Expansion of Cranbrook not going down well with – Cranbrook

“A total of 138 consultation responses were received from town and parish councils, councillors, specialist bodies, developers and the public. A wide range of issues were raised, including technical concerns about transport issues, such as problems providing vehicle access to some parts of the proposed expansion areas and how rail services can be improved to deliver a half hourly service into Exeter.

It was also noted that some additional land had been put forward by landowners for development through the consultation and this now had to be considered for inclusion in the plan.

… People were mainly concerned about the location and extent of development to the south of the London Road, particularly where this intrudes into Rockbeare parish and the Green wedge that was designated to prevent settlement coalescence (joining up) between Cranbrook and the village.

The community at Rockbeare raised strong concerns with these proposals, which also conflict with the emerging Rockbeare Neighbourhood Plan that has recently been out to consultation. Members were advised that this development was important for bringing the London Road into the town, as well as for creating a sense of place along the road as an entrance to Cranbrook….”


Risk of green wedge between Cranbrook and Rockbeare being swallowed up despite Local Plan rules

“Cllr Rob Longhurst said: “The main thing I would be concerned with is the idea that a green wedge could be disposed of if it doesn’t fit. It was put there for a reason after long debate and I think it is wrong to suddenly discard it as being inconvenient.”

Cllr Mark Williamson said: “It is so clear in the strategy of the Local Plan that it only takes up a single sentence, saying within green wedges, development will not be permitted. There are six green wedges in the Local Plan so if this was allowed then there will be sleepless nights around the district, where the other green wedges are, particularly around Seaton and Colyton.”


Rockbeare Parish Council objects to further expansion of Cranbrook

“… Cranbrook town council’s own planning committee objection to the application last month. And now Rockbeare parish council has voted to object to the application.

The objection says that it infringes on the emerging Rockbeare Neighbourhood Plan but also is premature, does not address the issues around congestion at the M5 junction 29 junction, the density of houses is too high, and the location of the all-weather pitch, the play areas, and the gypsy sites are in the wrong place.

Jacqui Peskett, locum parish clerk to the council says: “The application infringes on the emerging neighbourhood plan as the green wedge between Rockbeare and Cranbrook is intended to include the whole area to the east and north of Parsons Lane and that any development of the area to the west of the country park as proposed would potentially cause flooding in Rockbeare village.

“The proposal is premature, since there is still no overall development plan for Cranbrook, now promised for over three years, so issuing any more development permissions may seriously prejudice the proper development of a Cranbrook masterplan.

“The proposal does nothing to address the capacity of the M5/J29 which is already reaching overload at peak times.

“The developers have not learned the lessons of the first phase of development as the density of 45 homes/hectare is too high.

“The proposals makes no provision for healthcare and would exacerbate the already inadequate education provision in the area by adding a further primary school when the capacity of the secondary provision in Cranbrook is already at the limit.”

The objections also has concerns that the location of the all-weather pitch, the play areas, and the gypsy sites are in the wrong place.

But neighbouring Broadclyst parish council decided after a lengthy meeting that they have no comment to make on the reserved matters application.

Cranbrook town council had objected on the grounds that the green wedge between towns would be too narrow, the density of housing was too high and the location of the gypsy sites were in the wrong place.

Since the build of the new town in East Devon began in 2010, 3,500 homes, a railway station, St Martin’s Primary School, play facilities, the neighbourhood centre, local shops, the education campus, the Cranbrook Farm pub, while construction of buildings in the town centre and the sports pitches are underway, while plans for the ecology park in the town have also been submitted.

The application for the southern expansion for Cranbrook would see the town get an additional 1,200 homes, but also a petrol station, a residential care home, employment land, a new primary school, and an all-weather sports facility. …”

[For detailed information see original article]


Green Wedges reinforced by planning decisions in eastern and western Seaton

EDDC’s refusal to allow ‘sprawling development in the countryside’, in refusing of the latest planning application for houses on the Seaton-Colyford Green Wedge, has been reinforced by an Inspector’s rejection of an appeal by a developer wanting to build on the western edge of Seaton.

In dismissing the appeal, over plans to build 3 houses in the garden of Pembroke House, Beer Road, the Inspector says:

The effect of the proposal would also be to consolidate built development along Beer Road and extend the sporadic line of dwellings into the countryside. The proposal would harmfully erode the positive contribution it currently makes to greening the settlement edge. Therefore … the development would result in harmful encroachment of urban sprawl from the settlement into the open countryside.’

The appeal decision is also good news for residents concerned to protect the field adjacent to the site from development. The inspector notes:

‘a large paddock between this property and the appeal site reveals views to the coast and surrounding landscape. This paddock represents a definite visual break, marking the point where the character of the lane changes from urban into open countryside.’

