Background: Background: in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee the philanthropist and benefactor Hon. Mark Rolle “leased” the Budleigh Salterton hospital site and garden to the people of the Town. After his death in 1907, the Rolle Estate passed to the 21st. Baron Clinton and was absorbed into the Clinton Devon Estates. 131 years later CDE have fenced off two-thirds of the garden from use by the newly formed Hospital Wellbeing Hub just as the children attending a nursery there were beginning to use it for recreational purposes and Spring arrives.
Article in Journal:
“A ‘substantial’ fence – around 6ft high and 100ft long – is causing uproar in Budleigh Salterton.
Residents are angry that it has gone up and a town councillor has described it as ‘an abomination’.
The fence has been erected by Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) on land that it owns and leases to the Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends on an annual basis.
Running across the former Hospital Gardens opposite the new Community Health Hub in Boucher Road, it marks the boundary of the new hub garden and land that CDE has earmarked for development.
Last September, CDE had its outline application – for means of access, proposing two houses to be built on half of the land east of East Budleigh Road rejected at appeal by East Devon District Council (EDDC).
Now, it appears, it may make a fresh application.
“We are in discussion with the league of friends to agree a more secure long-term lease to provide the hub with a generous, tranquil garden with mature trees on approximately half of the site,” said a CDE spokesperson.
“This will provide easy access for all ages using the hub, as well as an attractive outlook from the building itself.
“We have recently put up fencing to mark the boundary of the new hub garden and any proposals we may have in the future for the remainder of our land at Boucher Road will go through all the required processes and approvals.”
David Evans, chairman of Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends, said: “There is no doubt that our local community will be very disappointed at the erection of a substantial dividing fence down the middle of the greatly-valued hospital garden.”
However, he said the new lease would give ‘greater security’ than before.
“Whilst the league of friends would ideally have preferred to have been able to make use of the whole garden, it has been able to secure long-term access to a valuable and useful green area for the benefit of many,” said Mr Evans.
Councillor Courtney Richards – speaking at a town council planning meeting on Monday said his phone had been `buzzing’ with complaints about the fence.
“I don’t know if Clinton Devon are having a fit of pique, but they are really emphasising that `this is ours’,” he said. “There’s very little as a council we can do about it, which is a shame because it borders straight onto a piece of land that’s designated in the Neighbood Plan as an open green space.
“Frankly, I think it’s an abomination, but that’s Cl in ion Devon’s latest attempt to improve -Budleigh Salterton in, said, with his tongue firmly in his cheek.”