“New homes in Devon are built so badly ‘children can remove cement with their fingernails’ “

Owl is confused. Isn’t EDDC’s Building Control department supposed to be passing or failing these new properties?

“The East Devon District Council meeting heard from Cllr Douglas Hull, who proposed the motion and said: “There are so many badly new built houses in East Devon and it is getting even worse”

The Government has been urged to prioritise a new property ombudsman to streamline complaints against shoddy builders as there are ‘so many badly new built houses in East Devon’.

Councillors on Wednesday unanimously voted to call on the government to fulfil its February 2018 pledge to provide the much needed remedy for homeowners as a matter of the highest priority.

The East Devon District Council meeting heard from Cllr Douglas Hull, who proposed the motion and said: “There are so many badly new built houses in East Devon and it is getting even worse.”

Cllr Hull added: “We have to have houses we can be proud of the region, and we have to say that enough is enough. We need to think about the people who end up buying second rate houses.”

He added that in some of the new houses, they are built so badly that small children with can rip out the cement with their fingernails, adding: “If you don’t believe me, try it yourself.”

Cllr Eleanor Rylance added: “We have a quality control issue with a lot of the houses, and then we have a problem with people are renting from a housing association who don’t feel that they can be complain as they will lose their house.

“Cranbrook is developer led but some developers are prone to get people to buy the property before everything is done.”

No developers were named during the meeting, but it has recently been confirmed that Persimmon Homes are carrying out fire safety barrier inspections in Cranbrook after it was found that some new build homes were missing them.

Cllr Ian Hall added: “Some of the building companies in this area just don’t care, and they have no shame.”

Cllr Geoff Pook, who has been involved in the building trade in East Devon, pledged his support for the motion.

The council unanimously agreed to urge the government to fulfil its pledge to introduce a new property ombudsman to streamline complaints against shoddy builders as soon as possible.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/new-homes-devon-built-badly-2605646

Cranbrook grows and grows and grows … with less affordable housing

“A plan for where the next 4,170 homes in Cranbrook will be built has been backed – and it will see homes built south of the old A30.

Planners have already given the go-ahead for a total of 3,580 new homes to be built in the new town of Cranbrook, with a total of 7,850 eventually set to be built.

East Devon District Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on Wednesday morning backed the Cranbrook Plan Development Plan Document (DPD) which outlines the land where a further 4,170 new homes will be built, and that it is expected that at least 100 new homes will be built in the town centre.

Four expansion areas, two of which are south of the A30, are allocated for development of the 4,170 new homes, as well as a neighbourhood centres, community buildings, open space, allotments, two primary schools, sports pitches, and land suitable for a place of worship and a cemetary. …

… Development would take place at Bluehayes, to the west of the existing development, and include 960, Treasbeare, south of the existing development and south of the old A30, and include 915 new homes, Cobdens, to the east of the existing development, and include 1,495 new homes, and Grange, to the south of Cobden and south of the old A30, and include 800 new homes …

… The plan also safeguards land for a second railway station in Cranbrook, but only 15 per cent of the residential developments within the built-up area boundary of Cranbrook will be affordable houses, compared to the 30 per cent for the first phase of development, in order to make the plan viable to developers.

A policy to ensure delivery of the town centre, which includes a new town square, a health and wellbeing hub, a leisure centre, a civic centre, a library, a children’s centre, a youth centre, plus retail uses, is included in the DPD.

A town centre is considered a priority as since the original outline planning permission for the first 2,900 homes back in October 2010 was granted, only The Cranberry Farm pub has been constructed on the land and residential development of the town has now taken place both east and west of the Town Centre, leaving it as a void.

Councillors did raise about the green wedge and that only 15 per cent of the houses would be affordable, but Mark Williams, the council’s chief executive said that it was due to the massive infrastructure build required to provide all that the Local Plan and this plan wants to see at Cranbrook.

He said: “The work that we have had commissioned looks at whether this is actually affordable and whether what we think is necessary is affordable. The only way if it is affordable is to reduce the percentage of affordable housing and to reduce the developers profit from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent.” …

… The committee revised the recommendation to approve the Cranbrook Plan Development Plan Document for consultation and to recommend the Cranbrook Plan Development Plan Document to Full Council for submission to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination in public, subject to any necessary changes from the consultation being approved by the strategic planning committee first.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/major-plans-change-cranbrook-forever-2572325

Bats in East Budleigh: barn cleared 24 hours before EDDC planning committee meets to decide their fate

Over the past two weeks there has been much activity on the Pound and within the barn. Last week one set of the double doors were removed.

Today, the barn is being emptied of its contents.

