• The recommendation has been altered, which at first glance, looks to be an improvement, however, the committee is still being asked to endorse the requirement to have a six year land supply, which sounds innocuous, but holds hidden commitments. Why not ‘note’ it instead, as with the other recomendations? These are now the full list of recommendations: Recommendation That the Committee 1. Endorse the requirement to secure a Six Year Land Supply; 2. Notes that the Housing Minister (on behalf of Government) has, since the start of the new year, announced a new package of investment [...]

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    Sue Collins and Gill Ewings were interviewed, who on top of their flooding woes, are also facing the possibility of 120 houses being built on the beautiful green fields directly behind their cottages.  This application by Strategic Land Partnerships, will be determined by EDDC in March or April. You can listen to the programme by clicking on the link below.  The story is the second one on the list, with an interview from me just after 7am.  Sue Collins’ (rather controversial!) interview was played several times over.  Gill Ewings’ interview is broadcast just [...]

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    The appeals were lost because both planning inspectors ruled that EDDC could not demonstrate a five year land supply for housing across the district. A controversial paper will now be considered by EDDC’s planning committee (development management committee) on Tuesday, 5 February, which proposes in future, that the committee approves most future housing applications, including those outside built-up area boundaries, unless the reasons for refusal are overwhelming. This policy, if endorsed by the committee, would be in place for an indeterminate length of time. Officers say that they are[...]

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    The project appraisal board meeting, which took place in the Environment Agency’s offices at Sowton, was attended by EDDC engineer, Keith Steel and a colleague who have been working on plans for the scheme.  They made a strong case for Feniton’s urgent need for such a project, which was accepted by officials. Feniton has been plagued by serious flooding issues in the last six to eight months and has a long-standing problem, which is caused by inadequate drainage installed in the 1960s. The successful bid for funding is excellent news for Feniton residents who heard just two [...]

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    I have just watched Newsround with my daughter where there was a story on some research that had been carried out which proved that crustaceans feel pain.  As a result the RSPCA is calling for restaurants to kill them humanely by electrocuting them, instead of the horrifying death of being boiled alive, but the government says it has no plans to change the guidance on how they should be killed. I think this is just appalling - firstly, that research had to be undertaken to establish that the creatures feel pain, and secondly, that the government is not going to do anything about it. I [...]

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    The previous long-standing system, which means a ‘change of use’ must be applied for, allowed for proper assessment and implications for the proposed new use.  But this new reckless rule will mean either ugly industrial estates in the middle of the countryside, or housing, without any controls or rights for neighbours to object, or even know anything about the plans. The link is here: http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/New-planning-rules-hailed-great-victory-farmers/story-17970569-detail/story.html The story is [...]

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    The meeting, on Thursday 24 January, which focused on health services, was attended by three local GPs as well as NHS Devon’s head of locality commissioning, Tamara Powderley. I asked whether local mums could be given assurances that the maternity service at Honiton was secure, following a major campaign to retain overnight stays in 2010. Worryingly, between 2006 and 2011, the number of mums opting to give birth at Honiton Hospital have declined steadily, from 171 to 103. By contrast, births at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, have soared from 2,899 to 3,697 in the same period. The [...]

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    The move to reassure residents came following a resident contacting me to say she had been told by a fire officer that as they had been called out twice, the service may charge next time, or not come at all, on the basis that residents needed to do more to protect themselves. I wrote to the chief fire officer, Lee Howell to assure him that everything possible was being done to mitigate the flooding.  The full correspondence is below:.......................................................................................................................................................... [...]

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    When it was published last year, the Government gave councils one year to get their plans up-to-date. The 27 March is NPPF d-day.  After this date, all those authorities who have not got an up-to-date Local Plan must use the NPPF as the primary document when determining planning applications, thus undermining local planning policies, built-up area boundaries and the ability to refuse inappropriate development. As someone who feels that EDDC is now in a deep mire thanks in large part to the NPPF, the news that just one council is ready for action following 27 March, is further proof that [...]

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    Mr Brinton, the Aylesbeare resident who bought the pub at auction in October last year, originally wanted to buy the building plots only behind the pub, but was forced into buying the pub as well, when a fellow businessman who had an interest in the pub, dropped out of the sale. Mr Brinton hoped that the Woodbury-based businessman who had expressed an interest in taking on the pub, would then buy the pub from him following the sale, but it is clear that this will not now happen. As a result, Mr Brinton has placed the pub, as a going concern, back on the market for £235,000 and says there has [...]

