Greendale wants a hot-shot Property Manager – preferably with experience of Local Plan and Greater Exeter Strategic Plan

Interesting Job Vacancy for a VERY expanding and expansionist company recently noted by Owl … Greendale Group are looking to appoint a Group Head of Property to join their team based at Greendale Business Park.

Seeing they are “developing future exciting and ambitious growth plans” are the residents prepared… Owl thinks maybe they will be now!

According to the Advert which was closed to applicants closed a few weeks ago, so let’s see who gets the job which seems a step-up for a planning officer, for example! The ad states:

“The Greendale Group is a successful family company which boasts a diverse range of businesses including the Greendale Business Park, Greendale Farm Shop, a large working farm (2,000 acres), a fishing business (23 vessels), Exmouth Marina, as well as several other investments in both commercial and residential property across the South West.

The Company is currently developing future exciting and ambitious growth plans. This key role has responsibility for all the Group’s property interests including the Greendale Business Park and reports directly to the MD and will be pivotal in ensuring the company realises its future potential.

Responsibilities:

• Management of commercial and residential portfolios across the business including the Greendale Business Park covering all aspects of property management: marketing, lettings, rent reviews, debt control, planning consent, insurance, maintenance and property improvements.
• Leading strategic expansion and development plans for the business including responsibility for overseeing planning applications.
• Reporting to the Board on key financial performance of the property portfolio.
• Identifying and developing projects to maximise commercial utility of property across the business including evaluating joint venture agreements, option agreements, promotion agreements and similar where appropriate.
• Appointing and managing consultants and advisors as required including architects, planning consultants, engineers, contractors, solicitors, agents and other professionals.
• Liaising with external stakeholders including local authorities and other statutory bodies.
• Preparation and delivery of property budgets and property maintenance programmes.
• Manage all areas of the Company’s property requirements including identifying property requirements for other parts of the Group’s business (for example, farmland and fishing).

Requirements:

• Professional Membership of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – ideally Chartered.
• Significant experience of managing a diverse range of properties/tenants at a strategic level.
• Track record of building strong working relationships with local authorities and statutory bodies.
• Knowledge of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan / East Devon Local Plan would be highly beneficial.
• Highly commercial, excellent negotiation skills and the ability to influence at all levels.
• Highly organised and efficient.
• Strong IT skills (advanced Excel).

The role of Group Head of Property offers a highly competitive salary and benefits package which includes a basic salary, bonus and company car allowance. If you are an experienced property professional seeking a new, challenging and exciting opportunity, this could be the right role for you.”

Tory candidate sucks up to Carters at Greendale

Anyone who reads this blog knows the contempt it has for the Carters and the Greendale empire, which spreads its ever-growing tentacles throughout East Devon. Just put “Greendale” or “Carter” in the blog search box to see how they control many industries and landholdings (which they are notorious for extending by retrospective planning applications for or exploiting planning loopholes).

Now we read this from the parachuted-in East Devon Tory candidate on his Facebook page:

Great to welcome the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, to #EastDevon. We visited two thriving businesses – Little Pod in Farringdon and Greendale Farm. I will always back business to create more jobs and opportunities. Check out the beard net!

Why would anyone vote for someone who gives this group publicity and support?

Well, Swire had his office in one of their properties, of course …

A mysterious planning application … from Greendale and the Carters yet again?

From a correspondent – all photograps are at the end of the document.

Planning Application for Consultation by 4th Dec

A planning application has been submitted to EDDC 19/2393/FUL for the construction of an agricultural building at Cooks Farm Castle Lane Woodbury.

The application is from Planning Consultation Company “Bell Cornwell LLP” but there are no details of the applicant or landowner.

The only suggestion of who is the owner is provided in the documents relating to the Location Map which shows that the Cooks Farm is in the same ownership as Castle Brake Caravan Park.

Therefore, it can be assumed that this 25-acre field now described as “Cooks Farm” is owned by the same company as the Caravan Park.

Castle Brake Caravan Park and Ladram Bay Caravan Park are both owned by Mrs. Zoe House together with her brother Mr. Robin Carter, who is also a director of FWS Carter and Sons who own Greendale Business Park.

The Documents also state:

The application site is bounded to the north and north east by agricultural land forming part of the same holding with the unnamed lane beyond, to the east/south east by agricultural land forming part of the same holding with a wooded area beyond and to the south/southwest and west by agricultural land part of the same holding

The location and description is, somewhat confusing as the unnamed lane is Dog Lane in Woodbury Salterton, and a better description would be north of Castle Brake Caravan Park.

The Application documents also state

The applicant acquired the holding (10.432 Hectare field) in 2019 in April 2019 and a new barn is very important as the field is in a stand-alone farming enterprise that will be used for grazing and handling of cattle, ewes and lambs, silage and crops in rotation.

” There are no existing buildings on the site and a secure building is essential for livestock element of the agricultural business in order to store animal feed, provide space to handle livestock and accommodate and care for sick animals.”

The drawings of the proposed building show a building with 5 roller shutter doors.

The East Devon Local Plan states regarding new agricultural buildings.

D7 – Agricultural Buildings and Development:

New agricultural buildings and/or buildings intended for intensive agricultural activities that could give rise to adverse amenity, landscape, environmental or other impacts will be permitted where there is a genuine agricultural need for the development and the following criteria are met:

1. It is well integrated with its surroundings and closely related to existing buildings, being of appropriate location, scale, design and materials so as not to harm the character, biodiversity and landscape of the rural area particularly within the AONB.

