As a Devonian, and also with ancestral roots in Cornwall, I am sure I am safe in saying that I live in one of the most beautiful areas of England.
I agree the weather of late has been appalling, but never the less it is still great to live here in the Westcountry
Despite the odd moan, most visitors would say that they enjoyed their stay here.
Our interpretation of the English language is perhaps a little baffling, but tis old English, me 'ansoms.
However, aside from the weather, this glorious land is fast becoming decidedly different from the one I remember as a child.
We treasure our land and seascapes, and so do those who visit, so I am told.
It is now sad to find that those in government no longer feel as we do, and more so we appear to be given no say in the matter at all.
A few recent news items which have been outlined of late are more than a little disturbing, and perhaps we should all be reminded of the devastation that the following will cause to everything we hold dear.
It is proposed to build one of the world's largest offshore wind farms, the Atlantic Array. It is a massive threat to the North Devon and south Wales coast. Turbines would be up to 720ft high and there could be between 188 to 278 turbines. These would be less than nine miles from the North Devon coast, eight from Lundy Island and 14 from Gower, all of whom are reliant on the scenery and tourist industry.
It is also proposed to build some 48,000 new houses all over Cornwall. For whom, may I ask? Or is it supposedly to create jobs?
Are there really 48,000 persons in Cornwall without a home?
Council Houses are not for life and where a single person occupies a three-bedroom council house he or she should be asked to downsize in order to accommodate a family.
Should we also think of the enormous amount of derelict buildings nation-wide, which with a little tender loving care could be given a new lease of life. This would not necessitate any further acquisition of land and would be an opportunity for those entering apprenticeships. By the by, those who condemn apprenticeships as cheap labour are really not with it. It is payment within your degree of skill as you progress, which gives you the incentive to learn and so up the wage.
Someone has to start at the bottom and not expect a top job because you have a degree.
Finally, build house, build driveway, build garage, build road, goodbye grass, goodbye countryside, hello concrete, hello flood water. Simples!
We in Devon have already experienced "Core Strategy" plans and sadly they still go on, and more and more of those valuable assets, clean air and countryside, disappear.
There are ways around all these issues, but it would seem councils sit in chambers where everyone nods their heads, and those that dare to object are ignored.