Is YOUR village on the EDDC list for expansion? And another east/west divide

East Devon District Council Strategic Planning Committee are going to discuss:

“Principles for accommodating the future growth needs of East Devon”

on 4 September 2018.

The Committee are being asked to endorse

“The proposed principles for growth” as the basis for future discussion and consultation on accommodating extra growth in the district.”

The document is described as the “start of the debate” for future East Devon growth points for both the GESP (The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan) and the East Devon Local Plan review, which is required to be updated within the next two years.

For the last few years East Devon District Council have achieved their own Local Plan agreed target of 950 dwellings per year. (EDDC Target is 17,100 dwellings between the years of 2013 to 2031).

Recently Central Government decided to calculate each District`s housing requirement targets on a set matrix. East Devon’s build out figure has been set to be 844 homes per year. However, the report suggests that rather than achieve the Government target of 844 new houses per year there is a proposal to build out much higher levels of growth.

The report explains that the objective of higher growth could be achieved by what is called a “Growth Deal” with Central Government where a group of Councils agree to build more housing in return for infrastructure investment from central funds.

This proposed “Growth Deal” is being prepared by the Councils of East Devon, Exeter, Teignbridge and Mid Devon through the “GESP” Greater Exeter Strategic Plan.

It is recognised that Exeter is unable to provide the housing land required to sustain the expected growth of the city, and the rural areas and towns in the rest of the combined area will be required to increase their housing requirements in exchange for the infrastructure improvements for access to and from the city of Exeter.

Improvements to the motorway junctions, new roads, extra park and rides, rail improvements, new stations and an integrated transport system are all identified as priority improvements to overcome the already chronic delays on Exeter`s transport network. There are also aspirations for a “sports hub and concert venue” for Greater Exeter to be included in the GESP infrastructure needs.

The report gives a brief synopsis of the towns in East Devon and concludes that other than the new town of Cranbrook there is limited scope for growth due to the various towns’ proximity to the AONB designated areas, or they are bordering on the coast or close to flood plains.

The conclusion from the report is that the existing towns will only accommodate minimal growth, and with two-thirds of East Devon being included in the AONB of the Pebblebed Heaths or the Blackdown Hills the only area that can accommodate substantial growth is within the North West part of the district.

The report describes this area as the Western most quadrant of this district to the North of Exmouth and West of Ottery St Mary. The land is described to benefit from being relatively flat with no landscape designations. It is also well served by main roads with good vehicle access via the M5, A30, A3052 and A376 and has good existing public transport links with the railway line and existing bus routes.

There are 3 possible ways described as to how development could be achieved in this area.

1. Establish a further new town. Basically, create another Cranbrook. However, the report considers that the creation of another new town in the area could harm the delivery of Cranbrook.

2. Establish a number of new villages. Create a series of modern Devon villages but the report considers that this option would be most damaging in landscape terms.

3. Centre Growth around Existing Villages.

Growth would be required to be substantial with around 400 to 500 extra homes to be added to a number of existing villages (The report does not state how many villages will be required within this area). However, this could harm the character of the village and the existing community.

The new NPPF acknowledges that:

“The supply of a large number of new homes can often be best achieved through planning for larger scale development such as new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns, provided they are well located and designed, and supported by necessary infrastructure and facilities.”

A list of the Parishes within the expansion area for extra housing area

By referring to a map of the area these are the Parishes(villages) which are within the West of the district which could have development of between 400 to 500 extra dwellings, parishes identified could be:

Nether Exe
Brampford Speke
Upton Pyne.
Stoke Canon ​

All these Villages are North of Exeter and access is by way of the A377 – which is not listed as one of the featured roads, so it is unlikely these will be included.

Clyst Honiton

These Villages are close to Cranbrook and therefore unlikely to be selected to avoid the villages and town merging.

Clyst Hydon
Clyst St Lawrence
Marsh Green

These Parishes are remote from a main road or railway station which probably eliminates them because of their unsustainable location.


This Village is already designated in the report to provide growth for Exmouth.

This leaves the following Parishes most likely to be included for further expansion in the proposals:

Clyst St Mary
Clyst St George (includes the village of Ebford)
West Hill
Woodbury​ (includes the village of Woodbury Salterton and Exton)

The “Principles for Growth” which the committee are being asked to agree to:

• A significant proportion of growth to be in the Western part of the district by either a new town or extending a number of villages or building new villages.

• Plus, modest growth in existing towns with strategic growth around Axminster, Exmouth (including Lympstone), Honiton and Ottery St Mary.

