Save Our Sidmouth

Public consultation was limited to two ads in the Sidmouth Herald, admits EDDC legal officer

6 Comments

The basic supposition behind EDDC’s office relocation project, is that it is a matter for the whole District. Very odd, therefore, that EDDC’s public consultation on the appropriation and disposal of extra land on the Knowle site, to suit the developer, was not extended to the those who live outside the Sid Valley. In answer to a question from the public, Henry Gordon-Lennox, of EDDC’s legal department, explained at last night’s special combined Scrutiny and Audit meeting, that there is no legal obligation to do so.
But many voters outside Sidmouth have strong views on the financial implications of the relocation plan, which EDDC Deputy Chief Executive, Richard Cohen, again confirmed last night, will take 20 years to pay off. EDDC’s perceived casual approach to public consultation on a multi-million pound scheme blighted with uncertainties, one again calls the leadership of the relocation project into disrepute.

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6 thoughts on “Public consultation was limited to two ads in the Sidmouth Herald, admits EDDC legal officer

  1. As 140 objections is a significant amount, I asked EDDC solicitor Henry Gordon Lennox where I could see them. He suggested I make a FOI request, – but this of course would take weeks for a reply. Overhearing my request Phil Twiss, (repeating what was claimed during the meeting) said that 140 wasn’t a large amount of responses from an ED population of 110,000. As SOS point out, the notice was only published hidden away in the back pages of the Sidmouth Herald.

  2. Pingback: Knowle Public consultations, EDDC-style | East Devon Watch

  3. Pingback: Incursion into Knowle’s Public Open Space “has never been debated by councillors” | Save Our Sidmouth

  4. This is an issue worth following up. I commented about the Legal notices that this was a sale affecting the whole District. The LGA 1972 says ads should be placed in a newspaper “circulating in the area” in which the land is. The words used by the Council’s report say “in the locality” which is Sidmouth. But area could be interpreted as the area affected so should ads have been been posted across the District? Does anyone know a way to get an authoritative ruling on this interpretation?

  5. Dear Richard Thurlow

    I have read your emails of 12/3/15 and 13/3/15 (Results of public consultation…) and (Public consultation was limited….) and appreciate the former is an initial report. The full report will make interesting reading.

    Yours of 13/3 reports that Gordon-Lennox says that “there is no legal obligation” to extend the public consultation to those outside the Sid Valley. Yours of 12/3 reports him as saying that the 140 letters of objection carried no weight as they were all only “of Sidmouth concern”.

    The vast majority of Sid Valley residents live in Sidmouth, so surely said letters should properly be considered by the legal department. Are not his comments contradictory, or have I missed something? What are your observations at this stage, and do you know whether there is “no legal obligation”?

    Regards

    David Grainger

    • Thank you for raising this matter, David. Together with Peter Whitfield’s point, it is being looked into.
      If things can be taken further, the SOS website will report back.

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