Cranbrook population to grow to 18,000 (with a town centre?)

“The new town of Cranbrook near Exeter will grow to have a population of around 18,000 people under a plan submitted to central government.

East Devon District Council has submitted the local plan for Cranbrook to the Secretary of State for examination.

Local plans are drawn up to shape the future development of towns and villages.

East Devon District Council said the plan envisaged the town growing to 7,750 homes.

When building first started in 2011 Cranbrook there were 2,900 homes planned as well as schools, shops, a library and energy plant.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/devon

EDDC Development Management Committee makes another controversial planning decision

The planning application for the conversion of the South West Coast Path WW2 observation post into a holiday dwelling, covered by Owl here:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/07/07/a-poignant-planning-application-on-the-75th-anniversary-of-d-day-and-enthusiastically-supported-by-clinton-devon-estates/

has been agreed. The roof will be “reconstructed and roof lights, doors, windows and solar panels will be added, thus destroying its original function as a historical building.

The owners of the land are, of course, Clinton Devon Estates.

Another developer attempts to rip-off EDDC (and the NHS)

.”A housing developer has been accused of ‘blackmail’ over a refusal to pay any contribution to the NHS.

Councillors had previously agreed to a land swap between the Exeter Science Park and Eagle One that would make the next phase of the Science Park expansion more deliverable and allow the 150 new homes to form an extension of the Redhayes/Mosshayne development.

The plans were agreed by councillors in April, subject to a viability assessment of a £216,000 contribution towards the NHS due to the impact of the development.

At last Tuesday’s East Devon District Council development management committee meeting, Chris Rose, the council’s development manager, said that the NHS contribution would not have a sufficiently detrimental impact on scheme viability to cause the proposed land transfer to fail.

But he said that Eagle One have said that as the overall transaction would not be in their interest, they will not agree to provide any NHS contribution.

Officers had recommended that councillors approve the application, even without any NHS contribution.

Mr Rose said: “In pure viability grounds, our viability consultant considers that with the contribution to the Trust, the development is still just viable but could certainly support a reduced sum of £81,422 as officers have tried to negotiate.

“However, the applicant is not prepared to enter into a S106 agreement which includes any contribution to the Trust as they consider it doesn’t meet the tests for acceptability and that the land deal is on the basis of what was previously agreed without the contribution to the Trust.

“The options open to the council are therefore to either refuse planning permission on the basis that the development does not adequately mitigate its impact on health services, or accept that no contribution to the Trust will be forthcoming and proceed.

“The main risk with a refusal is that the proposed land deal would be lost which would negatively impact on the delivery of the Science Park.

“To issue an approval of planning permission without the contribution to the Trust would secure the land deal and have huge benefits to the progress of the Science Park. Members would need to be clear that to do this would accept no mitigation for the impact of the development on health services.

While at the current time, significant weight should be attached to the request for a contribution to the NHS Trust, it is considered that greater weight should be attached to the proposed land transfer which will facilitate significant long terms gains for the delivery of a major science park integrated with the other development happening in the area.

“While there are grounds to secure a contribution to the Trust, nevertheless the applicant will not agree to a contribution and have advised that they will not enter into the land transfer on this basis. “The only way for the Council to proceed with confidence that the land swap transaction will go ahead would be without the NHS contribution.”

He added though that late documentation had been provided by the applicant from neighbouring councils to support Eagle One’s assertion that the NHS’s request was not justified, but that officers had not had the chance to fully assess the documentation.

Cllr Kevin Blakey, portfolio holder for economy, said that the application should be approved due to the benefits it would bring to the Science Park, and that if it was refused, the land swap deal was almost certain to fail.

He added: “Although the request is legal, this deal won’t proceed if there is a requirement for Eagle One to make a contribution. It may be unpalatable but if we want to see this happen and introduce opportunities for highly paid and highly skilled jobs, this deal should proceed.”

But Cllr Mike Allen, lead member for business and employment, said that while the land swap should proceed, there should be a contribution for the NHS as it was viable. He added: “This has been rejected by Eagle One and I think they have stepped over the line from negotiation to bullying.”

Cllr Steve Gazzard said that he had real concerns about the application and that Eagle One’s behaviour was ‘tantamount to blackmail’. He said: “They will build 150 homes so that could be up to 500 people, and it will increase pressure on the NHS. It is not an undemanding request that they should provide something.”

He proposed that the application be deferred to seek further advice on the legitimacy of the health contribution following additional information being submitted by the applicant.

