Knowle relocation may not be necessary…Councillors call for more evidence.

EDDC bosses will be asked, by the Overview and Scrutiny (O&S) Committee, for the full calculations of the office move costs.

The SIN blog has this report of last night’s O&S meeting :

Knowle relocation costs “getting out of control” .

Independent Councillor Claire Wright’s ‘s words were echoed in the comments of  her colleagues, of various political persuasions, at tonight’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  Cllr Derek Button (Lib Dem) said, “Now is not the time for a massive spending of public funds”. And Cllr Mike Allen (Con) told the Chairman, Tim Wood (Con) , “It’s time we took a second look” at the plan to move.

First reports on tonight’s debate are here: :

EDDC to propose EXTRA £400,000 for preparing Knowle move, at O&S Comittee this Thursday.

Now let’s get the figures right. A possible loan of well over £4,000,0000 was mentioned at the last meeting for ‘stakeholders’, on the Council’s Office Relocation plans. This Thursday evening at Knowle,  EDDC will explain why, in addition to the £350,000, (not including cost of officers’ time) already spent, at least double that sum should be budgeted for over the next two years, just for PREPARING to move. The destination remains unclear.

Public can ask questions. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee begins at 6.30 p.m. (Thursday 30 January, Knowle Council Chamber).

More comment here:

Consultation on EDDC’s draft Village Development Plan now in progress.

 Deadline for comments is 12 noon on Monday 10 March 2014.

Details below, in e-mail circulated by EDDC’s Planning Policy Manager:

Dear Sir or Madam
Consultation on the Draft Villages Development Plan Document (DPD)
East Devon District Council has produced a Draft Villages Development Plan Document (DPD) for consultation. This plan sets out Council proposals for where development in East Devon villages and smaller settlements (as identified in Strategy 27 of the New East Devon Local Plan 2006-26) is proposed. The DPD complements the main Local Plan and sets out policies and boundaries for developments at those settlements proposed for housing growth. It also includes some local village policies.
Views are sought of the public, community groups and organisations, businesses and any other interested bodies or individuals on proposed sites and policies for development at East Devon villages and at Greendale and Hill Barton business parks. The Draft Villages DPD and Representation Form will be available to view at the Council Offices, libraries around the District and online at
Representations can be made by filling out and returning a representation form or writing to Villages DPD, Planning Policy, East Devon District Council, Knowle,Station Road, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8HL, emailing, or by clicking on RefPoints in an electronic version of the plan (you must be connected to the internet to do this). Please see the Villages DPD and Guidance Note at the end of the Representation Form for further details.
The closing date for receipt of representations is 12 Noon on Monday 10 March 2014. Please note that representations received after this time/date may not be taken into account. The intention is that feedback received will inform a revised draft of the plan that will be produced later this year.
Yours faithfully
Matthew Dickins


Exmouth Seafront Covenants: “an unfortunate public airing”

If you thought getting information from EDDC was harder than extracting a wisdom tooth, your opinion might just be confirmed by today’s news from the “What Do They Know?” website.

It concerns the saga of an Exmouth resident’s struggle to shed some light on the 2009 deal between EDDC and Clinton Devon Estates to lift the historic covenants owned by CDE which restricted building along Exmouth seafront.

In return for a payment of £50,000 to CDE, the council was able to proceed with its controversial plans to redevelop the seafront – including the demolition of Elizabeth Hall.

But the public never knew the background to the agreement. Two officers’ reports to Council Leaders were marked strictly “not for publication.”

In April 2013, Tim Todd lodged a Freedom of Information request for these reports to be released in “the public interest”. In August the Monitoring Officer refused on grounds of “commercial confidentiality” and an infringement of  “the human rights of Lord Clinton” were cited as a possible reason not to publish.

The Information Commissioner disagreed, and required East Devon District Council to disclose the secret reports, which they have just done – with some redactions. BUT,  EDDC misleadingly fail to mention that it was the IC’s intervention that obliged them to do so.

The reports suggest that EDDC would be held to “ransom” by CDE every time they wanted to develop individual sites, so it would be better to make  a comprehensive agreement for the whole seafront, once and for all. And, significantly, the senior officers also point out that a quick deal would have the advantage of “bringing to an end what has been an unfortunate public airing of this issue”.

A vain hope…as this link confirms: