What are they all on?

I have been a visitor to North Devon for the last six years or so and moved permanently to Bideford last September.

The community of North Devon have been marvellous. I feel so welcome. However, as a former councillor in my previous locality, I feel bound to ask what some of our elected representatives are on?

The principal activities in this part of the world are either retirement or serving the tourist industry, yet our various councils feel compelled to make these opportunities difficult.

Visit Ilfracombe and attend a council meeting. “Let’s approve Verity and the hordes will come,” seems to be the thinking.

Not many years ago this structure would have been banned under obscenity laws; now it is a proposed tourist attraction. Pass the sickbag please.

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Then we have the prospect of the Atlantic Array potentially blighting the views from the Gower Peninsula, North Devon and Lundy Island.

Do our councillors have a death wish for the tourism industry? Here we are saving the polar bears with the wind farms and then killing them off with parallel bus operators running ancient emissions belchers entirely at a council’s behest all over North Devon.

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You couldn’t make it up.

Just to give you a taste of what can happen, look at two existing inappropriate developments that have managed to slip under the “I supposes” of our various councils: the hideous Wave duplexes at Westward Ho! and a similar structure on the site of the old Hydro Hotel in Ilfracombe.

Both utterly out of step with their surroundings, yet inexplicably approved.

Add to this mix the alleged deliberate exclusion of members of the public at council meetings in the locality.

One could conclude that democracy is the sick patient here in North Devon, while vested interests might be alive and well.

David Harris

24 Riverside Court


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