• MP ‘totally baffled’ by Feniton appeal decision

    17th October 2012 | News | Claire
  • Worryingly, the decision, which was published about two weeks ago, could destabilise East Devon District Council’s planning policy across the district.

    Myself and Roger Giles have written to both local MPs – Neil Parish and Hugo Swire – about the decision and its fallout, which is caused by new and aggressive development policies in the Government’s controversial national planning document, the National Planning Policy Framework, which was published earlier this year. 

    Many Feniton residents also wrote to Mr Parish.

    Feniton’s MP, Neil Parish, has now written to planning minister Nick Boles about the issue asking for an explanation and requesting that Mr Boles look into the decision as a matter of urgency.  Mr Parish cites three previous appeal decisions taken at West Hill, Tipton St John and Lympstone as examples of very different outcomes. 

    However, these appeal decisions were published prior to the National Planning Policy Framework coming into force in March, which puts a high priority in councils being able to demonstrate a large supply of land for housing.  East Devon District Council could not demonstrate this and despite the best efforts of planning case officer, James Brown and the policy team headed up by Matt Dickins, the appeal was allowed by the inspector.

    Very unfortunately, the inspector agreed with many residents concerns over flooding, the regularity of the local train service and local infrastructure, including sewage, being at capacity… and allowed the appeal anyway. 

    Feniton residents had already allocated a site for housing in the centre of the village on land behind Acland Park. 

    The term ‘localism’ bandied about casually by conservative politicians looks to be either a con, a farce or both, as planning alone takes a considerable shift to becoming more centralist, and less localist, possibly than ever before.

    Previously, Wainhomes indicated that they wished to build 150 houses on the appeal site next to Louvigny Close.

    Other developers are waiting in the wings.

    PS.  It is very good that Neil Parish has responded so quickly on behalf of his residents.  The bad news is that Nick Boles MP appears to be a hardline right-wing Tory who holds environmental matters and environmentalists in contempt.  See the link below, following his appointment to his current post a few weeks ago:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2198390/Nick-Boles-New-green-belt-minister-calls-countryside-campaigners-Luddites-appointed.html