Twiss and shout in Feniton

Phil Twiss is hoping to follow in the footsteps of disgraced fellow Tory Graham Brown, and latterly independent councillor Claire Wright to represent the ward of Feniton and Honiton in the forthcoming County Council elections.

Leaflets currently adding to EDDC’s recycling efforts include a testimonial from MP Neil Parish that “Phil will be an asset in a number of matters, such as helping positively to continue with the work put together, to make Feniton more secure from flooding”.

Strangely there seems to be no room to acknowledge Graham Brown’s inability to get a flood scheme going for Feniton, Claire Wright’s dogged success in ensuring that the scheme was not forgotten, and independent District Councillor Susie Bond’s determination and success in getting the £1.6m programme implemented. Not to mention Susie Bond’s tireless work as a flood warden and information broadcaster each time danger has struck the village.

Any “continuation” is totally down to the efforts of these two ladies.

Whether Mr Twiss is willing to acknowledge their contribution on the stump remains to be seen.

Readers will recall it was Mr Twiss who, in 2014, took offence at a metaphor on Ms Wright’s blog about the need to “cull” Conservatives in East Devon.

Police subsequently declined to investigate. Hardly surprising since Conservative Leader David Cameron used the word in exactly the same sense in 2012:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/sep/04/david-cameron-cabinet-reshuffle-deliver

Truth or post-truth in Feniton’s election?

Feniton village boundary: putting the record straight

From the blog of Feniton district councillor Susie Bond:

“Development in Feniton always excites comment, but I was especially disappointed to read an ill-informed, anonymous letter in the September issue of Feniton’s parish magazine.

It’s all too easy to set rumours running and temperatures rising, by which time of course the damage is done. However, this letter was so unhelpful, I thought it needed addressing paragraph by paragraph:

“I was surprised to receive details of the so called proposed changes in Feniton’s Built Up Boundary through an e-mail from a local estate agent.”

Why would an estate agent have any interest in Feniton’s Built Up Area Boundary (to give it its proper name)? Unless of course the correspondent meant a ‘planning agent’, i.e. developer, who of course would have a vested interest in moving the site in question to within the boundary.

“There is a large piece of land to the east of Ottery Road leading up to the station which has been the home to some dilapidated greenhouses for as long as I can remember having lived in the village for nearly fifteen years and as far as I know throughout this time, this land has been included in Feniton’s Built up Boundary.”

This paragraph is probably the only paragraph that is factually correct.

“Why suddenly do I hear of a proposal to take it outside the Built-up Boundary and who exactly proposed this. There is no point in pretending that further development will not occur in Feniton at some point to come, but I do object to this eleventh hour clandestine approach to remove a site that has always been earmarked for such further development without understanding who and what reasons are behind such a proposal.”

I posted a blog about this on 9 August (https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/planning-policy-strengthened-in-east-devon/), and of course EDDC’s proposed changes have been discussed extensively, including at the monthly public meeting of Feniton Parish Council on 11 July (minuted in the August issue of the parish magazine). There is nothing ‘clandestine’ about any of this, and the author seems not to understand what a Built Up Area Boundary (BUAB) actually is. It does not, for example, designate areas for development.

The proposed BUAB also draws a line tightly around the current Wainhomes estate, i.e. making it harder for Wainhomes to build the hundred or so more houses it wants to there.

“Essentially such a proposal, if successful will once again leave the rest of the village wondering nervously where further inevitable development will take place.”

Had the correspondent undertaken some elementary research, including on the Villages Development Plan Document (DPD) to which he refers, a lot of this scare mongering could have been avoided.

For example, the Villages DPD is an ancillary document underpinning the Local Plan. Planning policy in East Devon, outlined in the newly adopted Local Plan, is for development to be prioritised around Cranbrook, where there is easy access to employment within the thriving city of Exeter. Indeed, the draft East Devon Villages DPD makes clear just how unsuited Feniton is to mass development.

The decision to site the black line (proposed boundary) for Feniton as it is shown in the parish magazine and in my 9 August blog was taken by EDDC following extensive discussions by a team of planning policy officers and no-one else. Not landowners, not developers, not District Councillors, not Parish Councillors, not the residents of villages who may/may not own land they wish to propose for development. The planners undertook a full site assessment (the results of this exercise can be found through a link on my blog of 9 August).

The Built-Up Area Boundary is for consultation at this stage, but the black lines drawn on the map will only move if there is strong evidence that they should do so. I feel sure that the anonymous correspondent will put in a submission to EDDC voicing his views … although he should be aware that if he does this, he will lose his anonymity.