• All other Villages to be encouraged to provide modest growth through their Neighbourhood Plans.

• Focus development on main transport corridors if possible.


For the last few years, East Devon has successfully complied with the government`s Housing Strategy, with their current Local Plan and at present build out rates, this will over subscribe the Government Building Target until the year 2031.

The Government is not forcing East Devon to co-operate with Exeter to provide some of their housing needs. This decision is totally at the discretion of the District Council and their leaders.

Yes, Exeter is a thriving growth city, and it is recognised that the road and rail connections are dire, but why destroy the character of a part of East Devon for these improvements?

The very reason people choose to relocate to Exeter, its surrounding towns and villages is the beautiful Devon countryside; the building of a mass of new housing will simply make the area a mirror image of the existing areas the people are wanting to move away from!

So, to satisfy the aspirations and needs of the City of Exeter, the rural west area of East Devon will be required to build many more houses with either another new town or new villages or building an extra 500 houses to a number of existing village communities.

Will the Strategic Planning Committee endorse this proposal or not?

East Devon’s Villages Plan is agreed by the planning inspector (with implications for business parks)

Press Release including comments from East Devon Alliance Independent Councillor Geoff Jung:

“I am delighted that, after a number of years of hard work and following extensive public engagement, the Planning Inspector has found our Villages Plan to be sound. The Plan is a key document that once adopted will sit alongside the Local Plan and help promote the right types of development in the right places for our rural villages and communities while protecting our outstanding countryside assets and environment.”

Developers will be able to refer to Villages Plan when considering building in larger East Devon villages, the town of Colyton and Greendale and Hill Barton business parks.

Planning Inspector Beverley Doward’s report on the East Devon Villages Plan has been received by East Devon District Council and the inspector concludes it is sound, subject to her earlier submitted “main modifications”.

The East Devon Villages Plan sets out planning policy that will help determine planning applications in the larger villages of East Devon (and the town of Colyton), as well as at Greendale and Hill Barton business parks. The primary role of the Villages Plan is to set boundaries (known as built-up area boundaries and employment areas) around villages and the two business parks, which will help determine where new development can be built.

Outside these boundaries opportunities for development will be far more restricted, which will effectively control the outward expansion of villages and the two Business Parks into the surrounding countryside. The Villages Plan will sit alongside the adopted East Devon Local Plan and together they will guide and manage development across the whole district.

East Devon’s Strategic Planning Committee will consider the report on 26 June 2018. The committees new Chairman Cllr Paul Diviani says:

It is expected that the Villages Plan will go before the Full Council on 25 July 2018 for adoption.

Welcome News to the Communities of Farringdon and Woodbury Salterton
The adoption of the Villages plan is a welcome additional Planning Document to the two rural communities of Woodbury Salterton and Farringdon, which are close to Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks. These very large Industrial parks have seen continued growth for many years and dwarfed their rural communities.

The Inspector in her report states that:

“By virtue of the definition set out in Strategy 7 of the EDLP, the business parks lie within the countryside where development will only be permitted where it is in accordance with a specific Local or Neighbourhood Plan policy that explicitly permits such development.”

Further in her report the Inspector notes that:

“Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park have clearly made an important contribution to the supply of employment land within the district and provide valuable employment opportunities.”

“There is nothing in the evidence that has been submitted to the examination of this Plan that leads me to conclude that there is currently a need to provide for future employment development in locations other than those which have been tested and found sound through the examination of the EDLP. (East Devon Local Plan)”

“The inclusion within the EDVP of a policy providing for future growth at Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park, whilst considered as a ‘reasonable alternative’ in the SA, is not supported by it and instead the option of not providing for further expansion of the business parks is identified as the preferred option.”

“I am satisfied that the approach not to provide for the further expansion of Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park in the EDVP beyond that which is already authorised is justified and consistent with the development strategy of the EDLP.”

“To conclude on this issue therefore, subject to MM08, MM09, MM10 and MM11 the approach adopted in the EDVP to Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park is justified and consistent with the development strategy of the EDLP and is capable of effective implementation.”

East Devon District Councillor Cllr Geoff Jung for Raleigh Ward which includes the village of Woodbury Salterton says:

“I welcome this long-awaited Village Plan and the inclusion of the Employment Areas for the Business Parks of Hill Barton and Greendale.

The Planning Inspector Beverley Doward’s comments and recommendation for the business parks demonstrates that further expansion of either the Business Parks beyond the present approved boundaries will not be considered appropriate.”

