The (political) times are a-changing in East Devon!

Once upon a time, the saying was that a donkey could get elected to East Devon District Council if it wore a Tory blue rosette. But times are changing … And what do we have here – a plea from the local Conservative Party for candidates for next year’s local elections – anyone, anywhere – please, please, with a whiff of desperation!

as discussed on EDA DCC Councillor Martin Shaw’s blog post here:
Desperate Conservatives advertise for candidates on Facebook, as they try to cling to control of East Devon in 2019

It seems to Owl that some of the old (very, very old) guard Tories are throwing in the towel – but no-one wants to pick it up!

But when you think of councillors who are REALLY changing things, who do you think of?

Well, of course, Independent Claire Wright – but also EDA Councillor Martin Shaw (fighting long and hard for the NHS), EDA Councillor Cathy Gardner, constantly holding EDDC to account and fighting her Sidmouth corner, EDA Councillor Marianne Rixson and Dawn Manley – never-ceasing their crusade about the awful plan for a massive business park in Sidford, EDA councillor Val Ranger taking in developers, including Clinton Devon Estates in Newton Poppleford, EDA Councillor Geoff Jung – with some spectacular successes taming the Greendale tiger – which has now lost quite a few teeth! All EDA councillors, all making a big difference.

Voters – if you want to effect REAL change in East Devon, the Tories are a lost cause. Their MP in East Devon is an absentee, more interested in exotic foreign travel than his constituency. And even when down here he prefers to live in mid-Devon! Their Tiverton and Honiton MP puts all his energy into fighting for farmers after Brexit (well, not surprising as he is one in Somerset). Ah, and probably best not to go into the health service cuts and privatisations, Brexit fiasco, the austerity cuts, the drop in education standards, rising crime, inappropriate developments …

No, if you want to make a difference it has to be East Devon Alliance (note: this blog DOES support EDA but is not a part of EDA as everyone must surely realise).

Why become an EDA councillor? Because all EDA councillors ARE independent but do agree on the major issues facing the district and, while being free to vote as they wish – without the whipping by a Whip-who-says-he-doesn’t-whip that has seen some disgraceful behaviour of this majority party. And EDA councillors help and support each other in elections.

There MUST be a new approach to East Devon’ mounting problems and it must come from an effective and united independent opposition – that could hopefully become the ruling group.

So, if you are thinking of being an East Devon councillor, think carefully whether you want to continue to drag East Devon along the bottom and answer the plaintive Tory howl of anguish, or raise it up and contact East Devon Alliance!!!

They can be contacted at:
http://www.eastdevonalliance.org.uk/admin/contact-us/

or via their Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/eastdevonalliance/

Obituary: Ian McKintosh (founder member and President of East Devon Alliance and trustee of Community Voice on Planning(

“East Devon Alliance regrets to announce the death of its Honorary President Ian McKintosh on June 4, 2018 at the age of 80.

After a distinguished legal career during which he worked as a circuit judge in Cornwall and Devon, Ian retired to East Devon where he became deeply involved in local issues. He was particularly concerned by changes in the planning system which, he felt, had moved from protecting the environment and the wildlife, which he cherished, to facilitating large-scale development which was not always necessary.

After joining a mass-march in Sidmouth in November 2012 to protest against planning decisions which threatened public parks and the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in February 2013 he became a founder member and chairman of the EDA, a role he carried out with his usual verve, commitment and good sense.

Ian combined a burning passion for transparency, integrity and justice, with an impish sense of humour and a cheerful sociability towards everyone he met.

His colleagues in EDA benefited enormously from his invaluable legal advice which he gave unstintingly, particularly his contribution to a series of detailed submissions by EDA to Parliamentary committees on such topics as scrutiny and ethics in local government.

At meetings his wise advice was often enlivened by anecdotes and reminiscences so time-keeping was not always scrupulously observed!
As well as his commitment to EDA, Ian also became a founder-member and trustee of Community Voice on Planning, a national grouping bringing together more than 100 organisations all over the country. He travelled widely to meet and share ideas with other campaigners for more democracy in the planning system.

Ian also found the time and energy to throw himself wholeheartedly into the struggle to preserve local hospitals from closure.

He was a tireless fighter, bringing wisdom from a wide life experience. His colleagues in EDA thoroughly enjoyed working with him and will miss him immensely.”

Greendale Business Park Tree Order – East Devon Alliance Councillor Geoff Jung instrumental in getting it passed

Well done, East Devon Alliance Councillor Jung! Others with business parks earmarked for their areas should take note! The tree order for the area around Greendale Business Park has been out for consultation and is now agreed and signed off. Let’s hope the owners of Greendale have the map – and understand it.

