And Clinton Devon’s Blackhill quarry plans at Woodbury go for decision …

Oh dear, another development test …

“Applicant Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) is seeking reserved matters planning permission to build a 929m2 building with 11 car parking spaces at the former Blackhill Quarry in Woodbury Common.

The building is set to become the first part of a four-building development for Blackhill Engineering Services.

Landowner CDE has previously-approved outline planning permission for four industrial buildings and this latest development would be the first phase of the application.

The proposal is set to be discussed at East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee on Tuesday (June 11) and planning officers have recommended approval.

The officer’s report said: “The proposed building would be the first in a phased development of the site, it would be of a suitable scale taking into account the limitations imposed at the outline stage in terms of height and a building finished in green cladding under a dark grey roof would assimilate well into its surroundings.

“The layout of the site responds well to its constraints and is clearly part of a planned phased development.”

Outline permission was granted last year despite calls for the former quarry land to be returned to heathland.

Concerns have been raised by parish and district councillors in Woodbury and the Otter Valley Association about the continued industrial use of a site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

This latest plan has had one comment of support which said the area was already ‘degraded’ and was ‘not worth trying to save’.

In its design and access statement, CDE said it will retain existing trees and hedges which would provide more than 7,000 square metres of habitat for various mammals and reptiles. A redundant concrete tank will be converted into a bat refuge.

A further three units are expected to be built in the former quarry and CDE anticipates submitting reserved matters applications for those in the next four years.

EDDC will make the final decision on the reserved matters application.”

Mr and Mrs House (nee Carter) want to extend business centre parking to agricultural land …

More Carter family land conversion … ending up with more than 200 parking spaces … really someone needs to stop this sort of thing … TiggerTories to the rescue? Of whom?

Maybe the business centre should move …

“If given the go-ahead, the proposal would provide an additional 59 spaces for users of the nearby Woodbury Business Park.

The site, on the corner of Castle Lane and Rydon Lane, has currently been left ‘fallow’ for the last two years and is ‘sporadically’ used as an overflow car park when needed.

Woodbury Business Park currently has 166 spaces, with 121 of those allocated to tenants.

In the planning support statement, Bell Cornwell, on behalf of applicant GB House and Son, said additional parking at Woodbury Park has become ‘a necessity’.

It said: “Each tenant has a number of allocated parking spaces, with the remainder of their employees having to park in the unallocated visitor parking area.

“This causes problems with visitors to the site not being able to park.”

East Devon District Council will make the final decision.”

“UK near bottom of European bathing waters league table” and Ladram Bay gets a big thumbs down

Another Carter family business area … with their caravan park there getting bigger and bigger …

“Just 63% of Britain’s beaches meet most stringent water quality standard.
The UK has one of the lowest proportions of top quality bathing waters in Europe, according to research by the European Environment Agency.

Just 63.2% of Britain’s beaches met the most stringent water quality standards needed to be ranked as excellent.

The UK’s score is similar to that of Albania, where 62% of waters were rated as excellent. The only countries ranked lower were Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and bottom-placed Poland, where just 28% of the bathing water meets the most stringent quality standard.

The EEA’s annual report on water quality found countries including Greece, Austria, Malta and Cyprus had beaches with the cleanest waters in the continent, all with more than 95% reaching the excellent rating.
The three countries with the highest number of poor quality sites, where levels of bacteria from sewage and livestock runoff are at their highest, were Italy, France and Spain.

UK waters have barely improved since last year, when 61% of bathing water was rated excellent by the EEA.

In the UK, 3.3% of bathing water – 21 sites – was rated poor, while the water quality at 26.2% of sites was rated good.

Some 89% of beaches were rated excellent or good. But the proportion rated excellent – at 63.2% – puts the UK among the worst-rated countries in Europe.

Some of the beaches rated as poor or only sufficient quality include beaches along the Solway Firth, Eyemouth near Edinburgh,

Ladram Bay near Sidmouth in Devon,

Worthing, Bexhill and Bognor Regis Aldwick beach.

Across the continent, more than 85% of bathing water monitored last year met the “excellent” standard for water cleanliness.

“Our report confirms that … efforts over the last 40 years, mainly in wastewater treatment, have paid off. Today, most Europeans enjoy excellent bathing water quality,” said Hans Bruyninckx, the EEA’s executive director.”

Land: the new rhodium (the most expensive metal in the world)

“What is the most neglected issue in British politics? I would say land. Literally and metaphorically, land underlies our lives, but its ownership and control have been captured by a tiny number of people. The results include soaring inequality and exclusion; the massive cost of renting or buying a decent home; the collapse of wildlife and ecosystems; repeated financial crises; and the loss of public space. Yet for 70 years this crucial issue has scarcely featured in political discussions.

Today, I hope, this changes, with the publication of the report to the Labour party – Land for the Many – that I’ve written with six experts in the field. Our aim is to put this neglected issue where it belongs: at the heart of political debate and discussion.

Since 1995, land values in this country have risen by 412%. Land now accounts for an astonishing 51% of the UK’s net worth. Why? In large part because successive governments have used tax exemptions and other advantages to turn the ground beneath our feet into a speculative money machine. A report published this week by Tax Justice UK reveals that, through owning agricultural land, 261 rich families escaped £208m in inheritance tax in 2015-16. Because farmland is used as a tax shelter, farmers are being priced out. In 2011, farmers bought 60% of the land that was on the market; within six years this had fallen to 40%.

Homes are so expensive not because of the price of bricks and mortar, but because land now accounts for 70% of the price

Worse still, when planning permission is granted on agricultural land, its value can rise 250-fold. Though this jackpot was created by society, the owner gets to keep most of it. We pay for this vast inflation in land values through outrageous rents and mortgages. Capital gains tax is lower than income tax, and council tax is proportionately more expensive for the poor than for the rich. As a result of such giveaways, and the amazing opacity of the system, land in the UK has become a magnet for international criminals seeking to launder their money.

We pay for these distortions every day. Homes have become so expensive not because the price of bricks and mortar has risen, but because the land that underlies them now accounts for 70% of their price. Twenty years ago, the average working family needed to save for three years to afford a deposit. Today, it must save for 19 years. Life is even worse for renters. While housing costs swallow 12% of average household incomes for those with mortgages, renters pay 36%.

Because we hear so little about the underlying issues, we blame the wrong causes for the cost and scarcity of housing: immigration, population growth, the green belt, red tape. In reality, the power of landowners and building companies, their tax and financial advantages and the vast shift in bank lending towards the housing sector have inflated prices so much that even a massive housebuilding programme could not counteract them.

The same forces are responsible for the loss of public space in cities, a right to roam that covers only 10% of the land, the lack of provision for allotments and of opportunities for new farmers, and the wholesale destruction of the living world. Our report aims to confront these structural forces and take back control of the fabric of the nation. …”

Another Guardian satirist takes a pop at Swire’s PM choice (and Swire)

“Dominic Raab seems to have been disturbed during some policymaking again, leaving dogwalkers to find the remains of an idea to prorogue parliament so that no deal happens by default. On one level, this is the only policy position Dominic can adopt, having already resigned in protest at a deal he himself negotiated as Brexit secretary. However, Raab remains at large in this contest,

with people warned not simply to avoid approaching him – that is a given – but to stay away from anyone even backing him.

I mean, is he really going to drag the Queen into it? By it, I obviously mean a constitutional crisis, not his van.” ….

BoJo received nearly £700,000 for speeches and newspaper columns this last year


“Boris Johnson has pocketed nearly £700,000 for speeches and newspaper columns since he quit government less than a year ago, while other prominent Brexiters have received tens of thousands of pounds while cheerleading Britain’s exit from the EU.

The former foreign secretary, who is the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as prime minister next month, was paid £407,895 for just eight speaking engagements – a rate of £20,000 an hour.

