More East Devon farmland to be lost to development? No joking matter, as DMC decides tomorrow, April 1st.

Please note that the Weeks Farm application is up before EDDC’s Development Management Committee tomorrow morning ,Tuesday 1st April, from 9.30 am, at Knowle.
EDDC officers have recommended this application be refused on the grounds that the development will not be sustainable, given the lack of employment opportunities, access to schools, lack of adequate sewerage capacity, etc. But one local Councillor and DMC member has already declared his support for the application, despite a public consultation which shows the majority of his constituents do not.
The Talaton group would be most grateful if you can spare the time to attend in support of their objections, in their efforts to prevent yet another bad planning decision going ahead in the face of local opposition.

Agenda here:


Local Plan Inspector’s letter has been received by EDDC but will not be published by them before Thursday 3 April (after the next Development Management Committee on 1 April where 10 planning applications will be discussed

How fortuitous that the Local Plan Inspector’s letter (which EDDC has now received) will not be released until at least Thursday 3 April 2014, after yet another Development Control Committee meeting on 1 April 2014 where 629 more houses will be discussed, including a further 590 at Cranbrook.

Pots and kettles

If only EDDC could learn from its own criticism of Ottery St Mary Council!….. ground rules for behaviour during meetings

…..  ‘misjudgements’ had been made by both officers and councillors, and that it would be appropriate for the council to ‘reflect on events and their behaviour’ to ‘consider what they might learn for the future’

….. respectful relationships and a focus on well-managed debate

Oh, if only EDDC had insight!



And it is only going to get worse says climate change report

The climate change report prepared for the United Nations makes grim reading.  For those of us in this area the particular issues are the loss of Grade 1 agricultural land, because much less land is going to be available for us to grow the crops we have been used to, particularly wheat, and flooding – more of it more often.

See a summary of the report here:

“Mafia- style behaviour in the planning system,” says National Trust

A furious Sir Simon Jenkins believes ” the housing problems of Britain will not be solved in the countryside” . This Daily Telegraph report explains his good reasons  :,d.d2k

The Friday quiz

What geographical area is being described here?

“Our rulers need to understand democracy is not solely about getting a majority of votes in the ballot box … Far beyond that, democracy is a culture of inclusiveness, openness, human rights and freedom of speech, for each and every one, regardless of whichever party they voted for.  It is the realisation of the very core of democracy that has been sorely lacking in [this place] today”.

No, not East Devon – Turkey – but it could just as well apply here.  Citizens denied a voice at committees, particularly a voice at planning committees, where committees (particularly the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and its Task and Finish group on the East Devon Business Foru,, all of us who are not the favoured few apparently denied a voice before the all-powerful Executive and the Executive in thrall to its Leader and the CEO.




EDA anger at how EDDC decision was taken for more mass housing on Grade 1 farmland.

This EDA press release was issued yesterday, 27th March 2014 :

‘East Devon Alliance (EDA) is appalled by the circumstances of this week’s decision by EDDC to approve more mass housing in the western end of East Devon.

In a specially called meeting of the Development Management Committee (DMC), on Tuesday 25th March, two major planning applications for a total of 1200 houses, were lumped together, in one executive summary. Yet councillors were obliged to vote on the first application before hearing details of the second, related one. Thus, the proposals’ combined impact on the communities of Broadclyst, Westclyst, Poltimore and Pinhoe , was taken out of the debate.

East Devon Alliance questions why these two planning applications, at Old Park Farm and Pinn Court Farm respectively, involving a member of the now defunct East Devon Business Forum, were rushed through in inexplicable haste. DMC Chair, Helen Parr, refused requests from some members to defer a decision until the soundness of EDDC’s Planning Policy has been assessed in the Inspector’s report (expected sometime this summer).

Most shockingly, councillors who voted in favour, acknowledged that much of both sites to be built on is Grade 1 agricultural land.

Ian McKintosh, EDA Chair, says, “This is madness, when the National Farmers’ Union is already warning that demand for farmland will soon outstrip supply. EDDC’s current planning policy is causing the loss of much high quality fertile land. All that will feed is a future food security crisis. It’s time for our planners to pause, and listen to local people with insights, especially at meetings of the DMC “. ‘

“NPPF has given too much power to developers”, concludes CPRE

Key conclusions from the  research done by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, are summarised by Community Voice on Planning (CoVoP) at this link:  CPRE report summary

See also our earlier post:

For latest news from the CoVoP national network, of which East Devon Alliance is an active  member, go to