When challenged on the activity, members of the East Budleigh Parish Conservation and Wildlife Protection Group were told Clinton Devon Estates had instructed the workers to get the barn cleared.

This planning application is on the agenda for tomorrow’s Development Management Committee, where it is supposedly being decided.

Although set for approval with conditions, it is very worrying that any activity around or within the barn has disturbed or destroyed any wildlife present in advance of a planning decision.

As it has been a very mild winter thus far, it is entirely possible that much of the Pound’s wildlife will not have left.

Nothing should be being done until permission is granted and license issued by Natural England.

it makes the group wonder if the gossip mongers were right all along, in saying this application is a ‘done deal’?

Axminster Masterplan “consultation ” this Friday 8 February

The Crown Estate is holding a public consultation event from

2pm to 8pm

on

Friday (February 8)

at Millwey Community Centre,

to seek residents’ input on its proposals for land east of Axminster.

The Crown Estate’s site forms part of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Masterplan for the area, approved last week by councillors, for up to 850 homes, employment space and community uses as well as green space and a relief road.

The Crown Estate’s application would look to provide 441 homes – 25 per cent of which would be affordable – the central section of the proposed relief road, as well as space for new offices, shops and community facilities.

The event is an opportunity for local people to hear more about the plans and share their thoughts, ahead of a planning application being submitted to EDDC later this year.

Steve Melligan, strategic land portfolio manager for The Crown Estate, said: “Our proposals will help deliver a significant part of the new relief road for Axminster, as well as new homes and employment space for the area. We’re excited to present our plans to the community and look forward to hearing their views.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/plans-unveiled-at-millwey-community-centre-1-5879374

Greater Exeter Strategic Plan – where are we? In trouble!

All change on the Planning Front for East Devon.

Ever since David Cameron’s coalition government’s efforts to provide local communities with a say in local planning decisions with the “Localism Act” in 2011 (giving communities the power to draft “Neighbourhood Plans,” designed to provide a degree of self-determination to how local communities could be developed in the future) the powerful developers and landowners lobby has been active to reclaim their powerful grip on developing our communities.

First was the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in 2012 which threw out the old planning regulations and provided a “developer-driven” new planning policy, with just a “nod” to the Localism Act, Neighboured Plans and District wide plans.

The new NPPF introduced a policy that if the District or Neighbourhood Plan was not “up to date” then there would be a presumption of allowing any proposed development from a developer. Therefore, Councils and local communities quickly set about drawing up their Neighbourhood Plans and District Plans to plug the gap created by the new 2012 NPPF policies.

East Devon District Council who had been dragging their feet for years to complete their Local Plan, finally managed to obtain the approval of the Planning Inspectorate in January 2016 to cover the period up to 2031. Lympstone had got its Neighbourhood Plan approved in 2015 and since then over 30 Neighbourhood Plans are either approved or in the process of being drafted by community groups within East Devon.

It was therefore thought that East Devon and its communities had substantial protection from greedy landowners and developers up to 2031 and with the extra protection of the East Devon Villages Plan, approved in July 2018 (which gave further defined policies for larger Villages and some large Business Parks) residents and developers appeared to understand where development would or would not be allowed.

However, in late 2016 Exeter City Council, whose Chief Executive Karime Hassan (previously East Devon’s District Council officer who created and developed the concept of the new town of Cranbrook) proposed a joint “Strategic Plan”, along with neighbouring councils East Devon, Teignbridge, and Mid Devon.

The four councils then started a joint over-riding masterplan for Exeter and the surrounding area known as the GESP (the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan).

It was clear that Exeter was almost completely built-out and the infrastructure in roads and transport required for further city centre and commercial growth was urgently required if the continued success known as the “Exeter Growth Point” was to continue. Without a joint plan for infrastructure, the commute into the City would become intolerable and hinder the targeted housebuilding requirements set by the Government for each of the 4 separate councils.

In October 2018 the Government draw up yet another updated version of the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) very much on the lines of the 2012 Policies, but with various tweaks to assist in the over-riding government strategy of encouraging developers to build many more dwellings.

The new 2018 NPPF provided clearer guidance that if an individual Council was unable to provide enough development land for extra dwellings required by the government’s growth targets, neighbouring councils may be allowed to build out extra housing for their partner and other neighbouring authorities.

According to East Devon District Councils Strategic Planning Committees agenda item 12 for discussion on the 29th January 2019:

“Timetable for production of a new East Devon Local Plan”

Within the introduction to the agenda item it states:

…given changing circumstances and other factors, that a “light touch” review of the currently adopted local plan is unlikely to be a practical option for a new local plan.”

What the changing circumstances and other factors are, is not explained but it is clear from the report it is clearly in relation to GESP.

