Exmouth “Shoreline” – Grenadier yet to choose a construction partner

“Aiden Johnson-Hugill, Director at Grenadier said that the company will be taking control of the site and are ready to start work.

Phase 1 of the Exmouth seafront regeneration project [EDDC-funded realignment of the road] has been completed.

East Devon District Council has confirmed that the works to build the new Queen’s Drive car park and to realign the road were completed by the target date of June 19.

It means that Grenadier Estates are legally required to take over the lease of the site where the new watersports centre they are set to build within five days.

An East Devon District Council spokesman confirmed that their solicitors have been instructed to complete the lease with Grenadier Estates.

And Aiden Johnson-Hugill, Director at Grenadier said that the company will be taking control of the site and are ready to start work.

He added: “Work is due to begin on Exmouth’s new sustainable beachfront development, Sideshore, this summer. East Devon District Council has informed Grenadier that the road realignment has been completed and we will now be taking control of the site ready to start works on this exciting project.

“Grenadier is close to selecting their preferred construction partner who will deliver the building in time for the 2020 summer.

“We are also in the process of starting to market the exciting retail opportunity within the scheme and the summer “pods” that will provide a prime location for small businesses looking to benefit from the development’s dramatic location.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/road-realignment-new-car-park-3011509#comments-section

“Drink and drug deaths rise in East Devon after funding cut”

” …Deaths in East Devon specifically from drug misuse have risen from 18 in 2012-14 to 26 in 2015-17 (+44%) and alcohol mortality rates are also up, with 67 deaths in 2012 compared to 79 in 2017 (+18%). In Devon, there were 152 drug deaths (+32%) and 391 alcohol-related deaths (+18%) when comparing the same periods. …”

https://exmouth.nub.news/n/drink-and-drug-deaths-rise-in-east-devon-after-funding-cut

EDDC Lib Dem councillor asks: “When is an Independent really independent?”

Opinion piece from EDDC Lib Dem Councillor Eileen Wragg. Though Owl feels obliged to add that she was flexible enough herself as a Lib Dem to be a member of the overwhelmingly Tory council cabinet last time around!

“We are living in uncertain times, with politics in turmoil, unrest at home and abroad. We seem to have lost direction and are desperately in need of leadership.

For some years now, I have believed that the party political system has been failing, the public despairing that they are not being listened to by those in positions of power.

Recent local elections gave voters the opportunity to express their frustrations and disquiet, which resulted in the Conservatives being ousted from power at East Devon District Council (EDDC), after 45 years, and at Exmouth Town Council after twelve years.

Having attended the first full council meeting at EDDC, I found the situation bizarre.

The Independents now form the largest group on that council.

I cannot get my head around how an Independent can become part of a group.

To me it is a contradiction; either you are an Independent or you’re not.

I tried to reason this view with the chief executive there, and he told me that it was due to political balance.

My beliefs became further compounded when, at that first meeting, the Independents, who sat together at the front of the council chamber, appeared to vote in unison in making appointments to the various committees.

The electorate who voted in May’s elections were mostly disillusioned with how local government had been operating, and there was definitely a strong protest made.

But what do we have now?

An intake of new councillors, who, unless they are known to voters, many of us don’t know what they stand for.

The next four years will be interesting, during which time the new councils will be able to prove their worth.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/east-devon-wragg-independent-council-opinion-1-6127634

How long can you avoid blame? At least nine years when it comes to poor/no housing!

 

Owl says: It’s always someone else’s fault … there is no buck so it can’t stop anywhere!

“Theresa May speaks out against construction of ‘tiny’ houses, calling for new design standards”

Theresa May is calling for new design standards for house builders to ensure future owners and tenants are not forced to live in “tiny” homes with inadequate storage space.

In her latest move to secure a political legacy, the prime minister will hail figures showing that by the autumn, a million new homes will have been added in under five years.

But her comments come as a parliamentary report warns that the government’s target of delivering 300,000 new homes a year is “way off track” because of problems at the heart of the planning system.

The cross-party House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said that “much more needs to be done” to scale up house building.

The Ministry of Housing has been “reluctant to take decisive action” to deal with councils which fail to produce the up-to-date local plans which are needed to drive delivery, said the committee in a report.

And local authorities have found it difficult to secure sufficient contributions from private developers to help with the cost of the infrastructure needed to support housing developments.

Committee chair Meg Hillier, said: “Progress against the government’s annual new house building target is way off track and currently shows scant chance of being achieved.

“The government has set itself the highly ambitious target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid 2020s – levels not seen since World War Two – even though there is no clear rationale for this figure and the ministry themselves say only 265,000 new homes a year are needed.

“Government needs to get a grip and set out a clear plan if it is not to jeopardise these ambitions.”

In a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Manchester on Wednesday, Ms May will say that the drive to build more homes must not lead to the quality of new housing being compromised.

Tenants and buyers are currently facing a “postcode lottery”, with many councils still not applying space standards introduced by the government in 2015 as a condition of planning permission, she will say.

In a clear message to her successor as prime minister, she will call for the creation a new system of universal mandatory regulation.

