More travellers arrive in Cranbrook

“Residents in Cranbrook have hit out after more travellers arrived overnight near the town’s train station.

The number of caravans parked at the station car park are reported to have been increasing in recent weeks with three more vehicles pitching up on a grass area next to the car park on Wednesday evening.

Local resident Caroline Williams said that locals are ‘fed up’ by the situation. “Devon County Council and Cranbrook Consortium have to rid this peaceful town of travellers who turn up cause havoc,” she said.

“When they finally get moved on the mess and filth is there for weeks and then just when it gets cleared another group turns up.

“Everyone has complained and nothing seems to be being done other than the travellers being provided with mobile toilets. We have asked for better security around the train station as it is now seen as an easy target but no one seem willing to help. It’s beyond a joke.

“People no longer use the park and ride and many more now taken then bus to avoid the area – something needs to be done. Residence (sic) here love Cranbrook and are building a community that is being ruined and seemingly forgotten about.”

A spokesman for Cranbrook Town Council said the it is hoped that the travellers will be moved on by the end of Thursday.

“This morning (Thursday) we received confirmation from the Consortium, who own the Country Park, that they have arranged for the eviction of travellers on the Consortium land and hopefully eviction will happen today,” said the spokesman.

“They are also contacting Devon County Council on an hourly basis regarding their enforcement action on the station car park, which is owned by Devon County Council.

“We understand that no repair works to anything will take place until the travellers have departed. We fully understand how frustrating this situation is and empathise with residents’ feelings. We keep doing everything we can to keep the pressure up so that those who are responsible for resolving this unsatisfactory situation initiate action.”

Sally Woodbury, chairman of the Romany Gypsy Advisory Group and spokesman for travellers groups in the region, has called on councils across the region to provide more provision for them.

A new government policy blocks anyone identifying as a Gypsy or Traveller from staying on permanent caravan sites unless they can prove they have travelled several times that year.

She said: “There is definitely a real lack of sites for travellers and transport provision in Devon. I have been speaking on behalf of travellers for several years now and the issues are getting worse and there are less and less places for them to go.

“It is all very well people saying that we don’t want travellers here, but then there needs to be a provision for somewhere for them to go instead. Most travellers I speak to would be happy if there were sites for somewhere for them to go and pay rent, have toilet and rubbish collections facilities, and stay there for a while before then moving onto the next site. But until there are enough sites put in place for this to happen, everyone’s hands are tied and the occupation of sites will keep happening each year.

“There needs to be more provision for travellers as we are just going around in circles year after year, and it feels like it is getting worse.”

http://www.devonlive.com/anger-as-more-travellers-arrive-in-cranbrook/story-30282921-detail/story.html

2-year old bottles of urine found behind bath in Bovis home at Cranbrook

Mandy Greeves, 50, found three bottles of ‘urine’ stashed behind a bath panel at her house in Cranbrook, Exeter.

A resident of a new build home was horrified to discover bottles of suspected urine hidden behind a bath panel – nearly two years after she moved in.

Mandy Greeves, 50, says she is grateful now that the containers of yellow liquid have been removed by Bovis Homes , which built her property.

The ‘disgusting’ discovery came to light when Mandy called a plumber friend in to repair a tap at her house in Cranbrook new town near Exeter, Devon.

When the plumber removed the bath panel to fix the problem he discovered three plastic bottles full of a yellow liquid underneath the bath.

The bottles had been covered up by the panel.

Mandy was baffled. “I looked at them, and I thought, ‘Oh my god’. First of all I thought was it milk that had been left there? But it wasn’t.

“You could see that it was urine. I was disgusted. It was just horrible. I couldn’t believe that someone could leave something like that behind.

“I thought, do I throw it away or do I keep it? Then I thought, if I throw it away, I’ve got no evidence.”

Mandy told her friend to put the bath panel back on so that there was evidence to show Sovereign Housing which co-owns the house, and Bovis Homes.

Mandy is the house’s first occupant, and moved in to the property in July 2015.

One of the bottles is dated March 15, which, says Mandy, would tally with the house’s interior being fitted.