Cllr Paul Hayward supported him, although said: “I wouldn’t use the word blackmail. I think undue pressure may be better. I am sure there is a reason why the NHS has asked, so we have to take it into account. We have asked for something, and they are saying they won’t pay and won’t move their position at all. We need to see the evidence.”

The council’s solicitor, Henry Gordon Lennox, said that officers had considered the benefits from the land swap were sufficiently great that the application should be approved, even if there is no contribution towards the NHS.

He said: “We were content that the contribution was justified, and we have now been given information that it isn’t, and we haven’t had a chance to look at it properly. But as they aren’t paying a contribution anyway, so it is irrelevant.

“Our officers are suggesting you approve it without any contribution to the NHS. If you are not willing to do that, then deferral is the right option, as we need to understand the legitimacy of the health contribution.”

The committee agreed to defer a decision for a further month to seek further advice on the legitimacy of the health contribution.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/blackmail-claims-over-housing-developers-3205288

Not the first time Eagle One has hit the headlines:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/06/25/eddc-current-planning-policy-encapsulated-in-one-planning-application/

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2014/11/19/more-development-between-exeter-and-cranbrook-when-will-it-stop/

“Persimmon probe steps up a gear as 100,000 people are asked for their views on the housebuilder and its homes”

Owl says: So, a developer gets another developer to lead an “independent review ” into its practices that chooses its particicipants … you COULD NOT make this up.

“More than 100,000 people are being asked for their views on housebuilder Persimmon as an independent review into the company enters its next stage.

Customers, employees, suppliers, trade bodies, local authorities and civil servants will all be contacted on Tuesday in a bid to gather information about customer care and the quality of the group’s work.

The process, which was launched in April, is set to rigorously assess every aspect of the firm’s construction and inspection regime as it sets out to rebuild its image in the wake of controversy over payouts to executives. …

… Clive Fenton, the former chief executive of fellow housebuilder McCarthy and Stone, is providing assistance to the review as an industry expert.

The consultation period closes on September 16, with findings of the review due by the end of the year. …”

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-7351969/Persimmon-probe-steps-gear-100-000-people-asked-views.html?ito=rss-flipboard

Luxury retirement schemes to get luxury lending libraries

Meanwhile, in real life, libraries are closing all over the country.

“London book chain Foyles is to supply libraries to high-end retirement homes in a deal with a residential developer.

The partnership with Elysian Residences will launch at its development in Stanmore, north-west London, when it opens later this year, with a mix of biographies, travel writing, novels and specialist books selected by Foyles. Residents at the development, which aims to combine “UK development expertise with a US hospitality-led approach to care”, will be able to borrow from a collection maintained and refreshed every quarter by the book chain. Foyles is being paid a lump sum for the work.

“Libraries are an important cornerstone of a vibrant community, offering visitors a place of relaxation, learning and discovery,” said Elysian chief executive Gavin Stein. “We wanted to provide our residents with a relaxing reading environment curated with the latest high-quality books.”

The deal will also allow residents to order books, music and DVDs from Foyles via the Elysian concierge, as well as giving them access to Foyles’ foreign language books, classical and jazz music recordings. The Foyles libraries will then be rolled out across Elysian homes in London and the south east as they open.

This is the first time that the bookseller, founded by the Foyle family in 1903 and sold to Waterstones last year, has curated private libraries. It now hopes to find further such deals.

“This is a new and exciting venture for us, and we look forward to offering a service of the same high standard to which we hold each of our bookshops,” said general manager Stephen Clarke.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/aug/13/foyles-sets-up-libraries-for-high-end-retirement-homes-bookseller?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Have your say on the Jurassic Coast’s future” [suggestion: new National Park]

Now Mr Diviani is no longer leader of EDDC perhaps the idea of a Jurassic National Park can be resuscitated – he and his council were against this as they didn’t want to lose their control over planning (over-developing) the site:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/10/09/new-national-park-for-east-devon-not-while-people-like-diviani-are-councillors/

And surely we are not in the situation of caring what our CEO then and now thinks?

“The public is being asked to help draw up a new blueprint for the future management of the Jurassic Coast.

https://jurassiccoast.org/what-is-the-jurassic-coast/world-heritage/looking-after-the-jurassic-coast/partnership-plan-consultation/

The survey is here:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QLGGNSD

The trust which manages the site, stretching from Exmouth, in East Devon, to Studland, in Dorset, is creating a new partnership plan document in collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders.

It will be published towards the end of this year and will guide management of the World Heritage Site over the next five years.