2. It will not be detrimental to the amenity of nearby residents on grounds of smell, noise or fly nuisance.

4. It has been established that there are no other suitable buildings on the holding or in the vicinity which could meet the reasonable need.

5. It will not lead to an unacceptable increase in traffic on the local highway network

6. All clean roof and surface waters will be drained separately from foul drainage and foul drainage will not discharge to any watercourse in order to prevent pollution of the water environment.

Proposals for the development of new large-scale buildings for livestock or for other use that could have polluting impacts should be accompanied by a Waste Management Plan.

The documents provided by the Agent does not confirm that it has been established that no suitable building in the vicinity could meet this need.

The nearest farm complex owned by FWS Carter and Sons to whom Robin Carter is a director is at Hogsbrook Farm only 1.2 miles away.

If this application was related to the Caravan Park the East Devon Local Plan states under E19

E19 – Holiday Accommodation Parks: Outside of designated landscape areas, proposals for new sites and extensions of existing sites will be permitted where they meet the following six criteria:

1. The proposal relates sensitively in scale and siting to the surroundings and includes extensive landscaping and visual screening to mitigate against adverse impacts. They do not affect habitats or protected species.

2. They are within, or in close proximity, to an existing settlement but would not have an adverse impact on the character or setting of that settlement or the amenities of adjoining residents.

3. They would not use the best and most versatile agricultural land.

4. They will be provided with adequate services and utilities

5. Traffic generated by the proposal can be accommodated safely on the local highway network and safe highway access to the site can be achieved.

6. The development will be subject to the provisions of plan policy in terms of sustainable construction and on-site renewable energy production.

Proposals for the extension of existing caravan and camping sites or the addition of related and ancillary facilities on existing sites, within designated landscapes, will only be permitted where they meet the above criteria in full and provide no new permanent structures or are replacement structures designed to blend into their surroundings.

Because the location of this new proposed building is within the “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” further expansion of the Caravan Park cannot take place. (The field is dissected by the AONB boundary).

 

The Planning can be viewed on the EDDC planning website under the reference 19/2393/FUL comments need to be sent by the 4th of Dec

Conservation against Profit? It’s Greendale again …

From a correspondent:

A development proposal adjacent to Woodbury Common for 14 “holiday lodges” could be built on a section of the golf course created by the owners of Greendale Business Park.

The Hotel and Golf course was sold some years ago to Nigel Mansell and two years ago, sold again to a c company known as the “Club Company” which operates 13 Country Clubs in the UK, who are owned by a London Based private equity group “Epiris”

The planning application documents outlines how falling numbers of golfers across England is forcing clubs to diversify and that it is necessary to attract golfing markets, such as golf breaks, through ventures like the proposed holiday accommodation.

The developers view:

It also says that with the golfing sector under pressure with declining membership and participation forcing many clubs out of business, they must look at new ways to attract golf societies and other groups looking for golfing holidays.

One way to do this is through investing in new accommodation and the lodges would add to the existing hotel on the site.

The statement explains how the number of registered golfers has dropped eight per cent in the last four years. Adults playing golf has fallen 27 per cent between 2007 and 2016, and juniors playing golf weekly have dropped five per cent since 2014.
It adds:

“In clubs where membership is growing, clubs have taken positive steps to address the issues and are catering for a range of different needs and are developing facilities to broaden income streams and become part of the community.”

“The proposed changes at Woodbury Park Hotel and Golf Club aim to follow a similar pattern, providing further golf accommodation in order to attract more golfers from a wider national market.”

“Given the declining popularity of playing golf in England and in order to maintain the business, it is necessary to attract golfing markets, such as golf breaks, through the proposed holiday accommodation. This will allow the club to attract more golfers and more visitors to the bars, restaurant, health club and spa, to generate a vital additional income stream.”

However, the location chosen to build these lodges is next to a very important historic and environmentally important ancient “Green lane” known as Walkidons Way.

The Conservation view.

A local conservation group describes the location:

“Walkidons Way is a rare example in our locality of a green lane – most of the rest having been tarmaced. It is a public access route and runs between Hogsbrook Farm at its north-western end and Woodbury Common at Woodbury Park to the south-east. Along the way it passes beside Rockham Wood – a (private) ancient wood that is a designated County Wildlife Site.

A green lane can be defined as an un-metalled track with field boundaries on either side. These boundaries may be banks, hedges or woodland edges, often with features such as ditches – all of which can be seen along the length of Walkidons Way. The hedges and woodland edges here are particularly rich in examples of hedge-laying and coppicing of great age, and possibly also an ancient boundary trees.

In terms of bio-diversity, green lanes are mini-landscapes with their own micro-climate and ecology, due to the combination of the track and its boundary features. They may be more botanically species-rich than a single hedge, act as wildlife corridors, and their sheltered conditions are of great importance, for example, to butterfly populations.
Historically, Walkidons Way linked Greendale Barton – formerly an important farm on the site of the present Greendale Business Park – to the Common. This route adopted from at least Saxon times, as a drover road, for moving stock between Greendale and the Common.

The former agricultural land here has been much altered for leisure use, and the lane now passes between golf courses at the higher end, and fishing lakes lower down, which were both created during the 1990s. The Woodbury Park complex, which opened in 1995, was a highly controversial development at the time, but has become a generally accepted element of the modern landscape.