“I can’t understand a human being being like that,” said Mandy.

“If they want to go to the toilet, why can’t they do it in the garden? The lawn wasn’t down by then it would have just been mud.

“Why did they have to do it in a bottle and leave it and then put the bath panel back on? It might have been the builders. The guy that put the panel on. Why did he not notice it? It’s not nice.”

A Bovis Homes spokesperson said: “Our regional customer care team were not aware of this matter but now it has been brought to their attention they will contact Sovereign Housing immediately and investigate this situation further.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/homeowner-makes-disgusting-discovery-bathroom-10220768

Cranbrook Town Council: ex- councillors give reasons for leaving

Having their hands tied on many matters
Inability to influence matters affecting Cranbrook residents
Frustration that information was not shared with all councillors
Not open, transparent or inclusive

The page detailing the current council’s response to these allegations is in the current e-edition of the Cranbrook Herald on page 4 here:

 

 

“New Cranbrook” and creeping unitisation worry Greater Exeter councillors

Owl says: Read with the post below Owl thinks there will be more than one “New Cranbrook” in the Greater Exeter area!

Consultation events held in Devon this week shed light on the creation of a major strategic blueprint, which could lead to new settlements on the same scale as Cranbrook.

Mid Devon, East Devon, Teignbridge and Exeter City Council, in partnership with Devon County Council, are teaming up to create a Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) which focuses on the creation of jobs and housing until 2040.

Hundreds visited Exeter’s Guildhall today to see early Greater Exeter plans between 2pm and 8pm. Similar consultations were held at Phoenix House, Tiverton yesterday and at Mackarness Hall, Honiton on Wednesday, March 8.

Andrew Robbins, city development manager for Exeter, said: “We need to provide more houses for the population and more jobs. What we’re looking to do is plan for the next 20 years, with Exeter City Council working with its neighbours because we see the influence of Exeter outside its boundaries. We’re looking at the best places for new housing and the best places for new jobs.

“For example, the new settlement at Cranbrook has been developed in recent years. One of the things we’re thinking of is ‘do we need another settlement outside of the city.'”

“What we want to do is get people involved in the process at what we call the issues stage. This is the absolute beginning of the process and its asking people for their ideas for how they see the region developing, before consulting on a draft plan at the beginning of 2018.”

Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Leader of Teignbridge said: “The creation of a strategic plan across a wider geography responds to how people actually live their lives. Combining housing options with job opportunities and providing the proper transport will support our ambition for local people to live the lives they wish for. As councils, we need to work together to deliver better results for the future – clearly, this is the way forward.”

Cllr Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon said: “It has been clear for some time that there was a significant gap left with the demise of the Devon Structure Plan and without wishing to re-invent the wheel, we should be establishing a strategic plan for our Greater Exeter area which has input from Exeter, Mid Devon, Teignbridge and ourselves, alongside the County Council. We are the epi-centre of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and we need to ensure we have a central, aligned, significant role to play as we take our well-established partnership forward.”

Cllr Pete Edwards, Leader of Exeter City said: “Every weekday 37,000 people commute into Exeter and 11,000 people head out of Exeter. These volumes are second only to Cambridge and it is imperative that we address housing, transport and infrastructure in a joined-up way to respond to this reality.”

Cllr Clive Eginton, Leader of Mid Devon, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to reflect on how our residents and businesses live their lives across council administrative boundaries and to start embedding our shared aspiration for a successful future in plans for the Greater Exeter area.”

Cllr John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, said: “The emerging relationship between the four local authorities in preparing a single Strategic Plan for the area is a very positive step and will help the planning system to work efficiently to boost the supply of housing and growth required. We are pleased and well-placed to be part of this collaborative way of working, which will improve and streamline our planning system.”

However the plans have raised fears that councils are “sleepwalking” into becoming unitary authorities. Liberal Councillor Jenny Roach who represents Silverton expressed fears that Mid Devon District Council would be ceding powers.

She said: “We’re looking like we could be ceding power to this planning partnership, and I know people will shake their heads and say no, but there are several points which worry me.

