“Sixty-four-metre ‘fatberg’ discovered in English seaside resort” [Sidmouth]

[The article has a particularly gruesome picture of the fatberg!]

Owl wonders if this sort of thing will increase or decrease when the luxury PegasusLife elderly housing facility replaces EDDC’s Knowle HQ!

“Eight weeks needed to remove mass of fat, oil and wet-wipes from sewer in Sidmouth, Devon.

A block of hardened fat, oil and wet-wipes longer than six double-decker buses has been discovered in a sewer metres from the sea in a popular Devon resort town.

It will take workers eight weeks to cut up and remove the 64-metre “fatberg” from the sewer beneath The Esplanade in Sidmouth.

South West Water is also planning to open a pop-up shop in the town to inform people about the unwanted visitor and to urge them not to “feed” fatbergs by pouring fat, oil, grease and wet-pipes into the system.

The company’s director of wastewater, Andrew Roantree, said: “It shows how this key environmental issue is not just facing the UK’s cities, but right here in our coastal towns.

“It is the largest discovered in our service history and it will take our sewer team around eight weeks to dissect this monster in exceptionally challenging work conditions.

“Thankfully it has been identified in good time with no risk to bathing waters. If you keep just one new year’s resolution this year, let it be to not pour fats, oil or grease down the drain, or flush wet-wipes down the loo. Put your pipes on a diet and don’t feed the fatberg.”

South West Water says a fatberg forms like a snowball – wet-wipes flushed down toilets congeal with fats, oil and grease, gradually forming a hard mass. The removal, which will be carried out by workers in full breathing apparatus, is due to begin next month but could be delayed if there is heavy rain.

Nearby businesses will not be affected by the removal and The Esplanade will remain fully accessible.

The fatberg was discovered during routine checks.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/08/sixty-four-metre-fatberg-discovered-in-english-seaside-resort-sidmouth-devon

“Say NO to Sidford Business Park” campaign newsletter and fundraising event

“We hope that you had a good Christmas and wish you a very Happy New Year!

In this newsletter –
v Approaching any potential planning appeal
v A fundraising event on 23 February
v Opening a Campaign bank account

Approaching any potential planning appeal
We still don’t know whether the applicants who submitted the planning application to build the Business Park in Sidford intend to appeal against the District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for this site, the second application in as many years. Should the applicants want to appeal they have up to 6 months from when the District Council made its decision to do so.

The applicants therefore have until 18 April to lodge any appeal. Should the applicants decide not to appeal it would be nice to think that they would announce this so that local residents can be put out of their misery as otherwise this matter sits uneasily over us all.

We have had to assume that without any evidence to the contrary, the applicants will at some point submit an appeal. We are therefore preparing ourselves should an appeal happen.

At an appeal the District Council will have to defend its decision to refuse the planning application. As its grounds for refusing planning permission were restricted to the narrow issue of the highway not being suitable for the anticipated size and volume of traffic that the Business Park could be expected to generate, we have decided that we would want the Campaign to be a party to the appeal process.

The Campaign, and many of you who have supported it, have cited broader reasons, than those put forward by the District Council, for opposing the proposed Business Park. Therefore, the Campaign would want to become a formally registered party which could fully participate at an appeal. We believe that the District Council was wrong to only rely upon highways arguments for its refusal, hence the reason why we feel the need to be a party to any appeal hearing.

However, if the Campaign is going to do all of this effectively, we believe that we are going to have to employ a planning professional to make the arguments and to cross examine the applicants’ representatives and witnesses for us. As you can imagine to do this won’t come cheaply. Potentially, we would need to raise several tens of thousands of pounds to be professionally represented. We are in the process of contacting various people with the intention of identifying such a professional and a likely cost.

It is also our hope that other organisations who submitted objections to the planning application would also want to be a party to any appeal process. In particular, we would encourage the Town Council, which submitted a broad set of objections, would make its arguments at any appeal hearing. Indeed, there is no reason why other organisations such as the County Council couldn’t do likewise.

As we say, we are having to assume that we will need to be professionally represented at an appeal if one is held. That means that we have to think about how we might raise many thousands of pounds. One way will be to seek pledges of funds from our supporters. This is something that we will return to in a future newsletter.

A fundraising event on 23 February
In the meantime we are holding a fundraising ceilidh on the evening of Saturday 23 February in Sidford Hall. Tickets will be £5.00 and you will be able to bring your own drink. We will be holding a raffle and inviting donations of prizes for it. Further information about this event will be circulated soon and, in the meantime, we are approaching several businesses in Sidford and Sidbury to see whether they would agree to sell tickets.