The plan will take in conservation and preservation of the site, how the site impacts on the local economy and how it can play an active role in the lives of local communities.

As part of the creation of the new partnership plan, a consultation process is being untaken from now until the end of September.

A spokesman for the Jurassic Coast Trust said: “The new partnership plan is an important document, representing a tangible expression of the partnership that looks after the Jurassic Coast.

“It explains the reasons for the Jurassic Coast’s World Heritage designation, and how it is protected and managed.

“It also outlines the aims, policies, actions and aspirations for managing the site over the coming years.”

The partnership plan is a formal requirement and will replace the current site management plan, which, along with a copy of the new draft plan, can be seen by clicking on the Trust’s website here Alternatively a copy can be requested by telephoning the Trust’s office on 01308 807000.

People going online can contribute their views directly or they can download a printed version of the survey to fill in later.

The completed surveys should be sent directly to the

Jurassic Coast Trust,
email at:
info@jurassiccoast.org

or by post to:

Partnership Plan Consultation,
Jurassic Coast Trust,
Mountfield,
Bridport,
Dorset DT6 3JP

The Jurassic Coast Trust will also be running drop-in consultation sessions across the World Heritage Site area in September. Dates and venues will be announced towards the end of this month.

The deadline for responses to the survey is Friday, October 4. All comments received as part of the consultation will be collated. A report will be produced by the Jurassic Coast Partnership detailing the responses and indicating how the plan will be subsequently amended.

The report will be made available online and to anyone who has asked to be sent updates on the progress of the plan.

Once an amended version of the plan is agreed by the Jurassic Coast Partnership and approved by Historic England, it will be adopted by Dorset Council and Devon County Council before being formally submitted to DCMS and UNESCO.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/consultation-on-management-of-the-jurassic-coast-1-6203990

Clinton Devon Estates: “‘Deceit and lies’ – Councillors speak out Newton Poppleford GP campaign looks to be over”

Wonder if EDDC’s CEO had any private advice for CDE?

This has gone into the most spectacular orbit of deceit and betrayal in the planning system.”

Those are the words of one councillor as the district authority agreed at a meeting on Tuesday (August 6) not to fight a developer’s appeal over a Newton Poppleford site.

Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) lodged an appeal after East Devon District Council (EDDC) delayed a decision on an application to build two homes on land originally earmarked for a GP surgery.

A wider plan for a 40-home development at King Alfred Way, including a doctors’ surgery, was approved in 2013. CDE was unable to find a tenant, so instead applied to build two more homes.

At that stage the parish council expressed an interest in running the surgery.

EDDC twice delayed a decision – the second to allow the parish council to meet with the developer to find a solution.

The developer lodged an appeal with the planning inspector, who will now also decide whether the council should pay costs.

Planning officers recommended the authority should not fight the appeal arguing the surgery was not ‘legally justifiable’. Councillors voted by seven votes to five not to fight it.

Councillor Mike Howe, chairman of the development management committee, told the meeting CDE had acted ‘atrociously’ and could not be considered an ‘ethical or nice developer’.

Cllr Olly Davey said, unless ‘legally enforceable’, ‘any promise that a developer makes is not worth the paper it is written on’.

Councillor Paul Arnott put forward a motion to reject the application, on the grounds the developer had failed in its ‘commitment’ to deliver the surgery – but it was thrown out by seven votes to four.

Councillor Paul Arnott said the application was the most ‘spectacular orbit of deceit and betrayal’ and the council should mount a challenge despite the costs. He said: “It’s so mired in lies and deceit going back years, betrayal, treachery, accusations of wording.

“We cannot afford, as a rule, to be spending council taxpayers’ money on appeals we may not win, but on this occasion we have to. It is a notorious case and we have to draw a line.”

Cllr Eileen Wragg said the committee needed a ‘damn good reason’ not to agree with the officers’ report.

Council officer Henry Gordon-Lennox, strategic lead, said nothing in planning law could stop the developer applying for a different use of them land, despite the original plan for a surgery.

He said: “I do absolutely understand the frustration and the annoyance and the disappointment, but from our point of view as officers there is nothing to defend precluding them from doing this, unpalatable as that may be.”

CDE was represented at the meeting Amy Roberts, who said there has never been a planning justification for the surgery, within the original plan. She said CDE did not want to appeal, but that the developer’s ‘hands were somewhat forced’ by the non-determination, despite planners’ recommendations.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/clinton-devon-estates-slammed-for-newton-poppleford-homes-plan-1-6203178