Clinton Devon Estates corporate manslaughter court case begins

…”Clinton Devon Farms Partnership and 51-year-old George Perrott will both stand trial at Exeter Crown Court after denying charges of unlawful killing and failing to ensure the safety of an employee.

Amateur footballer Kevin Dorman, aged 25, died when a tractor which was towing a trailer, carrying six tons of grass cuttings, fell around 12 feet from a field into a sunken Devon lane.

He was working at Houghton Farm, Newton Poppleford, on May 19, 2014, when he was killed by the trailer which fell onto the cab of his tractor.

The court heard he had worked on the farm for about a year before his death.

Clinton Devon Farms Partnership, of Hawkerland Road, Colaton Raleigh, and Perrott, of Colebrook, Crediton, have both been accused of manslaughter.

They are alleged to have been grossly negligent in the maintenance and operation of the tractor and trailer.

They are also facing allegations under the Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to ensure the general health, safety and welfare of an employee.

Judge Paul Darlow set a timetable for the exchange of prosecution and defence papers and adjourned the case for a further preliminary hearing at Exeter Crown Court in September.

Clinton Devon Farms Partnership is a division of Clinton Devon Estates which manages 2,800 acres of organic farmland in the Lower Otter valley.

Clinton Devon Estates is Devon’s biggest private landowner with 17,000 acres in East and North Devon and 350 houses. It manages the holdings of Lord Clinton.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/farmer-and-landowners-in-court-for-manslaughter-over-sidmouth-tractor-driver-s-death-1-5610688

Clinton Devon Farms Partnership charged with corporate manslaughter

A Devon farm partnership has been charged with the corporate manslaughter of a 25-year-old worker who died in a tractor crash.

Clinton Devon Farms Partnership, which is based in East Devon, is alleged to have caused the death of Kevin Dorman on May 19, 2014.

The charge relates to a fatal incident involving Mr Dorman who was driving a tractor at Houghton Farm near Newton Poppleford.

The company, which is registered to Bicton Arena, Budleigh Salterton, entered a plea of not guilty to the charge that it caused the death of Mr Dorman by failing to properly maintain machinery, which amounted to a gross breach of care. It also denied a failure of care for its employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

George Perrot, 51, of Colebrooke, Crediton, is also charged with manslaughter and breaching health and safety law in relation to the death of Mr Dorman. He also entered a plea of not guilty.

Magistrates sent the case to Exeter Crown Court. The next hearing will be on July 17.

Tributes were paid to Mr Dorman, a former Sidmouth College student, after his death. He had been one of Sidmouth Town Football Club’s star forwards for several years and the club said at the time he would be ‘sorely missed’.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-farm-charged-corporate-manslaughter-1697431

Surprise, surprise – no new GP surgery in Newton Poppleford even after houses linked to its construction are completed!

Press Release:

“Statement From Coleridge Medical Centre and Clinton Devon Estates

To: Newton Poppleford Parish Council, District and County Council Representatives

Dear Paul

Please distribute to all Parish Councillors/add to Parish Council website/Newsletter

A statement from the Coleridge Medical Centre and Clinton Devon Estates regarding the proposed new medical centre in Newton Poppleford, near Sidmouth.

The Ottery St Mary-based Coleridge Medical Centre has withdrawn its interest in renting a proposed new GP surgery in the East Devon village of Newton Poppleford which was to be built by the landowner Clinton Devon Estates near to a development of 40 new homes at King Alfred Way.

A spokesman for the Coleridge Medical Centre said:

“It is with some regret that we have made a decision to withdraw from the intended move to new premises at King Alfred Way. Since 2012/2013, when this project first started, GP care and strategy for premises has evolved considerably across the country with much more emphasis on innovative ways of working and a broadening range of co-located staff to provide specialist support and in shared premises. Any changes to the existing premises landscape are referenced to move us towards, rather than away from, that deemed nationally as best practice for our populations.

