• Feniton planning decisions should be deferred

    13th March 2013 | News | Claire
  • Myself, Roger Giles and the Fight for Feniton’s Future campaign group, have since backed Cllr Smith’s requests.

    So far there has been no reply.

    Here are the emails: …………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Dear All

    I also write to support the request by Feniton Parish Council Chairman Martyn Smith, and strongly urge that the planning applications relating to Feniton are deferred until the investigations into possible wrongdoing are completed.

    I was at the Feniton Parish Council meeting on Monday evening this week, which was also attended by EDDC Chairman Cllr Peter Halse, as I am Feniton`s Devon County Councillor. At that meeting I thought that there were compelling grounds for deferring determination of the planning applications following the revelations in the Daily Telegraph that morning concerning Feniton`s EDDC Councillor. The planning process is supposed to be open and transparent and fair. Nobody who had read the Daily Telegraph, or seen the video clip, of Graham Brown could have been certain that this was the case with regard to the Feniton planning applications.

    Since the meeting on Monday evening, I understand that Mark Williams announced at the East Devon Business Forum TAFF meeting last evening that the matter of Graham Brown and planning has been referred to the police. It seems to me therefore that it would be wholly wrong and completely unacceptable for the Feniton planning applications to be determined before the police investigations have been completed. I understand that the applications had been scheduled for the Development Management Committee meeting of 2 April.

    I strongly urge that the applications are not determined before the due processes of law have taken place.


    From: Claire Wright [mailto:claire@claire-wright.org]
    Sent: 12 March 2013 13:53

    Subject: RE: Planning in Feniton

    Dear Denise, as the district councillor for Ottery Rural, with around half of the land proposed by Strategic Land Partnerships for a development of 120 houses, I completely support Martyn Smith’s proposal as set out below to defer any decision on these Feniton applications until a full investigation has been carried out.

    There are many questions being asked by residents (and have been for some time) about why Feniton is under so much pressure from developers.  A community that was to receive 35 houses in the draft Local Plan has mushroomed into almost 300 houses to be potentially approved in the next few weeks, with rumours of more major applications to come in, if existing applications are approved. 

    Clearly yesterday’s Telegraph revelations will considerably increase speculation and suspicion and it is only right that no decision takes place on these applications until these issues are fully investigated.

    Best wishes



    From: Martyn Smith
    Sent: 11 March 2013 08:33

    Subject: Planning in Feniton



    You will have already seen this, no doubt, and will be just as astounded as we are in Feniton.

    It is ironic that I have already spoken to Denise Lyons about Brown’s conduct over planning matters within the village and that he has clearly never really had the interests of the village as a whole in whatever he has done. It therefore appears his motivation may have been for other reasons. I am not going to say any more than that, because I am sure the matter will now become sub judice.

    What I am concerned about is the large number of planning applications that are under consideration in Feniton and the unsubstantiated rumours surrounding Brown’s involvement with the developers. There is the real possibility that these rumours are true, based on the Telegraph’s interview.

    Can I therefore ask that all applications are put “on hold” whilst your investigations are ongoing.

    As you are very well aware, there is huge opposition, on substantial planning grounds to these large developments, whilst the village is still under massive threat from flooding.

    We are all very grateful for the work that has been done to get the flood scheme up and running. We would now be very grateful if a full investigation takes place of Brown’s conduct and the way development has been taken forward in Feniton. As I assume this will be a criminal matter, I give you my assurance that Feniton Parish Council will cooperate fully with any investigation.

    Kind regards

    Martyn Smith


    Feniton Parish Council