Seaton/Colyford green wedge under attack from developers for the fourth time

Amended Planning Application 15/2188/MOUT

hosted by
Seaton & Colyford Green Wedge Community Action Group

Wednesday 12th October 7.00pm
Seaton Town Council Office Meeting Room
Marshlands Centre, Harbour Road, Seaton EX12 2LT

The above Meeting will be Chaired by Howard West, Leader of the Group, and Martin Shaw, a Seaton Town Councillor and Chair of their Planning Committee will also speak and explain the details of the Application. They will both be taking questions.

If you have looked at the paperwork in more detail, you will notice there is only one football pitch, with a Training & Recreation Area, plus parking and a Club House. Seaton FC were asking for two pitches. The Application mentions that there will be no floodlighting to the Recreation Area and Training Ground, but does not mention about the football pitch! Therefore we must assume that there will be floodlighting, as there is on the existing football pitch in Seaton.

This is a Public Meeting and you are all invited to come along and participate in the discussion. The Marshlands Centre is situated at the Harbour Road roundabout and there is limited parking on site. There is plenty of parking in the vicinity including Tescos (max 2 hours)”

Topsham: developers win appeal to build on green wedge

“Developers have won their appeal to build on the so-called Topsham Gap.

Now opponents are worried about a “domino effect” that could lead to more developments.

Hundreds of local people attended a planning inquiry to voice their opposition to plans for a 60-bed care home, plus more than 100 homes for over-55s.

Critics said the development would swallow up green belt land between the city and old port of Topsham.

The Planning Inspectorate has now decided that Exeter City Council was wrong to turn down the application by Waddeton Park Ltd.

The council has six weeks to make a further appeal to the High Court.

Earlier this year hundreds of protesters joined the battle over plans to build on green space separating Exeter and Topsham during a crucial public inquiry.

Banner-waving protesters made their feelings known at the start of the inquiry over proposals to develop land known as the Topsham Gap.

It followed Exeter City Council’s failure to determine Waddeton Park’s plans to build a 60-bed care home and more than 100 homes on fields next to Topsham Rugby Club.

The developer says it would provide “much-needed” housing for the area’s ageing population.

But campaign group, Save the Topsham Gap, claimed the town has its own identity and the “gap” is the last piece of land physically separating it from the city.

Organiser Lily Neal, 56, of The Topsham Bookshop, said:”It seems to come down to tough luck Topsham”

“The inspector has accepted all the developers’ arguments and are only hope was that he would accept the idea of more harm than benefit – but he hasn’t

“He says it would only cause modest harm.

“The council have six weeks to appeal but I have my doubts i it is expensive and its is the ratepayers of all of Exeter who would have to pay.

“I have to say I am worried about a possible domino effect – what’s next?”

Campaigners were anxious stop Topsham becoming just one more suburb of Exeter and retain its distinct, independent and unique identity.”

The proposals go against the council’s local plan, which designated the site a strategic “green wedge” not suitable for development.

Planning inspectorate Jonathan Bore had said he would determine the plans based on the need for additional housing in the city, and the effect on Exeter and the landscape.


Another green wedge under threat

Topsham is not in the East Devon District but IS in the East Devon parliamentary constituency of Hugo Swire. Let’s see if he speaks up for Topsham as Honiton and Tiverton MP Neil Parish did for Feniton. But don’t hold your breath – he’s travelling the world and probably won’t even know what’s happening here. And if he does, he will almost certainly not help, citing “being a minister” as his usual excuse.

Sorry, but if you voted for him, this is what you get – an absentee MP who doesn’t even have a second home in the constituency, preferring to have it in Mid-Devon.

Hundreds of people have attended a public inquiry to object to plans to build on an area of green space known as the “Topsham Gap”.

The land separates the town of Topsham from the city of Exeter.

The public inquiry follows Exeter City Council’s rejection of Waddeton Park’s plans to build a 60-bed care home plus more than 100 homes for over 55s.

The developer says it would provide “much-needed” housing for the area’s ageing population.

A campaign group, Save the Topsham Gap, objects to the development, claiming Topsham has its own identity and the “gap” is the last bit of land physically separating the two areas.

‘Antagonise the inspector’

An earlier inquiry in November was adjourned because the venue at Newcourt Community Centre was deemed too small for the numbers wanting to attend.
A number of local people who wanted to attend the start of the four-day inquiry at the Westpoint Centre, were angry at being “locked out” after arriving late, but an official said she was not willing to “antagonise the inspector” by allowing latecomers into the proceedings.

“This is like a court of law and the inspector is the judge – and the inspector decides how it will be run,” she told BBC News.

She said the people would be able to attend the afternoon session of the inquiry, but one objector said he was “appalled” at being locked out.
“It’s a public inquiry and we should be allowed in,” he said.

The inspector’s decision will be announced at a later date.”