• In January or February 2014, barristers, planners and residents will slog it out as Feniton will be the focus of a high profile planning “super inquiry.” Three planning appeals, totalling almost 250 houses, will be considered by a planning inspector, who will judge the appeals both on their own merits and on common themes. The obvious and biggest being the lack of a five year land supply for housing in East Devon. This theme will be closely followed by the fact that EDDC’s adopted local plan is out of date. That said, by early next year, the new draft local plan could be [...]

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    Only a few weeks ago Mr Hague was reassuring us that the UK was not looking to arm the rebel forces in Syria, although admittedly the rhetoric of recent weeks was becoming more hardline. But it all changed after last week’s dreadful chemical attack on the citizens of Syria, including all those children, captured forever in those haunting photographs on virtually every national newspaper. The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and an act of alarming cruelty. But does the answer to this cruelty lie in cruise missiles and bombs? I have to say I was shocked when I heard one minister after [...]

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    Dear Claire, I’ve just got back from my summer holiday. I read last week’s email, “38 Degrees under threat”, whilst I was away camping. [1] Not exactly what you want to see when you’re trying to relax! I must admit I hoped I’d get back in the office and find my colleagues had been guilty of some exaggeration. I’ve spent the last couple of days speaking to lawyers and other experts, to get to the bottom of what’s going on. I’m afraid it’s really bad. The proposed gagging law would have a chilling effect on British democracy and our right [...]

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    The application on land next to Eastfield for 25 houses was unanimously rejected by councillors, following Roger Giles reminding the council about the planning inspector’s view of an earlier appeal back in 2011. This is the application which has been reduced from 50 dwellings in 2011, to 25 in a current application. The developer, Blue Cedar Homes, has also reportedly bought a second adjacent field, behind Perry’s Gardens. The next application - Little Portion - proposes three large houses on land next to Toadpit Lane. The application is quite a long way outside West Hill’s [...]

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    One Grand Folly

    27 Aug 2013 | News

    The scheme will cost up to a staggering £80 BILLION of public money.  But that’s ok, because ministers reckon it will kickstart the economy….. but business leaders don’t agree. Here’s the BBC story ................................................................http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23842928 A leading business lobby group has called on the government to abandon its controversial high-speed rail project. The Institute of Directors (IoD) said a survey of its members showed businesses were unconvinced by the economic case for HS2. The IoD’s [...]

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    Here’s the email from 38 Degrees, sent today. The government’s rushing through a new law which, if it passes, will stop us running the type of campaigns which have made us who we are. [1] The campaigns which have saved our forests, fought privatisation in the NHS, and defeated the snoopers’ charter. [2] The campaigns which have seen 1.7 million of us act together, locally and nationally, for over four years. In fact, if the new law passes, and we continue campaigning as we do now, the office team could even risk being sent to jail. [3] The law’s called the [...]

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    I can only assume that Mr Boles was his usual uncompromising self, because we were not informed of the outcome of the meeting, despite asking. Here’s the story in today’s Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/planning/10264644/Green-belt-housing-doubles-in-a-year.html The number of houses planned for England’s green belt has doubled in a year, a report discloses. Plans now exist for more than 150,000 homes to be built on protected land, an analysis of council documents has found. The sites include some of England’s most scenic areas, including parts of [...]

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    A Safer Ottery Parish: Flooding – Protecting your family and your home On Tuesday 8th October, find out what you can do to prepare and protect your family and home from flooding and what you might be able to do to assist others The Town Council is organising an afternoon exhibition and an evening meeting (starting at 7pm) at the Institute, Yonder Street on that day. There will be exhibitors from the Fire and Rescue Service, Police and Local Authority Emergency Planners as well as suppliers of flood prevention equipment. Come along and find out how you can help reduce the risk to life and to [...]

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    Here’s the story in Sunday’s Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/attack-on-unions-gag-democracy ........................................................................ Even local campaigns against fracking or a new road may be criminalised under draconian proposals to limit political spending. In a few weeks I will address my first TUC annual meeting as general secretary. But if I do so again in 2014 I risk committing a criminal offence. This is because the cost of the congress will take us over the limited ration of dissent the government plans to [...]