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    East Devon District Council’s Environmental Health department is about to launch a campaign to deal with problem offenders in a different way. Areas identified as ‘hot spots’ where fouling has become a real problem will have a stencil sprayed-painted on the ground that displays a picture of a dog, accompanied by the words: ‘pick it up’. The stencil washes away after about three weeks and there will also be posters in the same locations linking to the stencilling and the message.  Many of the places identified as problem areas are footpaths and long narrow walk-ways, where [...]

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    Hi xxxxx, please be reassured that no blame should be attached to Feniton Parish Council or residents for the position it is in.  I am concerned that this rumour seems to be doing the rounds and I intend to put matters straight on my blog. All planning applications are determined according to a strategic plan, known as the Local Plan. Although EDDC’s Local Plan is now out of date, its policies are saved.  The Local Plan establishes built up area boundaries and sets the numbers of houses for settlements through to its expiry, for example. Although the EDDC Local Plan is out of date [...]

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    Dear Ms Hunt I am writing, as EDDC councillor for Ottery St Mary Rural, part of which includes Feniton, to express my concern over the repeated flooding that Feniton has been experiencing and the EA’s involvement in planning applications for the village. Not only is Feniton experiencing repeated and serious flooding problems, it also appears to be attracting developers like moths to a candle flame, despite the fact that it is allocated just 35 houses until 2026 in the EDDC draft Local Plan. And 50 houses have already been allowed on appeal (decision in Sept 2012) on a field that water pours [...]

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    It is usually seen as fun pastime for children when the weather turns colder. But now building a snowman has been touted as an effective way of preventing homes flooding. The bizarre advice comes as weather experts predict a sudden thaw causing torrential rain and melting snow when temperatures swing from -13C to 13C over the weekend. The Environment Agency said Britons could help slow the rate of the sudden thaw by building snowmen in their gardens and on driveways. Spokesman Roy Stokes said the compacted snow and ice in snowmen will melt more slowly than snow on the ground meaning there is [...]

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    The Knowle has been closed and staff sent home. The meeting will be rescheduled so we will let you know a new date asap…..

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    Save Our Parkland campaign group lodged a legal challenge against EDDC’s approval of the scheme at Cloakham Lawns, which was granted permission in September 2010, using a draft planning strategy, which was still out for public consultation. The Local Development Framework received considerable public criticism because of its level of development and weakening of countryside protections.  Controversially, councillors sitting on the Local Development Framework Panel in 2009 instructed the applicants to bring forward their planning application forward early, in advance of the [...]

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    The government is expanding a controversial scheme which pairs dozens of multinational companies with a ministerial “buddy”, giving them privileged access to the heart of government, the Guardian has learned. The minister for trade Lord Green launched the “strategic relations” initiative in July 2011, giving 38 companies, including oil, telecoms and pharmaceutical giants, a direct line to ministers and officials. The Guardian has obtained a list of 12 further companies which have now been added to the programme, and understands that UK Trade and Investment is [...]

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    More cash was made last year from drivers parking in East Devon than in almost any other district council area in the South West, according to government figures. But East Devon District Council (EDDC ) claim the figures don’t say that the authority has lower overheads and has more parking spaces. The figures were calculated by the Institute of Advanced Motorists from Department for Communities and Local Government Revenue figures for 2011/12. It shows the total car parking income after staff and administration costs have been deducted. The figures show that, in 2011/2012, £2.3million was [...]

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    Sidmouth Independent News is urging people to dress up in overalls and carry cans of white paint labelled “whitewash” to protest prior to the East Devon Business Forum scrutiny task and finish forum meeting on Wednesday (23 January). EDDC has not only ruled that the subject that most concerns East Devon residents -  planning - is vetoed, the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting appears to have little to do with terms of reference agreed at the last meeting. The protest begins at 5.40pm outside EDDC’s council chamber and the scrutiny meeting begins at 6pm. See more [...]

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    A planning inspector, will, later this year, will be the final arbiter on whether EDDC’s Local Plan is “sound” or “unsound.” Natural England’s concerns are summarised below: Axminster The impact of phosphates on the water quality of the River Axe due to what NE describes as a “significant” rise in population (1,050 houses).  NE report author, Lorna Horner, states that the reason for this level of development - to create a bypass for the town - may not be viable.  Mrs Horner also makes the point that EDDC’s consultants, Roger Tym [...]

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    An updated independent assessment of the economic impact of East Devon District Council’s proposals to relocate its main offices is released for public consultation today [Friday 18 January]. It comes hot on the heels of the council confirming its Outline Planning Application for Knowle will be determined by councillors on Friday 01 March. The council is inviting comment on it as part of the consultation on its Outline Planning Application for Knowle, which is expected to be determined by councillors on the Development Management Committee on Friday 01 March.  It is also writing to [...]