The track and its verges are unfortunately suffering degradation from modern vehicular traffic, but Walkidons Way offers a beautiful walk of very different character to that of most of our local lanes, to the open spaces of the Common.”
It will be interesting to see if the need of “big business” will win over the concern to preserve an ancient way.

The Planning can be viewed on the EDDC planning website under the reference 19/2145/FUL

A tale of two anaerobic digesters …

Before tonight’s Inside Out programme on BBC1 about anaerobic digesters in Clyst St Mary, it maybe worth pointing out there are TWO of them – one at Enfield Farm at Clyst St Mary off Oil Mill Lane, owned by the people that own Crealy (the Down family) plus one at Hogsbrook near Greendale owned by the Carters.

To make matters more complicated, both were developed by a company called Greener for Life – until they went into administration and were then run by separate companies but with similar directors as Greener for Life. (Keep up there at the back, keep up!).

It’s the Enfield Farm one that is in the news – basically as it was built with double the capacity as specified at the Planning Application stage. (Note to planners: why was this allowed? Where was the Enforcement Officer?).

To restrict additional tractor movements and travelling far distances to obtain feed it’s not allowed to run at 100per cent (again, note to planners, why was this allowed?).

They are appealing against the planning condition at the moment.

Which begs the question: if I got planning permission to build a 2-bed house but built a 4-bed house instead, would planners have agreed – as long as no-one used the two extra bedrooms and we used only two of our cars on the site rather than the 4 we had there?

Allegations about Clyst St Mary anaerobic digester on Inside Out tonight

“Jemma Woodman investigates the green credentials of farm-based power production …”

Tonight BBC1 7.30 pm

Apparently, breaking agreements and not-so-green …

Surprise, surprise … yet again the Carters of Greendale involved! Yet another headache for Environment Portfolio holder Geoff Jung and Leader Ben Ingham.

Just one of many posts by East Devon Watch on this subject:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/07/13/investigation-launched-at-greendale-business-park-by-the-environment-agency/

A couple of interesting Development Management Committee decisions

Greendale – two applications:

Applicant:
Mr Terence Adams.
Location:
Greendale Farm, Greendale Lane, Clyst St Mary, EX5 1AW.

Development Management Committee 6 August 2019

Proposal:
Demolition of existing farmhouse and replacement with 3 cottages and associated car parking, landscaping, bin store and ancillary works.
RESOLVED:
Approved as per officer recommendation.

WOODBURY AND LYMPSTONE Applicant:
FWS Carter and Sons Ltd.
Location:
10 Hogsbrook Units, Woodbury Salterton, EX5 1PY.
Proposal:
Retention of extension to industrial unit (including change of use from agricultural to Class B8 (storage)).
RESOLVED:
Approved as per officer recommendation.

And this one, where the applicant appears to be a senior member of Stags Estate Agency (Head of Residential Lettings and Property Management)
https://www.stags.co.uk/staff/andrew-luxton-mrics-farla
and the application was approved contrary to officer recommendation:

DUNKESWELL AND OTTERHEAD Applicant:
Mr A Luxton.
Location:
Emmetts Farm, Beacon, Yarcombe, Honiton, EX14 9LU.
Proposal:
General purpose agricultural building.
RESOLVED:
Approved contrary to officer recommendation with delegated authority to officers to impose appropriate conditions.
Members considered that the proposal was of an appropriate scale and materials such that it would conserve and enhance the AONB. In addition, it was considered that the proposed building was a sufficient distance from the nearby listed building to not cause any harm to its setting.

https://democracy.eastdevon.gov.uk/documents/g273/Printed%20minutes%2006th-Aug-2019%2010.00%20Development%20Management%20Committee.pdf?T=1

https://www.stags.co.uk/staff/andrew-luxton-mrics-farla

“Power plant plans for [Carter family?] land on outskirts of Exmouth”

A planning application has been submitted to provide 20 self-contained generators on land south of Woodbury Business Park.

Enquiries seem to point to Woodbury Business Park being the instigators. Woodbury Business Park is owned by Zoe House and her husband. Zoe is the sister to Robin and Rowan Carter and therefore an an aunt to William Carter, who is a Conservative candidate for Woodbury and Lympstone at the coming district council election on 2 May 2019.

“A new power plant could be built on the outskirts of Exmouth, new plans have revealed.

A planning application has been submitted on behalf of Plutus Energy Group for 20 self-contained natural gas engine-driven electricity generators on land South of Woodbury Business Park.

The application has already drawn two objections with one saying it contravenes both the National Planning Policy Framework and the other calling it ‘totally inappropriate’ for this part of East Devon.

However, East Devon District Council’s environmental health department has said the power plant would have a ‘low impact’ on the nearest residential properties.

Woodbury Parish Council is set to be consulted and the deadline for consultation is Friday, May 10.

East Devon District Council will make the final decision.

https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/power-plant-plans-for-woodbury-1-6004231

20 days to local elections: today’s picture

This image below shows current planning issues at Greendale Business Park – many of which have been allowed, or allowed to drag on, by EDDC Tory councillors who form the majority decision-makers in “planning” and planning “enforcement” (those inverted commas are there deliberately!). Many of Greendale’s planning applications have been approved retrospectively.

Independent Councillor Geoff Jung works tirelessly (in the face of great difficulty) to try to ensure that Greendale stays within its proper boundaries – but it is a never-ending task:

How many Retrospective Applications can one company do at once? Answer 9! Where? Greendale Business Park!

In 2017 FWS Carter and Sons, the owners of Greendale Business Park, appealed against an “Enforcement Notice” against the removal of various industrial compounds and buildings at their Business Park, which they had built prior to obtaining planning permission.

