• Ottery St Mary Town Council has fixed dates for meetings at Alfington, Tipton St John and West Hill, in line with proposals for new housing under East Devon District Council’s draft Local Plan. The proposed allocations are: Alfington – five houses Tipton St John – 10 houses West Hill – 35 houses EDDC has proposed that East Devon villages grow by five percent, based on the number of dwellings within built-up area boundaries. This month (August) a team of people under the banner of the strategic housing land availability assessment (shlaa), have been visiting sites put forward by [...]

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    East Devon District Council had previously ruled that Kelly Lynch, who lives just outside Tipton St John, could not continue to live in her caravan, on a small patch of land. Kelly’s grandmother, Violet Small, who died in 2004, had a ‘personal use’ permission to live in the caravan for her lifetime, on the basis that she was a gypsy. When Kelly inherited the land and the caravan from her grandmother after she died, she also applied for personal use, which was rejected by East Devon District Council and upheld at appeal. EDDC then began enforcement action.  In February this year, [...]

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    The Midweek Herald reports this week that the council will be submitting a complaint against the development management committee, highlighting concerns about negotiations over the east of Honiton, recommendations of the town council being overlooked and ward members being denied permission to speak on issues affecting the town. The confusion of sites and non-listing of strategic sites will also be raised by the town council. At a meeting last week, Councillor Vivienne Ash said she felt the town council had been “totally ignored” by the district council. Speaking about the development [...]

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    Bloor Homes are to hold a public exhibition in the village to showcase their plans. As yet there is no date for the public exhibition nor is there any indication of which piece of land Bloor Homes has an interest in. I will blog when more news comes to light. It will be the fourth major application in the village since 2010.  So far, all have been rejected as they are contrary to East Devon District Council’s adopted Local Plan.  However, as part of the draft new Local Plan, this autumn residents in villages with built-up area boundaries across East Devon, will be asked to [...]

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    In an email from SWW legal representative Alison Langmead to EDDC’s lawyers on 26 July, she spells out the consequences of building more houses in Feniton without first upgrading the sewage system. The email was in response to the Wainhomes appeal inquiry for 50 houses, which took place a couple of weeks ago. Ms Langmead’s email is technical but certain paragraphs are stark in their warning: She said:  “There can be no doubt as to the principle of sewerage inadequacy - and its potentially serious consequences - as a material planning consideration.” “The LPA [...]

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    Judge Mrs Justice Lang agreed with the Save Woolley Valley Action Group (SWVAG) that Bath & North East Somerset Council had made an unlawful decision in respect of Dimbleby’s former land at Woolley Lane, Charlcombe, Bath. She said that the council had “misdirected itself in law” when it decided that 10 3.5 metre-high poultry sheds planned for the site were not “development” subject to planning control and so did not require an environmental impact assessment (EIA). She also found that the council had acted unlawfully by granting planning permission for a stock[...]

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    New law changes to introduce greater openness and transparency in executive councils meetings will mean all decisions including those affecting budgets and local services will have to be taken in an open and public forum, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles announced today. Ministers have put new regulations before Parliament that would come into force next month to extend the rights of people to attend all meetings of a council’s executive, its committees and subcommittees. The changes will result in greater public scrutiny. The existing media definition will be broadened to cover [...]

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    The application, lodged by Chris Down of Crealy Adventure Park, has lodged a number of amendments to plans, including a response to the charity’s concerns over breaching EU legislation, the habitats regulations. Statutory planning consultee, Natural England, which also objected on the same grounds, has now asked for an extension until the end of August, to allow for annual leave. Mr Down’s agents have claimed that they have overcome the issues relating to the potential damage that nitrogen emissions would have on the site of special scientific interest that is Venn Ottery Common. [...]

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    The Western Morning News today contains the following story…................................  Fresh questions have been raised over a district’s plans to develop swathes of employment land after a neighbouring council raised “serious concerns” that it is too much. Dorset County Council has poured oil onto the fire of a row raging around East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) proposals for how much land should be designated for industry. Critics claim that the council has given too much weight to recommendations put forward by the East Devon Business Forum, [...]

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    The application is significant, not just to Sidmouth, but to the whole of East Devon because it is inextricably linked to the controversial proposed move of the council’s offices from Sidmouth, to Honiton. The move would mean a brand new building would have to be built at Honiton to accommodate staff and facilities. EDDC councillors have consistently claimed that the move will be cost neutral.  However, at a scrutiny committee meeting last month, it emerged that there may be over a £3m shortfall in funding. Councillors are keen to sell off the Knowle and its gardens for at least 50[...]