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    The move follows planning inspector, Anthony Thickett’s instructions to EDDC, that the changes that it believed were minor, were in fact changes that should be consulted upon. Previous commentators on the local plan were yesterday emailed the message below: East Devon District Council invites you to make representations on the Proposed Post- Publication Changes to the Local Plan. The consultation will run for six weeks from Friday 23 August 2013 until 12 Noon on Monday 7 October. The Council submitted its Local Plan and associated documents/evidence for examination on 2 August 2013. The [...]

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    The Ottery Town Council planning meeting, will next week, take place in West Hill at the Narthex from 7.30pm, so that residents are more easily able to come along and give their view on the application. A further controversial application for three dwellings on land next to Toadpit Lane at Little Portion, will also be considered at the meeting, This application is some way outside West Hill’s built up area boundary and can only be accessed by a long winding pebble track.

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    The committee, which has been beset by setbacks and restrictions, was, last month, informed that employment land issues - the biggest area of concern for many residents - should be off the agenda until the local plan is signed and sealed.  Here’s the relevant blog - http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/no_employment_land_scrutiny_until_plan_has_been_agreed/ The latest delay is outlined in the email below from an EDDC officer and seems to have been prompted, largely, by an earlier officer message - see link above. Would you please note that the next meeting of the Business [...]

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    Here’s the link to the story, with the text below - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-23789187 A decision to spend £2,000 on a new chain for a Devon town’s mayor has met some opposition. Ottery St Mary Town Council voted eight to five in favour of replacing the existing 60-year-old regalia. One councillor who voted against it said it was a “waste of public money”. Roger Giles said it was wrong to buy a new mayoral chain at a time when council services were being curtailed and the town’s food bank was busier than it had ever been. “The [...]

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    A PLANNING Inspector has advised that a number of changes to the submitted East Devon Local Plan that EDDC considered to be minor and not in need of further consultation do in fact constitute major changes. Mr Anthony Thickett has advised that he cannot undertake his examination of the document submitted to him by EDDC on 2 August because there are 53 changes from an earlier version that he feels should be consulted on first. EDDC?s senior planning politician said that the news was not a surprise and she welcomed the Inspector?s clarification. The development means that EDDC must commence a [...]

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    The application from Blue Cedar Homes, which is outside West Hill’s built up area boundary, is a revision from a previous one in 2010, which was rejected and then later dismissed at appeal. The previous application was for 50 houses and spanned two fields. The revised application is targeted at the field next to Eastfield, but it is understood that the developer has bought the second field, which is behind Perry’s Gardens. The land next to Eastfield was one of the pieces of land selected by residents during last year’s Ottery Town Council consultation on where future [...]

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    Try listening on Monday morning if you don’t hear it tomorrow and would like to hear what she has to say.

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    Politics reporter, Jenny Kumah, came out to Tipton St John to interview Kelly and me on Tuesday afternoon, following the news that EDDC has written to Kelly ordering her to leave her land by 31 March 2014, or face prosecution, direct action or a court injunction. Good Morning Devon begins at 6.30am - 9am. Photograph:  Kelly at the Save Our Sidmouth march, last November.

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    But the application, which is outside West Hill’s built up area boundary, on a pretty wildflower meadow opposite McColls, proposes two accesses, which is rather odd given that the previous application for 38 dwellings proposed just one access. It is one of the areas of land that residents approved for development under EDDC’s local plan consultation process last year.  West Hill is set to receive 35 houses under the local plan, until 2026. I have another concern - and that is potential loss of trees - there is a beautiful line of beeches and hornbeams along the edge of the [...]

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    I met with EDDC’s dog warden and an environmental health officer at the playing fields this morning, following complaints I have received from members of the public. Children from Tipton St John Primary School have also raised the issue with me. The warm summer weather may have encouraged more trips to the area, which is a really lovely place, and with more visits there seems to have been increase in mess not being cleared up and bags left hanging in branches. There is already a dog bin at the exit to the fields and a poster is displayed on the gate. The law states that people must pick[...]

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    Sustrans has agreed to invest £10,000 to test how easy it would be to create a cycleway along the old railway line and establish the various options that the route might take, bearing in mind that the old railway line closed in the 1960s. It is exciting news that Sustrans have offered to do this and it should help considerably with our efforts to get the Otter Trail project moving. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet signed up to the cycleway petition, please do so here - every signature helps! http://ottertrail.org/?page_id=124  Photograph: Part of the old railway line in [...]