They lost their appeal with the Planning Inspector, who stated in his report that FWS Carter and Sons had misinterpreted the East Devon Local Plan and that their interpretation was “patently wrong”.

But undaunted the company challenged the Inspectors decision in the High Court. Early last year the company lost the appeal in the High Court. The Judge’s decision also restricted the owners any further opportunity to appeal and them to pay all costs arising from the case.

The Company was required to return the area back to agricultural use, but it transpires that they imported soil and laid this over the concrete yards and simply reseeded it.

It remains to be seen if the covering the concrete is enough to satisfy the Planning Inspectors requirement that the land must return to agricultural use.

Lessons learnt?

So once bitten, twice shy you would have thought with substantial losses, large court fees and professional fees involved!!

Unfortunately, it would seem not, for this family run business. Now there are 9 applications which are known to have been or are in the process of building work before the Planning Applications were submitted.

18/2866/FUL. A retrospective planning application for a rear roller shutter door and concrete pad on the rear of an industrial building onto agricultural land at Unit 11 Hogsbrook Farm. This application is before East Devon’s Planning Committee on Tuesday 4 March.

19/0034/COU. A Retrospective Application at Hogsbrook East 6. A retrospective change of use from agricultural use to industrial. An interesting history to this one! Originally built for a gas pipeline contractors’ compound that had to be returned to agricultural use when the pipeline was completed. However, FWS Carter and Sons applied for planning permission to retain the secure compound for fruit farming. Instead of fruit-growing, Woodbury Carbreakers as tenants stored scrapped vehicles there instead! After 3 years and a court case they were eventually evicted by the Environment Agency, but the owners then used it for commercial storage. Their application for industrial use failed 3 years ago, but just before an Enforcement Notice was served in late 2018 they submitted a further application. But they withdraw it and submitted this latest application.

19/0035/COU. A Retrospective Application next to Hogsbrook East 6. Very similar to the previous application which was used for the gas pipeline company. FWS Carter and Sons submitted, what is called a “Certificate of Lawfulness” which in planning terms means that after 10 years of illegal use they would not require planning permission, to allow to continue operations. However, their own documents clearly stated that gas pipeline contractors had been tenants until July 2009. As this was classified at permitted lawful use the submission was refused. Just as the previous application prior to an “Enforcement Notice” was served as the previous site in late 2018 they submitted a further planning application. They again withdraw it, a submitted this further application.

19/0332/CPE. This was a submission of a “Certificate of Lawfulness” at Greendale unit 33A. Following the publication of the East Devon Villages Plan it was realised that this unit was outside the permitted “Employment Zone” for Greendale Business Park. This was because in its 15 years of operations, planning permission had never been applied for! Therefore, the Local Authority asked the company to summit the paperwork to legalise the operation.

19/043/FUL. A Retrospective Application for 3 Freezer storage pods at Compound 31. The compound is used by DHL Logistics for parcel distribution, but early last year after winning a distribution contract with Kentucky Fried Chicken they started frozen food distribution as well. Several residents living close by the noisy freezer units and hearing the loading and unloading during the night reported the problem to Environmental Health at East Devon. They suggested to the Planning Department that a retrospective application should be submitted.

19/0288/FUL. A Retrospective Application for an extension to Unit 10 at Hogsbrook Farm to extend an Industrial Building which sits on the Employment Boundary of Greendale Business Park. This would mean that the extended building would straddle the boundary between Industrial/Agricultural use.

18/2867/FUL. A Retrospective Application to extend Compound 62 beyond the Employment Boundary into agricultural and landscaping area. The area has been built up over recent years with inert waste material under an Environment Agency permit but it would seem the Company has gone beyond the permitted landfill area.

There are 2 further Retrospective Planning Applications due for extensions to Agricultural units that have been reported to the Enforcement Officer at East Devon District Council.

That’s nine Retrospective Applications in a row. Is that a record!!

And the Government still insist that Planning Authorities treat Retrospective Applications the same as any other Application!

Greendale owner 30th most influential Devonian

Our old friend Karime Hassan (CEO Exeter City Council) is in 19th place, Steve Hindley (Chair,Local Enterprise Partnership) is 18th, Alison Hernandez (Police and Crime Commissioner) in 12th place, John Varley (CEO, Clinton Devon Estates) in 9th place, with Devon County Council’s CEO Phil Norey in 2nd place and DCC Leader John Hart in first place.

“30. Rowan Carter, Director Greendale Group

The company behind the Greendale Farm Shop and Waterdance fishing fleet, incorporates a diverse range of businesses. From its beginning as a farming enterprise set up by the Carter family more than 150 years ago, the group includes the farm shop, Waterdance Fishing, Greendale Living, Greendale Business Park, Greendale Haulage, Exmouth Marina and Greendale Leisure. Last year, the Carter family unveiled major expansion plans for the Greendale Farm Shop to create 30 jobs and provide ‘significant benefits’ to East Devon.

The family has also made a £5million commission of two new fishing boats, including the largest beam trawler to be launched under the British flag in over 20 years. The company also wants to build more agricultural buildings and intends to acquire more farmland in order to expand its farming business.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/business/50-most-powerful-people-devon-2450702

Yet Another Planning Saga at Greendale!

Clearly FWS Carter and Sons, the owners of Greendale Business Park are not taking “no” for an answer!