We would like to thank the residents of Newton Poppleford for supporting the provision of a new branch surgery and to Clinton Devon Estates for committing to provide a building. We would also like to thank NHS England and NEW Devon CCG in assisting us reach this decision.

We are currently working with commissioners at NHS England and NEW Devon CCG to consider how best to meet the needs, not only of the people in the Newton Poppleford area but to our wider practice population. At this time we intend to continue to run the existing branch surgery within the village, while reviewing options for developing and integrating services in the longer term as the population grows and general practice continues to evolve.”

Planning approval for the GP surgery near to 40 new homes, 16 of which are designated as affordable housing for local people, was granted by the Planning Inspectorate in March 2017.

Leigh Rix, Head of Property and Land for Clinton Devon Estates, said: “As an organisation that has a very long association with this area we strive for sustainable development to help communities prosper for years to come. As well as providing a good mix of new open market and affordable homes, we had been very keen to provide a modern GP building for the village.
“After almost six years of jointly developing plans and specifications for a new surgery, it is understandably very disappointing that the Coleridge Medical Practice have felt unable to proceed in the current circumstances.

“Over the coming weeks, we will review the options available to us with our development partner Cavanna Homes.”

East Devon National Park? Not in EDDC’s (many thousands of) back yards!

Gove wants more national parks. Dorset wanted a Jurassic National Park for Dorset and East Devon. Then EDDC Leader Paul Diviani said NO, NO, NO – we would lose control of planning (housing growth is heavily restricted in national parks).

And Clinton Devon Estates is most definitely against it too:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2017/11/09/dorset-positive-about-national-park-we-cant-join-up-as-diviani-doesnt-want-to-lose-control-of-assets/

And we wouldn’t want that, would we ….. well, naturally, of course, Owl would! And Owl suspects many others would welcome it.

A test of new Leader Ian Thomas’s green credentials?

“New wave of national parks could be created under Michael Gove’s plans for a ‘Green Brexit’

A new generation of National Parks could be created under Michael Gove’s plans for a “Green revolution”, The Telegraph can disclose.
The Environment Secretary is announcing on Sunday a sweeping review of the country’s protected landscapes, 70 years after the designation of the first National Parks.

The review, to be conducted by a panel led by Julian Glover, a former Downing Street adviser, “will look at both extending existing sites or creating new ones”, Mr Gove’s department said.

It is likely to consider calls for landscapes such as the Chilterns and South Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to join the list of 10 National Parks, which include the Lake District, Snowdonia and New Forest, and are protected by dedicated planning authorities and given special status in law.

Earlier this month, Dame Cheryl Gillan, the former Conservative cabinet minister, warned the Chilterns AONB was “threatened by development on all sides” and said National Park status “would provide safeguards at the highest level”.

Writing for the Telegraph, Mr Gove describes how National Parks are made particularly precious by the fact they are legally required to “promote opportunities for enjoyment” for visitors and to “provide homes for the farmers who keep our countryside both productive and beautiful”.

He adds: “In order to ensure our protected landscapes are in the best possible shape to meet future challenges I have asked the acclaimed writer Julian Glover, a passionate advocate for the countryside and a resident of one of our National Parks, to lead a review into how we can guarantee our most precious landscapes are in an even healthier condition for the next generation. The goal of Julian’s review is not to diminish their protection in any way, but to strengthen it in the face of present-day challenges.
“Are we properly supporting all those who live in, work in, or want to visit these magnificent places? Should we indeed be extending our areas of designated land? Could we do more to enhance our wildlife and support the recovery of natural habitats?”

The review, a key plank of the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan for a “Green Brexit”, will seek to “enhance natural habitats and protect plants and wildlife” as well as consider “expanding [the] network of National Parks and AONBs, supporting people who live and work there,” the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said. It will also look at ways to improve public access, in line with a separate pledge by Mr Gove to replace EU farming subsidies with a new system which pays farmers to improve access to their land.