“Exeter needs land and you can imagine where I sit in my ward, Exeter City Council could be looking at developing the swathe of land that is between Silverton and Exeter and similarly between Thorverton and Newton St Cyres. If you look at the East Devon side there are huge estates marching across that land, so this worries me.

“It worries me that it’s being done by degree and almost by stealth. When we went to the public to talk about the sort of governance the district wanted, they didn’t like the cabinet, but unfortunately we didn’t get the 3000 signatures we needed in that period of time.

“There are a tremendous amount of people who were not happy with the governance of this authority as it is now, they don’t like the cabinet system, and it is the cabinet system that is sleepwalking us into a unitary authority. I’ve seen this happen before and I would really like to know that the very least we would do is have a state of the district debate on this Greater Strategic Exeter Plan.”

An online consultation form can be found at http://www.gesp.org.uk/issues”

http://www.devonlive.com/greater-exeter-plan-could-lead-to-a-new-cranbrook/story-30209261-detail/story.html

Who will help people in sub-standard new build homes?

“There are rising concerns that the rush to build new homes is causing housebuilders to cut corners. Many firms have set tough targets to cash in on huge demand.

There are rising concerns that the rush to build new homes is causing housebuilders to cut corners. Many firms have set tough targets to cash in on huge demand — and meet the Government’s pledge to build 200,000 new homes a year.

Thousands of victims of poor workmanship have formed groups on social media websites such as Facebook, including Taylor Wimpey Unhappy Customers, Avoid Persimmon Homes and Bovis Homes Victims Group.

Hundreds have posted on Snagging.org — named after the jargon builders give to the task of finishing a project — citing problems such as creaking floors, scratched windows and stained carpets.

Campaign groups want a new homes ombudsman who can step in when families are let down. Buyers should also be given a chance to inspect their new-build before being handed the keys, they say.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of HomeOwners Alliance, says: ‘You have more consumer protection when you buy a toaster.

‘The industry is tilted too far in favour of developers, and the complaints system is too confusing.’

A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment found more than nine in ten buyers report problems to their builder.

Oliver Colvile, chairman of the parliamentary group and Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, says: ‘There have been too many reports of new homes that are quite simply uninhabitable.

‘We need to ensure there is a clear process whereby developers can be held to account and are responsible for correcting any below-par workmanship as soon as possible.’

Britain’s biggest house builders nearly all reported soaring profits last month. Persimmon reported a pre-tax profit of £783 million for 2016 — a 23 per cent increase on 2015.

Barratt Developments saw a 20.7 per cent rise to £682.3 million, Bellway a 36.5 per cent rise to £492 million, Redrow a 35 per cent rise to £140 million and Taylor Wimpey a 21.5 per cent rise to £733.4 million.
Bovis reported a 3 per cent fall in profits but still made £154.7 million.
Bovis has been forced to set aside £7 million to compensate buyers who have complained about the poor quality of its homes.

In January the firm was revealed to have offered up to £3,000 to buyers who moved into their houses by December 23 as it struggled to meet targets.
Sales have been boosted by the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, which has helped 100,284 first-time buyers onto the property ladder since 2013.
All the firms reported an increase in both the number of homes built and average selling prices. …

… A spokesman for the National House Building Council says: ‘We carry out spot check inspections at key stages during construction… [but] the builder is responsible for ensuring homes conform to building regulations and our standards.’

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman says: ‘We recognise that we do sometimes get things wrong, but we are committed to resolving those issues.’
A Bovis spokesman says: ‘We are putting more resource into customer care and reviewing our processes to ensure a focus on quality.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-4314028/Who-help-families-forced-live-half-built-homes.html

Travellers take over Cranbrook railway car park

Cranbrook Town Council Facebook site:

We have received a number of reports tonight about the arrival of travellers in the Cranbrook train station car park. We are aware of their arrival and the relevant partners have been informed. Thank you to all who have contacted us.

Julie Bellham What have the relevant partners said they will do?

Kym Davies I have also reported to the police as they were being very sexual towards my daughter and have been witnesses stealing bikes from people’s gardens

Julie Bellham There are quite a few on bikes!

[Cranbrook has been chosen for a new gypsy and traveller site]