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    One of the Association’s top priorities is to press for an improvement in broadband speeds in the village. The exchange at Ottery St Mary is scheduled to be connected to the fibre optic network in the future but we don’t have a firm date. You can help to show BT that we need this urgently by registering your interest. You can do this very simply by going to: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/ and clicking on the “Register your interest” button (bottom right corner of page). It doesn’t commit you to anything and you need not be a BT customer. The more people that [...]

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    Up to £2,000 of Ottery town funds are to be spent on replacing the mayoral regalia, despite a warning that the decision would “wreck the reputation” of the council. Councillors voted eight to five to update the mayor’s chain, which is more than 40 years old, after a heated debate on Monday. There was disagreement over whether the symbol of office should be replaced or repaired, where the money should come from and if there should be a public consultation first. Cllr Paul Lewis said he thought the time had come to update the regalia to reflect the stature of the job that goes[...]

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    If you have ever walked the Hunter’s footpath near Castle Drogo, where you can walk alongside a magnificent ravine, descending into the most beautiful woodland towards Fingle Bridge and then closing the circle of the walk next to the the river, scrambling over boulders and listening to the rush of the river through the mature beeches, oaks and ashes, you will know that is one of the most beautiful walks on the moor. The Woodland Trust is now trying to raise £5m to buy up the woodland, increase public access to it and preserve it for future generations. Here’s how you can help - [...]

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    The petition aims to lobby the government to scrap the red tape (a term so loved by government ministers) that is crippling community composting groups, because it treats them, in terms of fees, the same as large scale commercial enterprises. 38 Degrees may take up the campaign, if enough signatures are received ... Sign up here - http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-community-composting-being-crippled-by-disproportionate-government-agency-fees

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    For more information see Cllr Susie Bond’s blog - http://susiebond.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/latest-news-on-developments-in-feniton-august-2013/ Photograph - Andy Thompson. Camp Field, Feniton, where an appeal looms for 120 houses.

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    This application is in my ward and my preliminary view is that it should be REFUSED. According to the Devon Landscape Policy Group advice (page 74) on solar and wind farms, the scheme is exceptionally large - 15.8ha is regarded as “very large.” But the proposed Aylesbeare scheme is 22ha, or 55 acres, spanning five fields. I note the applicant states that the hedgerows and woodland obscures the view of the site from public viewpoints, however, EDDC’s landscape architect (LA) appears to be far from convinced that the scheme will not be visually intrusive. It is just 300m from [...]

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    The proposal is at Great Houndbeare Farm, on five fields currently growing wheat, between Aylesbeare and Marsh Green. Around 20 members of the public present were generally hostile to the idea for several reasons, including: - it is on good quality agricultural land - it is too big - it will be a visual eyesore - the access lane is unsuitable for large heavy vehicles Glen Crocker from Rexel Planning was speaking on behalf of the developer, Cherry Solar.  He said that the scheme would connect to a nearby electricity substation via an underground cable. During construction there would be [...]

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    I have had several meetings with Mandy and we have tried to come up with potential ways of helping Otter Rotters continue, as it is such a highly valued community service and it is really suffering with a change in government rules, which basically treats community groups the same as the big corporate waste giants, in terms of fees. Attempts at trying to secure alternative composting sites in addition to the one at Fenny Bridges, which has had to be temporarily mothballed, have so far proved unsuccessful.  Otter Rotters needs another site, or sites, because of weight limits imposed on [...]

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    Something is changing about the way we travel. Since well before the recession, people in the UK have been making fewer car journeys and using trains more. Total traffic started to fall in the mid 2000s and the recent National Travel Survey shows this welcome trend is continuing. But – curiously – every year for the past 24 years, government forecasts have been way too high. And this year government is still forecasting major traffic increases. Why is this? One reason is that they are using wildly exaggerated forecasts to justify their massive road-building programme. This Government seems[...]