His most recent paid speeches, disclosed in the register of MPs’ financial interests on Wednesday, included a £25,540 insurance brokers’ gig in Manchester where he confirmed his Tory leadership bid on 16 May. …”

On top of his £407,000 for speeches, the Tory MP resumed his £275,000 a year Telegraph contract and received a further £3,500 for four other newspaper articles, plus £27,000 in book royalties, taking his total income to £712,500 – almost 10 times his yearly MP’s salary of £79,000 for representing Uxbridge and South Ruislip in parliament.

Johnson’s best-paying gig was a speech about Brexit for India Today at the five-star Taj Palace hotel in New Delhi, India, for which he received £122,899.74 in March. He used that address to attack Brussels and critics of Britain’s departure from the EU, which he described as an “anti-democratic, over-legislating, job-destroying machine”.

Should Johnson become prime minister, he will have to forfeit his substantial second income and survive on the basic salary of £150,402 for the top job in government. The ministerial code prohibits those in government from being paid for speeches or media articles “of an official nature or which directly draw on their responsibilities or experience as ministers”.

However, upon leaving office they are free, within reason, to cash in on their role. Payments of over £100 must be registered every 28 days with the parliamentary commissioner for standards, who then publishes a fortnightly register of all MPs’ financial interests. …

One of the most prominent backbench Eurosceptics, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has received more than £28,000 for columns and media appearances since the referendum. The Tory MP, who chairs the influential European Research Group, was paid in champagne for one speech by Global Media, the owner of LBC radio where he hosts a fortnightly phone-in. The register of interests, first disclosed in April, states that he “received 12 bottles of champagne with a total value of £323.52”.

Dominic Raab, another former Brexit secretary, was paid nearly £11,000 for newspaper columns since the EU referendum, not including the five months he was in government. …”

Government to allow Community Infrastructure Levy to fund big projects

Oooh … just in time for Cranbrook’s latest expansion plans! AND when councils all over the country are declaring a climate emergency and trying to avoid unsustainable projects. Catch 22 there for TiggerTories!

Or perhaps it will go to a new National Park – lol.

“Councils will be required to report on the agreements reached with housing developers to pay for infrastructure, under new rules laid in Parliament this week.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse claimed that “confusing and unnecessarily over-complicated” rules were being simplified, so that communities would know exactly how much developers were paying for infrastructure in their area.

Councils will have to set out how the money will be spent “enabling residents to see every step taken to secure their area is ready for new housing”.

The Government also claimed that the changes would make it faster for councils to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy in the first place.

Restrictions are to be eased to allow councils to fund single, larger infrastructure projects from the cash received from multiple developments, “giving greater freedom to deliver complex projects at pace”, it added.

The Minister of State said: “Communities deserve to know whether their council is fighting their corner with developers – getting more cash to local services so they can cope with the new homes built.

“The reforms not only ensure developers and councils don’t shirk their responsibilities, allowing residents to hold them to account – but also free up councillors to fund bigger and more complicated projects over the line.

“The certainty and less needless complexity will lead to quicker decisions.”

The regulations will be debated once parliamentary time allows.

The Government has also published its response to the views received in its technical consultation on developer contributions reform.”

Glorious Devon?

“… The Devon Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England says it has been overwhelmed by the response from the public to its Greetings from Glorious Devon postcard campaign.

The group has printed thousands of cards highlighting development on green fields and is asking people to send them to Kit Malthouse, the Minister of State for Housing and Planning.

In May, Mr Malthouse announced a major new scheme to build “20,000 much-needed properties” across Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge.

“Holiday makers come to Devon because they love the countryside, the peace and quiet, the fresh air, the seaside. Are they honestly coming to look at sprawling housing estates and traffic jams? I don’t think they are, so we’re hoping this will attract a lot of attention.” [says] Penny Mills Director, CPRE Devon

Mr Malthouse says only one per cent of England is developed with homes and the government has “failed to build enough homes over the last few decades”.”