AS a resident of Abbotsham I read with incredulity the article on Bideford's grandiose plans for spending money generated by the Atlantic Array. I would make these points:
1. The town of Bideford will only be marginally affected by the Atlantic Array.
2. The adverse effects on the village of Abbotsham will be greater than any other local community.
3. We will have drilling on the coast at Abbotsham Cliff for more than two years.
4. Access to the drilling site in the construction phase is planned via the steep hill at White House Cross causing traffic disruption on a narrow country lane.
5. Local access to properties will be disrupted for sizeable periods.
6. There will be disruption to parking around Abbotsham Court restricting access to the coast path.
7. There will be a haul road running through the parish creating noise, dust and local disruption throughout the two to three-year period.
Abbotsham village also has pressing needs which, if met, would improve the quality of life for the local residents who are going to suffer this disruption. The village hall is 90 years old and is in need of replacement or refurbishment. The village field is sloping and not ideal for sports activities while the play equipment needs updating. There is a need for parking within the village. There is a need for a pedestrian path and a cycle path between the village and Bideford.
Abbotsham Road is, in essence, still a narrow country lane in spite of the large growth in housing in Bideford in the last 50 years (Moreton Park, Londonderry and now Moreton playing fields) and the opening of the link road junction. This important route is too dangerous to walk or cycle safely. Incidentally, this need was highlighted at Bideford Manor Court a number of years ago, but is not on the Bideford wishlist.
The Atlantic Array funding should be allocated to the areas directly affected and used to improve local facilities in those areas which are going to suffer major disruption.
It should not be a honey pot into which all local politicians get their hands.