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!