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Farewell to the hamlet of West Clyst?

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After almost a year of fighting, the residents of the hamlet of West Clyst found out that their little village of under 100 houses is definitely going to grow by 600%  and join on to Exeter. The new development at Old Park Farm was given planning permission at a planning meeting held on Tuesday 7th December.

Despite a packed house with a huge turn out from West Clyst, the East Devon Development Control Committee (comprised of elected East Devon Councillors) voted to support the development. Only three councillors voted against - Cllr Peter Bowden and Cllr Derek Button being two of them.

The fight had started back in January 2010 when Outline planning permission was first applied for. With over 150 people present at our annual parish meeting in March, it was obvious that the local population was against this development. Further meetings held by the Parish Council continued to have huge attendances. The fight received publicity from the Express and Echo, the BBC, ITV and all local radio stations.

The Parish Council and local campaigners predicted huge increase in traffic, potential schooling issues due to a lack of capacity and potentially major flooding issues. Concerns were also raised about building on grade 1 agricultural land with many archaeological remains. The residents of West Clyst were clearly concerned about their hamlet effectively joining on to Exeter and losing its identity.

East Devon had a fairly one sided meeting, with most members expressing concern that the developers would take the application to appeal if permission was not granted - this issue appeared to worry many of the members.

It is now highly likely that planning permission will be sought for the opposite side of the road for an additional 350 houses and we expect to see such an application in 2011.

Local residents have vowed to continue their fight and are now looking at their legal options and are considering bringing a case against East Devon District Council.

The Parish Council will continue to campaign against major developments of this nature within our Parish as we feel there are better suited sites within East Devon.

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