Urgent flood warning for River Clyst

Environment Agency:

Flood warning

Areas affected: River Clyst from Broadclyst to Clyst St. Mary
ACTIVEStarted at: 16:20 GMT on Sun 24 November

Flooding is expected – immediate action required

Flooding is expected. Heavy rain has in the River Clyst area will continue into Monday morning. This is causing the River Clyst to remain high.

Properties and low lying areas around Ashclyst Farm, Burrow Bridge, there is likely to be deep road flooding in the Burrow area, Broadclyst Bridge, Clyston Mill, Dymond’s Farm, Sowton Barton and properties and farms between Clyst St. Mary and Topsham including Newcourt Barton and Cotts Farm will start to flood first.

Flood waters may be deep and fast flowing in these areas. Residents are strongly urged to take action now. Remain safe and be aware of your local surroundings.

We will be closely monitoring the situation and this message will be updated as the situation changes.”

East Devon’s “North West Quadrant” of “linked villages” – or Exeter’s North East suburbs?

“The potential for strategic scale development in the North West Quadrant area of East Devon was identified and a network of linked villages, referred to as Clyst Villages, has been put forward

The concept of a ‘network of linked villages’ being built in the North West Quadrant area of East Devon will be investigated.

East Devon District Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday morning unanimously recommends to the Cabinet that East Devon supports the Exeter and East Devon garden communities status.

The Exeter bid would see around 12,000 new homes built in the city as part of the Liveable Exeter vision and has already been agreed by their council. …”

“The villages of Poltimore, Huxham, Clyst St Mary, Clyst St George, Ebford, West Hill, Woodbury​, Woodbury Salterton, Exton and Farringdon would be most likely to be included as ones that could be expanded further, based on them being in the quadrant and close to existing infrastructure….”

Cllr Philip Skinner said: “We are going to have the housing numbers whether we like it or not, and we cannot put off and delay this as there is a much bigger vision than just focusing on that. This is a really exciting project and I hope people grasp it with the enthusiasm that I have so we get the good things for the area that we live in.

“This is an extremely important document that we should be signing up to this now and I am bang up for seeing this comes forward in the right way.” …

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/east-devon-could-getting-network-3454612

A tale of two anaerobic digesters …

Before tonight’s Inside Out programme on BBC1 about anaerobic digesters in Clyst St Mary, it maybe worth pointing out there are TWO of them – one at Enfield Farm at Clyst St Mary off Oil Mill Lane, owned by the people that own Crealy (the Down family) plus one at Hogsbrook near Greendale owned by the Carters.

To make matters more complicated, both were developed by a company called Greener for Life – until they went into administration and were then run by separate companies but with similar directors as Greener for Life. (Keep up there at the back, keep up!).

It’s the Enfield Farm one that is in the news – basically as it was built with double the capacity as specified at the Planning Application stage. (Note to planners: why was this allowed? Where was the Enforcement Officer?).

To restrict additional tractor movements and travelling far distances to obtain feed it’s not allowed to run at 100per cent (again, note to planners, why was this allowed?).

They are appealing against the planning condition at the moment.

Which begs the question: if I got planning permission to build a 2-bed house but built a 4-bed house instead, would planners have agreed – as long as no-one used the two extra bedrooms and we used only two of our cars on the site rather than the 4 we had there?

Allegations about Clyst St Mary anaerobic digester on Inside Out tonight

“Jemma Woodman investigates the green credentials of farm-based power production …”

Tonight BBC1 7.30 pm

Apparently, breaking agreements and not-so-green …

Surprise, surprise … yet again the Carters of Greendale involved! Yet another headache for Environment Portfolio holder Geoff Jung and Leader Ben Ingham.

Just one of many posts by East Devon Watch on this subject:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/07/13/investigation-launched-at-greendale-business-park-by-the-environment-agency/

Save Clyst St Mary – update

“Following the message that we received asking us to remove our banner from the fence backing onto A3052, I thought that I should write to you to let you know we are still here and continuing the fight for sustainable development in Clyst St Mary. There has been numerous items in the press regarding development in and around Exeter known as the ‘Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (G.E.S.P)’ and I have attached a copy of our latest press release which might help to explain matters a little more.

Over five years ago when we formed the Save Clyst St Mary Campaign we never expected to have received so much overwhelming support, for so many years. It really goes to show how uniting the different areas of the village can lead to a continued great outcome for everyone.

