TiggerTories – a voter’s view

Totally encapsulates Owl’s thinking.

“I am a long term resident of East Devon and drove to Heathrow on Friday, 3rd May as the results of the local election streamed in. I happily went away on holiday thinking the words of Cllr Allen were a thing of the past

“We will make sure the district council remains strongly orientated towards economic growth and good housing whilst protecting the environment.”

I came back from holiday to find that the conservatives held the positions of chair of the Council and the, oh so important, chair of the Development Management Committee. The right wing independents held the Asset Management portfolio and the Finance portfolio. EDA were consigned to the non-role of vice-chairman. And where were the liberals? Yet, the conservatives were able to take the Scrutiny Committee chair as the opposition!

Now I fear Cllr. Allen’s words may not be a thing of the past but will still be the abiding philosophy of this alliance of right wing independents and conservatives.

What will be EDDC’s stance on growth?

What will it be in relationship to Exeter and the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan?”

Could EDDC Tiggers not find ONE “independent” to chair the Development Management Committee?

OK, we now refer to the ruling group at EDDC as


a coalition of a mix of western-side “Independents” with western-side Tories.

And the Tiggers couldn’t even find ONE of their “independents” to chair the Development Management Committee!

Tory Mike Howe now holds the casting vote if the committee splits 50/50 on anything …


Correction! WEDNESDAY crunch day for Indies at EDDC … and us

Elections for various posts will take place at the Annual Council meeting on WEDNESDAY (Blackdown House, Honiton, 6pm) where Leader, Chairman etc will be revealed.

Then the interesting bit.

How representative will the new cabinet be of different types of independents?

Jobs for the boys/girls or best man/woman for the job?

Will Greens or Lib Dems get a seat at the table?

Will it be loaded geographically to one side of East Devon or spread out equally?

Who will lead the influential Development Management Committee?

Who will represent EDDC at Greater Exeter Strategic Plan meetings?

Who will the MINORITY Conservative leader be?

Who will chair the Scrutiny Committee?

So many questions!

20 days to local elections: today’s picture

This image below shows current planning issues at Greendale Business Park – many of which have been allowed, or allowed to drag on, by EDDC Tory councillors who form the majority decision-makers in “planning” and planning “enforcement” (those inverted commas are there deliberately!). Many of Greendale’s planning applications have been approved retrospectively.

Independent Councillor Geoff Jung works tirelessly (in the face of great difficulty) to try to ensure that Greendale stays within its proper boundaries – but it is a never-ending task:

“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.”


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.”