• Firstly, I note the comments of EDDC’s landscape architect, Neil Blackmore who states that the revised landscaping does not address the issue of views from the footpath across Venn Ottery Common and fails to address the impact of the access track.  I make the following observations on the letter submitted by Gavin Bloomfield of the RSPB. -      that due to the combined [...]

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    The work, which is funded by East Devon District Council, is to prevent further erosion of the riverbank, would ultimately flood the council-owned properties at Tipton Vale. I attended a site meeting last month with East Devon District Council officers Chris Brookbank and Keith Steel, engineering consultant, Alan White, Cllr John Harding, and the landowner, John Carter, last month.  It was a [...]

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    Blog by Andrew Lainton:  “So the new National Planning Policy Framework has fallen on its very first hurdle on the question everyone, developers, communities, campaigners want to know - when can you build housing in the countryside, when can you refuse it? It is the simplest and single most important question of any planning system, and if it is not answered clearly in national policy [...]

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    People from Aylesbeare, West Hill and Ottery came along to ask questions of representatives from Devon County Council and study display boards, which attempted to justify extending an existing quarry at Uffculme, as well as opening a new and vast one at Straitgate on the Exeter Road. Devon County Council has admitted that there are ‘significant’ environmental constraints at Straitgate,[...]

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    Call me a cynic, but when I read the highly controversial new planning legislation this afternoon – all 50 pages of it – replacing thousands of pages of detailed policy guidance, I was rather less enamoured. The pre-announcement spin had hinted at a final document that was ‘unashamedly pro-growth,’ according to one minister’s interpretation.  And this was what I was expecting when [...]

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    The full town council meeting will start at 7pm on Monday 2 April.  Andy Hill from Devon County Council will be presenting on proposals for a quarry at Straitgate Farm, on land bordered by Exeter Road, the A30 and Birdcage Lane. Members of the public are urged to attend to find out more about plans, which could have significant implications for the area.  Residents will be able to [...]

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    In a remarkably frank interview, Zac Goldsmith was critical of the government on several fronts and gave a personal insight into the way the government operates. He said: • George Osborne’s anti-green rhetoric was damaging investor confidence in the green economy and investors were “very worried”. • He had been “sacked” just two hours before he was due to take up [...]

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    1. Do you support or object to N6 and N8 as potential sites for sand and gravel extraction? Support 2. What is the reason for supporting or objecting to the proposal? The areas N6 and N8 are next to an existing quarry and landfill site and therefore extraction would be in line with guidance from Mineral Planning Policy Statement 1 (MPS1) “consider the benefits…of extensions to [...]

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    Between 40 and 50 people attended the meeting, despite far fewer invitations being issued. Myself, Roger Giles and Mark and Monica Mortimer had issued the invitations to people who had contacted us after we leafleted around 500 residents last week, to tell them about the consultation for a quarry at Straitgate. We were surprised and delighted to see so many people last night at West Hill’s [...]

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    The Directives and regulations are the most important mechanisms for protecting our internationally important wildlife sites – those for which England has a global responsibility. The Government’s review, published yesterday, restates the Government’s support for the Birds and Habitats Directives, and demonstrates that these vital environmental safeguards do not act as a brake on [...]

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    The informal appeal hearing took place on Wednesday (21 March) at the Knowle. Unlike the recent major appeal inquiry over an application for 50 houses next to Eastfield, the Westhayes appeal hearing was without legal representation and took the form of a round table discussion, with the appellant, officers, councillors and residents. Although I have a prejudicial interest in the application I had [...]

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    Many residents have voiced strong objections about the fact the huge site would be built on land designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Now plans have been submitted which attempt to better screen the development from view. If planners are convinced that the buildings are suitably screened it is possible that the application could be recommended for approval. If this happens, a decision[...]

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    A seven hour meeting peppered with frequent intense debate, criticisms and accusations over the level of development proposed in East Devon. That’s a summary of the latest (and probably final) Local Plan Panel meeting, held on Tuesday (20 March) at the Knowle, Sidmouth. The meeting kicked off in flurry of controversy at 9am, with LibDem councillor for Axminster, Douglas Hull, challenging the [...]

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    If this is a correct interpretation (from planning consultant blogger, Andrew Lainton), it means that around one third of local authorities could be at serious risk of a planning free-for-all in their areas. East Devon District Council will be one of those councils at risk, because its adopted Local Plan became out of date in December 2011.  The new Local Plan is still in draft form and is [...]

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