East Devon Council has strongly refuted claims that it has a database showing pre-determined sites for massive building programmes across East Devon.
It says claims made by a pressure group and broadcast across the county on Thursday morning (October 14) suggested that the district council has already earmarked acres of land as suitable for housing – and described the situation as a ‘builders’ charter’.
But Councillor Graham Brown, East Devon’s deputy leader and the man responsible for the district’s environment, described the claims as ‘mischievous scaremongering’.
He added that any building proposals would always be subject to several checks and balances before any decisions were made.
He said: “It is patently untrue that this council has already set aside hundreds of acres of potential building land without consulting the public. What we have done – as part of a task imposed by the last Government and endorsed by the new Coalition – is conduct a survey of land-owners to see who owns land that might one day be the subject of a planning application.
“We’ve cross-checked this with agencies responsible for highways, the environment and other aspects of planning before creating a database of possible sites for further discussion. This is on our website.
“If you look at six different designs of wallpaper before decorating your home, it doesn’t mean you’re going to use all six. You end up using the one that’s most suitable and affordable. That’s called doing your research.