Bats versus Building [and Clinton Devon Estates] in East Budleigh

From the East Budleigh Parish Conservation and Wildlife Protection Group.

What they do not mention is that the barn is owned by Clinton Devon Estates – the company that puffs itself up as “gold standard” when it comes to conservation …..

Planning application, 18/1464/ful. The Pound, East Budleigh.

Since April 2018, the East Budleigh Parish conservation and wildlife protection group, have sought to do its utmost to protect the rare, and the not so rare species of Bat, as well as the other wildlife that inhabit the barn and adjacent green space known as ‘the Pound’ in East Budleigh.

All through this application we have researched extensively, bat law, wildlife protection, mitigation studies, European and domestic legislation and directives from the Bat conservation trust, the Back from the brink project, and Natural England to name but three.

Each body has standing advice on how to protect and conserve EPS (European Protected Species). We have shared that information with all the concerned councillors from parish to district level.

The advice from Natural England and Conservation bodies state that for rare species, the avoidance method should be taken, yet here we are fighting for those methods and laws designed to protect to be implemented.

Through our many conversations with various conservation trusts, the overwhelming response has been, “the laws are there to protect these species, if the LPA follow the directives and adhere to legislation, permission will be denied.”

Having studied the plans for mitigation, We have found shortcomings in all of the mitigation offered by the agent on this application, and areas of complete misunderstanding, or disregard for the laws that are supposed to protect all wildlife. So much so, that this contentious application has reached the next stage of the planning….. the development management committee.

Getting the application to this point is a small victory for the wildlife, as we feel sure, that had we sat by and done nothing, by now, the site would have been levelled, the new house been built and the wildlife displaced, gone, or even worse, dead.(as suggested possible in Richard Greens ecology report) So we have done incredibly well to get this far.

Now…according to EDDC planning agenda, the application is recommended for approval with conditions. It is due to be discussed at the next DMC, on

Tuesday February 12th at
11AM, in the
Council chamber at Exmouth town hall.

But, of course, as is usual in a ‘democracy’, free speech and independent opinion is subject to what the ‘powers that be’, decide on as to what can be discussed and what should be taken in to consideration, so that an informed decision and vote can be made!

During this long process, it has been, and still is, the groups aim to get the best possible outcome for our precious, rare wildlife and our local green space.

We are putting forward the argument that:

1) the Pound is a significant site, regardless of numbers, with no less than four rare species of Bat,( with up to fourteen species recorded by ourselves), evidence of Hazel Dormice and an active Badger sett.

2) the mitigation measures are not adequate, with little to no evidence that these measures are successful for the rarer, disturbance intolerant, more light adverse species such as the Grey long-eared, Greater and lesser horseshoe Bats. An opinion upheld by DWT’s conservation manager in his ‘neutral’ letter to EDDC.

3) the lighting plan is not in line with current research provided by the bat conservation trust, nor the ILP,(institute of lighting professionals) suggesting the maximum light spill should not exceed 0.45 lux lumen on a moonless night. whereas the current proposed lighting plan stands at 0.95. so still more than double.

4) These species ARE protected by law, but human interest is, once again, being favoured above the interest and protection of rare species and local wildlife.

We are, teetering on approval being granted, everything hinging on a committee of councillors who may not be able to see the bigger picture. Which is, if we all stand by and do nothing to protect our local patch and its inhabitants, we will lose more and more green space, more and more species and biodiversity.

Now we may not be able to make a difference globally, but if we all made a stand for our own little corner, couldn’t we, wouldn’t we, make East Devon a better place to be, not only for our wildlife, but ourselves too?

PLEASE STAND WITH US ON THE 12th.

We are meeting at around

10.15am outside the town hall in Exmouth,

to hold a peaceful protest prior to the DMC. So if you have time, We would greatly appreciate your support to stand beside us and be a voice for East Budleighs wonderful wildlife.

EBPCWP Group
ebpcwpgroup@yahoo.com

“Pet Shop Boys lampoon Donald Trump and Michael Gove on new song”

British synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys have returned with a new song that makes fun of Michael Gove and Donald Trump.

Entitled Give Stupidity a Chance, the upbeat track is deeply ironic, calling for a world devoted to self-centredness and unencumbered by political correctness.