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    It has certainly proved to be a disappointment to me. Councillors on the scrutiny sub-committee task and finish forum (TAFF), will meet next Wednesday (23 January) for the second time, to debate the workings of the forum. Or will they? According to the agenda, it doesn’t look like it.  Despite successfully managing to swap a draft scope that looked as though it was written by East Devon Business Forum, with a more sensible one at the last meeting, this agenda appears to bear no relation to that agreed scope.  The scope agreed at last month’s meeting (see from page six of link [...]

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    Accompanied by teacher, Jo Elliott, the four year eight students - Shannon Richardson, Louise Isley, Chelsea Trimsouth and Tom Forrest Robinson and year 11 student - Alfie Weaver students presented their ideas to councillors at an Ottery St Mary Town Council planning meeting. Developers have applied to build 100 residential units on the site and on the car park behind the Tumbling Weir Hotel, as well as accommodation at the end of Victoria Terrace. The Environment Agency has ruled that residential accommodation cannot be at ground floor level because of the risk of flooding from the river [...]

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    The total cost of the scheme is £1.6m, with the remainder of the funding to be sought from Devon County Council, the Environment Agency and DEFRA. The news that EDDC is proposing to fund the scheme, came as part of an overview and scrutiny meeting this morning, where councillors agreed what recommendations they would make to EDDC’s cabinet on what they felt appropriate to fund, or not fund, in the next financial year. Devon County Council and EDDC have been working closely on the Feniton scheme and have set out a timetable of 12-18 months to realise the project. Much hinges on a vital [...]

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    East Devon District Council is happy to report that the new town of Cranbrook in East Devon was unaffected by the recent bad weather and its drainage system has coped magnificently against unprecedented levels of rain. This first major test of the new community drainage system has proven that local concerns about flooding were unfounded, but as Cllr Andrew Moulding, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Partnerships explains, this was no surprise to East Devon District Council: “The only thing Cranbrook’s been flooded with is unfounded rumours.  We did not expect there to be[...]

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    The story is here, with the relevant excerpts below.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/14/rain-square-flooding Many residents, especially Feniton residents, who cannot sleep at night in heavy rain, are likely to find this news, and the comment from government spokespeople below, quite despicable. Here are the relevant paragraphs: .............................................................................................................................. The Guardian has learned that the government chose to delay the introduction of critical anti-flood measures until 2014 [...]

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    Cllr Steve Gazzard, one of the EDDC representatives for Exmouth, is campaigning for a change in the rules, following the tragic death of his daughter, Sarah, while she waiting for a double lung transplant. Cllr Gazzard promised Sarah, who was a mum of three young children, that he would continue to campaign for a change in the rules, which would mean people would have to ‘opt-out’ of donating their organs in the event of their death. Currently, the system is set up so that people have to take the step of registering to donate their organs and are asked to carry a donor card, to demonstrate[...]

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    Chairman of Governers, Sue Fallows, has confirmed to EDDC planners and Devon County Council that it is already well over its admission numbers and the site is unable to expand further. The picture that King’s School paints is mirrored by local health services, with GPs at Coleridge Medical Centre ‘very worried’ about the influx of new housing, as they do not have the funding or ability to expand further. It is almost certain that public services elsewhere in East Devon will also be unable to cope with more development.  I am very worried indeed about the fallout on [...]

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    On Saturday afternoon I visited families living in two cottages on the edge of the village, were up early sweeping and pumping out water from their houses, as people in the centre of Feniton were anxiously watching roads and gardens for signs that the water was about to seep through doors and walls. The fire brigade was called in to try and accelerate removal of the water. The cottages have now been flooded an appalling seven times in six months - the surrounding fields are so sodden that there currently appears to be little or no ability to absorb any rain. As you can imagine, the occupants [...]

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    Here is their campaign e-leaflet: ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ There is a alarming situation regarding pollinator species and slow Government action that is pushing bees and others, even soil dwelling species, ever closer to what would certainly be a disastrous tipping point. Over the past few years concern has been growing regarding Neonicotinoid (Systemic) Pesticides, their use, often as a pre-coating on seed stock and[...]

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    A bit of digging on the Telegraph’s part has revealed that Mr Boles’ family, who live at Talaton, have indeed objected to a development last year of 24 houses in the village, probably with very valid concerns about its scale and design.  As an aside, the planning application in question is from Greendale Investments… run by the Carter family, several of them members of East Devon Business Forum, and who are probably one of the biggest landowner-developers in the district. They had a large extension to their business park at Greendale Barton approved in 2009 that was [...]

