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 Two officers’ reports to Council Leaders were marked strictly “not for publication.”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:        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/further_background_papers_re_50k#incoming-473238.

Local MP confirms support for Feniton

In reply to his letter of thanks to Neil Parish, MP, for attending the recent march at Feniton (organised jointly by Fight for Feniton, and the East Devon Alliance), EDA Chair, Ian McKintosh, has today received this e-mail:

‘Dear Ian,
Thank you very much for your letter of 17th January.
I do hope that the Inspector sees the strength of very good arguments as to why these developers should be refused their planning applications in Feniton.
Kind regards,
Neil Parish
Neil Parish MP
Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton
House of Commons | London | SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 7172 | Fax: 020 7219 5005′

First of two ADDITIONAL major planning applications at Westclyst go to appeal

Residents of East Devon’s west end, already experiencing the consequences of the massive housing estates enveloping villages and farmland, have now learned that an Inquiry will decide a further appeal by developers.

The deadline for objections is 7th February 2014. Quote reference : 12/0795/MOUT – Pinn Court Farm Pinncourt Lane Exeter EX1 3TG

Details have been circulated as follows:    Pinn Court Farm Planning App Appeal Jan 2014