race headquarters, day nursery and 90% of Seaton’s overnight tourist accommodation. We gain: er – a youth centre we can’t find on the plan and “possibly” a “community room” which could be a gym OR a nursery which we have to share with a SUSTRANS cycle route terminus in an annex to the Jurassic Coast Visitor Centre approximately 30 ft x 30 ft. Thanks, Terry.
A JURASSIC COAST VISITORS CENTRE: The ground floor of this Visitors Centre is around the same size as the supermarket café – 480 sq m (café 400 sq m). The consultants said it needed a minimum of 1,500 sq m so let’s say it has three floors – the plan shows that one of the floors is in the roof space! At least 10 – 15% of each floor has to be for lifts and staircases. It also has to house toilets, storerooms, staff rooms and plant and services. Just how much of this building will be given over to interpretation of the Jurassic Coast for the visitors to see then, Terry?
A RANGE OF SHOPS INCUDING A QUALITY FOOD SUPERMARKET: How many shops, Terry – and what will they sell that will stop us going to Exeter, Bridport and Taunton? What will they be selling that our current shops don’t sell, given that the supermarket will dominate the town? It’s bigger than the supermarket at Honiton - and don’t tell me the café won’t end up as selling space – it has done in Axminster Tesco and Honiton Tesco so why will it stay here? It’s just a way of getting extra food selling space later on. The Jurassic Coast Visitors Centre will be a maximum of 1,500 sq m and possibly smaller according to EDDC; the supermarket is 5,000 sq m (including the café which will compete with a tramway or Visitor Centre or Wetlands Centre café), the DIY store 2,000 sq m. For comparison the current Co-op is 750 sq m. Enjoy your “shopping as leisure” folks. And don’t forget that those 555 parking spaces (Honiton Tesco approx 250, Axminster Tesco approx 200) which you also share with visitors who will only be able to stay 3 hours before they are faced with enormous fines for parking longer – currently a fine of £70 at the Tesco in Axminster.
TERMINUS FACILITIES FOR THE WESSEX CYCLE WAY CYCLE ROUTE: If I was SUSTRANS I would be seriously cross about this one. The Wessex Cycle Way Terminus was planned LONG before you got involved with this area, Terry and it was ALWAYS going to need a terminus. Except now, instead of being a dedicated building, it may have to share its facilities with a gym or a nursery!
FOOTPATHS AND CYCLEWAYS: You can’t build a development without these nowadays – you are forced to put them in. Surely you don’t expect credit for this!
A PUBLIC SQUARE PROVIDING A FOCAL POINT FOR THE COMMUNITY: to do exactly what, Terry? I can’t honestly see myself playing table tennis there in the middle of December. You have to have a Town Square if you have the entrance to the supermarket, the Visitors Centre and the Tramway are there – you couldn’t get the punters into these things without leaving space for them to get in. And just who will own this square, Terry – will it be the town or whoever you sell the development on to? And just who will use it at night when the off license in the supermarket is open?
OVER 300 NEW JOBS: Watch the small print here, ladies and gents – we have no idea exactly where these jobs are coming from and the developers say in the planning application that many of them will be “part time” – you bet – how many of them will be minimum wage and can you give us a list of EXACTLY where you expect the jobs to be? How many people will lose jobs when businesses in the town close and when the nursery closes. Some mothers with children at the nursery will be forced to give up their jobs if they cannot find child care – have you factored those in? When the holiday camp goes 174 people lose their jobs and 60 people who live in become homeless – have you taken those into account?
FLOODING: Guys, you’re the ones who said that the site will become a “self-contained island” in extreme weather and suggest two “refuges” with medical facilities on the site AND two shallow draft boats OR high wheeled tractors to get people off the island, not me.
And this is the first time I’ve heard a monsoon drain called a “cycle route”! – it’s a MONSOON DRAIN people which goes from the front of the site (opposite Burrow Road) to the marshes, to take the water down there when just before the “extreme” weather that gives us the island (see paragraph above) . It’s 49 feet wide and 10 feet deep but apparently if you put grass on the bottom (presumably always wet grass, or damp grass or dry grass) you can call it “public open space” or a “cycle route”. I LOVE IT!!!
WHY REGENERATE SEATON. Sorry – this should read: Why develop the site. This is NOT regeneration, it is pure and simple development – you could plonk this down in any town in the country. And that zoning plan – you know what they left out – the height of the buildings, some of them 5 storeys high. Where is the “mix” of development – it’s day trippers, shops and houses – is that a regenerative mix? Where are the leisure activities for Seaton residents – whoops, sorry, we are supposed to be shopping! And do any of us think that this development does justice to the Jurassic Coast?
I just LOVE the benefits box:
We will have right of way through the site on footpaths and cycle ways – WOW!
We will have a public square which the supermarket, visitor centre and tramway has to have to get their punters through the front door – WOW!
We have a Jurassic Coast Visitors Centre with a “community room” that MIGHT have a small gym or nursery – MORE WOW
A quality restaurant – WOW – we will be able to visit that EVERY day now we have our part-time jobs!
A range of new shops and a supermarket – DOUBLE WOW!
Improved public transport – sorry, I missed that – which bus company has agreed to run extra services then, I can’t find any mention of one in the planning application.
New homes – WOW – 630 of them – 20% more people in Seaton in the next five years and no new infrastructure.
Use of the SUSTRANS terminus – well, I guess if my shower stops working I could go there and have a shower!
Improved access to the wetlands area – I can walk there on the level now, Terry – what will improve?
BOOSTING SEATON’S ECONOMY: Er – we go to the supermarket and spend a lot of money. Exactly how much of this money stays in Seaton, Terry?. Well, of course there will be the part time jobs. But we just lost the jobs at the holiday village and in the “old town” – and we have around 1,000 people to find jobs for – unless they are all retired or second homes, of course.
And do you really think a pelican crossing from the Underfleet to the supermarket will be “improved access to the Old Town”?
TOURISTS: Now there we REALLY have a problem. Where exactly are they going to be spending money if they can park for only 3 hours and have nowhere to stay in Seaton. Just which towns in East Devon will benefit from their overnight stays? Just remember the Government says that for every lost tourist bed you MUST attract 3 day trippers.
PAGE 4: The Holiday Village currently operates 80% full all year round – there are tourist businesses that would die for those figures. However, it DOES charge very low prices for these stays because it can’t invest because the developer’s own the land and there is a clause in their lease that says if the developer gets planning permission they immediately get 12-18 months notice. Would you invest with a lease like that? And, if the “grey pound” is a declining market, presumably all Mr Harrison’s other south west coast hotels and holiday villages will have to close as he specialised is holidays for “the over 40s market without children”. What’s going on here Mr Harrison – why is it only this Holiday Village that can’t pay its way when all your other tourist interests are booming and you can afford to chair Weymouth Football Club – not a cheap pastime.
And - finally - did you know people that you are entitled to be consulted on how the money that EDDC gets from the developer is spent? Has anyone asked you? Or you? Or you? Or me!