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    Please respond.  You can be sure the developers will respond in their droves arguing that there isn’t enough development. The email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)/*= 0)out += unescape(l[i].replace(/^\s\s*/, '&#'));while (--j >= 0)if (el[j].getAttribute('data-eeEncEmail_KonGLAVcNG'))el[j].innerHTML = out;/*]]>*/ If you call up the online Local Plan document you can view comments by clicking on the blue reference codes.  Don’t be put off by the long form.  EDDC is accepting and processing emailed comments, but they MUST include the [...]

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    The minister charged with unleashing a housing boom has admitted going on a “journey” from “Nimby” opponent to building near his family’s Westcountry home, to enthusiasm for new development. Nick Boles, the Planning Minister, yesterday told the Western Morning News he would deploy “moral pressure” to get critics to accept more house-building. The Conservative MP, who grew up in Devon, said Britain’s shortage of affordable homes represented a “crisis in social justice” as he signalled vast swathes of countryside should be offered up to[...]

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    This application is in my ward and my preliminary view, is that it application should be REFUSED, for the following reasons. - Feniton is allocated 35 dwellings in the EDDC Local Plan until 2026 and this allocation has already been met (and more) by the Wainhomes appeal decision - The clear views of Feniton residents and of Feniton Parish Council, is that the Wainhomes development should be regarded as the allocation for Feniton in EDDC’s Local Plan until 2026. -  Not only is the application outside Feniton’s built up area boundary but is on the opposite side of the road, which [...]

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    The “Boles Bung”

    10 Jan 2013 | News

    Local neighbourhoods could win control of infrastructure budgets worth up to £300,000 in return for allowing homes to be built, the planning minister will suggest on Thursday as he warns that there is “no painless way to make homes affordable for working people earning ordinary wages”. Unless the country changes course, Margaret Thatcher’s dream of a property-owning democracy will shrivel and “home ownership will revert to what it was in the 19th century: a privilege the exclusive preserve of people with large incomes or wealthy parents”, Nick Boles will say. The[...]

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    More than 3,200 CPRE supporters contacted their MP pressing him or her to stop the Government sacrificing the countryside. Incredibly, this led to 96% of all English MPs being contacted about the Government’s proposed Growth and Infrastructure Bill. This helped us work with MPs from all parties to table amendments at the ‘report stage’ of the Bill on 17 December in the Commons. Although our views were well represented in the debate, the key amendments we supported were opposed by the Government. However, this is not the end by any means and your emails have been hugely helpful. The Bill[...]

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    Ask supermarkets to do their bit However, here at CPRE we’ve got a resolution that we’d really like supermarket chief executives to make…to give more support to British farmers, local food producers and the countryside. We feel that supermarkets could do a lot more to help protect our landscapes and wildlife; pay British farmers a fair price; and stock more local foods – a crucial part of our rural economy. So even if you don’t make any New Year’s resolutions yourself, would you mind emailing the chief executives of the UK’s seven major supermarkets to ask them to make one which [...]

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    Minority Report NB. I would like to speak at the Examination In Public. ® 6.36 Following the 2011 elections I was appointed to the Local Development Framework Panel to work on a revised plan, which came to be known as the Local Plan. Deeply concerned about the unevidenced level of growth for the district, I was often a minority of one on the panel, as my views (which were based on valid evidence despite what some councillors claim) were overridden again and again. This is why I have chosen to prepare for you what I have decided to call a ‘minority report.’ [...]

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    EDDC chief executive, Mark Williams confirmed the cost at last week’s overview and scrutiny committee meeting. The turnout in East Devon, which mirrored the national picture, was incredibly low, at just 15 per cent. Nationally, the cost of the elections, which were regarded by many as an incomprehensible farce, was around £75 MILLION pounds. Quite what we have got for this colossal sum of money when health services are being cut and councils are having to run on at least 30 per cent budget cuts, is well beyond me. Perhaps someone would like to ask our local MPs, how local people benefit[...]

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    Beneath a chorus of church bells and seagulls, the steep hill of Totnes High Street is coming to life. This small Devon town is famous for being passionate about its local economy; it even has its own currency. And Totnes hit the headlines this year when it said a resounding “No” to High Street giant Costa Coffee. Could this be the secret to a thriving High Street? Totnes has a shop vacancy rate of just 6% - less than half the national average. Eight out of 10 businesses there are independent. Compare that to the national average, where around 68% of retailers are independent, and [...]

