Web-based council services

EDDC tells us that they will not need as much space or as many office staff when they relocate as many services will be web-based.

So, what do you do when you need information urgently and this happens:


which says:

“Due to an essential upgrade, all online benefits claim, setting up a direct debit on-line, change of address and search for Council Tax/Business Rates bands services will be offline from Friday 25 September 2015 at 2.45pm until Monday 28 September 2015 at 8.30am.”

In fact, it appears the whole EDDC site is offline, not just the services mentioned. Will planning application comments and public consultations, etc be extended to take account of this?

The perils of a developer-led district: EDDC v Wainhomes in Feniton

Full details of Wainhomes total arrogance here:


EDDC’s last paragraph in their letter to Wainhomes states:

“Both myself and colleagues have in recent weeks offered to meet with representatives from Wainhomes either in the offices here or on site and I am disappointed that none of these offers have been taken up. In an attempt to resolve this situation I can confirm that those offers still remain and I would strongly encourage an early dialogue in respect of the matters identified.”

You see, that’s what happens when you have a developer-led district.

Those “too small” Cranbrook garages: complaints fall on builders’ deaf ears


From this month’s Cranbrook Herald e-edition.

Builders say that, as there are no national rules, they are free to decide how big garages should be and tough luck if your car doesn’t fit.

Interesting that this appears only on page 17 of the newspaper!

Did Claire Wright have a crystal ball when speaking about Cranbrook and the ‘Growth Point’ in 2012?

Here are a few comments she made at that time when she and other councillors visited the Growth Point on 11 May 2012l:

“I asked how many companies had bought space at Skypark.

Answer: None.

And Skypark has been marketed for well over a year.

I remembered the stark warning given by consultants, Roger Tym, who state on page 75 of their Housing and Employment Study 2011, that marketing for a 1.4m sq ft scheme at Langage Business Park in Plymouth has progressed over the last five years without success of obtaining a single occupier.

It is the challenge of dealing with large strategic allocations, they say.

Hopefully, Skypark will achieve full occupation in time. But it does rather put the challenge of filling the many and large industrial allocations for the rest of East Devon, into perspective.

If Skypark, in a hugely convenient location is not proving a goer (so far), what hope is there for almost 50 acres of industrial land allocated for Honiton?”

Recall that Asda pulled out of Heathpark and now EDDC is plugging the gap by moving there itself at enormous cost. Skypark is still mostly empty with its owners having gone on record to say it could take many, many years to rent it all out.

And, having just returned from a visit to Cranbrook on the same day, she wrote:

When I got home I couldn’t help wondering whether:

– the Skypark would ever get off the ground, or instead would mirror the non-progress of Langage Business Park in Plymouth

– the Science Park would ever consist of any more than Exeter University’s Innovation Centre

– If the inhabitants of Rockbeare would be swallowed up by Cranbrook, following a highly dubious decision, backed by the majority of the Local Plan Panel (not me) and Development Management Committee, to allocate south of the A30 for future expansion, despite a promise that this would not happen

– the public would ever consider the millions of pounds of public money ploughed into ‘growth point’ and Cranbrook, as money well spent.

– What sort of town Cranbrook would become. How big would it grow? Would I enjoy visiting it?

I have no answers to these questions yet. No one does. Only time will tell.

I have to say I am already rather tired of the pictures in local papers of grinning councillor and developer faces at turf cuts, of the continual talk of ‘great excitement’ and the oft heard promises of thousands of jobs and creation of wealth, none of which has materialised yet… and may not ever do so.

That said, I genuinely hope that ‘growth point’ and Cranbrook are huge successes.

Mainly because any other outcome would be a staggering waste of public funding, not to mention an irreplaceable loss of beautiful countryside.”