They have submitted two further retrospective planning applications 18/2661/COU and 18/2660/COU for two compounds on Hogsbrook Lane between Greendale Business Park and their farm at Hogsbrook.

There is a very long history going back 12 years for these two Industrial Compounds known as Compound East 6 at Greendale Business Park.

The area was an agricultural field up to 2007 when a Gas Pipeline Contractor building a new Gas Main through Devon used a “permitted development rights” application to construct a service yard for contractor’s equipment and storage, but with an agreed condition that it had to be returned to agricultural use following the completion of the project.

However, FWS Carter and Sons submitted a planning application APP 09/0099/FUL for the retention of hard standing and security fence for growing fruit! The retention was claimed by the applicant to be justified as fruit growing was an agricultural use and the project needed security fencing and a hard standing.

However, immediately after the approval, the site was used for the storage of scrapped vehicles by Woodbury Carbreakers. As the site did not have the appropriate planning nor Environment Agency permit a court case followed against the tenant and the site was eventually cleared after 3 years.

The Site Owners then used it for commercial and industrial purposes and finally submitted a retrospective planning application App 16/0568/FUL for Storage of HGVs in the Fruit Farm Enclosure. However, this application was refused. East Devon District Council were informed that the applicant would appeal. The applicant had 6 months up to 23/11/2016 to lodge an appeal, but no appeal was submitted, but the industrial use continued.

During this time EDDC Local Plan was approved in 2016 which included Policy E7 which allows extensions to Employment sites (except Greendale and Hill Barton that were considered too large for their rural locations). The East Devon Villages Plans approved in Feb 2018 also included a section on the “Greendale Employment Area” which excludes these specific locations off Hogsbrook Lane.

FWS Carter and sons in 2017 then applied for a Planning Variation order 17/2350/VAR to remove a planning condition to the original 2009 application which required the security fence and hardstanding to be removed if the fruit farm business failed. This application was held up for approximately 12 months due to legal matters. The Application was finally agreed in Oct 2018 but with a condition stating that the use must remain agricultural.
East of Compound 6 and further from the Hogsbrook Lane is an area that over the years has become a storage area for Industrial and agricultural products and equipment. It was originally used for the Gas Pipe line contractors and following their departure in 2009 it has been used by the landowners and their tenants.

In 2017 the owners submitted a Certificate of Lawfulness 17/2441/CPE. These Certificates are used by landowners who have used a specific area for more than 10 years without the correct planning permission and therefore are able to claim that the current use is now “lawful” after 10 years illegal use.

However, it was highlighted to the Planning Authority by the local “Woodbury Salterton Residents Association” that some of the use was agricultural and anyway the Gas Pipe Line Compound was “permitted development”, so the application failed the 10-year time requirement. Therefore, the submission failed.

It is normal practice that a planning Authority would inform landowners that an “Enforcement Notice” would eventually be served in cases like this where there has been breaches in planning regulations.

To presumably delay the Enforcement Notice, FWS Carter and sons have now submitted two further retrospective applications for a change of use application 18/2661/COU at compound East 6 and a further application 18/2660/COU for the compound relating to the failed “Certificate of Lawfulness”

Therefore, the Enforcement Notices will not be served whilst these applications are considered, with the decision to serve the Enforcement Notices being subject to the decision on these latest two applications.

The Saga of Hogsbrook Lane therefore continues!

Greendale industrial unit dog care business taken to court by EDDC

This took place in August 2018. The accompanying photograph is very upsetting. This is what can happen in an industrial unit. Perhaps the Greendale owners should audit their tenants:

“A dog day care business in Devon has been unsuccessful in appealing against an order and new rules after concerns were raised about the welfare of animals in its care.

A Dog’s Day Out, which is run from an industrial unit at Greendale Business Park in Woodbury Salterton, was found to have insufficient staffing levels for the number of dogs, a lack of beds which meant dogs were sleeping on concrete floors, and dogs and staff were being put at risk because they were being kept in large packs.

Reports received from former staff members, some dog owners and staff at East Devon District Council, said at times there were fewer than four staff looking after 65 dogs. …

It was deemed operators were not taking sufficient responsibility under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for the health, safety and well-being of the dogs.

To address the concerns, officers decided it was reasonable to require that the dogs were kept in groups of no more than 10 dogs, and staffing levels should be sufficient to ensure continual care throughout the day.

The conditions were included in the council’s 2018 licence for the business but the operator of A Dog’s Day Out appealed against them.

He said that the new conditions requiring the grouping of dogs was not reasonable and the animals should be allowed to run freely all day in what had become a very large pack of dogs.

The operator said that staff could be given the responsibility to separate out any dogs causing problems or needing quiet space, even when the licensee was not on site.

… An appeal hearing was recently held in Exeter. The witnesses were all of the view that the risk to dogs and staff was low if the dogs were allowed to function as one large group.

The magistrates decided that the council had been reasonable in imposing the conditions, which are similar to those included on other dog day care licences in East Devon, and dismissed the appeal.

Costs of almost £6,500 were awarded to the council.

… The owner and manager of A Dog’s Day Out is Dean Wilkinson describes itself as the south west’s premier day care centre for dogs. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/inside-dog-day-care-centre-1884523

Companies House shows that 4 other directors have resigned between 2015 and 2018 and that Mr Wilkinson gives a business address in Ottery St Mary.

Owners of Greendale object to planning conditions!

FWS Carter and Sons, the owners of Greendale Business Park, have asked East Devon District Council to reconsider two planning applications which were approved in Oct by the Development Management Committee. 17/2430/MFUL and 18/0920/FUL both being applications for Agricultural Buildings.

