• The Habitats Regulations is the most stringent of laws in force, brought forward by the European Union, and makes development on or near to, wildlife sites, virtually impossible. But business leaders claim the laws are too restrictive. In East Devon, areas that could be affected by a weakening in the laws, are:  - pebblebed heaths (Woodbury, Venn Ottery and Aylesbeare Commons) - one of the [...]

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    The change of heart centres around a planning inspector’s appeal report, published last week for a piece of land next to Westhayes (Eastfield), which describes the landscape as ‘valuable’ in that area.  The previous planning officer’s report, listed for approval at the November Development Management Committee meeting, was withdrawn by planners minutes before the [...]

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    The economic strategy for the district has been prepared by EDDC’s economy ‘think tank’ chaired by Cllr Graham Godbeer – which has met regularly since May behind closed doors. No minutes have been taken at the meetings nor any agendas prepared, on the basis that this inhibits ‘free thinking’. A query last night by Cllr Mike Allen on a reference to this strategy in last night’s [...]

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    The final decision will be taken by councillors on the Development Management Committee, on Tuesday 6 December. The reasons for refusal centre largely around the application contravening district and county council countryside protection policies. As well as: - damage to local distinctiveness to a rural village - loss of a large tract of grade two agricultural land - National Planning Policy [...]

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    Representatives of Aylesbeare Parish Council will be asking residents what they think of proposals to grow the village by around 50 houses over the next 15 years. The village is one of a handful in East Devon which is keen to grow larger than the five percent growth allocated by East Devon District Council. A parish plan put together several years ago, showed that the majority of residents were in[...]

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    The meeting will take place on Friday 9 December, 7pm at West Hill Village Hall. I will be presenting on key aspects of the current plan with Dick Beardsall, who has worked really hard on keeping up to date with the plan’s progress and has made several representations to the Local Plan panel meetings over the past few months. The more people who attend and give their view, the stronger our [...]

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    The park was shut for around two weeks during October while South West Water carried out works to water mains.  Two large pits were dug, some of the edging on the path was damaged and the fencing was taken down. Grass was also damaged. Contractors have promised to restore the park, only six months old, to its original condition. West Hill Village Hall committee is overseeing the restoration [...]

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    The land in question (13 acres) is adjacent to Butts Road and Higher Ridgeway, with the access proposed through Butts Road. The developers had a day of meetings with residents yesterday and plan to hold a further consultation event before Christmas. The proposal is contrary to Ottery St Mary Town Council’s preference to development being on the western side of the town, as the road links to [...]

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    That must mean that a version for checking by other government departments must be going out any day now. With only just over a month since the close of the consultation it is unlikely that civil servants have even read all of the substantive consultations.  So it can only be the case that fairly minor changes are proposed.  clearly many issues were flagged up during the consultation but[...]

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    Britain’s biggest housebuilders privately lobbied cabinet ministers to secure a significant relaxation of the planning system, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. The chiefs of housing firms, including Barratt, Bovis and Redrow, insisted that ministers introduced a planning policy that would mean the default answer to applications would be “yes” – a presumption that [...]

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    The Devonshire Homes application on land between Otter Close and Mallocks Close, was refused by East Devon District Council in the spring. A public inquiry appeal will take place at EDDC offices, Knowle, starting on Tuesday 6 December at 10am.  It is expected to continue for three days. In response to the reasons for refusal, the developer claims the following: - the development is keeping [...]

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    Following reports from a resident, the department will send council officers out to take a look at the problem and clean up any existing mess. The dog warden may also be carrying out spot checks over the coming weeks and more signs will be displayed. There is a £50 fine for anyone caught not picking up after their dog. Dog waste can be double bagged and placed into ordinary wheelie bins.

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    The all-day meeting, which was to review the Local Plan (formerly the Local Development Framework) prior to public consultation, was largely a rubber-stamping exercise, however, I was pleased to amend several planning policies for the better - proposals which I had been outvoted on during the previous LDF Panel meetings. These are: - Two environmental policies (EN5 and 6) concerned with developing[...]

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    Local farmer, John Sheaves, has offered to store grit supplied by Devon County Council in his barn and distribute it throughout the main roads in the village, via a piece of equipment hooked up to his Landrover. I met with John a few weeks ago to discuss his ideas and was inspired at the thought of West Hill becoming self-sufficient in this way. The move is likely to mean that Bendarroch Road - [...]

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