One lyric sung by Neil Tennant runs: “Intelligent people have had their say / It’s time for the foolish to show the way … We’ve had quite enough of experts and their dealings / Why face the facts when you can just feel the feelings?” This is a riff on Gove’s infamous statement ahead of the Brexit vote that “people in this country have had enough of experts”.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/feb/05/pet-shop-boys-donald-trump-michael-gove-give-stupidity-a-chance?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Axminster Masterplan “consultation ” this Friday 8 February

The Crown Estate is holding a public consultation event from

2pm to 8pm

on

Friday (February 8)

at Millwey Community Centre,

to seek residents’ input on its proposals for land east of Axminster.

The Crown Estate’s site forms part of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Masterplan for the area, approved last week by councillors, for up to 850 homes, employment space and community uses as well as green space and a relief road.

The Crown Estate’s application would look to provide 441 homes – 25 per cent of which would be affordable – the central section of the proposed relief road, as well as space for new offices, shops and community facilities.

The event is an opportunity for local people to hear more about the plans and share their thoughts, ahead of a planning application being submitted to EDDC later this year.

Steve Melligan, strategic land portfolio manager for The Crown Estate, said: “Our proposals will help deliver a significant part of the new relief road for Axminster, as well as new homes and employment space for the area. We’re excited to present our plans to the community and look forward to hearing their views.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/plans-unveiled-at-millwey-community-centre-1-5879374

DCC Chief Executive appointed to group to ensure “orderly Brexit”

“The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has set up a network of nine local authority chief executives across England as part of preparations for the UK leaving the EU.

The Ministry said the chief executives would engage with councils in their region “to share information on preparations to support an orderly exit”.

It added that the chief executives would simultaneously be kept informed on national policy on EU exit that could have implications for local services, businesses and residents.

The chief executives participating in the network are:

Phil Norrey, Devon County Council (South West)
Becky Shaw, East Sussex County Council (South East)
John O’Brien, London Councils (London)
Nick Page, Solihull MBC (West Midlands)
Anthony May, Nottingham City Council (East Midlands)
Tony Reeves, Liverpool City Council (North West)
Martin Swales, South Tyneside Council (North East)
Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council (Yorkshire and Humber)
Richard Carr, Central Bedfordshire Council (East of England)”

Source: Local Government Lawyer

Exeter and Plymouth HMV stores close

When the new owner asked who would decide which 27 stores he would close, he said:

Landlords

In Exeter the House of Fraser store was saved by doing a deal with landlord Exeter City Council.

Princesshay is owned by The Crown Estate/TH Real Estate which had already pulled out of extending the shopping centre last year.

How’s Brexit prep for civil servants going? Not well

An anonymous civil servant gives his or her view on how Brexit preparations are going under “Operation Yellowhammer”*

Clue:

* Yellowhammer call is usually described as sounding like “a little bit of bread and no cheese”

“… We should by now be in Yellowhammer’s final, perhaps terminal, stage. In my own department, virtually all of the several hundred likely to be Brextracted are still waiting to hear. We know that directors are working behind the scenes to identify these poor buggers. But the worrying fact is that most people don’t yet know when they’re going to be deployed, how long for, or what they’ll be working on when they are. Then there’s the question of whether they’ll actually be qualified to do whatever their new job is, given a) anyone who’s spent even five minutes in a trade negotiating room has already been rounded up like a prized Angus by DExEU and DIT’s HR departments, and b) even now, nobody knows what is going to happen.

As reported by Civil Service World, around ten thousand civil servants are working on Brexit, with tens of millions of additional pounds being spent on consultancy fees. But 5,000 more civil servants will be needed, with the Institute for Government suggesting that even this won’t be nearly enough. You can’t help but wonder what could be achieved if this concentration of treasure and talent was lavished on other pressing national issues – education, housing, health, energy, climate change, the next series of The Bodyguard. We’ll never know, will we? …”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/05/civil-servant-no-deal-brexit-operation-yellowhammer

Radical thoughts on buses

Corbyn notes that profits come before people:

“Jeremy Corbyn has taken aim at bus companies for raking in £3.3bn in profits since 2010 while slashing key routes. …”

https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/transport/buses/news/101497/jeremy-corbyn-blasts-soaring-bus-fares-operators-bank-£33bn

and Friends of the Earth call for all bus travel to be free:

“Friends of the Earth said there needed to be a “radical reimagining of transport” to bring about a 20% reduction in car journeys, even with a faster switch to electric cars, to meet climate change targets.

The group said free bus travel, costing £3bn a year, would also help address public health concerns around air quality and obesity.

Mike Childs, the head of research at Friends of the Earth, said the outlay was a fraction of road spending. He said: “Dozens of cities across the world offer some form of free public transport. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/05/campaigners-call-for-transport-overhaul-to-tackle-pollution