If you know someone who wants to get involved either just as a member or actively helping please let me know.”

PRESS RELEASE

“Village Life -v- Future Development

Many people favour living in a picturesque, rural village nestled in surrounding countryside with only the amenities of a village shop, post office, school, pub, hall and church. Clyst St Mary is a village where some historic areas have barely changed since late-medieval times but the settlement has expanded and progressed to incorporate the demands of the 21st century.

It is often described as a rural idyll, offering a different lifestyle than that experienced in the nearby urban City of Exeter. The old village is portrayed as charming and rustic but new contemporary designs show a progressive quality that coexists with the more traditional standards of the settlement. It remains unpretentious but with a modern, caring and vibrant neighbourhood.

This community has recently embraced considerable, sustainable housing development with the building of almost 100 new residences (a substantial quantity for a modest-sized village) to support East Devon Local Plan growth policies to 2031. However, the Local Plan also includes a further 150 dwellings allocated on brownfield land at Winslade Park awaiting planning approval, which totals approximately 250 new homes. Although it is appreciated that people need somewhere to live, such high numbers in one village go beyond growth recommendations in the Local, Villages and Neighbourhood Plans.

Crucially, there are also fears that proposals in the Draft Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) for substantial future development along the A3052 around Westpoint at Clyst St Mary will sound the death knell for this historic Devon village, with the creation of, perhaps, another new town similar to Cranbrook or building a large suburb of Exeter or a sizeable extension to the existing settlement, all of which could result in the destruction of the village identity.

The entire GESP area incorporates Exeter City, Teignbridge, Mid Devon and East Devon with a vision for the provision of new homes, jobs and infrastructure for existing and future generations while protecting and enhancing the environment. Ideally, each area would share growth, avoiding one locality being burdened by substantial, unsustainable over-development.

However, concerns are not alleviated by recent comments made by East Devon planners declaring that some communities will be detrimentally impacted by proposed GESP large scale growth recommendations, e.g. ‘…in most cases growth would have to be quite substantial to make it viable to deliver the required services and facilities to make the settlement suitably sustainable for growth and in the process could harm the character of the village and the existing community.’

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/2581497/040918strategicplanningcombinedagenda.pdf – (Strategic Planning Committee report – 4th September 2018, page 24, Item 9.1).

Furthermore, at the full Council meeting in October 2018 in answer to a question as to why East Devon is taking a disproportionate share of development (58% more than Exeter, 53% more than Teignbridge and nearly three times that of Mid Devon according to independent analysis conducted by CPRE), a local politician replied: “Because we have the land and we are good at it.”

Exeter City Council has just unveiled their 20-year vision for the city, which includes 12,000 new homes, cultural centres, ‘a garden bridge’ across the Exe and the creation of a comprehensive cycle and pedestrian network to tackle traffic congestion.

However, with a target of 53,200 homes proposed for the Greater Exeter areas and the propulsion for substantial business growth, surely the communities within East Devon should equally have sight of the development proposals for their localities? For example, the present Exeter Sowton Park and Ride site appears to show future development – so where will the new replacement Park and Ride facilities be located to serve Exeter?

To date, representatives from East Devon local authority, business communities and growth partnerships have maintained exclusivity regarding the proposals for the GESP large allocation sites offered by landowners for future major development. Will there be a general release to the public of this restricted information before the Local Elections in May 2019? The electorate may be reluctant to vote for expansive commercial and housing proposals that would destroy or detrimentally alter their community.

Consequently, it might be thought unwise to acquaint the populace at this time with extensive GESP growth recommendations for fear that they would be judged undesirable. Although, there will, of course, be statutory public consultation on such vast development proposals under GESP but not until after the Local Elections!

In reality, Clyst St Mary’s portrayal as an idealised village is not entirely accurate and the images below bear testimony to the daily traffic congestion which reaches unacceptable levels, where the A376 and A3052 converge at the bottleneck that is the Clyst St Mary roundabout.

At present, large volumes of HGVs serving the extensive business expansions at Hill Barton and Greendale Industrial Estates, together with huge tractors and trailers importing and exporting to an ever-increasing sized anaerobic digester, thunder through the village! Coupled with significant large levels of commuter and tourist traffic they create safety issues for residents (especially young children) accessing the village primary school, shop, village hall and play park via the toucan crossing on the A3052. Regrettably, the pedestrian footbridge is unsuitable for many users and is generally in a state of disrepair!