“This Plan will provide clarity and certainty required for both communities of Farringdon and Woodbury Salterton and the owners of the Business Parks.”

Greendale Business Park lose legal case for Planning Approval

Press release from Councillor Geoff Jung, East Devon Alliance Independent, Raleigh Ward:

”In a recent Planning Application, the owners of Greendale Business Park claimed that because an agricultural field has been used for open industrial storage for more than ten years they were entitled to continue that use under a little used clause in the Town and Country Planning Act, known as a “Certificate of Lawfulness”.

However, the Act stipulates it is not the length of use, but the length of a “breach in planning control”. As Laing Utilities occupied this area in association with the laying of the gas pipeline between 2006 and July 2009 and Utility companies are permitted to occupy and use locations as depots for the construction of pipelines or cables the use up to July 2009 could not be claimed to be a breach in planning control.

East Devon District Council as the (LPA) Local Planning Authority had to take legal advice and concluded that the company had not been able to demonstrate that there has been a “Breach of Planning Control for 10 years” and therefore the Application 17/2441/CPE has been refused.
Company can Appeal

The applicant however is entitled to appeal to the Secretary of State within six months of the notification of the refusal.

Enforcement Notice

The Report by East Devon District Council recommends that an Enforcement Notice is served requiring the owners to:

1. Permanently cease the use of the area shown on the plan for the storage of items not connected with agriculture and remove any such items
2. Permanently remove the perimeter and internal fencing and all hardstanding
3. Permanently remove the concrete, hardcore and drainage used to construct the
4. Permanently remove all debris and paraphernalia from the area outlined in Red and return this site to an agricultural field clear of such items.

Location of are to be returned to agricultural use outlined in red above.

Greendale Extension East

This Planning Refusal comes only a month after another case at Greendale Business Park had an Enforcement Appeal upheld by the Secretary of State. This was after a Planning Appeal Inspector agreed with the Local Authority and again required the site to be removed of all industrial activities and returned to agricultural use. (Planning Application 15/2592/MOUT).

The Owners of Greendale have now appealed to the High Court for a Judicial Review on this Enforcement Appeal.

Retrospective Planning Applications.

Both cases were the result of the owners of Greendale constructing concrete roads and yards together with security fencing, drainage, lighting and industrial buildings prior to planning permission being obtained. This is known as Retrospective Planning Permission

Village Plan

The Woodbury Salterton Residents Association, a group of residents in the small rural village next to the business park have campaigned for more clarity and a clear understanding on a defined area where Industrial use and employment is permitted and what is classed as “open countryside.”

For 5 years the team of local people have worked tirelessly, working with local Parish Councils, District Councillors and the Planning Authorities to put a halt on the unplanned unlawful development at the Business Park.

The Local Development Plan approved in January 2016 gave some guidance and clarity and the recent unsuccessful application on Hogsbrook Hill and the extension East of the main Business Park are the result of following the guidance and principles laid down in the Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.

However, the local plan stated that a further planning document will follow on from the Local Plan known as the “Villages Plan” giving further guidance and clarity to the 14 largest villages in East Devon and the business parks of Greendale and Hill Barton.

This document is very nearly to the stage of adoption, with 2 public consultations and a public hearing by the Planning Inspectorate.

The final draft was submitted in December for a final public consultation with the final date for people to have a say the 2nd February.

East Devon Alliance Independent Councillor Geoff Jung, who is the Councillor for Raleigh Ward which includes the village of Woodbury Salterton and Greendale Business Park says:

“I have worked with the Planning Policy Department officers and all other Councillors at East Devon District Council and attended every Council meeting when the Village Plan has been debated and attended the public hearings. This has been to ensure that the Village Plan and especially the guidance and controls on these 2 Business Parks went through correctly and democratically.

The Planning Inspector’s proposals for the Business Parks will provide the owners of the business parks, residents and the planning authority absolute certainty of where development will be permitted and where planning will be refused.

However, at the very last Council meeting in December an amendment to remove all mention of the business parks in the Villages Plan was proposed – this was rejected but is still supported by some District Councillors. Any changes to the Inspector’s recommendation would add ambiguity and loopholes to the planning process. I would encourage all interested parties to contact the local planning with their views by the 2nd Feb.

These views will be sent on to the inspector.

