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.”

EDDC CEO is an “expert” on elections (Owl begs to differ)

Owl begs to differ – but the Sidmouth Herald (headline to article: ‘Expert to offer advice to potential election candidates’ seems not to know about his election officer past where he “lost” 6000 voters and had to explain himself (not too well) to a parliamentary committee!

Hopefully, this “expert” will also visit other towns!

“Residents wishing to stand as a candidate for Ottery Town Council, but are unsure about the process and role can speak to an expert tomorrow (Saturday) at the community market.

Ottery Town Council has 11 seats to be contested during the election on May 2.

Mark William’s EDDC’s returning officer will be available to speak to between 9.30am and 12.30pm at The Institute to offer advice and assistance about the role.

An Ottery Town Council spokesman said: “As a local councillor you can become a voice for your community and make a real change. Councillors are community leaders and represent the interests of the communities they serve. If you’re still undecided and feel you require more information before making a final decision, then there is an expert available who should be able to provide you all the answers.”

TOMORROW: Stay ahead of the curve – become a REAL independent councillor – Sidmouth event

Meet your current EDA independent councillors and maybe think about becoming one yourself!

East Devon Alliance Annual General Meeting
Saturday 23 February 2019 11.00 am – 12.30 pm
Dissenters Hall, The Old Meeting Unitarian Chapel, All Saints Rd, Sidmouth EX10 8ER

All East Devon Alliance Members & Supporters are cordially invited to attend the Annual General Meeting

Further information available from the EDA Secretary:

Have we reached ‘peak industrial estate’ in East Devon? Seems so

If industrial estates are essential sites and supposedly we don’t have enough of them, why is Taylor Wimpey being allowed to build more than 200 houses on the former Parkhurst Close Industrial Estate in Exmouth – the largest town in East Devon?

Exeter and Devon County Council debate climate change – EDDC CEO refuses to allow debate

Press release from Transition Exeter below. EDDC CEO Mark Williams has refused a similar request for debate from an independent councillor.

“Green Councillor Chris Musgrave is bringing a motion to Exeter City Council on Tuesday February 26th calling on it to

Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;

Pledge to make the city of Exeter carbon neutral by 2030 or sooner, taking into account both production and consumption emissions;

Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible;

Continue to work with partners across the city and region, including Devon County Council, to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;

To support the motion letters to city councillors would be very welcome; and supporters plan to gather outside the Guildhall before the motion is heard, at 5 pm on 26th February.

Devon County Council will also discuss a similar motion on Thursday February 21st.

Our Facebook page shows the {minority of} councillors who have pledged to support the motion. .

Cabinet has recommended changing the motion to aim for 2050. This is not much of an emergency! Please to your county councillor asking them to support the motion with the original target date for being carbon neutral of 2030. They will not be able to do this with their present budget and powers but the motion would be a strong call to Westminster to make realistic action possible!

Find your county councillor here
The motion is here


East Devon District Council is controversially set to borrow £200 million to purchase property. The Council Cabinet agreed its Commercial Investment Framework, which would allow it to do so, on 6 February.

However many EDDC councillors have great concerns about this strategy. As a result, a Notice of Motion (NoM) was tabled by Councillor Roger Giles (Independent – Ottery Town) to be debated at the EDDC full council meeting on 27 February. The NoM was submitted in time, and was supported by more than the required number of other councillors.

However the EDDC Chief Executive Mark Williams struck the NoM off the agenda, on the grounds that the matter had already been discussed at the Cabinet meeting on 6 February.

“The EDDC Cabinet consists of just 10 councillors, and is Conservative controlled” said Roger Giles.

“The investment strategy would massively increase the council`s indebtedness, and is inherently risky. I therefore considered it essential that the whole council should be able to have a full-scale debate, and vote on the strategy.”

“However the Chief Executive has intervened to ban my NoM from being included on the agenda paper. By doing so I believe he has damaged our democratic processes – an action which is deeply regrettable.”

Flybe rejects second bid as too late

“Troubled Exeter-based regional airline Flybe has snubbed a rival rescue proposal from investors including US airline Mesa Air Group and backed by former Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler.

Shares in Flybe more than doubled to 2.9p as it confirmed the “highly conditional” approach from a consortium including Mesa Airlines of Arizona and South African hedge fund Bateleur Capital.

But Flybe said it “does not believe that the indicative proposal is executable in the timeframe required to enable Flybe to continue to trade”.

It added it continues to back the existing takeover by the Connect Airways consortium – which consists of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and investment firm Cyrus Capital – as the “only viable option available to the company which provides the security that the business needs to continue to trade successfully”.