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    In a story published in today’s Express & Echo, Peter Gilpin, said he was ‘amazed’ at the ‘inadequacy’ of the plans for leisure facilities at the new town at which around 6,500 homes are expected to be built before 2026. He said he had been in discussions with the head teacher of the town’s new primary school, St Martin’s, opening next month, but stressed it would not be enough to cope with the town’s needs.  Mr Gilpin said: “Over the next few years Cranbrook will grow to around 6,400 houses with around 14,000 people.  The [...]

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    In a response to EDDC’s Local Plan consultation in January this year, Dorset County Council welcomes EDDC’s enthusiasm for economic growth but says it has ‘serious concerns’ about the sustainability of employment proposals in the Local Plan. Gill Smith, senior planning officer, says:  “East Devon District Council’s positive response to the need for economic development is to be welcomed, but we have some serious concerns regarding the sustainability of the employment proposals in the draft plan. Ms Smith adds:  “We have a particular concern that[...]

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    The appeal will take the form of a public inquiry, and is expected to take around four days. Redrow Homes is challenging a refusal for 130 houses on a field next to Butts Road, which is grade 2 agricultural land. It is understood to be fifth major public inquiry appeal challenging the strategy of the new Local Plan.  A public inquiry is the most formal of all appeals and involves barristers and teams of planning experts, which slog out meticulous and detailed arguments, for days, in front of a planning inspector.  Residents can also make their own representations at the inquiry. [...]

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    BY 2026, farming in East Devon is likely to be on a completely different scale from how it is today. And that will pose a challenge to those who manage land use and the shape of development in the District – the Members and Planning Staff at EDDC. That’s the message given to an audience at Bicton College on Wednesday during a seminar organised by East Devon District Council. Experts on the role that farming plays in rural communities and the local economy were guest speakers at the seminar, which was entitled ‘Towards 2026: The Prospects for Farming and Rural Enterprise’. The seminar [...]

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    I have read the revised documents and make the following observations: The landscape and visual assessment makes it clear that the structures will have ‘moderate adverse impacts’ from several of the viewpoints from public places around the area. The report states that the definition of ‘moderate adverse impact’ means:  “Visually intrusive and would cause a noticeable deterioration in existing views, resulting in some disruption to valued views of the area.”  The buildings are also described as having a ‘high impact’ on the outlook from[...]

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    Speaking at the Wainhomes planning appeal inquiry yesterday, he was quizzed by the developer’s barrister about the council having identified a preferred piece of land for future housing in the village.  Mr Dickins said: “We have heard very well articulated and well expressed arguments from members of the public in Feniton, who have shown they have been fully involved in democratic processes” and “To allow this appeal would open the floodgates.” The planning appeal inquiry is the fourth to challenge East Devon District Council’s new local plan, which is about to [...]

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    Conservative councillor, Graham Troman has requested that the scrutiny committee look into the links between EDDC and EDBF. Speaking in today’s Sidmouth/Ottery Herald, Cllr Troman said:  “The EDBF brand has been compromised and has lost the respect of the business community and residents. “In the interests of transparency, and encouraging future business, I have called for a full report.” Last week (Wednesday 25 July) my motion calling on EDDC to distance itself from EDBF, following revelations that the landowners and developers on the forum significantly influenced the amount of [...]

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    The email states: “Neglect affects thousands of children in the UK every day. Almost one in ten children have suffered neglect at some point in their childhood and the number of people who contact the NSPCC about a neglected child has doubled in the last two years. These are the reasons we are asking our loyal supporters to help us spread awareness of neglect, in the hope that we can protect more vulnerable children. There are so many ways a child can be neglected, but what is certain is that neglect can have a serious impact on a child’s development now, and in the future. [...]

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    We arrived under leaden skies and joined around half a dozen other volunteers. Reserve warden, Toby Taylor, gave us some interesting information about the pebblebed heaths, their geology and how they are protected under EU legislation as they are sites of special scientific interest, special protection areas and special areas of conservation. We heard that many of the plants and wildlife were rare and the heathland had been created in ancient times because of over use.  This led to unusual sorts of plants taking root that liked poor soil.  The pebblebed heaths are now also home to [...]

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