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    The application, from landowner, Taylor’s Catering Foods, was approved last summer, by EDDC’s planning committee.  It attracted dozens of objections from residents as it is proposes building houses on a steep prominent field, on land designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The field is outside Tipton’s built up area boundary, but obtained permission via the “exceptions” policy, which allows building outside boundaries providing that the number of dwellings does not exceed 15. Two thirds of the dwellings must be designated as affordable. The legal agreement [...]

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    The Environment Agency and Natural England have objected because of devastating environmental destruction that could be caused by disturbing an underground watercourse that feeds ancient woodland. The EA also stated that they did not believe that this aspect was possible to mitigate, as it was so significant and damaging. I await the responses of the Environment Agency and Natural England, to Aggregate Industries attempts at mitigation. I have asked for clarification on which consultees have seen the reports and asked for copies of the reports. This week, Aggregate Industries also undertakes [...]

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    The trail’s funding hinges on us (The Otter Trail campaign group) being able to demonstrate that there is significant public support for it. All the signs are that there is huge community support, but the petition needs a boost! Go on, sign up! http://ottertrail.org/

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    Signs are reassuring so far, but we must be vigilant for any signs of change.  Please keep asking questions of your councillors. I am unable to display the map, so please get in touch at .(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_gGZXrIcNcM'))el[j].innerHTML = out;/*]]>*/ if you want me to send it to you…....................................................................... Briefing Note on Potential Shale Gas Exploration and Extraction in Devon - December 2012 [...]

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    Anna Minton’s report - “Scaring the Living Daylights out of People” outlines just how dirty this business has become.  Worryingly, the approach appears to be not only approved by the government, but sponsored by it - http://www.spinwatch.org/images/Reports/Scaring_the_living_daylight_final_27_March_13.pdf  Here’s the story on fracking in yesterday’s Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/04/fracking-resistance-southern-nimbys-minister?CMP=twt_fd Michael Fallon says: ‘We are going to see how thick their rectory walls are, [...]

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    EDDC has written to Kelly, who recently lost an appeal to build a small bungalow on her land, which is about half an acre, near Tipton St John. Kelly case is long and complicated, suffice to say that that her land has been lived on by her family for generations. A member of EDDC’s planning committee even remembers his father buying a horse from a gypsy who lived on the land in the 1930s. Kelly has been fighting to stay in a caravan on the land since 2008. The caravan was lived in by her grandmother who had a personal permission to stay because she was a gypsy. Although Kelly is of gypsy [...]

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    Firstly,sustainability.  The proposed location is distant from the centre of the village. There is no continuous footway to the centre of the village, meaning that any residents of the proposed development would be tempted to use the car when travelling to the school, pub, shop or playing fields. There is an infrequent bus service, with no direct buses travelling to Exeter and an infrequent service to Ottery, Sidmouth and Honiton. For work, the inspector concluded in the appeal of 6 December 2011, the bus service was unlikely to be suitable.  The majority shopping trips would have to[...]

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    The meeting, which took place last Monday evening, was attended by around 30 members of the public, several of whom spoke against the proposals by Devonshire Homes to build 19 houses on land between Otter Close and Mallocks Close. Bill Bolt, Ken Mylne, Margaret Hutchesson and Colin Donaldson, David Boyle all spoke about their concerns including water run-off, traffic, over development, sewage and the same sustainability issues that were raised in the public inquiry appeal in 2011, such as lack of pavements from the site to the school, an infrequent bus service and lack of employment in the [...]

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    The email is below: East Devon District Council has now submitted its Local Plan (2006-2026) and associated documents/evidence for examination. Proposed minor modifications have been made to the Local Plan since it was published for consultation in November 2012. These modifications are set out in the Schedule of Proposed Minor Post Publication Changes which was approved by Full Council for submission on 24 July 2013. The enclosed Local Plan Statement of Fact sets out where the above Local Plan documents can be accessed. For further information regarding submission of the Local Plan please [...]

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    The press release below was issued on Wednesday and I subsequently rang John Finn from the East Devon clinical commissioning group (CCG).  The CCG had made the arranagements for cover following Northern Devon Healthcare Trust’s (which run community hospitals in Devon) notification that a new member of staff who needed training elsewhere, meant that the unit had to be closed for three months and patients redirected to Coleridge Medical Centre for treatment. I have to say it is all a bit last minute - the press release was issued the day before the change took effect and Mr Finn on [...]

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