Latest Clyst St Mary Residents Association press release:

Clyst St Mary Residents wait with bated breath for the recommendation by East Devon Planners  

On 40 four-storey apartments in Zone D at Winslade Park 

Many Clyst Valley Road residents, living adjacent to this inappropriate proposal, are holding their breath in anxiety, uncertainty and dread to see whether such an incongruous, urban design (which many have likened to an inner-city car park), opposite a historic Grade II* Listed Manor House in the rural village of Clyst St Mary, will be recommended for approval by East Devon Planners when the Reserved Matters Application (21/2217/MRES) is judged by the Planning Committee in the near future. 

This Zone D proposal by Burrington Estates (New Homes) Limited, (alongside a further 39 homes on a green field at the entrance to Winslade Park – Zone A) was approved by East Devon District Council (EDDC) Planners on 2nd December 2020 merely in outline, under a hybrid application which included full planning permission for the refurbishment of the vast Winslade Park Office complex because the entire masterplan was deemed of significant economic value to East Devon but resulted in other pivotal planning issues being disregarded. 

In December 2020, EDDC elected Councillors were advised by their Development Manager that the outline approval was only permitting the basic, foundational principles for residential development in both Zones A and D and Burringtons’ subsequent Reserved Matters applications would provide the crucial details regarding design, height, massing, access etc, which would take into account consultations from professional consultees and local contributors and could be challenged and amended to ultimately achieve the most desirable design resolutions. 

Planning Committee Councillors (including the District Councillor for Clyst St Mary) recommended that the Zone D outline proposals for three-storeys should be lowered to two-storeys and that Burringtons should consult with local people, before their submission of Reserved Matters, to ensure that their designs were compatible with the Neighbourhood Plan and did not encroach on adjoining homes creating any local detrimental issues.(See the U-Tube recording on EDDC Planning Portal for Planning Committee on 2nd December 2020 for Application No. 20/1001/MOUT). 

Unfortunately, Burringtons failed to provide a full consultation with the majority of the community (as advised by EDDC) preferring to restrict their consultation, at very short notice, to around 21 selected residents over a two day period! Sadly, this limited consultation has resulted in none of the comments made by any residents being included in Zone D amendments and to date no amended proposals for Zone A are published. However, instead of lowering the 40 apartment blocks to two storeys (recommended by Planners in December 2020), Burringtons increased them to four-storeys and also raised the entire ground level by approximately 2 metres for both the apartments and the access road (presumably to avoid potential ground-floor flooding in their proposed flats resulting from them building in a recognised flood-vulnerable zone)? 

Although Burringtons have named Zone D ‘Woodland Villas’ – the truth is that their proposals include significant felling/thinning of mature trees in a woodland protected by a Tree Preservation Order, with removal of up to 18m tall early mature oak, ash, lime and cherry and young holly, hazel, field maple, cherry laurel and sycamores in the under-storey, purely to facilitate the access road and additional parking necessary for these 40 four-storey flats. Furthermore this woodland is primarily deciduous and so will not provide sufficient screening for the existing traditional two-storey Clyst Valley Road homes during 6 months of the year – because the proposed raised four-storey flats will overlook and encroach on existing indoor home spaces and cause detrimental issues of noise, light and air pollution from the towering flats and the raised access road and boundary parking.  

Worryingly, the lack of safe pedestrian access at the bottom of Winslade Park Avenue for this entire Winslade Park development appears to have been ignored, despite extreme concerns from local residents that there are no pavements or lighting approaching a blind bend that seem crucial for 79 new homes and the commercial development to enable safe pedestrian access to the village amenities of the school, shop, post office etc? 

Although the Developers have agreed financial contributions towards a footpath (that is yet to be provided) between the Village Hall car park and the school, this footpath is on the other side of the A3052 from Zones A and D! The Development Manager emphasised (on 2nd December 2020 at the outline planning meeting) the safety issues that were of concern in Winslade Park Avenue – but suggested that prospective residents of  Zones A and D could drive to the Village Hall car park to access a safe footpath to be provided there in the future. However, many residents would, surely, rather walk the short 100 metres distance from Zone A to access the village facilities? To date, there appears to be no plans to clarify this unsustainable situation?  

Surely, ‘the elephants in the room’ are the inappropriate design for 40 four-storey towering apartments in a small, rural village opposite a historic asset, the overlooking of local residents’ indoor home spaces, the lack of safe pedestrian access to and from two large residential sites, the loss of protected trees and the exacerbation of flooding in a vulnerable flood risk area? 

Hopefully these matters will be addressed before any further decisions have to be made by East Devon’s Planning Committee in the near future – but the public perception is that economic benefits should not override the social and environmental issues and perhaps the Developers should be encouraged to submit proposals that will work for the people and not just generate profits for themselves?  


The bottom of Winslade Park Avenue where there is no footpath or lighting 

Chairman Clyst St Mary Residents Association

2 thoughts on “Latest Clyst St Mary Residents Association press release:

  1. Surely, this massive Winslade Park site has ample, potential developmental acreage within its extensive boundaries that it is not necessary to destroy protected woodland and encroach on existing residents’ homes?

    Such an ill-suited, predatory design for a small, historic rural community!

    Another example of Developer Greed before Green and Profits before People!

    Recommendation to Developers – Back to the drawing board!


  2. The elected councillors of the ‘New Guard’ at East Devon Strategic Planning have been generous with their time on Zoom recently, in their initial discussions on the future policies for their Emerging East Devon Local Plan 2020-2040.
    As expected, their decisions to date have been supportive towards the protection and enhancement of local communities and the valued natural environment that we are all privileged to be able to enjoy throughout East Devon.

    Their crucial role as planners is onerous as they attempt to balance essential growth alongside preserving and enhancing the social and environmental wellbeing for all communities in the future.

    It is critical that developers do not dictate despotic, anti-democratic pressure on local authorities in these current times, where gruelling financial constraints pose exhausting difficulties for decision makers.

    Elected Planners have a duty to represent their people and strive to build-back better in future with proposals that will stand the test of time and be revered in the future.
    Unfortunately, these current proposals for four-storey apartments in Clyst St Mary do not reach that aspiration on far too many criteria. This brutalist 1960s architectural design seems to have been unearthed from some long-forgotten, out-dated, planning archive under the classification ‘designs never to be repeated’ and is so discordant and at odds with a small pastoral settlement.

    Many East Devon communities can identify with the people of Clyst St Mary who are waiting with bated breath for the Planners to exercise authority and influence against such overdevelopment that engulfs existing settlements and results in felling protected woodland and the ruination of natural bio-diverse environments.

    Aren’t these prejudicious matters exactly what the Local and Neighbourhood Plans are meant to defend against?


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