An angry man with a megaphone raised his voice outside the offices of Mid Devon District Council. Steve Rowe, who recently had his proposal for 21 homes in Westcott turned down by the council’s planning committee, visited Phoenix House, the MDDC headquarters, on Monday April 25, saying it was the only way to make their questions heard.
At the full MDDC board meeting on Wednesday, April 27, he said a question posed to the board’s planning committee on March 2 was not answered. The question he asked was: ‘Why has Mid Devon planning changed their position on fully supporting my application to now recommending it for refusal?’ He was told that a response would be provided.
However, he said: ‘For the avoidance of doubt, this had nothing to do with the decision to refuse my planning application. It’s up to an inspection to take care of it, with my two appeals on my site which are currently in progress. At the Mid Devon District Council planning meeting on March 2 I raised the issue and to date it has not been answered. Although rude, this should come as no surprise as most of my communications with you are along the same lines.
“I think you are forgetting that you are a civil servant, and not the other way around. A great human rights CQ once said that we are here to serve the public, not the public to serve us. So, on March 28, I raised this issue at stage 1 of the complaint and, as you know, this must be dealt with within ten working days or the time requested. Since this never materialized in the timescale – again, unsurprisingly – but one tries to live in hope, I then elevated it to a second stage complaint.
“On Wednesday afternoon April 13 I was phoned by Richard Marsh (Venue Manager) I have made an appointment to meet at my address in Westcott Park on May 17 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss a complaint about the same subject made to him in October 2021. Six months to respond.
“My ward member, Councilor David Pugsley, is also meeting with me on Monday, May 2. Yes, a public holiday. After all of our phone calls, special delivery letters, personal visits, etc., I had to demonstrate outside this building with a megaphone to get an answer. It’s just not fair. My question for you is, what committee holds this council accountable and how can I contact them? As District Councilors you have responsibility for managing services for residents of Central Devon. »
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