Budleigh Salterton neighbourhood plan passes final hurdle

“Budleigh Neighbourhood Plan gets 95 per cent approval

Budleigh Salterton is set to become the first town in East Devon to have their neighbourhood plan implimented after 95 per cent voted in favour of adopting the blueprint document

The Budleigh Salterton community has given its backing to a plan which lays out how the town could look in the future.

Residents went to the polls on Wednesday (September 6) on Budleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan.

Voters were asked to say yes or no to the question: ‘Do you want East Devon District Council (EDDC) to use the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for Budleigh Salterton to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

Some 94.7 per cent of the 1,320 who voted said yes while 5.3 per cent voted no with two ballot papers spoiled. There was a turnout of 31 per cent.

The plan will now go back to EDDC cabinet to me ‘made’. This will make Budleigh the first town in East Devon to successfully complete the Neighbourhood Plan process.

When the document gets rubber-stamped by EDDC, it will have to be referred to alongside the East Devon Local Plan, when any planning applications are considered.

Town mayor Alan Dent said: “This will help control future development, will support businesses and will really help in securing a viable future for the town.

“The NP will also protect the character and history of Budleigh which is loved and admired by both residents and visitors. … ”


Budleigh “well being” hub has to have minibus to collect patients – but only from the “nine parishes” that contributed to it

Good for those people who have raised their own money for this service. Perhaps the CCG can now provide dedicated buses from the proceeds of the sale of assets from rest of East Devon, where Leagues of Friends also tirelessly continue to raise funds for their bedless hospitals, for similar buses to other “health hubs” or to the two remaining community hospitals in Sidmouth and Exmouth – otherwise those people outside the “nine parishes” will have an inequality of service.

And Owl loves the optimism of the last sentence: “When phone lines are established at the hub, residents will be able to ring up and arrange for the bus to collect them.” Anyone who has ever tried to maintain a rota for such a service and who has had to prioritise how such a service is funded, maintained and accessed will understand Owl’s qualms when the private company running the hub starts to make the executive decisions about who uses it and when.

“New community mini bus will help transport people to new health and wellbeing hub

A ‘ring and ride’ bus which will transport residents to the new Budleigh Salterton Health and Wellbeing Hub has officially been handed over.

The bus was purchased two years ago following an cash injection of more than £20,000 from the Parishes Together Fund.

Now, the bus will give residents in the nine parishes that contributed towards that initial cost transport, a form of transport to the former hospital. It will also allow people in the Budleigh area to get transport to Exmouth Hospital for appointments.

That includes Budleigh Salterton, Colaton Raleigh, Otterton, East Budleigh with Bicton, Exmouth and Lympstone.

Dr David Evans, chairman of Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends, said: “The Hub Bus and local transport is of immense importance to the Budleigh Salterton Community Hospital Health and Wellbeing Hub.”

The tail-lift minibus will be kept at the hub in what used to an ambulance bay.

The running costs of the bus will be shared between Budleigh Hospital League of Friends and their Exmouth counterparts and the bus will be managed by Westbank Community Health, which has the lease of the new hub.

Hub project manager Rob Jones added: “What we wanted to try and do is to reduce worry about not being able to get to the hub.”

Dr Evans also revealed that a grand opening of the new health and wellbeing hub is due to take place this November.

He added: “The contractors have now finished the refurbishment of the hospital and moved out last week.

“They have completed an excellent assignment and the result is absolutely superb.

“It is desirable that the hub is fully functional for the grand opening in very early November.

“This will show what can be done when a community hospital faces closure.”

Furniture and fittings funded by the League of Friends are due to be introduced in the next month with services being phased in during September and October.

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital is due to move some its services into the hub next month.

When phone lines are established at the hub, residents will be able to ring up and arrange for the bus to collect them.”


Clinton Devon Estates and Budleigh Hospital Garden – a PR nightmare for today and tomorrow!

In May 2017 Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) ran an online survey which was covered by Owl. Questions were heavily weighted towards suitably glowing answers, such as:

“How credible do you think “We pledge to do today what is right for tomorrow” is as a statement from Clinton Devon Estates?”

In July 2017 Owl then ran the story of how CDE had made a last minute land grab by submitting an outline planning permission to develop half of the Budleigh Hospital Garden for two small houses. The Neighbourhood Planning team had nominated the garden as an historic open green space and the new health hub hoped to use it as an outdoor therapeutic area. As stakeholders in the Neighbourhood Plan CDE had been consulted at all stages but had not divulged their plans for the space.


CDE followed this by launching an appeal on the grounds that EDDC had not determined the application within the prescribed time. This appeal has now been roundly rejected.

A planning inspector has ruled against CDE on the appeal, and it seems CDE might now have to think of other ways to wheedle their way our hearts and minds.

Here is the text of a Budleigh Journal article on the appeal:

“A controversial planning application which sought to build houses on a section of Budleigh Salterton green space has been rejected at appeal.

The outline application, for means of access, proposed two houses to be built on half of the former hospital gardens, in Boucher Road.

Applicant Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) appealed to the planning inspectorate against the length of time it had taken East Devon District Council to reach a decision on the plan.

But planning inspector Andy Harwood ruled that the appeal should be dismissed and that the proposal was rejected.

In his report he said: “The retention of the remaining garden would continue to meet some needs for local people. It would continue to be a pleasant landscaped area. “However, it is not demonstrated how the space would be enhanced by the proposal.”

