New hotel allowed on A3052 – convenient for Westpoint, Crealy and Greendale

Interesting that EDDC would have refused it but delayed too long so the decision was taken away from them.

“A new 130-bedroom hotel will be built on the site of a caravan and camping park just outside Exeter.

Hill Pond Caravan and Camping Park successfully appealed against the non-determination by East Devon District Council over their plans 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, and near to Westpoint.

Planning inspector Andrew Spencer-Peet in his report said that the economic benefits of the new hotel were evident, it would address the acknowledged current shortfall of holiday accommodation in the area, and the benefits of the proposal carry sufficient weight to justify allowing the appeal scheme. …” …

East Devon District Council had issued a report that said they would have resolved to refuse planning permission, had the decision not be taken away from them by the appeal against non-determination.

Issuing their ‘would have’ refused notice, council planners said there was an absence of robust evidence of need and demand for a hotel in the location and it hadn’t been demonstrated that there was such an un-met need for the hotel, there could be a departure from the local plan.

But Mr Spencer-Peet, announcing his decision last week, allowed the appeal, subject to 15 conditions being met.

https://www.devonlive.com/whats-on/whats-on-news/new-hotel-plans-approved-site-3583765

What is our Local Enterprise Partnership up to these days? They won’t tell us

“The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) new local industry strategy featured prominently at its annual conference in Torquay on 4 November despite it not yet having been published.

It has been signed off by all the partners and seen by other stakeholders, but will remain otherwise unseen until it receives ministerial-level clearance in Whitehall. …”

And this picture of how our LEP compares to the 38 other LEPs is worth (at least) a thousand words:

https://exeterobserver.org/2019/11/12/heart-of-the-south-west-local-enterprise-partnership-local-industrial-strategy/

“UK tourism industry set to struggle under post-Brexit immigration plans”

“… Set to come into force in 2021, the proposed immigration plans feature a minimum-salary requirement of £30,000 a year. At present, the average salary of tourism workers is estimated at £17,000. A large number of UK tourism businesses, surveyed by UKinbound, believe they will be unable to operate should the cap come into play – this amounts to 65% of businesses nationally, , rising to 73% in London and 88% in Northern Ireland. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/nov/04/uk-tourism-industry-struggle-post-brexit-immigration-plans?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

EDDC a “casino council”?

“East Devon’s attempts to ‘actively assess commercial investment opportunities’ could make them look like a ‘Casino Council’, it has been claimed.

Cllr Paul Arnott, leader of the East Devon Alliance, questioned the way the council’s careful choices consultation made it look like they were ‘punting an idea about the council being a development corporation’.

The survey, due to be sent out at random to 3,000 residents, asks for their views on services that East Devon District Council run and what is important to them as the council has to tackle a £2.7m funding gap over the next four years. …

Cllr Arnott though raised concerned about the wording in the document. Speaking at Wednesday night’s cabinet meeting, he said: “I worry that this will make us look like a casino council. We need to be informed and hear what services people want, but this looks like us punting an idea about us being a development corporation.

“I am not sure it is what people voted for or what they want, but in the survey, we have to be clear it is borrowed money that is being invested and have to detail it.”

Cllr Ben Ingham, leader of the council, replied and said that he wouldn’t use the same words to describe what the council is doing.” …

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/casino-council-claims-made-over-3498678

East Devon a benefits hot-spot?

Sunday Times article on new unemployment areas – high street decline, business rate penalties, jobs moving abroad and reduced demand for labour due to automation are some reasons given. Owl would like to see the breakdown per town – oldies in some towns, unemployed youngsters in others …

More flack for EDDC Leader Ingram on spending and transparency

Not looking good … now being attacked for  wanting to employ consultants to tell him what town centre problems are:

“East Devon District Council ‘lacks good detailed intelligence about its towns and their economic wellbeing’.

Cllr Ben Ingham, leader of the council, admitted: “This is not a good state of affairs,” when questioned at Wednesday night’s full council meeting.

It came after Cllr Mike Allen asked questions over the decision of the portfolio holder for economy, Cllr Kevin Blakey, to commission a major study into town centres.

Cllr Allen asked for an indication of the cost proposed and in the interests of proper transparency, for the Consultancy brief envisaged be put to the next Overview Committee for discussion before any expenditure is committed. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/east-devon-lacks-good-intelligence-3474769

East Devon: fourth fastest aging population in the country

“Parts of the UK are ageing twice as fast as other areas of the country, while in some cities the population is getting younger, a divergence that will have a lasting impact on local economies, local government and national politics, according to new research. …

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/oct/28/some-parts-of-uk-ageing-twice-as-fast-as-others-new-research-finds?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

The research is here:
resolutionfoundation.org

Unemployment much higher than official figures (but not in Exeter)

“Millions more people in Britain are without a job than shown by official unemployment figures, according to a study that suggests the jobless rate should be almost three times higher.

According to research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Centre for Cities thinktank, large levels of “hidden” unemployment in towns and cities across Britain are excluded from the official government statistics.

The study found that more than 3 million people are missing from the headline unemployment rate because they report themselves as economically inactive to government labour force surveys, saying that they believe no jobs are available.

It said the true unemployment rate should rise from 4.6% to 13.2% of the working-age population not in education. The OECD made the estimate by creating an adjusted economic activity rate, which removes students, pensioners, people caring for family and people with health issues.

In a stark analysis of joblessness across the country, the assessment raises the total number of people out of a job who could work from the official level of 1.3 million to almost 4.5 million.

The Centre for Cities said that urban locations faced the highest levels of hidden joblessness. Liverpool had the highest rate in the country, with around one in five working-age adults not in education finding themselves out of work.

At 19.8% compared to 5.8% on official statistics, joblessness in the city ranked just ahead of Sunderland, Dundee, Blackburn and Birmingham.

All the top 10 cities with the highest adjusted economic inactivity rates were found to be outside London and the south-east, and all tended to have weaker economies. In contrast, cities across the south-east had much lower jobless rates, with Crawley recording the lowest adjusted rate of just 2%. Oxford and Exeter were also below 5%. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/oct/17/unemployment-figures-should-be-millions-higher-says-research?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Doubts cast over Flybe staying at its Exeter headquarters”

“The new chief executive of Flybe has hinted that Devon will have to work with the airline to ensure its headquarters remains at Exeter Airport.

Flybe ran into financial difficulties last year and was rescued by a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus.

This week it announced that the airline would be rebranded Virgin Connect, an exercise that will begin next spring.

Chief executive Mark Anderson spoke publicly yesterday for the first time, making it clear that a major restructuring exercise was under way.

He did not deny that job losses would be required, but said it was too early to be specific, saying: “It could be that there will be a number of roles that are impacted, but we haven’t yet got to numbers.

“Can I guarantee everyone a job for life? The answer is no I can’t.” …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/doubts-cast-over-flybe-staying-3435866#comments-section