“Within the proposal for the 2009 extension to the business park back in 2009 there was an “agreed” landscaping proposal. However, agreements to maintain the landscaping proposals in a planning agreement do not generally extend beyond the agreed time of 5 years to maintain or replace the landscaping trees and shrubs in their first few years of growth.

Following many unauthorised tree and landscaping removals by the owners of Greendale Business Park, it was considered appropriate to instigate a review of all the trees existing surrounding the park and to include all the agreed landscaping.

The Local Authority (EDDC) following this review considered that the most appropriate way to stop further encroachment on the agreed landscape proposals would be to cover the whole area with a Tree Preservation Order.

Tree Preservation Order Proposal

The Tree Preservation Order (TPO) has been made to protect the significant individual trees and areas of newly created woodland. The TPO protects a total of 47 ‘Individual’ trees, 19 ‘Groups’ of trees, 3 ‘Areas’ of land and 17 ‘Woodland’ areas. The TPO collectively protects thousands of trees growing on and around the Greendale Business Park.

Extent of Tree Preservation Order 18/0002/TPO marked in green.

Most the trees within the TPO are contained within the landscape planting areas that were approved under the historic planning consent for the expansion of the business park (09/1195/MOUT). The extent of the business park is defined further within the adopted East Devon adopted Local plan 2013 – 2031.

Collectively the trees add to the rural character of the surrounding landscape. With the individual mature trees, their amenity is already significant. The landscape planting areas, will significantly increase in their amenity value, as the tree increase in size and develop into areas of woodland.

The protected trees and woodland areas are important in reducing the visual impact of the business park on the surrounding area and help maintain the rural character of the wider area.

Tree Preservation Order consultations

Three letters have been received requesting modifications to the provisional TPO, these modifications can be summarised as follows:

• Woodland, W2 – Request the removal of an area of land on the north-eastern corner of the woodland, as it does not contain any trees (Figure 2).

• Woodland, W8 – Request the removal the most southern end of the woodland as it is sandwiched between industrial units, is in places in contact with the buildings causing maintenance problems and it is of limited public amenity.

Area of Woodland (W2) showing absence of trees

What will this Tree Order mean?

No one can cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a tree or cause or permit the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage or wilful destruction of any tree except with the written consent of the Local Authority.

This order does not restrict the management of these trees and woodland areas but if any work was to be carried out the landowner is now required to seek permission from the Local Authority.

Comment from the District Councillor

Councillor Geoff Jung (EDA Independent Councillor for Raleigh Ward which includes Greendale Business Park)

I really appreciate the work that the officers have done on this Tree Order that will in effect protect the trees and woodland in whole area surrounding the Business Park and the Rural Village of Woodbury Salterton.

I know that the Woodbury Salterton Residents Association and Woodbury Parish Council have been must concerned with industrial encroachment into the countryside within the area and important landscaping being removed prior to any planning approvals.

This TPO (Tree Preservation Order) and the shortly to be approved EDDC village development plan with its designated employment line around the business park will provide better certainty and protection to the rural landscape of Woodbury Salterton.”

DCC East Devon Alliance Councillor backs East Devon National Park

“I’m putting forward a motion to the next meeting in July for the Council to support a new park, which would include the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and prepare a case for submission to the review of national parks recently announced by the Government.

I’m proposing that Devon County Council supports the creation of a Dorset and East Devon National Park

And EDDC Leader Thomas is … silent so far. And Hugo Swire is … silent so far!

Time for a change? East Devon Alliance conference this Saturday

Still time to register (free) for East Devon Alliance conference “Time for a Change” at Beehive, Honiton – this Saturday 10 am – 1 pm.

Details here:

http://www.eastdevonalliance.org.uk/

Free registration here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/east-devons-time-for-a-change-peoples-conference-tickets-45482525458

“This conference is for YOU. Speakers will include County Councillors CLAIRE WRIGHT and MARTIN SHAW, and PAM BARRETT, Chair of the Independent Buckfastleigh Town Council and regional expert on transforming democracy from the bottom up.

In two sessions you will be able to hear our experience and then CONTRIBUTE your own personal views:

a) how did the democratic deficit in East Devon happen? Or – the problem.
b) what can we do about it through democracy in our parishes, towns and district. Or – the solution.

Please come. We are all volunteers but if we band together now to fight for hospitals, homes and jobs we have a chance to change how our local area is run.

Parking: nearest is Lace Walk. 2 minute walk. If full, New Street, 5 mins”

East Devon’s Villages Plan is agreed by the planning inspector (with implications for business parks)

Press Release including comments from East Devon Alliance Independent Councillor Geoff Jung:

“I am delighted that, after a number of years of hard work and following extensive public engagement, the Planning Inspector has found our Villages Plan to be sound. The Plan is a key document that once adopted will sit alongside the Local Plan and help promote the right types of development in the right places for our rural villages and communities while protecting our outstanding countryside assets and environment.”

