Creative cartography at EDDC?

17 Dec

The fight to save yet another historic East Devon landmark, namely the Longboat house at Budleigh Salterton, has brought to light another flawed EDDC document. This time it is an erroneous map, as leading opponent, David Daniel, explains.

He writes, ‘ What numeracy skills EDDC may lack to count staff and do arithmetic, it makes up for with its creative abilities. For example, in January 2012 EDDC published a map, just in time for the February DMC, purporting to show that the Longboat in Budleigh Salterton did not lie within the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (WHS) footprint. The agreement protocol on the precise definition of the boundary was drawn up between UK Government and UNESCO. The formal protocol uses words to define the WHS boundary, rather than maps, in recognition that as cliffs fall so the precise boundary may change. Budleigh Salterton is unusual in that the whole of its beach, unlike most town beaches, is not excluded and lies within the site. The words defining the site in the agreed protocol are as follows: 

Budleigh Salterton Cliffs is an SSSI notified only for its geological interests, and is covered by two GCR sites (1507 Budleigh Salterton, Permian – Triassic and 1837 Budleigh Salterton, Coastal Geomorphology of England). The boundary of the Site (WHS) at Budleigh Salterton is taken as coinciding with the boundary of the SSSI that covers the cliffs fronting the town. 

The SSSI boundary includes the Longboat and both the Jurassic Coast Management Team and Natural England agree that the WHS does indeed encompass the Longboat. But EDDC, at ratepayers’ expense, have not drawn the WHS boundary coincident with the SSSI at this point (it gets in the way of the planning proposal). 

Only the Government and UNESCO can change the protocol but this does not seem to have deterred EDDC drawing their own interpretation. It is very difficult for councillors to challenge this sort of “evidence” presented by officials at a DMC. After all they should be relied on to be unbiased.’

Mr Daniel goes on to say,‘ You may be aware that a group of us in Budleigh Salterton are seeking to take EDDC to a Judicial Review on procedural grounds, with a preliminary oral hearing scheduled for late February. That a group of individuals is prepared to hazard substantial sums if costs are awarded against them, should be seen as a measure of the scale of the discontent felt at the way that EDDC push the boundaries of the planning process to force through decisions in the face of local opposition, using these sorts of devices.  We think this discontent is widespread throughout East Devon and councillors should wake up and take note.’


One Response to “Creative cartography at EDDC?”

  1. Medusa December 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Councillors may not yet have woken up but thousands of people all over East Devon are WIDE awake!

    I wonder what our MP has to say about this?

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