The following Hyperlink takes you to the EDDC Villages Plan Page
EDDC Villages Plan Consultation:

I would like to thank the Planning Inspector Mrs Beverley Doward BSc BTP MRTPI and the East Devon team in the Planning Policy Department for a Villages Plan that will help many communities in East Devon.”

EDDC councillor desperately tries to justify expansion of Greendale and Hill Barton – going against Village Built Up Area requirements

Owl says: what a lot of help Greendale and Hill Barton are getting from (some) EDDC councillors! Hurriedly arranged meetings, a desperate race to find loopholes to allow expansion and now this. Is it a personal comment? Well, an awful lot of “we” in there!!! And quoting 2012 consultant’s views in 2018 – astonishing! AND playing down their own industrial sites (too big for small businesses) – REALLY!

“Mike Allen comment to Inspector on Hill Barton and Greendale issues

(The Lead Councillor for Business and Employment in East Devon District Council (EDDC) and past Chair of the Local Plan Forum which developed the current EDDC Local Plan)

EDDC welcomes proposals for business investment and the creation of units for small and medium sized enterprises across the East Devon area subject to NPPF and Local Plan criteria.

We appreciate that cumulative development along the A3052 road corridor has the potential to negatively impact upon existing communities and infrastructure and the operations of existing businesses. The lack of objection from Highways England on a recent nearby planning application is significant Hill Barton (HB) and Greendale Business Park (GBP) are situated near recently approved (on appeal) Yeo Business Park. This determination is of direct material significance in considering further proposed development.

I will examine four main areas of consideration for Economic development in respect of this SPD for Business Parks:

1) It could be reasonably assumed that the Planning Inspector’s view that employment space proposals of a ‘relatively small-scale development that would provide jobs for local people’ would be applicable to the current plans for Business Parks in the area. It is similarly likely that this location would also be deemed a suitable location for small scale business units at appeal.

2) Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks are larger scale and vitally important to the economic expansion of East Devon outside of the Science Park and Skypark areas.

3) The lack of residential neighbours means no loss of amenity.

4) There is clear demand for the facilities at Hill Barton and Greendale, without which business expansion would not be accommodated elsewhere. The medium quality, flexibility and appeal of the industrial storage space and units for larger growing businesses in the district is essential.

To be clear, we have no economic basis on which to challenge further development within the perimeters set in the Villages DPD.

5) EDDC’s Economic Development team have reviewed the Draft Villages Plan as well as the Sustainability Appraisal. Having also reviewed Strategy 27 and Policy E7 of the adopted Local Plan, in addition to material evidence in respect of employment land delivery below, I recommend that the Greendale (GD) and Hill Barton (HB) employment sites be removed from this Villages Development Plan.
Approval of this draft Villages DPD with GD and HB included will exacerbate the undersupply of employment premises we are already experiencing through non-delivery of our employment allocations in the adopted Local Plan.

The Council’s strategic drive is to prioritise the development of employment land in the west of the district. Any applicants are advised to examine the potential suitability of our Enterprise Zone sites (Inc. the Exeter Airport Business Park Expansion site; Cranbrook Town Centre; Skypark & Science Park), all of which benefit from infrastructure investment in excess of £25 million and include enhanced transport corridor infrastructure, rail stations and employment site infrastructure as well as being immediately adjacent to Exeter Airport and A30 and M5 junctions.

However, we are aware of some businesses feeding back a view that sites, such those examined above are aimed predominantly at the medium to large scale employers with scientific and professional or transport accommodation requirements in excess of 5,000 sq. ft. This can fail to meet the needs of many new and growing local medium sized manufacturing / B2 class businesses many of which would not be welcome in proximity to residential areas or on Science Parks.

In 2012 East Devon District Council Commissioned Professor Nigel Jump of Strategic Economics Ltd to carry out an independent assessment of the economic impact of the two strategic employment sites in East Devon. His conclusions were clear in that investment in these locations has unlocked valuable employment and economic growth in the district.

Moreover, these sites have the potential to make further economic net benefits (job creation, added GVA and inward investment) throughout challenging economic periods
to come. The report concludes that when social and environmental factors are considered, there remains a net positive impact of extended capacity at these sites which are yet to run their full course.

In light of this EDDC commissioned evidence, inclusion of Greendale and Hill Barton within the Villages DPD is unwarranted, contrary to the specialist advice we have commissioned and would cause demonstrable harm to the district.

