26 March 2014
A few of us went to the Parish Council meeting last Friday and asked some questions. Answers came there few.
We started by saying that for the local authorities (South Hams District Council, Devon County Council and the Environment Agency) between them to approve new building knowing that in the near future DCC would abandon its sea defences and access road is nothing less than chicanery. Happy to take the council tax until the houses become worthless by virtue of being inaccessible or falling into the sea no doubt.
We asked the Parish Council to do the following:
1. To note and enter into its minutes the response to a freedom of information request which sets out responsibilities for the sea defences and the road.
2. To congratulate the highways authority for its prompt action in fencing off the dangerous craters in the road in not much less than six weeks.
3. To congratulate residents of Hallsands for acting when the local authorities failed to live up to their responsibilities.
Yes there is an element of sarcasm in the second request, but why not?
We also asked the local authorities to support us in asking for the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) to be corrected with regard to Hallsands. Given that the local authorities use the designation for Hallsands in the SMP as ‘No Active Intervention’ as their excuse for inaction this is a somewhat pious hope.
Our final request was that DCC should be asked to set out their policy with regard to the road and sea defences in writing and that the authorities give an undertaking to inform all future applicants for planning consent of this policy. Given that obfuscation and bluster has served the authorities well to date, this is again asking rather a lot.