Local Plan: last two days of consultation – Crealy Park & Greendale feel left out

As reported earlier, the Down and Carter families, who own land between Crealy Theme Park and Greendale, are lobbying hard.

Their preferred site for a new garden village didn’t make the EDDC short list.

No doubt they miss the influence the East Devon Business Forum (EDBF) once had.

[All you need to know on the EDBF can be found here on this 2014 post, one or two of the old members are still lurking around in addition to Down and Carter such as Conservative leader Cllr Philip Skinner. They are all name checked on the referenced post.]

They have had to resort to using facebook and this attractive and official looking marketing website https://www.greenhayes.info/

20 years neglect of much loved Exmouth football pitch

This is Mark Hawkins’ constructive comment on Planning permission sought to raise Exmouth football pitches::

Could the two councils, County and District, perhaps work with the applicant on this?

There’s not enough on the application to explain to me why it might be necessary to actually raise the ground level here, and it doesn’t really tell me anything at all about their plans.

This is the pitch 2 area which is already above the level of the internal road and houses at the south eastern end.

It’s not accurate to describe this as poor drainage. It is failed drainage, despite there having been a clear maintenance obligation on the lease between former leaseholder Exmouth Amateurs and landlord East Devon District Council. I have seen evidence of polite requests, complaints, and even a partial rent strike, going back well before the 2008 financial crash, before the lease was forfeited with highly selective justifications in 2016.

Then there was a further period with bad faith being shown to numerous other sporting organisations before the current administration returned it to the community in the form of Exmouth Town Youth in 2020, with the decision being taken by decent members of all parties. I understand that all officers involved acted in good faith on this occasion, including the one who had been apparently unable to fulfil specific promises in 2016, though the legal aspects took a surprising amount of time.

The new lease has apparently transferred the drainage obligation to the tenant, but although the council has undone part of the wilful harm of its predecessors one would hope they could do more.

The reason I believe the County Council have an obligation in this is that it is substantially their water, the main incursion being from the dip in Halsdon Avenue being piped under a bungalow and into the ground, leading me to speculate that the other “springs ” in the bank are from the other Halsdon Avenue gullies. So taking short cuts in the development of Halsdon Avenue apparently created a problem for those coming after.

Another breach of leaseholder obligation was in failing to deal with trespass from neighbouring properties, including to fly tip gardening waste. Some of which may well have contributed to the silting of the drains.

One would assume that East Devon have plans of the existing draining system, and indeed that those were given to the surveying engineers in 2018/19(?), in order that they didn’t cause more damage by drilling.

Neglect of this lovely facility has been going on for 20 years, often despite the best efforts of leaseholders and with the active obstruction of the landlord. Despite this it has provided so many of us with very happy memories. What better summer evening for a dad with his teenage son to kick a ball purposefully for an hour or so and then relax watching the fox cubs play. I do hope they manage to achieve the functional restitution of the facilities but retain enough space for the wildlife.

It is ironic that this has cropped up just as Cllr Skinner has commenced the Conservatives’ campaign for this year’s district elections, telling us how we need a change of administration. There couldn’t be clearer evidence that the recent history here of how the change of administration has been a gain for the community, and of course Skinner himself was significantly implicated in the shameful events of 2016.

Boris Johnson given £1m donation by former Brexit party backer

Boris Johnson has received a donation of £1m from a Thai-based British businessman who had previously given millions of pounds to Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, the newly released register of MPs’ interests has shown.

Peter Walker www.theguardian.com 

Christopher Harborne, a tech industry investor who had previously donated to the Conservatives but gave the Brexit party £6m before the 2019 general election, handed the £1m donation to Johnson’s personal office, set up after he left No 10.

The Office of Boris Johnson Ltd was established in October last year. Companies House records show its sole original director was Johnson’s long-time aide Shelly Williams-Walker.

She has since been replaced by Ann Sindall, another close ally of the former PM, who was his secretary when he edited the Spectator magazine and went on to work with him when he was London mayor.

The Companies House entry lists the purpose of the company only as “other business support service activities”. Former prime ministers often set up offices to manage their post-Downing Street activities.

However, the size of the donation, one of the biggest recorded to an individual UK politician rather than a party, and from a strong Brexit supporter, will increase speculation that Johnson could be planning some sort of comeback.

Harborne, who began as a management consultant, has lived in Thailand for about 20 years, where he is also known under the Thai name of Chakrit Sakunkrit.

The register of interests, updated monthly, shows that in addition to this donation Johnson earned just over £250,000 for two speeches in December, meaning he has made more than £1.2m from speeches since leaving No 10 in September.

It also shows that Johnson and his family are still being supported by the billionaire Bamford family who are close friends of the former PM and also strong Brexit backers. Anthony and Carole Bamford provided two homes during December, declared as costing £10,000 each for the month.

The Bamfords – Anthony Bamford chairs the eponymous family digger firm – have provided the Johnsons with free accommodation since he left Downing Street.

Johnson also declared the free use of a VIP suite at Heathrow airport on two occasions in late November and December. He has used such VIP facilities at Heathrow or Gatwick 15 times since August.

Zero-carbon community ‘should be East Devon’s new town’

This is a story about lobbying.

The Down and Carter families who own land between Crealy Theme Park and Greendale are behind plans to support their proposals for a site for a new town in East Devon.

Unfortunately for them, this site they have called “Greenhayes”, has not made it onto the EDDC short list.

According to this report, more than 70 local people have already submitted comments in support of Greenhayes. To put this in perspective, Owl understands that the number of comments on the Local Plan are running in excess of 6,000.