These findings are echoed in 3 subsequent studies of demand for industrial and commercial space in East Devon which formed the overall economic element of the EDDC Local Plan which placed great weight on the sustainable balance of social, economic and environmental issues as the “Golden thread” which ran through the Local Plan and the NPPF

The proposals for the development of medium sized businesses of B2/B8 category fit well with a large number of B use premises enquires received by Economic Development in the last 2 years,

The filling out and redevelopment of Greendale and Hill Barton will complement the demand for larger B use provision and remain a welcome addition to the diverse mix of commercial accommodation required to facilitate indigenous business growth as well as the district’s ability to meet the needs of potential inward investors seeking to become established or grow their operations in East Devon.

Having recently reviewed B use premises demand across the district, the following updates can be cited: –

In Exmouth, B use accommodation at Liverton Business Park is in high demand. We have seen speculative build in this location with all but their final unit now let. They are unable to accommodate further demand

Across Clinton Devon Estate’s whole East Devon portfolio of commercial property; they have no other vacant B use premises available, representing a significant shortage of supply.

The Exeter and Heart of Devon Commercial Premises Register has received 43 separate enquiries for B1 Office accommodation in the District in the last 3 months

Greendale have received more than 80 B use premises enquiries in the last 12 months totalling more than 850,000 sq. ft.

Also, west of the Enterprise Zone, land is being brought forward for speculative development of small, flexible B use units.

Recently, as part of their Business Plan for the use of the Owen Building, Rolle Exmouth Ltd provided details of 59 separate businesses, social enterprises, individuals, groups/classes, education & training providers who have declared an interest in finding small SME commercial premises in Exmouth
Lastly, to curtail the provision of good jobs at Hill Barton and Greendale would be to consciously, selectively and actively undermine our stated (and adopted) Local Plan ambition of delivering one job per new dwelling. This target has not yet been realised, resulting in an unsustainable imbalance between the provision of new homes and new, quality jobs in East Devon.

We cannot continue to overlook this imbalance as our young teens and twenties leave to pursue careers elsewhere and the economically inactive grow as a proportion of our aging population.

We continue to receive inward investment enquires of differing scales and different employment use classes, including from the Dept. for International Trade (DIT, formerly UKTI).

These request a diverse mix of investment formats and much needed employment opportunities from outside the district. However, it is often difficult to identify suitable available employment premises.

Maintaining a diverse mix of development land and premises is key to securing these investments and associated local economic benefit.

The increased density of employment possible on Greendale and Hill Barton sites for B1/B2/B8 use is a clear benefit to our established local supply chains and producers/providers served by these developments.

Finally – I am concerned about an issue of prejudice: I believe that it would be prejudicial to the economic development of East Devon to consider the imposition of Strategy 7 (Greenfield) on Hill Barton on Greendale since the sites are clearly well used industrial sites which are in the right location for the type of businesses they serve.

The two sites have been afforded a specific exception in Policy E7 – ‘Extensions to
Existing Employment Sites’ of our adopted Local Plan (See Pg. 196 “This policy will not apply at Hill Barton and Greendale business Parks”). While for landscape and other reasons we might wish to limit the further expansion of the sites, I believe it would be prejudicial to single out these two sites rather than the 50 other smaller industrial sites for special treatment.

The criteria already laid down within the Local Plan are fully sufficient to control and promote the appropriate development on these sites.


I recommend that the Greendale (GBP) and Hill Barton (HB) employment sites be removed from this Villages Development Plan. I recommend that any application of strategy 7 within the perimeters already agreed should not occur but that other Planning Policies on Industrial Land development should be applied on the basis of equity and equality with other industrial sites in East Devon.

Approval of this draft Villages DPD with GD and HB included and subject to strategy 7 will exacerbate the undersupply of employment premises we are already experiencing through non-delivery of our employment allocations in the adopted Local Plan.”

Greendale, Hill Barton: councillors meet hurridly to try to ensure they can expand and discuss possible loopholes to enable it

EDDC Tory councillors recently very, very hurriedly organised a meeting of their Strategic Planning Committee when they suddenly realised that the Villages Built Up Area Boundary Plan might severely restrict extension of the massive Greendale Business Park and the smaller but ever-growing Hill Barton Business Park.

The ensuing discussion as to how expansion of Greendale and Hill Barton might be inserted into the plan at this very, very late stage, and the loopholes that might be exploited to enable this was very interesting.