They are asking the Council to remove the suggested legal agreements to secure a non-alienation clause preventing their sale or letting to another party and requiring the buildings to remain in agricultural use.

The legal agreement was suggested by the District Councils Legal representative as an alternative way of ensuring that the buildings are used only for the agricultural and not converted to employment or industrial units in the future.

Councillors were concerned due to the previous history of unauthorised conversions of agricultural buildings to employment units at Hogsbrook Farm by the owners.

Since the application was agreed the owners have held meetings with the Legal Dept at EDDC claiming the legal agreements are “unnecessary and unreasonable”.

FWS Carter and Sons also consider the imposing the legal clause jeopardises the farm’s financing arrangements, restrict succession planning, prevent certain corporate organisations and unduly restricts the business in an uncertain economic climate.

The applicant is reported to have discussed the legal agreement with their bank lender to ascertain their position. The report claims the bank manager who has been a specialist agricultural lender since 1995 cannot recall a Legal 106 Agreement ever having been applied to a farm building before. The lender further noted that a S106 agreement could restrict the bank’s flexibility to enforce against its security and could reduce the value of the security. This would impact the bank’s lending on both the proposed buildings and the land.

There is a long history in relation to Agricultural units at both Greendale Business Park and now at nearby Hogsbrook Farm. There have been over 10 previous applications over a 30-year period by the applicant that due to the agricultural units not being commercially viable and therefore redundant or not being suitable they have applied for a change of use to industrial use. This has resulted in the continual growth from a farm holding to a large Business Park which is in the open countryside.

Previous attempts to curb this practice have failed following a Government Inspector overturning a previous planning refusal even when the agricultural unit had a planning condition attached to the planning approval only 10 years previously that if the agricultural use was no longer needed the unit was required to be removed.

The Planning Report states:

“The planning system has enough protection in terms of the use of the building to ensure that any new use would be assessed against planning policy, regardless of whether a section 106 was in place and it is considered that a non-alienation clause secured through a legal agreement is not now required.”

The report recommends to the Committee to support the applications without the need for a section 106 agreement.

Local Residents are concerned that the recent expansion at Hogsbrook Farm will eventually become a further Industrial Area just like Greendale Business Park did.

Save Clyst St Mary update

NB:
East Devon Watch readers will recall the earlier history of this plant:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/07/13/investigation-launched-at-greendale-business-park-by-the-environment-agency/

“It’s been a while since any new large scale planning applications have been submitted in Clyst St Mary and I’m aware that there are a number of residents interested in our Campaign who are new to the village. We have recently been inundated regarding the new planning applications for the expansion and variation of the Anaerobic Digester. This is situated in Oil Mill Lane and has historically been the cause of some extremely offensive smells in the village.

Such increases do not comply with the original 2014 concept for a small, sustainable on-farm digester and planning conditions limiting site size, infrastructure, tonnage, transportation and output were specifically included to protect the amenities of local residents and control over-development. We support sustainable, environmentally friendly energy production – but approving a small on-farm Anaerobic Digester in Clyst St Mary is entirely inconsistent with approving a huge industrial-sized one!
Since 2014 the Applicants have systematically pursued enormous expansion and, as a village, we have suffered hugely from odours, noise and congestion from the multiple farm vehicles visiting the site.

One of our members has written some detailed sample letters objecting to the variation of conditions and extension to the anaerobic digester. If you want to object, please use one of the sample letters for the variation and a second one for the expansion. Add your details and send your emails to planningwest@eastdevon.gov.uk or you can print a copy off and post through our letter box (11 Clyst Valley Road) before 21st November 2018. I will ensure they get to East Devon District Council.

As you’re probably aware we are still expecting an amendment to the Winslade Park development (a very large scale housing development) and therefore The Save Clyst St Mary group is always very grateful for more hands-on support from residents, so if you would like to get more actively involved, please do let me know.”

Saveclyststmary.org.uk

UK fish quotas and the Carters of Greendale … anyone remember this

Wonder what the situation is now?

“In a small marina in Exmouth sits the Nina May. The 4.8m fibreglass boat is not much to look at, with just a small outboard motor it pales against the luxurious sailing boats that crowd the harbour.

The boat is something of a legend amongst fishermen in the south west. Many have heard about this mysterious, tiny vessel but few have ever seen it sail.

That is because the Nina May has a secret. The tiny boat holds a massive amount of FQA, the unit used to dole out the right to fish in the UK.

In fact the boat holds nearly a fifth of all fishing rights for the South West of England, and has much more quota than all but one of the much larger fishing boats in the area.

But those figures seem to defy logic. According to government records, that amount of FQA equates to around 1,500 tonnes of fish a year. That means the tiny boat would need to fish an average of four tonnes of fish a day!

Greenpeace spoke to Robin Carter, who runs F W S Carter Limited, the fishing company that owns the boat along with 12 other, much larger vessels.

Carter explained that he transferred the FQA licenses onto the tiny boat and then sends out his bigger boats to write off their catches against that allowance.

By doing that Carter’s fishermen can essentially fish without risking being penalised on quota should they be caught breaking the rules.

“Why it’s on the Nina May is that if you get an offence, a log book offence, or some silly little offence, the ministry would freeze your licence. You wouldn’t be allowed to sell your licence or sell your quota on it.

“We took the precaution – because we got caught once – of taking the fish off all the boats and just putting it one the one boat.

