“Public at risk from ‘daily cocktail of pollution’ “

We can all do more – but big institutions can do a lot more. AND our councils can lead … sorry could lead if there was the foresight and will. Has our CCG – always thinking of our health (lol) – considered this? You bet not!

“People are being exposed to a daily cocktail of pollution that may be having a significant impact on their health, England’s chief medical officer says.

Prof Dame Sally Davies said the impact of air, light and noise pollution was well recognised in the environment.
But she said its role in terms of health was yet to be fully understood.

Dame Sally added there was enough evidence to suggest action had to be taken. And, in her annual report, she said the NHS could lead the way in cutting pollution levels. She said one in 20 vehicle journeys was linked to the NHS, either from patients or staff travelling.

Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem
And making sure services were brought out of hospitals and closer to people’s homes could help reduce that burden.
Dame Sally also pointed to the attempts being made to phase out ambulances run on diesel, a key source of nitrogen dioxide, which is linked to respiratory disease.

And she said the NHS could cut its use of disposable plastics, landfill and incineration. …”


Black mud in Teignmouth – is it from Exmouth marina dredging?

The photographs/videos on the Devon Live website do seem to show very dark-coloured material in the dredger that is licensed to dump it at Sprey Point:


The Marina is owned by F C Carter & Co, who also own the Greendale Business Centre.

“Britain’s bus coverage hits 28-year low”

“Britain’s bus network has shrunk to levels last seen in the late 1980s, BBC analysis has revealed.

Rising car use and cuts to public funding are being blamed for a loss of 134 million miles of coverage over the past decade alone.

Some cut-off communities have taken to starting their own services, with Wales and north-west England hardest hit.

The government has encouraged councils and bus companies to work together to halt the decline.

One lobbying group fears the scale of the miles lost are a sign buses are on course to be cut to the same extent railways were in the 1960s.” …


Clinton Devon Estates PR team working overtime on Blackhill Quarry!

Sent to Friends of Pebblebed Heaths

“Dear Friends,

Many of you will have seen the recent coverage in local newspapers and on social media concerning a planning application lodged by Clinton Devon Estates for the former quarry plant area adjacent to Blackhill Quarry, enabling a nearby engineering firm to expand.

Unfortunately lots of inaccurate rumours were also circulating.

As you know the primary aim of the Pebblebed Heath Conversation Trust is to ensure threatened heathland ecosystems are protected, to ensure all wildlife associated with this habitat flourishes, to protect public access and encourage responsible public enjoyment of the heaths.

The most important conservation partner of the Trust is the public and we strive to keep our Friends of the Commons well-informed, so the Trust continues to develop with public support.

Our staff live in nearby villages and understand the issues local people have. Our neighbours are concerned about development, volume and types of traffic, change of use in rural areas and we recognise these topics can bring about many questions as well as strong feelings and differences of opinion.

We hope by providing the facts of this complex issue, especially given the amount of misinformation and speculation there has already been, you will have more of the information needed to make up your own mind.

Please take time to view the maps, statements and explanations we have included here, plus links to the EDDC planning application, where you can read and see what others think.

Blackhill Quarry has no statutory conservation designations, although it is registered as a County Wildlife Site. Attempting to restore heathland on industrial sites can be extremely problematic due to the raised nutrient enrichment of the land due to lime. Similar issues are already the case on East Budleigh common, where the remains of buildings from Dalditch Camp, make management of this site, extremely difficult. To mitigate the loss of 1.09 ha heathland (from total area of 63 ha for the quarry) not restored from hard-standing, we would be looking to create significantly more heathland and of a better quality. This is likely to be through the conversion of existing coniferous plantations to heathland. Our goal is certainly for there to be a biodiversity uplift above and beyond that proposed under the existing restoration scheme.

Later in the year we will organise a visit to Blackhill so you can see the restoration work in progress and ask any questions. In the meantime please contact any one of the team if you have any further queries.