Owl says: This is SO SO reminiscent of the attempts to move the goalposts for the proposed business park in Sidford (so ably fought against by Independent EDA councillor Marianne Rixson)

and the time when councillors attempted to add no less than FIVE business parks to the eastern side of East Devon in the Local Plan in March 2015 when CEO Mark Williams said it was not possible to take the Sidbury site out of the Draft Local Plan when it went to the Inspector but it WOULD be possible to ADD five sites! These were: Woodbury Park (Greendale), Addlepool in Clyst St George, Lodge Trading Estate at Broadclyst, Hungry Fox also at Broadclyst and McBains, presumably the site at Exeter Airport.

We are in the consultation period for the EDDC villages plan (consultation closes on 2 February 2018 (see final paragraphs of this post on how to submit a comment)


The East Devon Strategic Planning Committee proposed to change the wording of Policy VP04 and VP05 for Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks.

The meeting was somewhat controversial as it was held at short notice (8 days) to consider the EDDC Village Plan Consultation. It was agreed that this meeting was to be held urgently but due to the short notice and councillors previous engagements not all councillors where able to attend, with only 7 members of the committee able to attend.

Notes taken from the meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee held at Knowle, Sidmouth on 14 December 2017

For minutes see:

Click to access 141217-strategic-planning-committee-minutes.pdf

Attendance list Committee Members:

Cllr Phil Twiss – Chairman, Cllr Graham Godbeer – Vice Chairman, Cllr Mike Allen, Cllr Colin Brown, Cllr Jill Elson, Cllr Ian Hall, Cllr Mike Howe,
Cllr Philip Skinner

Note that the members present were all Conservative Councillors.

Also present (present for all or part of the meeting):
Councillors: Brian Bailey, David Barratt, Paul Carter(related to the Carters of Greendale) Paul Diviani, Peter Faithfull, Steve Hall

Councillors who could not attend:
Cllr Susie Bond (Independent)
Cllr Geoff Jung (Independent)
Cllr Rob Longhurst (Independent)
Cllr Geoff Pook (Independent)
Cllr Brenda Taylor (Liberal)
Cllr Mark Williamson (Conservative)

Apologies sent: Councillors Susie Bond, Geoff Jung, Rob Longhurst, Geoff Pook, Brenda Taylor and Mark Williamson

Officers present for all or part of the meeting:

Matt Dickins, Planning Policy Manager
Ed Freeman, Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Manager EDDC
Rob Murray, Economic Development Manager EDDC
Shirley Shaw, Planning Barrister EDDC
Hannah Whitfield, Democratic Services Officer EDDC
Mark Williams, Chief Executive EDDC

Notes from the meeting relating to the Business Parks.

Cllr Phillip Skinner, declared an interest as a “personal reason” as he knows the owners of Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park. A “personal interest” rather than a “pecuniary interest” does not automatically exclude a councillor from contributing to a meeting.

The East Devon Villages Plan, which was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate earlier in the year (June 2017) for examination, had been subject to Planning Inspectors hearing sessions in November 2017 for two days at the Council Offices.

Following on from the hearings, a schedule of “main modifications” has been produced by the Inspector for a further public consultation period.

The Inspector will consider representations received during the consultation before finalising her report on the Plan – she had set out a timetable for the consultation on the main modifications to run from 18 December 2017 to 2 February 2018. (7 weeks)

Mr Ed Freeman (Planning Strategy and Development Manager) summarised the modifications and advising of the next steps to the Plan adoption. The modifications did not seek to alter the broad approach taken by the Plan as they have strengthened and clarified the approach, ensuring stronger policy links between the Villages Plan and the adopted Local Plan. The modifications included:

• A policy for Built-up Area Boundaries for villages;
• A policy for Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks;
• Amendment to Beer and Colyton village/town centre vitality policies;

Councillors questioned the inclusion of inset maps and policies for both Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks and were discussed at length:

Some Councillors questioned the inclusion of “BUABs” for the two strategic employment sites which they believed were not in accordance with the Local Plan and the wording used within the polices would prevent the two sites from any expansion. The Maps the Councillors were referring to are the areas already approved for Employment/Industrial use and not a Built-up Area Boundary.

Mr Freeman advised that the boundaries shown for both sites in the Villages Plan were for information purposes only and were not policy designations. Both sites were in the open countryside and the Inspector was suggesting that the relevant polices within the Local Plan would be used to determine planning applications for both sites.

A couple of the Committee Members took issue with the reference in the proposed policy of ‘in particular Strategy 7 of the East Devon Local Plan (Development in the Countryside)’ in the new proposed polices relating to the Business Parks of VP04 and VP05, as it was felt to be unnecessary.