If you are willing to donate a prize for the raffle please let us know! Please put this date in your diary!

Opening a Campaign bank account
So far, we have managed to run this Campaign on the basis of raising cash from you, our supporters. At our last public meeting we explained how much we had raised and what we had spent it on. On several occasions we have been asked whether we have a bank account to allow supporters to give donations by cheque. We have resisted opening a bank account as frankly it’s a time-consuming process.

But as we may now have to possibly raise a significant amount of money to pay for professional representation at an appeal, we have started the process of opening a Lloyds Bank account. Once this process has been finalised, we will circulate its details.

As we said at the beginning of this newsletter, we wish you a Happy New Year. Let’s hope that our wishes for this matter to come to a quick conclusion come to fruition.

Best wishes

Campaign Team”

Missing word round …..

There is a word in the middle of the top line of these notices but it has been printed smaller and in the lightest of colours so as to be almost invisible.

Can you guess what it is?

The word is: CONSERVATIVE!

Anyone would think the Sidmouth Conservative Club was ashamed of the word!

Oh, right …

More Sidmouth shops to close

“Coles gift shop, in the High Street, will close on Saturday, October 27, and The Rendezvous, in Fore Street, won’t be far behind.

The two businesses have joined a fast-growing list of shops which have left or have plans to because of rising costs and ‘unfair’ business rates. Since February Carinas, Hospiscare, NatWest and Sweet Temptations have closed.

New Look will cease trading on Saturday, October 20, Barclays on Friday, November 16, and Pure Indulgence will close April 2019 along with Govier’s of 
Sidmouth – which has gone online only. …”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/two-more-sidmouth-shops-to-close-for-good-1-5733147

Owl and the Say No Twitter page help out Stuart Hughes about Sidford Business Park

“Rather than attend the Say NO public meeting on Wednesday evening it appears Stuart preferred to hit the gym at some point. He was so proud of his achievements there that evening that he tweeted about it:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/10/10/where-was-eddc-and-dcc-transport-councillor-during-the-say-no-to-sidford-business-park-meeting/

After that post, it appears that this was taken up on the Say NO Twitter page.

It now appears that Councillor Hughes has deleted this tweet!

Owl wonders why one would delete a Twitter post illustrating how fit one is – even if it does show where you were when a crucial public meeting was taking place on your patch. We all know how important it is to keep fit.

However, his absence is noted, especially as he was so vociferous about opposing it in 2015:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2016/06/10/how-did-business-park-on-a-sidford-floodplain-come-to-be-in-the-local-plan/

and taking into account its grubby history of which surely no Tory politician should be proud of and ought to want to put right:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/06/18/sidford-business-park-a-grubby-history/

It’s a good job that Owl and the Say No twitterati had the foresight to take a screen grab of the original tweet at the time – a great help if ever he wants to refer to a deleted tweet in future.

Community attempt to save Sidmouth Drill Hall

“Gillian Mitchell has set up a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC) called Sidmouth Sunrise as part of a bid to transform the space into a community hub.

The mum-of-two says she wanted to take on the project to tackle a gap in facilities in the town.

Gillian told the Herald: “The strength of community feeling within Sidmouth is what makes our town and local area a vibrant place to live in.

“The worrying thing is that we have no significant population of young single people, which implies that the youngsters are moving away when they leave education.

“We want to do something to increase the attractiveness of Sidmouth to this age group and encourage a more balanced population and create a sustainable vibrant community.

“We are serious about what we are doing. We really want to make sure that we have it right; we have to make sure this is feasible.”

Sidmouth Sunrise has also gained backing from Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) of Plymouth, which will serve as a consultant and funding partner.

Gillian says RIO has ‘vast experience’ in breathing new life into redundant buildings to bring them to community use and will be able to provide support and advice to manage their own projects.

Sunrise Sidmouth has carried out a structural survey and is consulting architects about final designs, before holding public meetings.

Gillian, who is chairman of the organisation, says she is looking to work collaboratively to put in the strongest bid to Exeter-based agent JLL.

She said: “We’re not aware of any other community bids that are being put together and if there is, my group would like to work together rather than have multiple community bids.

“We are really up to talking to anybody and get behind one bid.

“We’re not going to please everybody, and it is quite a small space. I do not want to be in competition with my own community.

“If we are successful with our bid, all funds and profits will be reinvested into securing the future of the Drill Hall and future similar projects.”

EDDC has given community groups six months to develop their ideas. The commercial property sector will have three months to prepare their proposals, with all bids to be submitted to JLL by February 4.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/first-community-bid-comes-forward-to-transform-sidmouth-s-drill-hall-into-community-hub-1-5693614