Clinton Devon Estates: “‘Deceit and lies’ – Councillors speak out Newton Poppleford GP campaign looks to be over”

Wonder if EDDC’s CEO had any private advice for CDE?

This has gone into the most spectacular orbit of deceit and betrayal in the planning system.”

Those are the words of one councillor as the district authority agreed at a meeting on Tuesday (August 6) not to fight a developer’s appeal over a Newton Poppleford site.

Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) lodged an appeal after East Devon District Council (EDDC) delayed a decision on an application to build two homes on land originally earmarked for a GP surgery.

A wider plan for a 40-home development at King Alfred Way, including a doctors’ surgery, was approved in 2013. CDE was unable to find a tenant, so instead applied to build two more homes.

At that stage the parish council expressed an interest in running the surgery.

EDDC twice delayed a decision – the second to allow the parish council to meet with the developer to find a solution.

The developer lodged an appeal with the planning inspector, who will now also decide whether the council should pay costs.

Planning officers recommended the authority should not fight the appeal arguing the surgery was not ‘legally justifiable’. Councillors voted by seven votes to five not to fight it.

Councillor Mike Howe, chairman of the development management committee, told the meeting CDE had acted ‘atrociously’ and could not be considered an ‘ethical or nice developer’.

Cllr Olly Davey said, unless ‘legally enforceable’, ‘any promise that a developer makes is not worth the paper it is written on’.

Councillor Paul Arnott put forward a motion to reject the application, on the grounds the developer had failed in its ‘commitment’ to deliver the surgery – but it was thrown out by seven votes to four.

Councillor Paul Arnott said the application was the most ‘spectacular orbit of deceit and betrayal’ and the council should mount a challenge despite the costs. He said: “It’s so mired in lies and deceit going back years, betrayal, treachery, accusations of wording.

“We cannot afford, as a rule, to be spending council taxpayers’ money on appeals we may not win, but on this occasion we have to. It is a notorious case and we have to draw a line.”

Cllr Eileen Wragg said the committee needed a ‘damn good reason’ not to agree with the officers’ report.

Council officer Henry Gordon-Lennox, strategic lead, said nothing in planning law could stop the developer applying for a different use of them land, despite the original plan for a surgery.

He said: “I do absolutely understand the frustration and the annoyance and the disappointment, but from our point of view as officers there is nothing to defend precluding them from doing this, unpalatable as that may be.”

CDE was represented at the meeting Amy Roberts, who said there has never been a planning justification for the surgery, within the original plan. She said CDE did not want to appeal, but that the developer’s ‘hands were somewhat forced’ by the non-determination, despite planners’ recommendations.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/clinton-devon-estates-slammed-for-newton-poppleford-homes-plan-1-6203178

Officers advise councillors not to fight Clinton Devon Estates over withdrawal of Newton Poppleford doctors’ surgery in planning application

EDDC fight CDE – not on your life say officers …unless, of course, councillors instruct them to do so …

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/newton-poppleford-home-appeal-meeting-1-6194658

Clinton Devon Estates refuses to meet Newton Poppleford parish council over planning application … rushes to appeal

Clinton Devon Estates … again … not doing its reputation any good.

“Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) says it was unable to find a tenant for the practice which was promised as part of a 40-home development at King Alfred Way. Instead it applied to build two further homes on the land.

On June 11 East Devon District Council (EDDC) deferred its decision for 90 days to allow time for talks between CDE and Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council.

The parish has now shown an interest in renting the surgery and wants to enter into talks.

CDE has instead lodged an appeal against the delay in the decision.

The surgery was part of discussions when a 40-home development was granted permission. At the time district councillor Val Ranger said she felt 40 new homes, next to an area of outstanding natural beauty, was a high price to pay for a new surgery.

Coleridge Medical Centre was originally due to take over the new practice but withdrew its support after NHS funding fell through.

CDE has now refused to meet the parish council and said it was because of the delays already caused, current NHS aims to centralise services and the extra cost involved if the surgery is built after the bulk of the development is finished in 2020.