Developers will be able to refer to Villages Plan when considering building in larger East Devon villages, the town of Colyton and Greendale and Hill Barton business parks.

Planning Inspector Beverley Doward’s report on the East Devon Villages Plan has been received by East Devon District Council and the inspector concludes it is sound, subject to her earlier submitted “main modifications”.

The East Devon Villages Plan sets out planning policy that will help determine planning applications in the larger villages of East Devon (and the town of Colyton), as well as at Greendale and Hill Barton business parks. The primary role of the Villages Plan is to set boundaries (known as built-up area boundaries and employment areas) around villages and the two business parks, which will help determine where new development can be built.

Outside these boundaries opportunities for development will be far more restricted, which will effectively control the outward expansion of villages and the two Business Parks into the surrounding countryside. The Villages Plan will sit alongside the adopted East Devon Local Plan and together they will guide and manage development across the whole district.

East Devon’s Strategic Planning Committee will consider the report on 26 June 2018. The committees new Chairman Cllr Paul Diviani says:

It is expected that the Villages Plan will go before the Full Council on 25 July 2018 for adoption.

Welcome News to the Communities of Farringdon and Woodbury Salterton
The adoption of the Villages plan is a welcome additional Planning Document to the two rural communities of Woodbury Salterton and Farringdon, which are close to Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks. These very large Industrial parks have seen continued growth for many years and dwarfed their rural communities.

The Inspector in her report states that:

“By virtue of the definition set out in Strategy 7 of the EDLP, the business parks lie within the countryside where development will only be permitted where it is in accordance with a specific Local or Neighbourhood Plan policy that explicitly permits such development.”

Further in her report the Inspector notes that:

“Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park have clearly made an important contribution to the supply of employment land within the district and provide valuable employment opportunities.”

“There is nothing in the evidence that has been submitted to the examination of this Plan that leads me to conclude that there is currently a need to provide for future employment development in locations other than those which have been tested and found sound through the examination of the EDLP. (East Devon Local Plan)”

“The inclusion within the EDVP of a policy providing for future growth at Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park, whilst considered as a ‘reasonable alternative’ in the SA, is not supported by it and instead the option of not providing for further expansion of the business parks is identified as the preferred option.”

“I am satisfied that the approach not to provide for the further expansion of Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park in the EDVP beyond that which is already authorised is justified and consistent with the development strategy of the EDLP.”

“To conclude on this issue therefore, subject to MM08, MM09, MM10 and MM11 the approach adopted in the EDVP to Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park is justified and consistent with the development strategy of the EDLP and is capable of effective implementation.”

East Devon District Councillor Cllr Geoff Jung for Raleigh Ward which includes the village of Woodbury Salterton says:

“I welcome this long-awaited Village Plan and the inclusion of the Employment Areas for the Business Parks of Hill Barton and Greendale.

The Planning Inspector Beverley Doward’s comments and recommendation for the business parks demonstrates that further expansion of either the Business Parks beyond the present approved boundaries will not be considered appropriate.”

“This Plan will provide clarity and certainty required for both communities of Farringdon and Woodbury Salterton and the owners of the Business Parks.”

Still time to register for the East Devon Alliance conference on Saturday 26 May

EAST DEVON ALLIANCE PEOPLE’S CONFERENCE
“TIME FOR A CHANGE”
SATURDAY 26TH MAY 10am-1.30pm
BEEHIVE, HONITON

All across East Devon people are worried about their HEALTH, their HOMES and their JOBS. Never has it been more important to involve yourself with local democracy in your district.. YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.

The EAST DEVON ALLIANCE is trying to help with all of this, an umbrella group of Independent people, who since 2015 have won 7 district council seats and 1 county seat. The EDA is free from the negative influence of national parties who – at East Devon District Council – have acquired the arrogant habits of a Conservative one-party state.

This conference is for YOU. Speakers will include County Councillors CLAIRE WRIGHT and MARTIN SHAW, and PAM BARRETT, Chair of the Independent Buckfastleigh Town Council and regional expert on transforming democracy from the bottom up.

In two sessions you will be able to hear our experience and then CONTRIBUTE your own personal views:

a) how did the democratic deficit in East Devon happen? Or – the problem.

b) what can we do about it through democracy in our parishes, towns and district. Or – the solution.

Please come. We are all volunteers but if we band together now to fight for hospitals, homes and jobs we have a chance to change how our local area is run.

Parking: nearest is Lace Walk. 2 minute walk. If full, New Street, 5 mins

Reserve a free place now!
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/east-devons-time-for-a-change-peoples-conference-tickets-45482525458