FWS Carter and Sons are regular donors to Simon Jupp. – Owl

“Greenhayes is an opportunity to build the homes East Devon needs in the right way, in the right location and with the right character, facilities and infrastructure. All in a way that is sensitive to the environment.”

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com

Developers are calling on the public to support a discounted proposal for a new town in East Devon. East Devon District Council is consulting on their local plan for where homes will be built across the district, with Sunday the closing date for submissions.

A ‘second Cranbrook’ as a new town on the edge of Exeter is among the plans for new homes as part of the East Devon Local Plan. The new development could include up to 8,000 new homes along with a range of community facilities and amenities.

The preferred site for the new town would span land north of the A3052 near Crealy Adventure Park to the A30 near Exeter Airport. The indicative boundary would see it spread towards Farringdon in the east, and out towards Westpoint to the west. To the north, it would run towards the junction between the A30 and Exeter Airport, and across the farmland between the sites. A site spanning from the edge of Clyst St George to the west, to Woodbury Salterton to the east is listed as an alternative.

But prior to the Draft Local Plan being published, a third location was discounted as a potential new town site. This site – Greenhayes – would have bordered the A3052 next to Crealy, running out towards Greendale Business Park to the south of the road, and out towards Farringdon and around Hill Barton Business Park to the north of the A3052.

The option would have been a zero-carbon community known as Greenhayes, which is proposed near Exeter close to Crealy Theme Park and Greendale Farm Shop. Campaigners and developers behind the site are asking East Devon District Council to look at the location again.

The council is instead proposing to makeup a shortfall of 1,800 homes by identifying sites they class as second-rate including across Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Honiton and Axminster. More than 70 local people have already submitted comments in support of Greenhayes.

Greenhayes development masterplan

A spokesperson for Greenhayes said: “The council is proposing to shoehorn around 1,800 new homes into sites it classes as second-rate across East Devon’s towns and villages. Why put additional pressure on these communities? There is a better way.

“As local residents ourselves, we understand the concerns about spreading development across our towns and villages. We have an alternative that will help the council build the homes East Devon needs whilst protecting the environment and delivering vital infrastructure – that alternative is Greenhayes.

“We’re excited by the support we’ve already received. We encourage anyone else who doesn’t want to see unnecessary development in their towns and villages to come forward and tell the council they support the alternative before it’s too late.

“Greenhayes is an opportunity to build the homes East Devon needs in the right way, in the right location and with the right character, facilities and infrastructure. All in a way that is sensitive to the environment.”

Greenhayes will be zero-carbon and create a 20% net gain in biodiversity. The plans include a new school and healthcare facilities, along with a park and ride and a village centre anchored by the award-winning Greendale Farm shop. The proposed community is directly adjacent to several thousand already existing jobs, with good connectivity into Exeter, Exeter Airport and across the district.

Plans for Greenhayes are driven by two local farming families who own the land between Crealy Theme Park & Resort and Greendale Farm Shop and Café as well as the Greendale Business Park. You can visit www.greenhayes.info to find out more and to submit comments that will be passed onto the council for consideration as part of the consultation. The team can also be contacted on 0800 148 8911.

East Devon District Council’s consultation runs until by 15 January 2023.

Richard Foord: I want 2023 to be the year that our part of Devon comes roaring back

Richard Foord MP Tiverton and Honiton www.devonlive.com 

It’s January, a time to look to the future and consider what we want to build in 2023 while the year is still young. I have heard many people speculate that we may see some political boredom this year, following on from the ‘excitement’ of 2022.

Some of that drama was beyond the control of the Conservative Government, such as the conflict in Ukraine, but much of it was of their own making – with the return of sleaze, a lack of integrity at the top and stark mismanagement of the economy through the September mini budget.

This cocktail of issues caused energy bills to soar and mortgage rates to rise. It caused some people to sit in the cold because they couldn’t afford to put the heating on. Bills are set to climb even higher in March, with the only consolation that we hope to use less energy as the weather warms.

This doesn’t just affect residents and families; it also hurts local high street businesses across our towns and villages, and those living off-grid – many of whom are still waiting for financial support. I have raised this delay many times in Parliament, and yet we are still waiting to see when it will actually land in people’s bank accounts.

I don’t want to watch the Government continue to shirk their responsibility to act in the interest of rural areas like ours. We need action to bring down ambulance waiting times, boost NHS dental appointments, invest in local high street businesses, strengthen our public transport links, and deliver real long-term support with the cost of living.

I want 2023 to be the year that, post-pandemic, our part of Devon comes roaring back. This may seem difficult, but with firm decisive action the Government can start to make progress.

The first chance for this is at the end of January, when will see the Government announce successful bids for the next wave of Levelling Up funding. I am proud to back the bid for East Devon, that will see the sea front at Seaton renovated and more business facilities created in Axminster.

I am a serial optimist – I believe that if we work together and challenge the status quo we can achieve so much good. And we are fortunate that this year poses another opportunity for us to help shake things up.

In May, we get to elect a new wave of local Councillors to represent our communities. East Devon District Council manages some of the key services we rely upon, from Council Tax to recycling, bin collections to the state of our roads. So who we elect really can make a difference.

Just as my election sent shockwaves through Westminster, these elections can make waves here in our part of Devon. The Conservatives have repeatedly neglected our communities – with even the current Conservative leader of Devon County Council saying his Council is not getting the funding they need from their own Government in London.

By working together, we can elect a wave of hard-working local champions to make change happen. Only by doing this can we deliver the transformational work that we need and send a clear message that our part of Devon will not be taken for granted anymore.