East Devon is not looking to increase development in Feniton for the time being. This position will undoubtedly change in the future, but the decision as to where development should take place will have to take into account Feniton’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

I would urge the anonymous correspondent to come along to Feniton Parish Council meetings where there are frank and open discussions. Using the parish magazine to needlessly raise inaccurate and misleading stories only fuels the fires of rumour and gossip.”

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/confusion-in-feniton-over-villages-plan-consultation/

Wainhomes, Feniton: another second chance, and another and another …

Where and when do ” second chances” end? From a correspondent:

You may recall the following item published some time ago:

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/patience-wears-thin-as-another-breach-of-condition-notice-is-slapped-on-wainhomes/

Today the time allowed for some of the work to be done expires and yet, as expected by many of the villagers, nothing has even been started. The question is: will EDDC planning now actually throw the legal book at Wainhomes or, as I suspect, give them yet more time.

A heavy hand surely is now required since being ‘nice’ clearly doesn’t work.”

EDDC, heavy hand, developers – dream on!

Wainhomes Feniton: yet another breach of planning conditions

” … This time, they have failed to landscape the green open spaces (which they were obliged to do in the first planting season after building had commenced), they have failed to install adequate swales (i.e. channels) to capture and contain surface water run-off and they have failed to provide the trees on site and the hedgebanks at the site entrance.

It is all so unnecessary and so time-consuming and has cost the public purse a considerable sum of money. It has also left Feniton Parish Council having to pick up the tab when the nearby play area has to be cleaned up as result of run-off from the site.

The decision to serve the Breach of Condition Notice was not taken lightly by the planners and Legal Department of EDDC. Planning officers worked tirelessly to try and avoid this expensive legal route, despite calls from residents of Feniton who wanted enforcement action to be taken some time ago. After lengthy negotiations which were ultimately fruitless, officers have finally lost patience.

The Breach of Condition Notice effectively informs Wainhomes that works have to be undertaken according to Wainhomes’ own landscaping plan by the end of May, and that trees must be planted (again according to their own landscaping plan) during the last three months of this year.

Parts of the Breach of Condition Notice calls for the swales to be remodelled to conform to Wainhomes’ own design which was approved as part of their own Flood Risk Assessment. Instead, Wainhomes has installed a series of ditches which is discharging water onto the Parish Council’s play area. This area has been severely flooded twice already this year, leaving the play surface saturated with silty water and forcing the Parish Council to remove the swings for fear of accidents.

Never has a development been so distorted by a developer keen to screw every last ounce of profit out of a site. However, East Devon District Council has now put a marker in the sand clearly stating that they expect every last condition to be adhered to.”

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/patience-wears-thin-as-another-breach-of-condition-notice-is-slapped-on-wainhomes/

Heart-rending pictures and experiences of flooding in Feniton – again

And tonight it is raining heavily again so the village is anticipating worse conditions. Will Wainhomes do the decent thing and sort this problem out. Don’t hold your breath.

…”Water poured off the field beside Feniton’s latest development where swales (ditches) take surface water around the site, round the attenuation tank and then direct it straight through the Parish Council-owned play area. The swings had already been removed from a previous bout of heavy rain, when the ground under the swings was silted up with slimy sand from the surface water run-off.

The flood risk assessment submitted by Wainhomes and approved by the Environment Agency and Devon County Council seems to be woefully inadequate for dealing with surface water run-off from this high point of the village. Both the plan and the scheme put in place by Wainhomes need to be carefully scrutinised to ensure that what was planned and approved has actually been put in place.

And so it continued … sandy water poured under the allotment gates down Coventry Close and several of us spent some time trying to direct the flow to different drain holes so that they were not overwhelmed.

It’s boring, tedious, cold, dispiriting work … And we seem to spend far too much of our time worrying about what the weather will inflict on us next.

It’s probably a good time to thank the many flood wardens and other residents who give so selflessly of their time.

A particular thank you has to go to the kind resident of Exeter Close who came out with tea and biscuits for Danny and Jayne who stayed on Station Road until it was safe to re-open the road. …”

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/it-never-rains-but-it-pours-yet-again/

The effect of the Local Plan on villages of East Devon

Excellent summary of the effect of the Local Plan on the district’s villages – including potential pitfalls if the Plan goes hopelessly wrong, given the risky “high growth” strategy that the Inspector has accepted:

https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/major-leap-taken-towards-adoption-of-east-devons-local-plan/