Greendale Business Park 120% expansion plan – battle for who really controls East Devon planning policy and an EDA councillor excluded from meetings about his own area.

document to support the already approved “East Devon Local Plan.”

The Owners proposal is approx. 120% more development beyond the present developed area. The various coloured outlines show the proposed
development areas.

 

“East Devon District Council recently asked local people about a planning

The Local Authorities proposal for Greendale Business Park. “No further expansion beyond the present permitted developments already permitted”

The Owners version published in a document called the “Greendale Masterplan” which is included in the published consultation documents.

This proposal, known as the “Villages Plan,” will provide planning guidance until 2031 for the larger villages in East Devon and two large industrial sites of Hill Barton and Greendale.

The Villages Plan is not yet approved but the owners FWS Carter and Sons have submitted a “masterplan” proposing a massive 120% expansion to their site. There is considerable local concern that further expansion at Greendale Business Park will now continue.

The company`s agents have submitted a multitude of documents to support their claim for continued expansion and in a bid to overcome possible objections have re-introduced a “liaison group” which they claim is:

“To provide better lines of communication and wider understanding”

A few years ago, following a great many complaints, contentious planning applications and planning appeals the owners of the Business Park were asked by the County Council to invite Planning, Environmental Officers and locally elected representatives to form a liaison group.

This was a success for a few years, but was disbanded by the management 18 months ago, however they held a liaison meeting on Wednesday June 21st at their offices.

There is local concern over who the owners invited to attend.

There was no invitation for members of the Residents Association, Woodbury Parish Council were restricted by the company who named two Councillors they wished to attend. Most controversially the “Terms of Reference” was changed by removing the word “Local” from “Local Elected Member of the District Council” and the invitation was sent to Conservative Budleigh Town and District Councillor Tom Wright but not the current ward member.

The local ward Councillor Geoff Jung (EDA Independent) who is also the secretary of the Residents Association and a Parish Councillor says:
“This is not the normal practice for a “Liaison Group”, but the company has the right to invite whoever they wish to these meetings.”

“It`s totally “legal” but it`s certainly not democratic, I am unable to represent people as a member of Residents Association, nor as a Parish Councillor, nor as a District Councillor”. “I now have the most bizarre situation that I must direct residents with local concerns to the new Chair of this Liaison Group, Conservative Exmouth Town and recently elected Local County Councillor Mr Richard Scott.”

“It`s standard practice that a District Councillor represents his own ward at Liaison meetings and this requires the approval of the District Council. Cllr Wright has ignored this protocol and attended but, I am very pleased to hear that planning officers from the District Council will not attend the meetings until my inclusion is agreed.”

“There are serious local concerns regarding the recently submitted “Greendale Masterplan” and I suspect that the re-introduction of this Local Liaison Group is to do with these expansionist plans”

The Planning History.

Thirty years ago, the business park was a farm with some agricultural buildings which the owners claimed to be “redundant for farming use” They were given permission to be converted to Industrial units. More agricultural buildings were built and again allowed to become Industrial. Many of planning applications were “retrospective” (Built or converted prior to Planning Permission being submitted.

In 2009 the Business Park was permitted to enlarge to its present size as an “Exception Site to the then Local Plan” This was because the East Devon Business Forum (chaired by disgraced Conservative Councillor Graham Brown who boasted to a daily Telegraph “sting” reporter that he could provide approval for planning for a fee). The Forum claimed there was an acute lack of Industrial land available within the district.

Steadily the owners have built a very large Business Park in the open Countryside which was never the local planning authorities policy.
The residents of the rural village of Woodbury Salterton consider that any further expansion will destroy their beautiful village set in the open countryside, and for the last 10 years have campaigned for better planning protection.

The Local Authority with their recently approved Local Plan decided on the location for housing and commercial land, and agreeing with the village residents that further expansion of Greendale Business Park would not be appropriate or suitable.

The Local Plan is a blueprint for district planning until 2031 and includes policies for commercial and industrial developments to be built close to urban settlements. Substantial commercial opportunities exist at Cranbrook, Exeter Airport and on land known as the West End (on the outskirts of Exeter). This is to follow the Government`s planning policy that people should not be required to commute far from their homes to a place of work.
The village community, through their Residents Association, their Parish, District and County Councillors have strived for a sensible balance of development and the proposals included in the Local Plan and the emerging Village Plan are a direct result of 10 years of hard work of campaigning and lobbying.

Councillor Geoff Jung says:

“The decisions for both the Local Plan and the Villages Plan were decided democratically and agreed by full Council and by a Government Planning Inspector. The owners of Greendale must not be allowed to bulldoze further and further into the countryside.”

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