Because the GESP Strategic Plan policies will over-ride the East Devon Local Plan policies, the report seems to suggests that the “changing circumstances and other factors” relate to the new GESP policies which override the Local Plan, Village Plan and probably most Neighbourhood Plans – affecting a large area of East Devon! So much so that, rather than the GESP plan dovetailing into the 3-year-old approved East Devon Local Plan and 1-year-old Villages Plan with all the years of public consulting, Council debate and literally years of work by the planning team, it will be jettisoned for a brand-new Local Plan to dovetail into the strategies of the GESP plan!

Although the GESP plan has been in preparation for 2 years, no formal discussion or meeting has been held at any Council Chamber at any of the four Councils involved. Meetings have taken place to consider the 700 plus sites throughout the Greater Exeter area submitted for assessment by what is known as the “Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) panel” The Panel is made up of “key stakeholders”, with a recognised interest in the development of land for housing and employment, and housing and economic development sector, including housebuilders, social landlords, local property agents and other related professionals together with local community representatives and other agencies. The membership of these meeting has been confidential and there has there been no publication of their deliberations or recommendations.

To be clear: meetings between two lead councillors from each Authority, plus officers have kept the draft policies and site options totally under lock and key – with none of the meetings been reported or minuted.

However, all is to be revealed AFTER the local council elections in May 2019 – consultation has always been scheduled to begin no earlier than June 2019.

This suggests that the draft policies and site options affecting East Devon will be so radical and so totally at variance to the East Devon Local Plan and Villages Plan that they will all require total re-writing, with a brand-new Local Plan (subsidiary to GESP) and all the costs and uncertainties this will bring.

Why have these Councils been so secretive on the GESP proposed development site considerations for proposed strategies for commercial and housing development for this part of Devon? Could it be that Tory controlled East Devon, Teignbridge, and Mid Devon Councils have elections on May 2nd this year (Labour Exeter elects only one-third of its council this year) and a brand new super-growth plan – superseding their Local Plans – will not be considered much of vote-grabber?

Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Hotel development planned adjacent to Hill Barton Business Park

Owl says: Seems Crealy and Greendale want lots of development. And what happened to plans for a hotel at the site of the Cat and Fiddle pub? And if this site so close to Exeter DOESN’T need another business park, why does Sidford?

“Hill Pond Caravan and Camping Park have applied to build a new L-shaped hotel on the site of the existing park just off the A3052.

The site is adjacent to the Hill Barton Business Park, and is across the A3052 from Exeter City’s training ground and Crealy Adventure Park.

The application, submitted to East Devon District Council planners says there is a need for the hotel in the area and that will provide new jobs and boost the economy.

It adds: “The proposal seeks to recognise the evolving needs of the area and the site’s location in a developed, mixed use zone of East Devon that sits close to Exeter, the M5, and the rapidly enlarging tranches of development in the area.”

East Devon District Council planners will debate the application at a later date.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-46453951

“Newton Poppleford won’t be getting a new surgery” – Clinton Devon Estates wants 2 more houses instead

“An application to build 40 new homes along with a new medical centre at King Alfred Way was approved by a planning inspectorate in March 2017.

At the time, the developers, Clinton Devon Estates, had been in discussions with Coleridge Medical Centre (CMC) which had a strong desire to secure the GP practice and had secured funding from the NHS for this to happen. But in May 2018, CMC withdrew as the funds were no longer available.

At the time, a CMC spokesman told the Herald that GPs had evolved with much more emphasis on innovative ways of working and broadening the range of co-located staff to provide specialist support in shared premises. The developers said they had approached others who might be interested in occupying the surgery but no one showed an interest.

Clinton Devon Estates have now submitted proposals to build two extra new homes at the development.

Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council has slammed the proposals. A spokesperson said: “The council feels that it is disingenuous of the applicant, having been granted planning permission on the basis of the pledge of a doctor’s surgery, to now seek to walk away from their promises.

“The local community has strongly supported a new surgery for the village; through letters of support, a petition and the nascent Neighbourhood plan. CMC operate the current surgery in the village and has declared it inadequate for their purposes. Despite supporting a new surgery initially, they publicly declared it would no longer be viable for them. Residents in the parish will not be taken on by Sidmouth Beacon Centre, which leaves Coleridge, in Ottery, as the main medical centre for the village, despite there being no direct public transport links.”

They added the parish council didn’t believe all avenues had been exhausted with regards to the new surgery and would welcome an immediate discussion with all parties to find a potential solution.

The first homes which are a part of the scheme, that included 16 affordable homes, are due to be completed in winter 2018 and the whole development is hoped to be finished by winter 2019.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/newton-poppleford-s-new-surgery-1-5808976