First test of Tiggers planning stance: a fudge on Newton Poppleford

No decision on Clinton Devon’s desire to replace GP surgery with 2 houses at Newton Poppleford – deferred for 3 months to “find a solution”.

One house and half a surgery, perhaps?

Not a good start.

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/controversial-newton-poppleford-application-for-three-months-1-6100848

And Clinton Devon’s Blackhill quarry plans at Woodbury go for decision …

Oh dear, another development test …

“Applicant Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) is seeking reserved matters planning permission to build a 929m2 building with 11 car parking spaces at the former Blackhill Quarry in Woodbury Common.

The building is set to become the first part of a four-building development for Blackhill Engineering Services.

Landowner CDE has previously-approved outline planning permission for four industrial buildings and this latest development would be the first phase of the application.

The proposal is set to be discussed at East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee on Tuesday (June 11) and planning officers have recommended approval.

The officer’s report said: “The proposed building would be the first in a phased development of the site, it would be of a suitable scale taking into account the limitations imposed at the outline stage in terms of height and a building finished in green cladding under a dark grey roof would assimilate well into its surroundings.

“The layout of the site responds well to its constraints and is clearly part of a planned phased development.”

Outline permission was granted last year despite calls for the former quarry land to be returned to heathland.

Concerns have been raised by parish and district councillors in Woodbury and the Otter Valley Association about the continued industrial use of a site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

This latest plan has had one comment of support which said the area was already ‘degraded’ and was ‘not worth trying to save’.

In its design and access statement, CDE said it will retain existing trees and hedges which would provide more than 7,000 square metres of habitat for various mammals and reptiles. A redundant concrete tank will be converted into a bat refuge.

A further three units are expected to be built in the former quarry and CDE anticipates submitting reserved matters applications for those in the next four years.

EDDC will make the final decision on the reserved matters application.”

https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/blackhill-engineering-plans-for-woodbury-common-1-6093931

How EDDC planners and Clinton Devon Estates justify the unjustifiable in Newton Poppleford

A dilemma for The Independent Group and their Tory supporters.

Summary: dangle a carrot (a doctor’s surgery), take away the carrot, put two houses in the place of the surgery/carrot, get planners to say it cannot now be refused even though the carrot has disappeared… although the carrot never actually existed anyway!

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/villagers-anger-understandable-over-broken-

East Devon resident calls out Tory government on environment and bats

 

“Thérèse Coffey

[Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs]

Cc Michael Gove

Hello Thérèse

I recently attended the red squirrel conference in Exeter and was impressed by your passionate video introduction. I believe that you and Michael Gove are sincere in your intentions but I am afraid you are being undermined by your own Party and would be more effective working for an organisation with real environmental integrity such as The Wildlife Trust. You and Michael may be the most progressive and forward thinking Conservative Environment ministers that we have had in decades. I was very impressed when Michael stated “Outside the EU we are going to make sure that our environment is enhanced and protected. We believe in a greener Britain.”

Unfortunately I am afraid that I, like many others have given up on all Council and Government wildlife initiatives. Whilst paying lip service to wildlife groups and claiming to be green the reality is that they actually have a total disregard for environmental issues.  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 content has been carefully thought out. It covers a huge range of subjects that I feel very strongly about: sustainable land use, enhancing the beauty and environmental worth of landscapes, and protection of wildlife.

The issue is the document is a vision and not legislation. It a collection of really good ideas but it is not law. When there is a conflict between potential industrial development, the provision of housing, and the environment, the ideals will get thrown into the river like toxic waste. If there is a chance for profit to be made councils will always find ways to get around even the most stringent protections. Sadly the “Green Future” is not seen as a moral compass for development it is just viewed as a bit of a nuisance.  The proposed development on the pound in East Budleigh is a classic example. It clearly goes against the ideals expressed in the 25 year plan and the protection afforded to endangered species by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as Amended)

The proposed development ( 18/1464/FUL. )  involves demolition of a barn (dating back to the 17th century) containing 11 species of bats (Including Grey Long eared bats, and Greater Horseshoe bats), Dormouse habitat destruction, and a Badger set relocation. It has caused a local outcry, the involvement of Sir David Attenborough, Devon Wildlife Trust, features on Radio Devon and BBC Spotlight.

When the development was put to the EDDC Development Management Committee the council chamber was packed with objectors. The plans were still passed paving the way for the a  new entrance to be put through a well loved and iconic local amenity space and the destruction of habitat for several endangered species. Councillors were not only out of step with the electorate but also showed a total disregard for Michael Gove’s twenty five year Environmental Plan and environmental protection legislation. The whole community as well a host of endangered species in East Budleigh will lose out just so that one house can be developed. Yet another totally unbalanced decision that will only benefit a local wealthy landowner by the Conservative lead East Devon District Council.

If you would like to see the site in order to draw your own conclusions I would love to be your host. If you need more background information do not hesitate to contact me.

Bats in East Budleigh: “licence to kill” say ecological campaigners

“A “licence to kill” has been granted, it was claimed, after plans to knock down a barn known to be home to rare and protected bats were approved.

Councillors voted by eight votes to five on Tuesday morning to give the go-ahead to demolish a barn in East Budleigh, known as The Pound, and for it to be replaced with a house.

A new bat barn will be built in the garden as mitigation and Clinton Devon Estates have said the new building will provide conditions “more suitable” for bats, including a dedicated loft area and ground floor with free flight access for the animals.

But concerns have been raised by ecological campaigners about the risk it would pose to the rare bats, saying the demolition of the barn could see them lose their homes and die.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-48036376

Clinton Devon Estates, East Budleigh: bats not welcome here?

A correspondent informs Owl:

“I have been interested to see your website and in particular reference to the barn in East Budleigh where bats are present.

I drove past the barn recently and found that the barn door, which was previously ill fitting, which would have allowed easy entry and exit for the bats from the barn, has now been sealed with large sheets of plywood. [picture above]

This may have been to replace an unsafe door….but my fear is that it may have been done to prevent the flight of bats from and to their roost.

If the obstruction of the flight of bats is successful the bats will die and there will be no bats to protect.. Thereby allowing CDE to demolish the barn….

This is similar to the practice of netting trees and hedges, to prevent birds nesting, which then allows developers to cut down trees and hedges they would otherwise be unable to do if nests were present.”

“Property developers who deliberately demolished a house containing protected bats have been fined £18,000”

Owl says: Good news for East Budleigh, fighting to keep a barn which harbours rare bats which Clinton Devon Estates want to pull down. But then again, a fine of a few thousand pounds will just mean them recouping the cost in even higher property prices! BUT take nore of the last sentence!

“Jenna Kara, 29, and Tina Kara, 34, directors of Landrose Developments Ltd, started tearing down the bungalow in Stanmore, north-west London, in 2016.
The company pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates’ Court to damaging or destroying the breeding site.

District Judge Denis Brennan said the punishment for ignoring environmental law would “always outweigh” gain.

The court heard the developers had pressed ahead with the demolition despite an expert reporting the site was home to soprano pipistrelle bats – a protected species in the UK and Europe.

Surveys at the site also indicated the presence of common pipistrelle bats, which are another protected species.

Passing sentence, District Judge Brennan said: “In my judgment, the act of demolition was clearly deliberate and flew in the face of advice and knowledge of the existence of the bat roost.

“The most obvious effect is local but it also has national implications because these bats are an endangered species by the very fact of being protected.” …

The offence is contrary to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and means the company will be barred from bidding to do certain projects.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-47811545