“I cannot defend a system in which owners and tenants are forced to accept tiny homes with inadequate storage, where developers feel the need to fill show homes with deceptively small furniture, and where the lack of universal standards encourages a race to the bottom,” she is expected to say.

Ms May will point to figures showing that since she entered No 10 in 2016, the number of extra homes being created was up by 12 per cent in Manchester, 43 per cent in Nottingham and 80 per cent in Birmingham.

Last year, she will say, more additional homes were delivered than in all but one of the previous 31 years while the number of affordable housing starts this year has risen to almost 54,000.

But she will warn against complacency: “The housing shortage in this country began not because of a blip lasting one year or one parliament, but because not enough homes were built over many decades.

“The very worst thing we could do would be to make the same mistake again.”

Ms May will also confirm plans to end so-called “no-fault” evictions, with a consultation to be published shortly, and set out a timetable for action on social housing including improved rights for tenants.

The PM is pushing for higher house building standards (AFP/Getty)
Polly Neate, the chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, said Ms May’s commitment to improving quality in the housing market was “to be applauded” but added: “The huge numbers of people in this country who are at the sharp end of the current housing emergency will never be able to afford those new houses.

“What this country needs – and what it wants – is a commitment from the top, from any prime minister, to a renewal of social housing. We need 3.1 million homes in the next 20 years to provide affordable and stable homes for generations to come.”

Local Government Association housing spokesman Martin Tett denied the planning system was a “barrier to housebuilding”, pointing to statistics showing councils approve nine in 10 applications but hundreds of thousands of homes given planning permission are yet to be built.

Cllr Tett said councils needed freedom to build more social homes themselves.

“The last time the country built more than 300,000 homes a year was 1977-78, when councils built 44 per cent of them,” he said.

“Latest figures show councils were only able to build 2,000 homes last year – the highest level since 1992 – but need to be able to do so much more. To help end the housing crisis, we need to kick-start a genuine renaissance in council house building.”

Responding to the PAC report, housing minister Kit Malthouse said:“This government is determined to restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation by delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

“We’re committed to building more, better and faster, including £44bn of funding and guarantees to support more homes, reforming the planning system to free up more land, and removing the cap on how much councils can borrow to build.

“We’re making real progress, last year delivering more new homes than in all but one of the last 31 years.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-housing-speech-tiny-houses-new-buildings-a8974711.html

“The UK’s big flooding problem is only going to get worse”

“… In February, the Environment Agency warned that if global temperatures continue to rise in line with current trends, the UK will need to spend £1 billion a year to adequately protect homes from flooding. Currently the UK government spends just under two-thirds of that amount – £600 million. Meanwhile, the risk of flooding appears to be heading in only one direction: upwards.

… While the risk of heavy flooding is becoming more frequent – the Met office logged 17 record-breaking rainfall months since 1910, with nine of them since 2000 – the UK remains reliant on flood defense systems to limit its impact. A June 2019 analysis by Flood Re, a scheme set up by insurers and the government to cut the cost of property cover for people in flood-prone areas, showed that inland flooding would cost the entire country almost three times more on an annual basis without defences – £1.8bn rather than £700m.

This is based on the UK’s past experience with flooding. For instance, the Environment Agency said the floods caused by Storm Desmond in 2015 cost the economy about £1.6bn in England alone, a figure which could have exceeded £2.8bn if Cumbria had not upgraded its flood defences, following previous flooding in 2009 and 2005. The agency’s latest economic assessment estimates that for every £1 spent on defences, around £9 in property damages and wider impacts would be avoided.

On launching the Environment Agency’s new strategy, chair Emma Howard Boyd said: “The coastline has never stayed in the same place and there have always been floods.” Building high walls and barriers may not be enough to deal with flooding as climate change is increasing and accelerating the threat, she says, adding that “We need to develop consistent standards for flood and coastal resilience in England that help communities better understand their risk and give them more control about how to adapt and respond.” These standards could include sustainable drainage systems and the design of existing and new properties, in addition to traditional barriers and natural flood control techniques such as tree planting and no-till farming.”

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/flooding-in-uk-weather-defence

“A million pensioners in poverty because of unclaimed benefits”

These are not benefits – they are entitlements.

“More than a million pensioner households across the UK are living in poverty because of the government’s failure to act on unpaid pension credit, according to the older people’s charity Independent Age.

Almost 2 million people aged 65 and over are living in poverty in the UK. Pension credit is the income-related benefit specifically designed to lift them out of poverty. But it is estimated that four in 10 pensioner households who are entitled to the help do not receive it.

Since the 2017 general election, the government has “benefited” from £7bn in unclaimed pension credit, the charity said. This figure will increase to more than £17bn by 2022.

“The recent decision to limit the TV licence to only those who receive pension credit adds insult to injury to over a million pensioners who between them, due to government inaction, are missing out on a staggering £10m every day that should be in their pockets,” said George McNamara, the charity’s director of policy and influencing. …

Pensioners entitled to the benefit are missing out on an average of £49 a week, just under the average amount that the poorest fifth of pensioner couples spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks in a week. It can, said McNamara, make the difference between being isolated at home or being able to take part in social activities. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/26/a-million-pensioners-in-poverty-because-of-unclaimed-benefits?