Mr Harwood also pointed out that under the East Devon Local Plan, development should not involve the loss of land of recreational value.

The whole garden had been earmarked for activities relating to the health and wellbeing hub, due to open at the former hospital later this year.

In response to the ruling, a CDE spokesman said: “We have noted the inspector’s report and will be considering our options in due course.”

Town council planning committee chairman Courtney Richards said: “That land was designated an open space in our Neighbourhood Plan. I am glad to see that will be retained for open space in the town.

“Having that open space available for people at the hub will be of tremendous benefit.”

See the full Inspector’s decision here:

The somewhat chilling phrase that CDE are now “considering their options” should no doubt include taking the views of the local community into account when making decisions and pledging to do today what is right for tomorrow.

Owl recollects the First Law of Holes that states that: “if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”!

Budleigh: Hearing to take place in Knowle over Lilyfarm planning appeal

“A hearing will take place on Wednesday (September 13) on the planning appeal by the owoners of Lilyfarm Vineyard, Budleigh Salterton.

The future of a controversial planning application to build managers’ accommodation on land in Budleigh Salterton is set to be decided.

An ‘informal’ hearing has been set to hear arguments for and against an application to extend Lilyfarm Vineyard, in Dalditch Lane, and to build separate managers’ accommodation on site.

The hearing will take place at Knowle Village Hall on Wednesday (September 13) from 10am.

After East Devon District Council’s development management committee voted to reject the application and Budleigh Salterton Town Council opposed the application.

Business owners Alan and Faye Pratt were disappointed when the proposal to improve facilities was rejected.”

Faye said: “We believe our vineyard makes a positive contribution to the area and we now need to live on the site to sustain and grow the business”.


Foul dealings in East Budleigh goes national!

Village footballers unable to play for level of fouling

Police have been called in over a dispute between the council and dog-walkers in an east Devon village.

The dispute started after East Budleigh parish council decided to fence off a football pitch on the recreation ground because games were being halted by the presence of dog mess.

Councillors have been subject to such abuse that they are no longer able to drink in the village pub, and the council refuses to engage with the dogwalkers collectively as they consider them a “hate group”.

The council said: “East Budleigh has been particularly bad for dog mess and . . . last season several football games had to be stopped to clear up the dog mess. The idea is to make it a safe area and free from dog mess for everyone — not just the football club.

However, Ray Marrs, from the Friends of East Budleigh Recreation Ground, said: “Lots of people use the field to walk their dogs on and none of us has ever noticed a problem with dog poo on the pitch. How was it possible for councillors to have reached a decision to fence off our recreation ground . . . based upon somebody’s notion of dog fouling without any consultation or knowledge of the village?”

He added that he knew of the abuse and did not condone it. The police are investigating allegations of abusive behaviour and harassment.”


Budleigh “health hub” advertises for (paying) tenants

“The Budleigh Salterton Community Hospital Health and Wellbeing Hub (Budleigh Salterton Hub) will bring together local residents, the NHS, the voluntary, statutory and business sectors under a common purpose – to improve the quality of health and wellbeing for approx 48,500 people in the Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh (WEB) areas, including all the local villages and hamlets.

As a provider of health and wellbeing support, whether it be through fitness, social activities and groups, holistic therapies, mental health guidance, weight management, physiotherapy, healthy eating and lifestyle choices, art therapies, NHS outpatient services, catering, or childcare provision, this is your opportunity to get involved in this new and exciting project, supporting babies and children from early years through to older people.”


Here is the “information pack”:


Rooms ( including the kitchen) are from (not at) £15-25 per hour (NHS or private) and it seems from reading the brochure that, as yet, it has no tenants.

Budleigh Neighbourhood Plan group apologises for being unable to save hospital garden after being outmaneuvered by Clinton Devon Estates

“A neighbourhood plan focus group has apologised to the Budleigh Salterton community after a bid to save the entire hospital garden from development failed.

The former hospital garden, in Boucher Road, had been listed in the draft neighbourhood plan as one of the key green spaces to be protected from future development.

It had also previously been earmarked for health and wellbeing activities for a new hub being built on the site of the former hospital.

In February this year, landowner Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) put in a planning application to build two houses on half of the site, keeping the other half as a public-access garden.

An independent examiner assessing the town’s draft neighbourhood plan requested more information clarifying the importance of the hospital garden.
Chartered town planners Bell Cornwell, on behalf of CDE, wrote a letter to the examiner confirming that the planned public access garden would be “more than adequate” for hub activities.

One of the examiner’s alterations to the plan, ratified by the district council, was that the area of protected green space in the garden be reduced by half.

Nicola Daniel, on behalf of the Budleigh Neighbourhood Plan Built and Natural Environment Focus Group, has apologised for not being able to secure the whole garden for the town.

In a letter to the Journal (see page 20), she said: “By the time we saw this letter it was too late to challenge it. We were outmanoeuvred.
“Bell Cornwell was given more weight than the expert knowledge of the medical practitioners involved in setting up the hub, who know the full benefits of having the entire garden as a facility for the health and wellbeing hub and its success.”

In response, a CDE spokesman said: “CDE has for many years supported the NHS in Budleigh Salterton and, more recently, the Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends, by making available the garden area off Boucher Road.
“We submitted proposals to East Devon District Council which include keeping half the garden, nearest the site of the new health hub, as a garden which would be open to the public for the first time.

“Our position has not changed since the application was submitted.”