“We need ‘a steady supply’ of new homes in our National Parks, says Michael Gove adviser”

First they came for the green field sites, then they came for the green belt, then they came for the national parks … and by renaming AONBS they came for them too ….. The developer lobby has now come for everything.

Sit back and watch those developers get even richer … while those who need affordable (TRULY AFFORDABLE) housing get shafted again.

“People living in the countryside have to accept a “steady supply” of new homes need to be built in National Parks, the Government adviser in charge of a major review has said.

Julian Glover, who is running a review of whether to add to England’s 10 National Parks, said more homes had to be built in these protected areas.

Mr Glover also raised the prospect that new national parks will be created on the edge of major cities like Birmingham so people who live in urban areas can easily access them.

Another idea is to find new names for England’s 30 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. …”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/10/19/need-steady-supply-new-homes-national-parks-says-michael-gove/

Sidford Business Park: a begged question

If the Sidford Business Park was turned down because of

“the potentially lethal combination of narrow roads and increased heavy goods vehicle usage” …

why was it hurriedly and grubbily added to the Local Plan at the last minute?

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/06/18/sidford-business-park-a-grubby-history/

“Planners have said NO to Sidford Business Park and turned down the controversial plans over a potentially lethal combination of narrow roads and increased heavy goods vehicle usage.

East Devon District Council planners rejected plans to build industrial, storage and non-residential institutions on agricultural land to the east of Two Bridges Road in Sidford.

They were refused on the grounds of harm to highway safety, relating to increased heavy goods vehicle usage of the area’s narrow roads and the decision was made by officers with the Chairman of Development Management Committee, Cllr Mike Howe, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/planners-refuse-controversial-sidford-business-2120014

EDDC objects to Sidford Business Park ONLY on Highways grounds

Owl says: Well, in Christine Keeler’s famous words [corrected by slap on talons to Mandy Rice Davies!] “Well, they would do, wouldn’t they”!

“East Devon District Council Website – 16 October 2018
News
Sidford employment site outline planning application refused on highway safety grounds

When this content has been created
16 October 2018

Local planning authority’s concerns over a potentially lethal combination of narrow roads and increased heavy goods vehicle usage has resulted in refusal of Sidford business park planning application

East Devon District Council has today (16 October 2018), refused an application for outline planning permission for the Sidford employment site ( – Land East of Two Bridges, Sidford – on the grounds of harm to highway safety, relating to increased heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) usage of the area’s narrow roads. The decision was made by officers with the Chairman of Development Management Committee in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. The meeting was attended by ward members, Cllr David Barrett and Cllr Stuart Hughes.

Details of the application can be viewed on the online applications page of the East Devon website – insert application reference 18/1094/MOUT.

The site is allocated in the adopted East Devon Local Plan and is acceptable in principle, but the allocation is primarily for light industrial uses. The applicants included a significant amount of warehouse space in their application, which would be reliant on HGVs to deliver goods to the site and then distribute them from there. Devon County Council, as Highway Authority, objected to the application based on the number of HGVs likely to be generated by the proposal, which significantly exceeds the figure envisaged when the site was allocated. East Devon District Council has agreed that the numbers of HGVs combined with the narrow roads, both in the vicinity of the site and through Sidbury, would lead to conflict between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians to the detriment of highway safety, and it was on this basis that the application was turned down.

The planning application has generated comments from 369 people and organisations, of which 255 were objecting to the proposal. A petition of 1,398 residents of the Sidford area and over 200 signatures from the wider area was also received. There were a wide range of objections raised to the application, including concerns regarding flood risk, visual impact, impact upon listed buildings, impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty, light and noise pollution and questions over the need for the business park, which the council considered in detail – many of them having also been considered through the Local Plan examination.

However, the council concluded that the application is acceptable in terms of these matters, with only highways safety amounting to a reason for refusal. In order to progress the development, the applicant now has the choice of appealing against the council’s decision or submitting a revised application to address the concerns raised. Any appeal or further application will be publicised in the usual way and there will be a further opportunity for comments to be made and considered by the council or a Planning Inspector in the case of a an appeal.

Councillor Mike Howe, Chairman of East Devon’s Development Management Committee, said:

I recognise that there is a lot of local opposition to the provision of a business park on this site, but its inclusion in the Local Plan follows an examination by an independent Planning Inspector and the suitability of the site was confirmed by him. Sidmouth needs space to support local businesses and provide jobs and this site is the best location to do that. There were many varied objections to this application but it is only the high level of HGVs that would be drawn to the site, which justifies its refusal.”

Second judicial review as a Development Management Committee defies first one!

Owl says: another “follow the money” situation?

“Folkestone & Hythe District Council faces its second judicial review in a year over a dispute concerning a proposed holiday park.

Local businessman Tim Steer was granted an application for the latest judicial review by Deputy High Court judge John Howell QC.

The case concerns an application to develop a 5.5 hectares site at Little Densole Farm, which is within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and locally designated as a special landscape area.

Planning and licensing committee members rejected officers’ advice and allowed the application last year, leading to Mr Steer successfully taking the council to judicial review.

When the application came before them again in July councillors again went against the officers’ recommendation and gave planing permission.

Judge Howell: “It is at least arguable that [the committee] failed to give any reasons for rejecting their officer’s appraisal that the development and associated landscaping proposed would not conserve the existing character of this part of the AONB…and that it would introduce alien and incongruous features that would permanently change the existing character of the landscape in that area.”

Mr Steer said: “Not for the first time the council will waste taxpayers’ money defending the blatantly questionable decisions of its planning and licensing committee, a committee which in my view is not fit for purpose and is unable to grasp or follow policy and legislation.

“It might appear to some that this particular committee simply follows its own agenda.”

He said the project would cause “permanent destruction” of the AONB.
Clive Goddard, chair of the planning and licensing committee, said: “Leave has been granted by the court to apply for judicial review in respect of Little Densole Farm. The council has nothing further to add and will be seeking legal advice.”

Folkestone & Hythe was known until last April as Shepway District Council.”

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36987%3Arow-over-holiday-park-sees-permission-granted-for-second-judicial-review&catid=63&Itemid=31

Could we lose World Heritage Site status in the East Devon section of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site through EDDC lack of concern over retrospective planning application at Ladram Bay?

Retrospective planning application EDDC 18/1517

UK National Commission for UNESCO already alerted by members of the general public

Jurassic Coast Trust (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 04 Sep 2018

Firstly, we would like to point out that the Jurassic Coast Trust, as the organisation responsible for the protection of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, should have been formally consulted on this application.
You should also be aware that this application has been raised by the general public with the UK National Commission for UNESCO, with whom we are now liaising.

Response: Object

The core issue for us is the extension of the viewing deck or ‘ice cream deck’ into the World Heritage Site (WHS). The boundary for the WHS is described for this part of the coast in appendix 2 of the Site management plan. Both the full plan and its appendices are available to download freely from http://www.jurassiccoast.org. At Ladram Bay the WHS sits between the break in slope at the top of the cliff and the mean low water mark. The extension of the decking therefore has a direct impact within the Site’s boundaries.

These potential impacts should be considered under the following policies from the WHS management plan:

1.1 Protect the OUV (Outstanding Universal Value) of the site through prevention of developments that might impede natural processes, or obscure the exposed geology, as set out in the GCR / SSSI details, now and in the future.

1.2 Where developments affecting the Site or setting do take place, avoid or at least mitigate negative impact on the natural processes and exposed geology.

1.3 Oppose developments in the Site’s setting that may warrant a future need for coastal defences, particularly in light of potential sea-level rise and extreme weather events.

1.4 Protect the landscape character, natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Site and setting from inappropriate development.

Retrospective planning permission is wholly inadequate to deliver these policies for three key reasons:

1 There is not enough information provided about the nature of the structure and how it is anchored and supported. A proper assessment of its impacts on the WHS is impossible based on this application.

2 Retrospective permission does not allow for the mitigation of impacts within the design process.

3 There is no evidence that alternative approaches that provide similar benefits to the holiday park’s users whilst protecting the natural environment have been considered.

National Planning Policy provides World Heritage Sites with the highest level of protection (see NPPF paragraphs 184 and 194). The long operation and high rating of the holiday park does not excuse the applicant from following proper planning procedures.

If the applicant had followed normal planning procedure, we would have had the chance to comment early on the design, suggest alternatives if necessary or, if deemed to be appropriate development, recommended suitable consent conditions.

Protection of the World Heritage Site relies on the planning system to deliver these opportunities.

We strongly recommend that East Devon District Council refuse this application.”

Unrest in Otterton – planning policies in shambles

Otterton Residents frustration to visitor and contractor traffic.

Residents in the beautiful village of Otterton are very concerned after the hot summer which has seen a heavy increase to their village roads with serious problems in noise pollution and traffic with visitors to Ladram Bay Holiday Park and now large mobile homes getting stuck in the village and causing further frustration to local people.

Residents blame EDDC and the County Council for allowing the Holiday Park to expand over the last 20 years and not listening to their views or those of the Parish Council concerns.

However, District Councillor Cllr Geoff Jung who has been the District Councillor for the last 3 years for Raleigh Ward that includes Ladram Bay, says:

“I have done everything possible to control the expansion of the Holiday Park. The Park is there and there is nothing that a Planning Authority can do to reduce its size.”

“The East Devon Local Plan does not support any further expansion for any Holiday Park within the AONB, and with the site being on the Jurassic Coast which is a World Heritage site, this you would think would be reason enough to protect the area from further expansion.”

“However as demonstrated at East Devon’s planning meeting last Tuesday regarding Industrial units to be built at Blackhill Quarry in the AONB of Woodbury Common, that although it was against East Devon’s local plan policies, the lack of support from Natural England and the controlling party Tory Councillors supporting Enterprise over Environmental issues, the committee unfortunately voted to approve the application by just one vote!!”

“The justification for Blackhill was – it will provide jobs and unfortunately RSPB and National England did not object won the day. I fear the same will happen when three outstanding Ladram Bay planning applications that are being considered at present.”

The 3 planning Applications awaiting determination are:

18/2015/FUL LPG storage tanks Ladram Bay Otterton Budleigh Salterton EX9 7BX.
This is for the siting of large storage tanks in the field above the existing Holiday Park and the Public Road.

8/1517/FUL Retrospective application for a new ‘splash’ zone adjacent to the indoor swimming pool, extension to viewing deck at junction of beach and slipway; relocation and re-orientation of bases and addition of static caravan. These developments have already been built and the owners have been requested to summit the applications to comply to Planning Policy.
The Jurassic Coast Trust has objected, plus the Parish Council and 10 individuals. The Planning department are awaiting further comments from the AONB and Natural England before they come to a decision.

17/1584/FUL for revisions to a planning permission submitted in 2016, 16/1709/FUL for the construction of new service yard and building. Again, this application covers work that has already been carried out with new roads car park and a service yard being built one third larger than originally approved.

This application is being held up for further landscaping proposals from the applicant before it can be finally being determined by the planning department.

“Gove wasting his time” – “Wild Woodbury” responds to Blackhill Quarry incursion further into AONB

Press release:

“Michael Gove is Wasting his time!

Conservative Councillors Undermine Government Environmental plans

The Woodbury Common “Area 12” development in East Devon is a classic example of members of the conservative party undermining the leadership and the will of the electorate. The proposed development of factories within an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty caused a local outcry. There were 198 objections to the plans and 4 people supported the application. When the development was put to the planning committee the council chamber was packed with objectors. The plans were passed with 6 people voting in favour and 5 against. The 6 supporters were all Tory Councillors who were not only out of step with the wishes of the electorate but also showed a total disregard for Michael Gove’s 25-year Environmental Plan.

Michael Gove is wasting his time! He is being undermined by his own Party and would be more effective working for an organisation with real environmental integrity such as The Wildlife Trust. He may be the most progressive and forward thinking Conservative Secretary for the Environment that we have had in decades. He recently stated “Outside the EU we are going to make sure that our environment is enhanced and protected. We believe in a greener Britain.”

If he hasn’t been a closet environmentalist all his life he has learned very quickly. He has listened to the much maligned “so called experts” and taken their ideas onboard. He isn’t afraid of speaking out either. When Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the Paris International Climate agreement most of the government were shuffling around looking at their shoes and scared to speak out in case they caused any offence. Michael however came out and condemned the move in his first speech after being returned to the cabinet. People have said that the new Tory “Green” policies that he is putting forward are just “vote bait” and that the conservatives are desperate to grab votes from the younger generation.

It is true that the younger generation in general tend to be greener than the traditional Tory voter, but they are also quite canny. It is not enough these days for a party to Talk the Talk, they will have to be seen to Walk the Walk if they are to get the youth vote. If the Tories don’t make good on their promises the next generation of voters will be even more disaffected about politics than the current ones. Plans for environmental initiatives like the bottle deposit scheme, banning single use plastics, and a switch to electric cars are very welcome, but until the legislation necessary to get them working is in place they are just a good idea and nothing more. Michael may have good intentions but after a year in the job the harsh reality is that he has changed very little.

Michaels downfall will not come because of criticism from environmental groups as most of the conservationists I talk to agree with his proposals. He is in step with most current thinking on environmental protection and is happy to express his own ideas. The document “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment” contains enough positive ideology to satisfy most environmental campaigners. The document is elegantly designed, and its contents has been carefully thought out. It covers a huge range of subjects: sustainable land use, enhancing the beauty of landscapes, ways of reducing pollution and waste, fishing policy that ensures seas return to health and fish stocks are replenished, climate change, and new forests. The document even covers wildlife crime, poaching and illegal wildlife trade beyond our borders.

The problem that Michael has is that the document is a vision and not legislation. It is a collection of really good ideas, but it is not law. When there is a conflict between potential industrial development and the environment the ideals will get thrown into the river like toxic waste. If there is a chance for a profit to be made Tory councils will always find ways to get around even the most stringent protections. The “Green Future” is not seen as a moral compass for development it is just viewed as a bit of a nuisance.”