Developer proposes that children walk to schoolby road separated only by a white line – no pavement!

Safety measures branded ‘crazy and irresponsible’

“An outline planning application to build on a Greenfield site next to Sidmouth Road [Ottery St Mary]now includes provision of a white line on the highway to provide a footway for pedestrians and a pledge to start a ‘walking bus’ for schoolchildren.

The plans submitted by the Gerway Land Owners Consortium were put before Ottery Town Council at a meeting on Monday, where they were blasted as ‘unsuitable’, ‘unsafe’ – and described as even worse than the original proposal.

The decision to strongly oppose the plan – which has now received 688 objections – was agreed by a unanimous vote.

Mayor Glyn Dobson said: “I could never agree to either of these schemes where they are going to paint a line on a highway and expect children to walk along it. It is a crazy application – it’s not safe and it’s not suitable to build there.”

Speaking at the meeting, Dave McKinney, of Sidmouth Road, said: “To now introduce high volumes of pedestrian traffic, particularly schoolchildren, along this road with the current traffic conditions is irresponsible.

“The walking bus would have to negotiate this road at the worst time of day with no protection from the traffic. To sponsor a start-up walking bus is just paying lip service to the issue and has no longevity. The reality is people will not risk walking along the road and will drive. The footpath proposal illustrates a desperate attempt to gain approval for an unsuitable development.”

Paul Vickory said he has lived in the area for more than 50 years and suggested traffic calming measures proposed by the developer would only exacerbate existing congestion problems at Tip Hill.

Brian Nelson, chairman of Gerway Action Group, set up in protest to the initial proposal, said he has been informed by Devon County Council’s (DCC) highways team that the example of a white line walkway given by the developer – for a road in Dartington – would now be against policy.

This was backed up by planning chairman Councillor Ian Holmes, who said the aforementioned example would not be renewed.

Mr Nelson concluded: “I seriously worry for the safety of the children being walked in a long line on an 80-metre stretch of Sidmouth Road.”

Cllr Roger Giles put forward the proposal to ‘strongly oppose’ the application, saying: “Usually in these cases, the applicant submits something more reasonable. This application is different in that what the applicant has proposed is even worse, if that’s possible, and there are even stronger grounds to refuse it.”

109% of all required housing already agreed in local plans

” 6.4 Local plans adopted since the National Planning Policy Framework was published in March 2012 allocate substantially more housing than those adopted before the Framework was published. The average post- National Planning Policy Framework plan makes provision for 109% of household projections (footnote 40) compared to only 86% for pre-Framework plans.”

Footnote 40 reads:

Household projections are from census data indicating future household formations

Q: What is a “Mayoral Development Corporation? A: Another unelected, unaccountable group of business-people!

A mini-LEP!

They both use unelected, unaccountable businessmen to take control of local assets and shortcut legal and democratic processes to enrich a select few business people.

The DCLG said an advisory board would be established to provide leadership and direction to the MDC for the regeneration of sites across Tees Valley. Ministers will work with local partners to appoint members for the board.”

watch out people of Teeside – you have no idea what is coming your way!

You see where this is going? Local councils and electors – OUT, local and non- local business people – unelected, unaccountable. nontransparent replacing them.

But it isn’t ALL business people – just a very, very select few.

Owl really isn’t a conspiracy theorist – this is just the way it is in Dave’s England now.

Consultation – you’re having a laugh, surely?

Just one paragraph from the consultation document below in a section on “planning in principle”:

“2.35 Before an application for technical details consent is determined, we do not propose to require by secondary legislation that local planning authorities consult with the community and others before making a decision.

We would welcome views about giving local planning authorities the option to carry out further consultation with such interested persons as they consider appropriate. This would be based on their judgement and would be informed by the engagement that took place when permission in principle was granted.

While we think that it is important for appropriate further engagement to take place at the technical details consent stage, we consider that centrally mandating what should be done risks unnecessarily repeating engagement and takes away an important local flexibility. We do propose that it should be mandatory for applicants to notify landowners and agricultural tenants of the application (as is currently the case with a planning application).”

Yet another battle to fight: more, many more, sneaky changes to planning

The devil is in the detail here – so many “minor” changes, never seen before – all gearing up to give our LEP total control of the planning system:

“This consultation seeks views on the proposed approach to implementing the planning provisions in the Housing and Planning Bill, and some other planning measures. It covers the following areas:

Changes to planning application fees
 Permission in principle
 Brownfield register
 Small sites register
 Neighbourhood planning
 Local plans
 Expanding the planning performance regime
 Testing competition in the processing of planning applications
 Information about financial benefits
 Section 106 dispute resolution
 Permitted development rights for state-funded schools
 Changes to statutory consultation on planning applications”


Dear Owl …

I went to a boys’ school – a rather famous boys’ school – where I made many, many friends, a lot of whom I now work with and see every day.

One of them is now CEO of the massive – and I mean massive – company in which I am a somewhat lowly sub-deputy-sales manager. But the CEO and I get on (he has even once tapped my posterior in public!).

Another one of my friends from school is the manager of a large sub-division of the firm and is always getting his picture in the newspapers (sometimes not for the right reasons) and seems very popular with staff and a lot of the customers.

Recently, we have had a bit of trouble in the company. The CEO says it is just a little blip, the sub-division manager disagrees and he says that money has gone missing and the CEO’s workers (mostly people on zero-hours contracts and often immigrants) are to blame. The CEO says no money is missing and he is cutting down the number of workers who MIGHT be tempted to steal from the company anyway, so no need to worry.

Now the divisional manager has launched a bid to oust the CEO and replace him and I have to take a side.

As if that wasn’t hard enough, one of my jobs is to control a very small section of the workforce, which has been really troublesome. For years they were (I thought) loyal to me and were always happy to do what I told them. I didn’t see them often as I am always away on sales trips, but I would turn up at their social events and smile a lot and all seemed well.

I was shocked when recently I had to re-apply for my job. This happens every few years (we would like to do away with this old custom but haven’t yet managed it) but the CEO always makes sure he butters up my workers and so it has never been a problem getting reinstated.

Imagine my shock and horror last time when last time one of my workers stood against me and seemed, for reasons I will never understand, very popular. Other workers tried it in the past and failed miserably but this one did surprisingly well.

It was a nasty shock, and I ended up having to drag my dog around the workplace and talk to the workers. I even had to cancel some of my sales trips (though, to be fair, no-one tells me much about what we are selling). I kept my job but it looked very sticky for a while I can tell you!

Now, I am in a real dilemma. The CEO wants me to back him in re-negotiating a big contract in Europe. The manager of the sub-division says it is tosh and the European client is bankrupt and we shouldn’t trade with them at all. Our workers can’t seem to make up their minds and in my little division I can’t work out what they think at all.

As if this wasn’t enough, my job will be up for re-application again soon and I have no idea who will be in charge then. If it is the CEO I will be fine. If it is the Divisional Manager and I don’t choose his side mow, I could lose my sales job and be demoted. If I can’t satisfy my workers and I am challenged again by that awful person from last time, I could even lose my job with the company completely! And not only would I lose my job, my wife would lose hers too, as she is my secretary.

So, what should I do, back one chum or the other? I really need some advice from a wise old owl here.

But could you delay publishing it for a few days – I am on a sales trip at the moment and my old Nokia phone isn’t getting a signal.

Yours sincerely,