Cranbrook grows and grows and grows … with less affordable housing

“A plan for where the next 4,170 homes in Cranbrook will be built has been backed – and it will see homes built south of the old A30.

Planners have already given the go-ahead for a total of 3,580 new homes to be built in the new town of Cranbrook, with a total of 7,850 eventually set to be built.

East Devon District Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on Wednesday morning backed the Cranbrook Plan Development Plan Document (DPD) which outlines the land where a further 4,170 new homes will be built, and that it is expected that at least 100 new homes will be built in the town centre.

Four expansion areas, two of which are south of the A30, are allocated for development of the 4,170 new homes, as well as a neighbourhood centres, community buildings, open space, allotments, two primary schools, sports pitches, and land suitable for a place of worship and a cemetary. …

… Development would take place at Bluehayes, to the west of the existing development, and include 960, Treasbeare, south of the existing development and south of the old A30, and include 915 new homes, Cobdens, to the east of the existing development, and include 1,495 new homes, and Grange, to the south of Cobden and south of the old A30, and include 800 new homes …

… The plan also safeguards land for a second railway station in Cranbrook, but only 15 per cent of the residential developments within the built-up area boundary of Cranbrook will be affordable houses, compared to the 30 per cent for the first phase of development, in order to make the plan viable to developers.

A policy to ensure delivery of the town centre, which includes a new town square, a health and wellbeing hub, a leisure centre, a civic centre, a library, a children’s centre, a youth centre, plus retail uses, is included in the DPD.

A town centre is considered a priority as since the original outline planning permission for the first 2,900 homes back in October 2010 was granted, only The Cranberry Farm pub has been constructed on the land and residential development of the town has now taken place both east and west of the Town Centre, leaving it as a void.

Councillors did raise about the green wedge and that only 15 per cent of the houses would be affordable, but Mark Williams, the council’s chief executive said that it was due to the massive infrastructure build required to provide all that the Local Plan and this plan wants to see at Cranbrook.

He said: “The work that we have had commissioned looks at whether this is actually affordable and whether what we think is necessary is affordable. The only way if it is affordable is to reduce the percentage of affordable housing and to reduce the developers profit from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent.” …

… The committee revised the recommendation to approve the Cranbrook Plan Development Plan Document for consultation and to recommend the Cranbrook Plan Development Plan Document to Full Council for submission to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination in public, subject to any necessary changes from the consultation being approved by the strategic planning committee first.”

Clinton Devon Estates and Taylor Wimpey forced to halt construction at Plumb Park Exmouth due to foundation problem

“Construction work has been halted in one area of a new homes development site after foundation issues were discovered.

Work began on the Clinton Devon Estates and Taylor Wimpey’s Plumb Park development in Exmouth back in November 2017 with planning permission granted for 264 new homes. Work is expected to finish by the end of 2022.

However, it has emerged one plot – which is currently unoccupied – has foundation issues, but it has not been confirmed what they are.

Taylor Wimpey have stated the plot will not be sold until investigations are complete, or until any subsequent remedial work is carried out to the foundation.

The developer is currently is working closely with consultant engineers to carry out ongoing ground investigation works in the vicinity of affected plot.

It means construction work has been postponed in the area while those investigations take place.

Taylor Wimpey confirmed there are no issues in any occupied homes.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “We are investigating a foundation issue that relates to one unoccupied plot at our Plumb Park development.

“This issue was identified as part of our ‘pre-construction testing of ground conditions’ on subsequent plots, and as part of our stringent quality checks. We can confirm that no occupied houses nor any public areas are affected.”

“Flybe completes sale to Virgin-led consortium for £2.8m”

“Exeter-based regional airline Flybe has been bought by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic.

Connect Airways, which consists of Virgin, Stobart Air and Cyrus Capital, paid £2.8m for the airline on Friday.

It now means that flights currently operated by Flybe will soon be taking off under the Virgin brand.

Cyrus Capital now own 40 per cent of the Exeter-based airline, with Virgin and Stobart acquiring a 30 per cent stake each.

Flybe tweeted about the takeover on Friday night: “Today’s confirmation of the sale of Flybe to Connect Airways secures an exciting future for our customers & employees as we continue to provide vital regional connectivity in the UK & beyond. …”

“Elderly should do community work or lose pension, peer says”

Members of the House of Lords who are not paid a salary may claim a flat rate attendance allowance of £150 or £300 for each sitting day they attend the House. All they have to do is sign in and 5 minutes later they can leave and collect the money. Or, they could dine in their highly-subsidised restaurants first, of course.

“Older people should lose their pensions if they refuse to do community work to stop them being a “negative burden on society”, a former senior Whitehall official has suggested.

Lord Bichard, an ex-chief of the Benefits Agency, said the elderly should get rewards and fines to make sure they are taking a more active part in the world.
The crossbench peer, who also chaired an inquiry into the murder of two Soham school girls, suggested the same tough attitude towards benefit scroungers should be taken with older people.

“Older people who are not very old could be making a very useful contribution to civil society if they were given some incentive or recognition for doing so,” he told a committee of MPs.

“We’re prepared to say to people if you’re not looking for work, you don’t get a benefit. If you’re old and you’re not contributing in some way, maybe there should be some penalty attached to that. These debates never seem to take place.

“Are we using all the incentives at our disposal to encourage older people not just to be a negative burden on the state but actually be a positive part of society?”

His remarks were condemned by pensioner groups as “little more than National Service for the over-60s”.

Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, said: “This is absolutely outrageous. Those who have paid their national insurance contributions for 30 or more years are entitled to receive their state pension and there should be no attempt to put further barriers in their way.
“We already have one of the lowest state pensions in Europe and one in five older people in Britain live below the poverty line.”

Dr Ros Altmann, director-general of Saga, said the idea was “very strange indeed”.

“Those who have retired have already made huge contributions to our society and are already the largest group of charity and community volunteers,” she said. “The Saga website has been buzzing all day with angry messages of incredulity.”

EDDC CEO is an “expert” on elections (Owl begs to differ)

Owl begs to differ – but the Sidmouth Herald (headline to article: ‘Expert to offer advice to potential election candidates’ seems not to know about his election officer past where he “lost” 6000 voters and had to explain himself (not too well) to a parliamentary committee!

Hopefully, this “expert” will also visit other towns!

“Residents wishing to stand as a candidate for Ottery Town Council, but are unsure about the process and role can speak to an expert tomorrow (Saturday) at the community market.

Ottery Town Council has 11 seats to be contested during the election on May 2.

Mark William’s EDDC’s returning officer will be available to speak to between 9.30am and 12.30pm at The Institute to offer advice and assistance about the role.

An Ottery Town Council spokesman said: “As a local councillor you can become a voice for your community and make a real change. Councillors are community leaders and represent the interests of the communities they serve. If you’re still undecided and feel you require more information before making a final decision, then there is an expert available who should be able to provide you all the answers.”

TOMORROW: Stay ahead of the curve – become a REAL independent councillor – Sidmouth event

Meet your current EDA independent councillors and maybe think about becoming one yourself!

East Devon Alliance Annual General Meeting
Saturday 23 February 2019 11.00 am – 12.30 pm
Dissenters Hall, The Old Meeting Unitarian Chapel, All Saints Rd, Sidmouth EX10 8ER

All East Devon Alliance Members & Supporters are cordially invited to attend the Annual General Meeting

Further information available from the EDA Secretary: