Cranbrook (Preferred Approach) consultation opens


“Cranbrook Plan – Preferred Approach

We are delighted to advise that East Devon District Council are consulting on the above plan and we would welcome your comments that need to be received by us by

9:00 am on Monday 8 January 2018.

The Cranbrook Plan Preferred Approach documents set out proposals for the future development of the town and they include a masterplan that shows the proposed location of differing types of buildings and land uses including homes, shops, community facilities and open spaces. In the consultation documents we provide details of evidence and background reports that support the Cranbrook work and we also have a schedule of potential future policies for Cranbrook development and a sustainability appraisal.

The feedback we receive from this consultation will help inform production of a formal development plan document (or DPD) for the town that we hope to produce and consult on in 2018 and then to formally submit for independent examination. You can find out more about the Cranbrook Plan – Preferred Approach, look at supporting documents and find out how to make comments by visiting our web site at:


Do please contact us if you have any queries or would like further information. We would advise that we are contacting you because your details are logged on our planning policy database or you have previously responded to Cranbrook consultation events. If, however, you no longer wish to be contacted by this Council in respect of planning policy documents do please advise us and we will remove your details from our database.”

Yours faithfully
The Cranbrook Team
East Devon District Council

Should the East Devon district be split? The People’s Republic of Eastern East Devon?

A recent commentator on this blog wants to see Sidmouth leave EDDC.

This raises an interesting possibility.

There is a case for EDDC being broken up as it is already the largest District Council in Devon, and the fastest growing. Increasingly, our district council concentrates on its western side – the Science Park, Cranbrook – the LEP Growth Area – and aligns itself more and more with “Greater Exeter” with other communities feeling increasingly out on an ignored limb.

It would seem from anecdotal evidence that he vast majority of Sidmouth residents would vote to leave EDDC, especially when EDDC is cutting all its ties with the town and moving physically and increasingly representationally to Honiton/Exeter.

The interesting bit is whether other communities would wish to join with Sidmouth in a ‘breakaway’. Would Newton Poppleford, Otterton, Branscombe and Beer, Ottery, Budleigh, Colyton and Seaton be up for creating a new largely rural and coastal authority? And what to call it? Eastern East Devon? Jurassic Devon?

There would be no problem over viability. Some functions might still be shared. Others, such as street cleaning, could be devolved to town council level where it belongs.

There would be an obvious improvement in democratisation, and representation, and, crucially, a big improvement in the quality of councillors. There is also an interesting opportunity to create from the outset a non-party-political district responsible for its own planning. Far more people would stand for an authority when they had a much greater say in decisions affecting their own community; when they and they alone decided on such things as health care, education and environment without having to kowtow to “Greater Exeter”.

Jurassic Devon would have a population of about 50,000, which many would say would be close to the ideal.

Time to consider the break away?

Devon planners told to go home by developer – s/he has the county sewn up?

Not sure which district council this is (Teignbridge, Torridge?) but one developer appears to believe s/he runs the district and possibly even the county. As the blogger (Andrew Lainton – Decisions, Decisions blog) says, the alleged author may well regret his or her early morning post!

The wild (south) west of planning!

“Cat and Fiddle” pub site to have new hotel

Though why Exmouth Journal thinks the A3052 site is “near Exmouth”, when at 8.3 miles away it’s actually closer to Woodbury (4.1 miles), Cranbrook (6.4 miles) and even Topsham (4.1 miles) is puzzling. It is, however, only 1 mile from Crealy Adventure Park …

Does the Local Plan allow for a hotel there?

“A new 33-bed hotel could be built in Clyst St Mary if a major planning application gets the go-ahead.

St Austell Brewery has entered a proposal to redesign the Cat and Fiddle Pub, in Clyst St Mary, and build a new two-storey hotel in the existing car park.

If given the go-ahead the pub and hotel would operate together with the pub being managed by the brewery to ‘maintain control’ of the whole site. …”

Air pollution – citizen fights back

“An environmental campaigner is to bring a legal challenge over a city council’s adoption of its Local Plan, claiming that it is in breach of procedural requirements with regard to compliance with air pollution law.
The Canterbury District Local Plan proposes 16,000 new houses, mostly near Canterbury, on farmland outside the city boundary, with new slip roads, relief roads and further infrastructure.