Mr Freeman advised that the legislation would not permit the Council at this late stage of the examination process to challenge or amend the modifications put forward by the Inspector; however, a submission could be sent from the Committee in response to the consultation advising of Members preferred wording to the policy.

Councillors suggested that the sites should be treated as “Brownfield employment sites” and not Greenfield sites and that there should be flexibility to allow for appropriate development within and expansion of the sites.

Mr Freeman advised that both sites were clearly Brownfield but this did not change the fact that they were in the open countryside and that developments would be considered as development in the open countryside under the policies of the Local Plan.

Some Councillors believed they had not been given all the appropriate information regarding the economic importance of the sites as detailed in Rob Murray’s (Economic Development Manager) comments when they had made their decision for the sites to be included in the Villages Plan.

Some Councillors attending were under the misapprehension that Hill Barton and Greendale Business Parks are required for delivering the current District and Village Plan Employment Strategies. However, Mr Freeman explained that other strategic Employment sites are being delivered for employment within the district.

Mr Freeman explained that there were many key strategic employment sites within the district and that the employment allocations within the Local Plan would more than deliver the required employment figures for the district. It was recognised that some of the sites were constrained, but work was being undertaken to unlock and deliver those sites. The Villages Plan reinforced what was already in the adopted Local Plan.

He acknowledged that the two sites were important to the district’s economy, however they were both constrained by the road infrastructure and their impacts on neighbouring properties/settlements and the wider landscape. Any expansion needed to be appropriate and delivered in accordance with the Local Plan policies. Previous applications had been approved as departures from the Local Plan where they were considered appropriate and the benefits of the development outweighed the previous Local Plan polices.

Rob Murray (Economic Development Manager) advised that he believed that Greendale and Hill Barton were strategic employment sites for the district and constraining them would exacerbate the current under supply of employment delivery and therefore his recommendation, through the internal officer consultation process, had been that the two sites should be removed from the Villages Plan.

The Meeting decided by 5 votes to 2

1. That the main modifications to the East Devon Villages Plan, as set out in the committee report, and updated sustainability appraisal, be consulted upon from 18 December 2017 to 2 February 2018 (consultation responses received would be submitted straight to the Inspector for consideration in her final report)

2. That the Inspector be sent a submission from the Strategic Planning Committee during the consultation period on the main modifications to the Villages Plan asking her to consider excluding the words ‘in particular Strategy 7 of the East Devon Local Plan (Development in the Countryside)’ from the new polices VP04 and VP05, as the Committee did not consider this to be necessary as all relevant policies within the Local Plan would apply to the two employment sites concerned.

Councillor Philip Skinner proposed and seconded by Councillor Mike Allan. (Mike Allan who is lead councillor for employment and business at EDDC is also the District Councillor, who will be attending the re-established Greendale Liaison Group meetings,)

So why is now necessary to suggest to the Planning Inspector to remove the reference to Strategy 7 of the East Devon Local Plan?

It is hoped that that the Local Parish Councils, Residents Associations, and many local people who are affected by these Business Parks will submit responses to the Inspector during this final consultation period (final day 2 Feb 2018) requesting that:

All the text regarding these Business Parks is included especially the sentence the 5 councillors supported at the Strategic Planning Committee meeting on the 14th Dec requests removing.

“in particular Strategy 7 of the East Devon Local Plan (Development in the Countryside)”

This sentence must remain in Policies VP04 and VP05 of the Villages Plan to ensure a substantial link to the East Devon Local Plan.

Details of how to respond to the Village Plan

The schedule of main modification, the updated SA/SEA, an amended version of the Villages Plan that incorporates the proposed changes and further information about the consultation may be viewed on the Council web site at: Villages plan examination – East Devon
If you wish to comment on the proposed schedule of main modifications or the updated SA/SEA, please email by no later than 2nd February 2018. All responses received will be forwarded to the Inspector for her consideration prior to issuing her report, which will be in the Spring of 2018.
If you want further information please contact the planning policy team on 01395 571533.
The Officer to contact is Linda Renshaw (Mrs) Senior Planning Officer East Devon District Council Tel. 01395 571683 Working days Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Final Consultation for the East Devon Villages Plan – your input urgently needed, particularly on business park expansion

The revised policies will provide further controls on Hill Barton and Greendale Business Parks.