Only last year a resident sustained serious injuries crossing the A3052 in the village after being knocked down by a speeding car during daylight hours! Fortunately, there appears to be current medium-sized road improvements planned around the Clyst St Mary roundabout and Junction 30 of the M5 in the near future.

However, it is considered that the crucial, major road network advancement necessary in this area at present and for any future development expansion may not be forthcoming in the current uncertain and fragile financial climate. It is unacceptable for developers to build sizeable residential and business developments that access a substandard, mediocre road network. There is gridlock with the present peak time traffic let alone any future requirements. Planning cycle tracks and park and ride facilities are positive approaches but may be inadequate ‘band-aid solutions’ that will not sufficiently tackle the root causes.”

[Pictures with press release not shown here]

Greater Exeter Strategic Plan – Exeter leaks its “vision”*

“But not yet in East Devon until July 2019 (see below). It seems East Devon is the only council keeping ALL its plans secret until after the 2 May 2019 district council elections.

Fishy? You bet!

Anyway, here’s what we currently know:

Interesting proposals for changes to Sidmouth Road and Junction 30 of the M5. The Motorway Services and Sowton Park and Ride being developed as a “Mixed Neighbourhood” (see image above).

The Governments require the Greater Exeter Housing target to be 53,200 new homes over the next 20 years. That is for the combined area governed by East Devon, Teignbridge, Mid Devon and Exeter.

Exeter’s housing ambitions

Karime Hassan, chief executive and growth director of Exeter City Council revealed this week a proposal for 12,000 new homes in the City of Exeter over the next 20 years. His vision of “Liveable Exeter”, for delivering a transformational housing programme for Exeter from 2020 to 2040. involves the creation of 8 new neighbourhoods.

Exeter’s published Vision

Red Cow Village (St David’s) – 664 homes in new neighbourhood, including new work space, on both sides of the railway around St David’s Station.

Water Lane (close to Exe Valley Park) – 1,567 homes. A space for expanding leisure attractions near the quay, with low traffic or car-free development with attractive cycle and walking connections.

Marsh Barton – 5,544 homes in a new neighbourhood. It will remain an important employment and retail area, but with the integration of living and working, to make better use of riverside location. Development linked to the new proposed train station. Creation of new types of work space, including light industrial, workshops, office and shared work space.

East Gate (Heavitree Road) – 962 new homes, an enhanced approach to the city centre from the east, reduced traffic on Heavitree Road and a greater provision for public transport, walking and cycling. New places to live close to the city centre will exist alongside existing neighbourhoods.

West Gate (Western Way) – 617 new homes, opening up access to the river and canal from the city centre, a new cultural destination, an expanded and connected park at the heart of the city, a “Green Bridge” promoting active travel across the river.

South Gate (Holloway Street/South Street linked via Topsham Road) – 300 new homes, establishing an improved link between the city centre and the historic quayside, with a greater emphasis on the wall, city gates and Southernhay.

North Gate (North Street) – 308 new homes, a new approach to the city from St David’s, uncovering the medieval city wall.
Sandy Gate (land off Sandygate roundabout) – 1,050 new homes in a new sustainable and well-connected mixed-use neighbourhood, bridging the city and the new and existing neighbourhoods to the east, providing recreational, cultural and entertainment space where Exeter meets the proposed Clyst Valley Park.

Mid Devon’s published ambitions.

Mid Devon’s Local Plan is almost complete with a Planning Inspectors hearing due in the next few weeks to consult on their final draft.

Culm Valley on the South side of the M5 opposite Cullumpton create a new community of up to 5,000, with a new Motorway junction and railway Station.

Junction 27. A landmark project for a leisure and tourism development involving Tim Smit from the Edan Project
Tiverton Eastern Urban Extension will cover 153ha, to the east of Tiverton.

Teignbridge future ambitions.

Teignbridge has just started a review of their Local Plan and therefore their plans are in the infancy.

Brownfield Their preferred option to develop brownfield land for development however, the required number of homes the government require Teignbridge to build, is not possible to meet the housing needs from brownfield land only. Therefore, open countryside will need to be considered for development to meet the housing needs.

Garden village is being considered with the new settlement proposal to be between 1500-10,000 homes.