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    There were fears expressed at last night’s Ottery St Mary Town Council meeting, that the Redrow Homes appeal may make it harder for this site to be realised, due to cost of redeveloping it, compared with building on a greenfield site. But now the application will be before Ottery St Mary town councillors next Monday evening. A previous application for 98 dwellings and a Tesco store was rejected in 2010, due to the Tesco store not being in line with planning policy and the dwellings being of a poor design. The meeting will be held in the canteen of The King’s School, starting from [...]

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    It is the FINAL consultation period, from which all comments will be submitted to the planning inspector. It is proposed that the district would grow by around a third in about 15 years, if the Local Plan is approved as it is.  Many developers will be arguing for MORE development even than proposed, so it is important that residents respond to counter such claims. I have carried out quite a bit of research over the past couple of years into the evidence and have also had the benefit of knowledge from some bright people and I will aim to post my response to the Local Plan tomorrow.  [...]

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    Mr Page-Turner recently issued a press release, claiming that the forum was transparent and bemoaning a possible loss of public funding, as a result of the EDBF scrutiny task and finish forum, which was set up in September 2012. EDBF honorary secretary and EDDC economic development officer, Nigel Harrison, supported Mr Page-Turner’s application, although it was contrary to EDDC’s planning policy. So did several other members of EDBF. Mr Page-Turner has his own mini business park at Luppitt, it transpires, where most of the units were given permission in the months following [...]

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    And the clause allowing council officers to opt out of being recorded has now been removed, following consultation with staff. But the initiative will take some months to implement, as chief executive, Mark Williams, has ruled that the matter is a constitutional change, therefore must go before a full council AGM before it can be agreed!  The next AGM is in May. The move to audio record meetings follows recent controversy over minutes bearing little resemblance to discussions relating to East Devon Business Forum and previously formal complaints that resulted in a councillor being judged [...]

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    Funny, didn’t he do that over the Feniton appeal decision, where a planning inspector allowed a controversial appeal for 50 houses? Mr Boles simply forwarded MP Neil Parish’s letter to the Planning Inspectorate, who smartly replied that their inspector’s decision was based on policies in the NPPF! Despite his earlier offensive remarks about people who care about the countryside, Mr Boles seems to have found a new cause to champion - protesting against windfarms because of their impact on the countryside.  Is this a new leaf being overturned, or is he just completely [...]

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    In an article published in this week’s Midweek Herald, Mr Page-Turner claims the forum is transparent (despite meetings being closed to the press and public) and insists that businesses should not be charged to join such a forum.  (Currently the taxpayer funds the forum to the tune of £5,500 a year, but it is thought that the real cost is far higher). I wonder how Mr Page-Turner’s members feel about him speaking out publicly in defence of an organisation that has such a tarnished reputation?  I know what the advice of a PR professional would be on the subject. The full [...]

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    EAST Devon MP Hugo Swire has given his opinion on some of the main issues facing his constituency throughout 2012 and into 2013. The MP recognised the prospects of the evolving town of Cranbrook, which has just received £20m Government funding, and the surrounding Growth Point area including the Science Park, as a integral means to dealing with the need for affordable housing and employment in the district. As previously reported by the Echo, the support package, in the form of a repayable grant, includes £6m to deliver the roads and infrastructure needed for the town centre, with the [...]

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    A New Year Message from Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council With 2013 just begun, it’s a good time time to reflect on the ups and downs of the 2012 and to look ahead to the challenges awaiting us. As I write this, we have just heard from the Government that they are cutting a further 9.4%, or £491,000, from our Formula Grant – the funding that councils receive each April. This excludes additional monies received for new housing growth in the area. This cut, on top of others in previous years, means we’ll have redouble our efforts to protect frontline services in the face[...]

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    In a consultation response report to councillors on the Development Management Committee to be considered next week, Head of planning, Ed Freeman, gives a firm message - that government plans are quite wrong and should be challenged. The consultation is to firm up proposals over the controversial Growth and Infrastructure Bill, which is currently wending its way through the House of Commons. Among many other controversial aspects, the Bill proposes to allow developers to submit planning applications directly to the Planning Inspectorate where councils have been designated as ‘poorly [...]

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    Dear Hugo We are writing to you to express our very great concern about development issues within the Ottery Rural ward, and in the whole of East Devon, following two planning appeal decisions based on new ‘growth’ policies in the National Planning Framework (NPPF) In two recent planning appeal decisions (Wainhomes at Feniton; Reference APP/U1105/A/12/2172708) and Redrow Homes at Ottery St Mary (Reference APP/U1105/A/12/2180060) the Inspectors said that the emerging East Devon Local Plan (EDLP) carried very little weight, and that EDDC was unable to demonstrate a five year housing land [...]

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