When asked if it would consider withdrawing its appeal, Clinton Devon Estates said in a statement: “A new GP surgery in Newton Poppleford is no longer viable without a commitment from the NHS to operate it. With the submission of an appeal, the opportunity for formal discussions between CDE and the parish council is now closed until a determination has been made by a planning inspector.”

The developer said Coleridge Medical Centre confirmed in June that its plans to consolidate services within a larger site rather than at branch sites was unchanged. It understood that their plans were to deliver services with the Beacon Surgery, Sidmouth.

When asked if it would be open to talks about the possibility of the parish council taking on the surgery, a Coleridge Medical Centre spokesman said: “We and Devon Clinical Commissioning Group are always open to discussions with our local partners.

“We will continue to provide the existing single-handed doctor service at Newton Poppleford for two mornings a week for the foreseeable future.

“We remain committed to securing high quality and accessible GP services for the people of Newton Poppleford and any proposals about how to best provide this in the long-term must take into account a number of factors including cost, workforce and sustainable modern ways of providing care.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/developer-refuses-talks-to-resolve-issues-over-new-gp-surgery-at-newton-poppleford-1-6154891

First test of Tiggers planning stance: a fudge on Newton Poppleford

No decision on Clinton Devon’s desire to replace GP surgery with 2 houses at Newton Poppleford – deferred for 3 months to “find a solution”.

One house and half a surgery, perhaps?

Not a good start.

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/controversial-newton-poppleford-application-for-three-months-1-6100848

How EDDC planners and Clinton Devon Estates justify the unjustifiable in Newton Poppleford

A dilemma for The Independent Group and their Tory supporters.

Summary: dangle a carrot (a doctor’s surgery), take away the carrot, put two houses in the place of the surgery/carrot, get planners to say it cannot now be refused even though the carrot has disappeared… although the carrot never actually existed anyway!

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/villagers-anger-understandable-over-broken-

Newton Poppleford GP surgery: lost, never to be regained

This means that, should the NHS ever regain the funding and doctors it needs, and should the local surgery then be in a position to open a secondary surgery in Newton Poppleford, it can never happen.

Anyone buying a new Clinton Devon Estates house at Newton Poppleford (particularly if they have children, or a chronic health condition or are elderly) might want to think twice if this is a suitable location for them.

And EVERYONE should beware “promises” from developers.

A Devon development site once earmarked for a “much needed” GP surgery is being turned into housing instead – much to the disappointment of residents.

People living in Newton Poppleford have to travel miles for medical care.

It comes as a report from the government watchdog, the National Audit Office, has criticised how community infrastructure projects for healthcare, education, and transport are often abandoned once planning permission’s been granted.

In a statement, the developers Clinton Devon Estates said the withdrawal of the surgery plans was understandably very disappointing, but the decision was made by a local medical practice due to circumstances beyond their control with unexpected changes to NHS policy.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-47170553

Newton Poppleford bus fares: Claire Wright has constructive meeting with Stagecoach (says Stagecoach)

Owl wonders when Swire last got on a bus … or cared about bus fares.

“The Stagecoach South West managing director has agreed there is work to do after a ‘constructive’ meeting with the Ottery Ward councillor. …

The issue of high bus fare prices in Newton Poppleford was highlighted by resident Helen Buttery.

She helped organise a protest in the village in November and said prices in the area were ‘crazy’.

The protest was joined by parents and children from the local school as well as the chair of the Newton Poppleford Parish Council, Hazel Jeffery, who said that the increase of housing means the need for affordable travel is growing.

The protest sparked a meeting between councillor Claire Wright along with Helen and the Stagecoach South West managing director Bob Dennison in December to discuss the issue.

Claire noted that the disproportionately expensive fares were caused by historical zone charges.

In the meeting, Claire said the managing director agreed to look at these zones with a view to making the situation fairer for Newton Poppleford and to also check whether numbers had altered since the scrapping of the ‘child add on’ fare in May last year.

Mr. Dennison told The Herald: “I had a very constructive meeting with Councillor Wright and one of her constituents in December and agreed to look into a number of points she raised about our Newton Poppleford services.

“We have since been analysing current patronage levels and trends in the area and also included information from a focus group and survey focussing on broader issues.

“However, there is still some work to do and the feedback will then require detailed analysis and discussion before we will be in a position to make any firm proposals.”

At the price of £16.60, five adults travelling across Devon for the day costs the same as one adult and two children purchasing a return to Sidmouth.

At the protest, Helen said the removal of the £1 child add on fare, which was available when bought with an adult ticket, means it now costs £4.80 for a child to travel from Newton Poppleford to Sidmouth. …”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/bus-protest-newton-poppleford-1-5855783

Clinton Devon Estates accused of “criminal negligence” over death of farm worker at Newton Poppleford

“… Exeter Crown Court was told that the brakes on the John Western Suffolk trailer which he was towing failed completely, leading to him losing control of both vehicles, leaving them to career 16 feet down into a sunken lane.

The trailer, which contained grass cuttings and weighed a total of ten tons, landed on top of the cab of the tractor. Mr Dorman died of head injuries at the scene.

Clinton Devon Farms Partnership, (CDFP) of Hawkerland Road, Colaton Raleigh, and George Perrott, aged 51, of Colebrook, Crediton, are both accused of manslaughter and failing to ensure the safety of an employee.

Mr Simon Laws, QC, prosecuting, said Mr Dorman’s death was ‘completely unnecessary’ and was caused by the poor maintenance of the trailer and its brakes.

He added: “The prosecution case is Perrott was the man responsible for the maintenance of the brakes. He performed that task in a way that can only be described as criminally negligent.

“He was allowed to do his job in that grossly negligent way because his employers at CDFP had no proper system in place to monitor or supervise his work to ensure the trailer brakes were properly maintained.

“As a result, a man died a death that was completely unnecessary. Trailers pose a very well-known risk to farm workers and the maintenance task was a simple one.

“Perrott failed to carry it out properly and senior management at CDFP appeared to have no proper grip at all on what was happening on their farm with regard to their trailers. …”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/kevin-dorman-tractor-crash-trial-1-5852076

“Newton Poppleford won’t be getting a new surgery” – Clinton Devon Estates wants 2 more houses instead

“An application to build 40 new homes along with a new medical centre at King Alfred Way was approved by a planning inspectorate in March 2017.

At the time, the developers, Clinton Devon Estates, had been in discussions with Coleridge Medical Centre (CMC) which had a strong desire to secure the GP practice and had secured funding from the NHS for this to happen. But in May 2018, CMC withdrew as the funds were no longer available.

At the time, a CMC spokesman told the Herald that GPs had evolved with much more emphasis on innovative ways of working and broadening the range of co-located staff to provide specialist support in shared premises. The developers said they had approached others who might be interested in occupying the surgery but no one showed an interest.

Clinton Devon Estates have now submitted proposals to build two extra new homes at the development.

Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council has slammed the proposals. A spokesperson said: “The council feels that it is disingenuous of the applicant, having been granted planning permission on the basis of the pledge of a doctor’s surgery, to now seek to walk away from their promises.

“The local community has strongly supported a new surgery for the village; through letters of support, a petition and the nascent Neighbourhood plan. CMC operate the current surgery in the village and has declared it inadequate for their purposes. Despite supporting a new surgery initially, they publicly declared it would no longer be viable for them. Residents in the parish will not be taken on by Sidmouth Beacon Centre, which leaves Coleridge, in Ottery, as the main medical centre for the village, despite there being no direct public transport links.”

They added the parish council didn’t believe all avenues had been exhausted with regards to the new surgery and would welcome an immediate discussion with all parties to find a potential solution.

The first homes which are a part of the scheme, that included 16 affordable homes, are due to be completed in winter 2018 and the whole development is hoped to be finished by winter 2019.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/newton-poppleford-s-new-surgery-1-5808976