So – What are East Devon’s Ambitions?

Hard to say.

Although the other 3 Authorities are keeping their residents well informed on their sections of the GESP proposals, East Devon has been an almost total blackout! There has been a Local Plan in place since 2016 with most of new development being built in an area known as the West End. That is an area close to Exeter’s border plus the new Town of Cranbrook.

At East Devon District Council Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday 29th January it was hoped that Agenda item 12 would be able to explain more on the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan strategy and provide councillors some clarity on the East Devon Local Plan, plus the East Devon Villages Plan only agreed last year which most councillors only learned the previous week, would be jettisoned and replaced with a brand new East Devon Local Plan by 2023.

Local Plan to be replaced

At the meeting last week, the Head of Planning Ed Freeman explained that the present Local Plan was in 2 parts, with the section on Policies would require total re-writing because the Policies would be “substantially superseded” by the emerging GESP Policies. He also explained that the Villages Plan policies, will be merged into the new Local Plan.

Tory Councillor Philip Skinner who along with Tory Councillor Paul Diviani who are the only 2 East Devon`s elected representatives on the GESP “steering group committee” along with 2 elected members from the 3 other Authorities gave only a few hints on some of the latest thoughts for the GESP Strategy for East Devon.

Higher Density Housing for Exeter proposed for GESP

Regarding a question on Housing, he explained that it had been decided by the steering group, that each authority had a certain quota of dwellings proposed and it was not correct that if one Authority was unable to provide the housing numbers, other Authorities were required to build extra dwellings to offset the shortfall. He also explained that Exeter City Council had to return to the drawing board to enable extra dwelling numbers through “much higher density” within the confines of the City.

East Devon will take on most of the Industrial and commercial development for the GESP

Councillor Skinner also told the meeting regarding business development that he aimed to “Get the best for East Devon” and explained that to “Our strength and Exeter’s demise, they do not have the capacity, but we do!” and claimed most of the commercial and industrial development “will be in our patch”

After 2 years of joint secret meetings.

Exeter’s residents know what to expect with “Liveable Exeter”, Teignbridge residents are being told that their local plan is being re-assessed and are having public consultations, and Mid Devon residents have been through their public consultations and an agreed local plan about to be approved.

However, the residents of East Devon only know that their local plan is now being superseded by a new plan with substantial more housing and more industrial, commercial and business development.

All will be revealed in July 2019 after the District Council Elections. Who will you trust to steer East Devon through the next few years of obtaining the most appropriate and suitable Planning Policies. Leave it to the Tory Councillors who have kept everyone in the dark?

Or choose an Independent who are the major opposition for East Devon?

Save Clyst St Mary update

NB:
East Devon Watch readers will recall the earlier history of this plant:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/07/13/investigation-launched-at-greendale-business-park-by-the-environment-agency/

“It’s been a while since any new large scale planning applications have been submitted in Clyst St Mary and I’m aware that there are a number of residents interested in our Campaign who are new to the village. We have recently been inundated regarding the new planning applications for the expansion and variation of the Anaerobic Digester. This is situated in Oil Mill Lane and has historically been the cause of some extremely offensive smells in the village.

Such increases do not comply with the original 2014 concept for a small, sustainable on-farm digester and planning conditions limiting site size, infrastructure, tonnage, transportation and output were specifically included to protect the amenities of local residents and control over-development. We support sustainable, environmentally friendly energy production – but approving a small on-farm Anaerobic Digester in Clyst St Mary is entirely inconsistent with approving a huge industrial-sized one!
Since 2014 the Applicants have systematically pursued enormous expansion and, as a village, we have suffered hugely from odours, noise and congestion from the multiple farm vehicles visiting the site.

One of our members has written some detailed sample letters objecting to the variation of conditions and extension to the anaerobic digester. If you want to object, please use one of the sample letters for the variation and a second one for the expansion. Add your details and send your emails to planningwest@eastdevon.gov.uk or you can print a copy off and post through our letter box (11 Clyst Valley Road) before 21st November 2018. I will ensure they get to East Devon District Council.

As you’re probably aware we are still expecting an amendment to the Winslade Park development (a very large scale housing development) and therefore The Save Clyst St Mary group is always very grateful for more hands-on support from residents, so if you would like to get more actively involved, please do let me know.”

Saveclyststmary.org.uk