“It’s on there for no other reason than that licence will never get frozen because it just goes in and out of the river and hopefully never commits an offence.”

Local news reports from 2011 state that a Robin Carter was charged £4,040 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to setting an illegal net off the coast near Sidmouth.

The chairman of the magistrates court which ruled on the case said that Robin Carter was an ‘experienced fisherman’ and described his actions as ‘deliberate and reckless.’

The company made an operating profit of £2,628,000 last year.

“We fish about 90% of the quota we have and lease the rest. We use the Marine Management Organisations set rates or the landing price to guide us, but markets prices move. It’s all about supply and demand. Quota is a currency you can swap,” Carter added.

The Marine Management Organisation, the government body that oversees fishing allocation, told Unearthed there are no regulatory restrictions on the number of FQA units that can be held on a single licence.

It said it has significantly improved the transparency of FQAs making data available through the FQA register which also enables FQA holders to transfer their FQA units electronically subject to Quota Management Rules.

Griffin Carpenter from the New Economics Foundation researches the economics of European quota systems. He says this type of hoarding goes against the spirit of the system.

“FQAs were intended to correspond to the actual fishing activity of vessels, but the case of the Nina May highlights just how far we’ve moved from matching quota with fishing activity. This practice may not be illegal, but it’s also not fulfilling any objective of the quota system, especially as many vessels are desperately trying to get access more quota and the government is trying to ensure that all existing quota is used,” said Carpenter.

Carter does not think there is anything wrong with holding so much fishing rights on a tiny dinghy.

“It’s an asset we’ve invested in for the last 20 years,” he explains. “Others sold themselves out of the industry- some people sold it off to foreign nationals- or sold it to us. We saw this system coming and that’s why we invested in quota.”

https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2016/05/15/investigation-why-this-tiny-boat-has-more-fishing-rights-than-many-trawlers/

Greendale exploits planning loopholes yet again

PRESS RELEASE:

“FWS Carter and Sons were successful in obtaining planning permission for 2 further agricultural buildings at Hogsbrook Farm, next to their Business Park at Woodbury Salterton.

The 2 planning applications were debated at East Devon’s Planning meeting on Tuesday 2nd Oct at the Knowle Sidmouth. The 2 planning applications were17/2430/MFUL and 18/0920/FUL for large agricultural sheds at Hogsbrook Farm. They were both recommended for approval by the planning department.

Although the Planning Committee were reluctant to grant planning permission for these 2 buildings only 18 months after a planning inspector overturned the committee’s decision to refuse 2 similar units being changed from agricultural use to industrial, because it was claimed they were redundant for agricultural and their remaining cattle sheds a facilities were more than adequate for their farming needs for the foreseeable future.

Yet within a short space of time after the previous units were converted to Industrial use the company applied for these 2 further agricultural buildings due to the alleged expansion to their farm business.

It was pointed out that there have now been many similar applications at Greendale and Hogsbrook Farm where agricultural building have changed to industrial or business use due to the company claiming that they were no longer needed for their agriculture needs.

Committee members were concerned that although it seemed obvious that FWS Carter and Sons are “cynically abusing” the planning system and conditions attached to previous applications which had tried to control these changes, that have by default allowed the Business Park to expand considerably and in an uncontrolled manner.

The planning officer stated that the Government and East Devon planning regulations could unfortunately not prevent these applications being approved, as the applicant had submitted an agricultural justification statement, and the applications complied with all the legal requirements, but he agreed to recommend a legal clause that should prevent the applicant from converting these further 2 units to industrial or business use in the future.

District Councillor Geoff Jung a planning committee member and the local Councillor for Raleigh Ward which includes Woodbury Salterton said after the meeting.

“There are now more than a dozen massive Industrial units at Greendale and Hogsbrook Farm which were all retrospectively changed in use and later granted permission for industrial use.”

“I totally support encouraging businesses to expand and I totally support farmers to expand and diversify and I am all for the welfare of the animals.”

“But we are also the custodians of our countryside which needs protection from uncontrolled development.”

“It very disappointing to the local community that a local developer and landowner, FWS Carter and Sons, have been successful in working the planning system.”

“I do hope the legal draft to be added the planning permission will now prevent further applications of this nature”

Fire close to Greendale Business Park

“Firefighters are tackling a huge blaze involving “300 to 400” hay bales near Exeter.

Fire crews were called to a field near Greendale Business Park in Woodbury Salterton at about 04:45.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said “approximately 300 to 400 large straw bales” were on fire.

They remain at the scene and are trying to stop the blaze from spreading.

Appliances in the lanes surrounding so may be tricky driving around Woodbury/Woodbury Salterton.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-45085272

Investigation launched at Greendale Business Park by the Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has announced they will be investigating a serious incident that happened at the Anaerobic Digestion Plant next to Greendale Business Park on Tuesday morning 03.07.2018.

The AD Plant at Hogsbrook Farm is owned by FWS Carter and Sons who also run Greendale Business Park but lease the plant to “Ixora Energy Ltd.” The plant uses farm crops harvested locally and livestock manure to produce biogas and bio fertiliser. The Gas is then used to produce Electricity that is fed into the National Grid and is used by Greendale Business Park.

The Grindle Brook has been impacted by the incident of a substantial leakage of “digestate” from the AD Plant. However, the impact was minimised by the direct action of bunding the watercourse and removing the effluent by vacuum tanker, actions which were taken almost immediately by the AD plant (and staff at Greendale Business Park).

