• Here’s a brief overview of what the community around Ottery St Mary and further afield, will be getting involved with, or reading about this year: Feniton triple public inquiry appeal for 230 houses The government’s national planning policy framework with its powerful presumption in favour of development is mostly responsible for developers encircling Feniton like hawks hoping for a [...]

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    The Romantic English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, quipped that “In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly”.  The public debate over MPs’ pay and perks risks suffering the same fate – but there is a way to restore faith, and improve the value-for-money of Parliament. Sir Ian Kennedy, the head of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, is right to conclude that[...]

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    The application application is for 300 houses on the edge of Gittisham, west of Hayne Lane. The deadline for comments to be with EDDC, is now 21 January. See Susie’s blog for further information on how to submit a comment - http://susiebond.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/300-houses-at-gittisham-vale-update/ Here’s the post I wrote previously - [...]

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    Predictably, major potholes are starting to appear. I have reported two in the past few days - there is a particularly huge one on the road between Higher Metcombe and Tipton St John - around one metre in width. This needs to be repaired urgently. The most efficient way of reporting a pothole is to complete an online form that enables you to plot on a map precisely where the pothole is. Please [...]

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    Amid the angry rhetoric, I can’t helping wondering one thing….... If the tory whip is truly offended at the idea that he does as his job title indicates, I wonder if he can explain why it is at full council meetings (and sometimes other meetings) the conservative group (42 members) vote en bloc for a particular course of action? Here’s the letter [...]

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    But in the past few years the African elephant has been targeted like never before.  There is now urgent action needed. In some areas, elephant populations have plummeted by a staggering 80 per cent in six years. Some believe that if the slaughter continues at its current rate elephants could be wiped off the face of the earth within 10 years. Whole herds are gunned down from helicopters by [...]

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    The report’s preamble states:  “One in four local authorities surveyed reported that councillors’ behaviour had worsened since the new standards regime came into effect, against just 4% claiming that it had led to improved behaviour. “The vast majority of survey respondents (85%) believed that the member sanctions introduced by the Localism Act were ‘too weak’.”[...]

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    Many councillors simply said that the two storey glass fronted cafe was “iconic” and that Budleigh “needed it.”  I think Budleigh Salterton is the most beautiful unspoiled beach in East Devon and I cannot imagine how incongruous this cafe would look, right on the seafront.  Bad decision. Here’s the story in the online Echo - [...]

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    In one of the most cynical moves you could imagine, the developers, Welbeck Strategic Land, submitted the application to EDDC earlier this week, in what appears to be a suspiciously cunning attempt to sneak it in while everyone is in the throes of last minute Christmas preparations. Cllr Susie Bond, the EDDC ward member, has, quite rightly, asked EDDC for a two week extension for public comments,[...]

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    http://www.otterystmary-tc.gov.uk/Core/Ottery-St-Mary-Town-Council/UserFiles/Files/Notes%20taken%20%20at%20Informal%20Meeting%20with%20Persimmon..pdf

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    The process is expected to last up to four months. For full details see the Straitgate Action blog here - http://straitgateactiongroup.blogspot.co.uk/

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    A minerals officer has confirmed:  “We have had no contact from any company interested in any form of oil or gas exploration or production (shale gas or otherwise) in any part of Devon.”

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    Here’s a link to the story - http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Devon-Dorset-Somerset-Cornwall-open-fracking/story-20336705-detail/story.html Fracking could take place in Devon, Dorset and Somerset - but not Cornwall - under plans announced by the Government to step up the search for shale gas and oil. The areas of the country which could be opened up to shale gas exploration are detailed [...]

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    The public speaking discussion took place at yesterday’s special development management committee meeting (planning committee). One of the recommendations was that all members of the public who wish to address the DMC on a planning application, must register to speak before the agenda is finalised. A further implicit recommendation was that that only those who have already submitted a written [...]

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