• It started today on Woodbury Common and the events continue all week, helping to raise the profile of nature, habitats and some of the rarer creatures that can be found on heathland in East Devon. Heathland at Aylesbeare Common is one of few places in the country that the Dartford Warbler can be found.  And children will be encouraged to go out and find the southern damselfly, also relatively[...]

    Read more

    Chris Down, of Crealy Farms, first submitted his application for an industrial pig unit in February, prior to a rejection of an earlier application in 2011, which featured on the BBC’s Inside Out programme. The unit, which consists of a half acre slurry ‘lagoon’ and two large pig accommodation buildings, would span around three football pitches.  An access track of around half a [...]

    Read more

    Up until last night EDDC has claimed that the move would be ‘cost neutral.’ Several Sidmouth residents spoke at the meeting including Michael Temple, Richard Eley and Barry Curwen.  They highlighted a number of issues and asked a number of questions, relating to: - lack of justification for the move - potential spiralling costs - the existing building receiving a good c-rating for energy [...]

    Read more

    The public gallery was packed with members of the public – around 80-100 people sweated it out in a stuffy council chamber for over three hours to hear the debate on the Local Plan and my notice of motion - which was the last item on the agenda. In the public speaking session at the start of the meeting, Sandra Semple, former mayor of Seaton asked the council why it was ‘bank-rolling EDBF’ A[...]

    Read more

    Mrs Elliott’s citizenship class has been enormously busy over the past few weeks getting support for the project. Myself and Roger Giles have visited the class several times at the invitation of Mrs Elliott, and assisted with thoughts and ideas about the campaign and how it might be helpful to approach it. I have been really impressed with how hard the students have worked in garnering support [...]

    Read more

    I have limited my comment to three towns that I believe are the still the most controversial, in terms of proposals for development. But it was a decision over development at Sidmouth that caused residents anger to erupt into shouts and heckling, after an amended recommendation to retain a 12 acre industrial estate at Sidford, was backed by the committee. Fords of Sidmouth are promoting the land [...]

    Read more

    Councillors on the committee heard that Feniton is under pressure from developers and there is shortly to be an appeal by a developer (Wainhomes) which is why EDDC has asked the parish council to identify preferred sites for development, prior to other villages in East Devon, which will identify their sites during the autumn. Feniton Parish Council’s preferred sites are land at Acland Park [...]

    Read more

    The information was blocked last week by the East Devon Business Centre, the EDDC-employed administrators for EDBF.  Following my request for the list, there was an exchange of around six emails with the facilities manager during last week. I was asked to do the following: 1. ring Cllr Graham Brown (chair) or Roy Stuart (vice chair) 2. look at the EDDC website 3. look at the EDBF website 4. [...]

    Read more

    It will be the last time the plan is debated prior to being rubber stamped at next week’s full council meeting on Wednesday 25 July. The most controversial aspect of tomorow’s debate will be the highly unpopular 12 acres of industrial land proposed for Sidford.  Campaign group, Save Our Sidmouth will deliver a petition to the committee and will speak against the proposed [...]

    Read more

    I have copied and pasted this analysis from the BBC, which is thought-provoking and raises many questions about the implications of a dramatically increasing population. Interestingly, in 2006 Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports under the guise of the regional spatial strategy (RSS), projected a housing demand in East Devon of 11,400.  Just two years later in 2008, the RSS hiked its [...]

    Read more

    Councillors agreed at July’s Ottery Town Council meeting on Monday 2 July, that the town council would fund half of the work for the path, as well as a gate into the park. Cllr Roger Giles will fund the rest from his locality budget. Currently, at the end of school, (on dry days at least!) a surge of excited children leave school and run across the car park into the play park.  Many of[...]

    Read more

    Today, a letter by Sidmouth resident, Barry Curwen, published in today’s Sidmouth/Ottery Herald, calls for an inquiry by Hugo Swire MP, into EDBF’s influence over EDDC’s Local Plan. The EDBF is chaired by Cllr Graham Brown, with former EDDC councillor and Ottery Town councillor, Roy Stuart, as its vice-chair.  Cllr Brown represents the National Farmers Union on the business[...]

    Read more

    Councillors on the EDDC planning committee (development management committee) will make a decision on Tuesday (17 July) on whether they allocate a piece of land in the centre of Feniton, to include in the Local Plan.  If the recommendation is approved Feniton will be the first village in East Devon go through the formal built-up area boundary review process, as part of the Local Plan.  [...]

    Read more

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9736000/9736445.stm If you haven’t heard it you can listen by clicking on the link above.  It includes a fascinating account of the major flood of 50 years ago. More heavy rain is forecast for this area tomorrow. Photograph:  The Otter flowing through Tipton, at its normal level.

    Read more