The Environment Agency are confident that this action captured most of the discharge itself. However, it did result in a small stretch of deprived reach. Impact to this reach was minimised by tankering fresh water below the bund and frequent monitoring of the watercourse for any wildlife in distress by both the site and EA officers over the 3 or 4 days that this incident took place.

There was concern from members of the public, who saw operators discharging what appeared to be effluent into the stream at Greendale, however this was not the case. They were putting freshwater in at the point at which the discharge entered the stream, which helps provide oxygen to the stream and move any residual polluted water down towards the vacuum tankers to facilitate removal.

Water for this operation was taken from a lake between Honey Lane and the Greendale Farm Shop.

The AD Plants at Hogsbrook and at Clyst St Mary were both run by a company called “Greener for Life”, until the company went into receivership last year after 3 years of trading. However, several the directors secured further funding for a new company “Ixora Energy Ltd” to buy the assets and contracts of Greener for Life Energy Ltd.

There has been a number of incidents relating to Greener for Life Energy Ltd, which was a Devon-based company producing energy from agricultural waste.

In 2015 the company and the site owner of a farm near Tiverton Nomansland Biogas Ltd, were fined over £10,000 and made to pay £7,019 in costs for negligently polluting a watercourse and contravening the requirements of an environmental permit.

The two companies were handed the fine at Exeter Magistrates’ Court in June 2015 after being found guilty of polluting two and a half kilometers of the River Dalch where the effects of the pollution were substantial, with the Environment Officer finding 100 per cent sewage fungus coverage for one kilometer from the discharge point and significant sewage fungus growth impacting a total of two and a half kilometers of the River Dalch.

An Environment Officer said at the time: “The effluent has a severely polluting effect – it is 100 times more polluting than raw sewage. Starving the river of oxygen has led to a significant adverse effect on water quality, animal health and flora.

The Environment Agency have said that the incident at Hogsbrook may result in regulatory or enforcement action with regards to how and why it happened and how it should be prevented from happening again.

They also say that it was fortunate that no wider impact was identified and therefore the pollution was contained within the bunded area – which is probably a best-case scenario given the nature of the incident.

Greendale Business Park Tree Order – East Devon Alliance Councillor Geoff Jung instrumental in getting it passed

Well done, East Devon Alliance Councillor Jung! Others with business parks earmarked for their areas should take note! The tree order for the area around Greendale Business Park has been out for consultation and is now agreed and signed off. Let’s hope the owners of Greendale have the map – and understand it.

“Within the proposal for the 2009 extension to the business park back in 2009 there was an “agreed” landscaping proposal. However, agreements to maintain the landscaping proposals in a planning agreement do not generally extend beyond the agreed time of 5 years to maintain or replace the landscaping trees and shrubs in their first few years of growth.

Following many unauthorised tree and landscaping removals by the owners of Greendale Business Park, it was considered appropriate to instigate a review of all the trees existing surrounding the park and to include all the agreed landscaping.

The Local Authority (EDDC) following this review considered that the most appropriate way to stop further encroachment on the agreed landscape proposals would be to cover the whole area with a Tree Preservation Order.

Tree Preservation Order Proposal

The Tree Preservation Order (TPO) has been made to protect the significant individual trees and areas of newly created woodland. The TPO protects a total of 47 ‘Individual’ trees, 19 ‘Groups’ of trees, 3 ‘Areas’ of land and 17 ‘Woodland’ areas. The TPO collectively protects thousands of trees growing on and around the Greendale Business Park.

Extent of Tree Preservation Order 18/0002/TPO marked in green.

Most the trees within the TPO are contained within the landscape planting areas that were approved under the historic planning consent for the expansion of the business park (09/1195/MOUT). The extent of the business park is defined further within the adopted East Devon adopted Local plan 2013 – 2031.

Collectively the trees add to the rural character of the surrounding landscape. With the individual mature trees, their amenity is already significant. The landscape planting areas, will significantly increase in their amenity value, as the tree increase in size and develop into areas of woodland.

The protected trees and woodland areas are important in reducing the visual impact of the business park on the surrounding area and help maintain the rural character of the wider area.

Tree Preservation Order consultations

Three letters have been received requesting modifications to the provisional TPO, these modifications can be summarised as follows:

• Woodland, W2 – Request the removal of an area of land on the north-eastern corner of the woodland, as it does not contain any trees (Figure 2).

• Woodland, W8 – Request the removal the most southern end of the woodland as it is sandwiched between industrial units, is in places in contact with the buildings causing maintenance problems and it is of limited public amenity.

Area of Woodland (W2) showing absence of trees

What will this Tree Order mean?

No one can cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a tree or cause or permit the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage or wilful destruction of any tree except with the written consent of the Local Authority.

This order does not restrict the management of these trees and woodland areas but if any work was to be carried out the landowner is now required to seek permission from the Local Authority.

Comment from the District Councillor

Councillor Geoff Jung (EDA Independent Councillor for Raleigh Ward which includes Greendale Business Park)

I really appreciate the work that the officers have done on this Tree Order that will in effect protect the trees and woodland in whole area surrounding the Business Park and the Rural Village of Woodbury Salterton.

I know that the Woodbury Salterton Residents Association and Woodbury Parish Council have been must concerned with industrial encroachment into the countryside within the area and important landscaping being removed prior to any planning approvals.

This TPO (Tree Preservation Order) and the shortly to be approved EDDC village development plan with its designated employment line around the business park will provide better certainty and protection to the rural landscape of Woodbury Salterton.”