The last time a new National Park was created was in 2009. Dame Cheryl has said designating the Chilterns as a National Park would help to “enhance the environment”.

Campaigners have also called for the Dorset AONB to be upgraded to National Park status, while others have advocated designating the Forest of Dean and Herefordshire Black Mountains as AONBs. While both statuses afford special protections, National Parks have a second formal purpose, under the 1995 Environment Act, to “promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities” of the areas by the public.

The Government pledged to conduct a review of protected landscapes as part of its 25-year Environment Plan. In its foreword, Mr Gove stated: “The plan looks forward to delivering a Green Brexit – seizing this once-in-a-lifetime chance to reform our agriculture and fisheries management, how we restore nature, and how we care for our land, our rivers and our seas.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/05/26/new-wave-national-parks-could-created-michael-goves-plans-green/

Clinton Devon Estates: an early Lord Rolle’s interesting history in Budleigh

From Facebook’s ‘East Devon Past’:

“I found this report relating to the old harbour at Budleigh, I knew that boats used to navigate up the Otter estuary to the mills at Newton Poppleford. Anyway it seems that Lord Rolle was a bit of a rogue and dammed up the harbour to increase his expanse of land but put an end to the use of larger boats on the Otter. So not only did he remove the Sidmouth stones but he took away the harbour for his own gain.”😵
Western Times 1858:

Blackill Engineering Extension – is this an excuse to drive a new industrial site into the heart of the Pebblebed Heaths?

These days most large developers pay for pre-application advice before submitting a planning application. A recent Freedom of Information request has uncovered the advice that was offered to someone (name redacted) seeking such advice on proposed business units at Blackhill Quarry, Woodbury in early October 2017.

Specifically this proposal was for the erection of AN ADDITIONAL industrial building to support the existing business, Blackhill Engineering, being operated form the site together with the erection of FIVE ADDITIONAL industrial buildings for use by other businesses.

In summary the advice given was that this would not comply with the protective policies that cover this sensitive site. A much stronger employment benefit case regarding the expansion of the existing business to justify a departure from these policies would be needed. The five speculative industrial buildings would not justify a policy departure.

On 20 December 2017, within three months of this advice, planning application 17/3022/MOUT was submitted for outline application seeking approval of access for construction of up to 3251 sqm (35,000 sq ft) of B2 (general industrial) floor space with access, parking and associated infrastructure.

The accompanying justification reads:

“There is considerable and clearly identified need for the existing business at Blackhill Engineering to expand as a result of that business having grown considerably over recent years and with its existing premises now at full capacity. The provision of additional facilities on the application site would allow the company to continue its expansion and so deliver additional economic and employment benefits to the local area…. With the winding down of the existing quarry use of the site, there is a short and fortuitous window of opportunity in which to address BESL’s growth requirements with the reuse of an area of former minerals processing site….It is a crucial part of both local and national employment strategy to protect existing businesses and to encourage their expansion. If approved, the scheme would allow the existing business not to only remain at the site but also to expand. The resulting investment will enable a substantial increase in the provision of highly skilled jobs in the area, increased training opportunities for apprentices and added value to the local economy. Furthermore, the expansion of the Blackhill Engineering will help reinforce the vitality of its parent organisation…”

So, is this application all about the needs of Blackhill Engineering to expand, having already designed flood defence gates for New York City Hospital, worked for the European Space Agency and the pier at Hinkley Point, which in October seemed to require only one building; or more about Clinton Devon Estates trying to generate rent from a new industrial park? Restoration provides no income.

For those interested here is the detailed pre-application advice, given on an informal basis and without prejudice, in about half the words:

The extant planning permission on the site requires a restoration and aftercare scheme to be implemented following cessation of the quarrying operations. As part of this condition, alternative schemes (subject to planning permission) can be considered but two policies are of particular relevance:

East Devon Local Plan- Strategy 7 – Development in the Countryside.