The Pebblebeds Team”

The communication continues with some extraordinary reasons why CEE thinks the engineering works are a special case including:

* Specialising in steel fabrication and design, Blackhill Engineering has recently been involved in many prestigious projects including the design of flood defence gates for New York City Hospital, work for the European Space Agency and the pier at Hinkley Point for which Blackhill has been recognised with two awards from EDF Energy.
[aahhhh!!! now Owl understands!]

* The site proposed is currently covered in concrete and any restoration to high quality habitat will be problematic …”

Who knew that concrete couldn’t be so difficult to remove! If it’s THAT difficult perhaps we shouldn’t allow any development at all at this site since more and more concrete will be needed to expand it!

Inaugural meeting – “Plastic Free Sidmouth” – 22 February, 7 pm

Starting in Sidmouth and hopefully spreading across a “Plastic Free East Devon” and “Plastic Free Devon”.

Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth

Press release: Thursday 8th February 2018

The Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth will be holding a meeting open to all later this month to facilitate the bringing about of a ‘Plastic Free Sidmouth’.

This follows in the wake of several key campaigns in the Sid Valley, including the beach cleans by Sidmouth in Bloom’s Sidcombers, Surfers Against Sewage and the Sidmouth Plastic Warriors.

All of these groups are concerned about the amount of plastic making its way into our seas – and the devastating effect it has had, as seen on the BBC’s Blue Planet.

Denise Bickley of the Plastic Warriors has also been at the forefront of an on-line petition to ‘Make Sidmouth a single-use-plastic-free town’ at Change.org.

As for their part, the Town Council is going to be installing water fountains, and more businesses are looking at their use of plastic – including offering a free refill of water bottles.

And in Penzance, Surfers Against Sewage have been pioneering an ‘action plan’ for towns who want to go ‘plastic free’ with their Plastic Free Coastlines community toolkit.

On Thursday 22nd February there will be a public meeting to look at how Sidmouth could take a plastic free project forward – starting 7pm at the Leigh Browne Room of the Dissenters’/Unitarian Church Hall, opposite the Hospital.

It will be hosted by the Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth and will be chaired by Robert Crick.

“Plastic waste on our beaches has doubled over the last decade”, he says. “Other towns have initiated town wide schemes to reduce plastic. Could this be an initiative for Sidmouth to adopt?”

Meanwhile, the Plastic Warriors will be having another plastic clean up on Saturday 17th February around the Woolbrook area, starting and finishing at the Youth Centre, 2 to 3pm: join the group on Facebook.

Their group’s founder Denise Bickley says: “We have lots of big ideas in the Sidmouth Plastic Warriors group and are keen to discuss the way forward at the public meeting on the 22nd.”

Anyone interested in a ‘plastic free Sidmouth’ is welcome to come along.

For more information go to http://www.visionforsidmouth.org”

Clinton Devon Estates desperately tries to justify quarry industrial units

Owl says:

Surely, with EDDC having industrial areas aplenty at the East Devon Growth Point (where businesses enjoy a business rate holiday as a perk) there is no excuse for encouraging a heavy industry engineering company to remain at Blackhill Quarry to interfere with previously agreed remediation (already put back once) and a return to a wildlife habitat?


Axminster North-South relief road gets £10 million from government plus grant for “Greater Exeter” alternative green spaces

Good news for Axminster? The much-needed relief road that East Devon District Council Tories initially refused to put in the Local Plan (when Bovis was building in the town) is getting a government grant of £10 million. £10 million doesn’t go far on roads these days, so will it be enough? Good news for Crown Estates and Persimmon who are said to own a large parcel of land to the east of Axminster (at least they did in 2015]:


On a more worrying note, “Greater Exeter” (which includes East Devon) also gets £3.7 million for “Greater Exeter Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space” which means allowing developers to build on current green spaces if others can be created elsewhere.

The only problem being, the areas to be concreted over seem to get build on rapidly before the “alternative green spaces” are found or designated!