The claimant, Emily Shirley, argues that this will result in additional car journeys of up to 112,000 daily, adding significantly to Canterbury’s roads.

Represented by law firm Leigh Day, she claims that the impact on air pollution was not properly considered by Canterbury City Council when adopting the plan and that the local authority failed to assess the cumulative effects of the proposed developments on the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) as required by the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004.

Shirley is crowd funding the case through the CrowdJustice website. She said: “Air pollution is the invisible killer. Everyone knows how congested Canterbury’s roads are but few are aware of the dangers of air pollution. For many years, individuals, amenity groups and parish councils have tried to get air pollution reduction measures implemented in Canterbury without success. Challenging the Adopted Canterbury Local Plan in the High Court will hopefully lead to a Plan that will reduce the unlawful air pollution levels as soon as possible.”

Rowan Smith, solicitor at Leigh Day, said: “With the dangers of air pollution so much of a zeitgeist issue, it is unfathomable that the City Council is prepared to risk making things worse in its area. You only have to look at the UK’s recent commitment to ban the sale of all diesel and petrol vehicles from 2040 to realise how out of step these plans are with current low carbon trends in policy-making. The legal errors we say it has made in formulating its plans only further demonstrate how imperative it is that the City Council goes back to the drawing board.”

Canterbury City Council has been approached for comment.

Judgment is meanwhile awaited in an earlier legal challenge on air pollution grounds in Canterbury this year. This challenge, also involving Shirley – Shirley & Rundell vs Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – was heard in the High Court in July 2017. This case concerned the failure of the Secretary of State to call in a large planning application of 4,000 houses on air pollution grounds.”

Is EDDC gearing up for even greater development for 5-year Local Plan review?

All Local Plans have to be reviewed every five years. Though it is likely that the next Local Plan won’t be very local as “Greater Exeter” will almost certainly be what is put forward, East Devon being only one part of it.

Now it seems the current Local Plan didn’t go to plan!

The number of new homes being built in East Devon has dramatically dropped, government data has revealed.

In total, 620 new properties were completed by private developers and housing associations in 2016/17.

But this is more than 250 homes fewer than were built in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 – where an average of 836 new properties were finished each year.

In the last decade, a total of 4,690 properties have been built and completed in the district and more than 12,600 new homes were finished across Devon. …

In fact 2013/14 and 2014/15 and 2015/16 were the result of the years during which the developer free-for-all took place when EDDC had no Local Plan and no 5 year land supply so we had a situation where, under government rules, developers could build any amount of houses practically anywhere. So it’s hardly surprising there was a boom.

So, it now appears that, in fact, the number of houses EDDC had expected to see built this year haven’t materialised.

That could mean that more will be front-loaded to a revised (probably Greater Exeter) plan. And/or the whole area might be back to not having a 5-year land supply so it will be a developer free-for-all – again.

What is VERY interesting is that around 37% of all new homes in the whole of Devon have been built in East Devon in the last decade.

Perhaps time for other parts of Greater Exeter to take the strain in the coming decade?

Why “growth” is almost impossible in East Devon

Our Local Enterprise Partnership trumpets “growth, growth, we must have growth to prosper” and EDDC chose the highest growth figures to ensure its Local Plan got LOTS of housing. But they both seem to have forgotten something that their bible, the Daily Telegraph, now points out:

Britain’s productivity crisis risks getting worse because the population is ageing steadily, leaving relatively fewer younger, more dynamic workers who typically innovate more.

Unless drastic action is taken to boost skills and creativity, or to increase the number of young workers, then growth will struggle to pick up, according to new economic research published in the journal of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

“The share of young workers impacts the innovation process positively and, as a result, a change in the demographic profile that skews the distribution of the population to the right [older], leads to a decline in innovation activity,” said the paper, written by Yunus Aksoy, Henrique Basso and Ron Smith. …

To avert a sustained slowdown they recommend that governments should look at ways to make the dwindling proportion of young people more productive.

“Unless there are drastic changes most OECD countries will need to devise new policies to foster medium-run economic growth in an environment with ageing population, perhaps by increasing investment in human capital,” the researchers believe.

Alternative options are also available, but some may be less politically palatable – for instance, encouraging greater flows of migrants of working age into the country.

“Demographics are not destiny and our conclusions assume that there will not be major changes in rates of immigration, labour force participation, fertility or longevity,” the economists said.”