This strategy states that development in the countryside “will only be permitted where it is in accordance with a specific Local or Neighbourhood Plan policy that explicitly permits such development”. In this instance, there is no local or neighbourhood plan which would permit the proposal and, therefore, it is considered that it would not comply with Strategy 7.

East Devon Local Plan- Policy E5 – Small scale Economic Development in Rural Areas.

This policy states that the expansion of existing businesses designed to provide jobs for local people will be permitted where

1. it involves the conversion of existing buildings. Or

2. if new buildings are involved, it is on previously developed land. Or

3. if on a greenfield site, shall be well related in scale and form and in sustainability terms to the village and surrounding areas.

In this instance, the Local Planning Authority recognise the previously developed nature of the site, however, in the ‘Glossary of Terms’ section of the Local Plan (which echoes those contained in the National Planning Policy Framework) previously developed land specifically excludes land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill purposes where provision for restoration has been made through development control procedures.

Accordingly, the land would be considered as greenfield.
In terms of Policy E5, as the site would not be well related in sustainability terms to Woodbury or surrounding areas, the proposal would be contrary to policy.

However, if sufficient justification can be made in terms of the needs of the existing business being operated from the site to expand into an additional building, then the economic benefits may outweigh the environmental harm, of the unsustainable location as a departure from the Local Plan.

For this purpose, an economic benefits statement would need to be submitted as part of an application.

The five speculative units being located in an unsustainable location would not be acceptable.”

[Clinton Devon Estates] “Fence in Budleigh Salterton is branded ‘an abomination’ “


Picture: Sidmouth Herald

 

Owl says: check every word and letter of that do ument that promises ‘greater security’ for your what is left of your garden League of Friends – not to mention that of your building should the Hub not be successful …!

“A ‘substantial’ fence – around 6ft high and 100ft long – is causing uproar in Budleigh Salterton.

Residents are angry that it has gone up and a town councillor has described it as ‘an abomination’.

The fence has been erected by Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) on land that it owns and leases to the Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends on an annual basis.

Running across the former Hospital Gardens opposite the new Community Health Hub in Boucher Road, it marks the boundary of the new hub garden and land that CDE has earmarked for development.

Last September, CDE had its outline application – for means of access, proposing two houses to be built on half of the land east of East Budleigh Road – rejected at appeal by East Devon District Council (EDDC).

Now, it appears, it may make a fresh application.

“We are in discussion with the league of friends to agree a more secure long-term lease to provide the hub with a generous, tranquil garden with mature trees on approximately half of the site,” said a CDE spokesperson.

“This will provide easy access for all ages using the hub, as well as an attractive outlook from the building itself.

“We have recently put up fencing to mark the boundary of the new hub garden and any proposals we may have in the future for the remainder of our land at Boucher Road will go through all the required processes and approvals.”

David Evans, chairman of Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends, said: “There is no doubt that our local community will be very disappointed at the erection of a substantial dividing fence down the middle of the greatly-valued hospital garden.”

However, he said the new lease would give ‘greater security’ than before.

“Whilst the league of friends would ideally have preferred to have been able to make use of the whole garden, it has been able to secure long-term access to a valuable and useful green area for the benefit of many,” said Mr Evans.

Councillor Courtney Richards – speaking at a town council planning meeting on Monday – said his phone had been ‘buzzing’ with complaints about the fence.

“I don’t know if Clinton Devon are having a fit of pique, but they are really emphasising that ‘this is ours’,” he said. “There’s very little as a council we can do about it, which is a shame because it borders straight onto a piece of land that’s designated in the Neighbood Plan as an open green space.

“Frankly, I think it’s an abomination, but that’s Clinton Devon’s latest attempt to improve Budleigh Salterton – he said, with his tongue firmly in his cheek.”

http://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/fence-in-budleigh-salterton-is-branded-an-abomination-1-5398384%5B