On a recent Planning Enforcement Appeal, the Planning Inspector`s conclusion was he disagreed with the appellant’s (FWS Carter and Sons owners of Greendale Business Park) contention that the Local Plan is silent on the matter of employment provision/future development at the major existing employment sites of both Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks. He stated that ‘although there may be no specific policies for the business parks Strategy 7 and Policy E7, it is perfectly clear that the Plan seeks to apply a “restrictive policy approach” to accommodating further development’.

At a Strategic Planning Meeting last week it was agreed to submit the “Villages Plan” to a further 7 week consultation period which has been through the various consultations and Planning Inspectorates hearings.
East Devon District Council have yesterday(Monday 18th December) submitted the Villages Plan for consultation on the Local Plan Inspectors “Main Modifications” that she had included following her hearings held at Sidmouth in November.

The Village Plan is an extension to the already approved East Devon Local Plan which gives further detail on the 15 larger Villages in the district with new BUAB (Built up Area Boundaries) proposals which will provide some extra development for the next 15 years.

Also included are the two Industrial areas at Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park which will have an “Employment Area” drawn around them as they are both contrary to the East Devon Local Plan as they are considered to be in the open countryside where development should not be allowed.

The Planning Inspector has proposed two new Policies VP04 and VP05 covering the Business Parks. Reading the other Inspector’s report for the Enforcement Appeal who stated that there were no specific policies for the business parks, these new proposed policies will provide the clarity and guidance required to prevent these Business Parks expanding further into the countryside or closer to local communities.

History of the Village Plan

Following the hearings in 2015 with the Planning Inspectorate it was agreed to remove all villages’ growth targets from the Local Plan and create a subsidiary plan for the Villages. It was also agreed to include further clarity for Hill Barton and Greendale Business Park with this new Village Plan.

The original Village Plan was drawn up by planning officers from the District Council, agreed by the EDDC Strategic Planning Committee and at a meeting of the Full Council to go out for a 6-week public consultation from 22 March to 10 May 2017.

Following the consultations, changes were made to the Plan by the EDDC Planning Officers and the Strategic Planning Committee and then agreed by Full Council and submitted it to the Government Planning Inspectorate. This required another Public Consultation of 6 weeks when all interested parties were invited again to submit comments direct to the inspector followed by an Inspectors Hearing for 2 days in Nov 2017.

This procedure follows the agreed guidance of Democratic Principles, giving the Local Electorate plus the relevant Parish Councils, the ability to scrutinise and to submit comments to enable the District Council and finally the Inspector to ensure the Village Plan Document is both legally compliant and has followed fully the democratic principles.

Policy VP04 relating to Greendale Business Park.

Policy VP04 – Greendale Business Park Inset maps are included in this plan that show the extent of authorised uses at the Greendale Business Park for information purposes only. Development of Greendale Business Park as indicated on the inset map will be considered in accordance with the relevant policies of the development plan, in particular Strategy 7 of the East Devon Local Plan (Development in the Countryside)

Policy VP05 relating to Hill Barton Business Park.

Policy VP05 – Hill Barton Business Park Inset maps are included in this plan that show the extent of authorised uses at the Hill Barton Business Park for information purposes only. Development of Hill Barton Business Park as indicated on the inset map will be considered in accordance with the relevant policies of the development plan, in particular Strategy 7 of the East Devon Local Plan (Development in the Countryside)

These new Policies which the Inspector specifically required to be added to the proposed plan are to make it legally complaint and to link in to the already approved East Devon Local Plan.

It is a key principle to the Local Plan that these Business Parks are not to be extended from their present boundaries as they are in the open countryside.

District Councillor Geoff Jung (Raleigh Ward)

“This is another significant step forward by the Local Planning Authority to provide further support to the local plan strategy for Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks.”

“The Business Parks provide employment for many local people, but the sites are in the open countryside located some distance from where people live. The Government and Local Authority strategy is to provide employment in locations close to where people live.”

“Further development will be provided within these business parks but expansion beyond their present approved boundaries will be against local planning strategies and policies.”

“If the Village Plan is adopted as proposed this will provide the clarity that local people have been asking for, for years”

“As well as being inappropriate development within the countryside, there are significant highway issues relating to these Business Parks with the HGV traffic on the A3052 Sidmouth Road from the M5 to the Halfway Inn being heavily used and the Sandy Gate roundabout and the Clyst St Mary Roundabout at already at full capacity.”

“It is thanks to local residents, various associations and action groups, and concerned Parish Councils, within the wider area who have worked with tenacity and persistence to get to this final hurdle”

An Urgent Request for Residents to Respond

What is required now is for local people to write or email to the Local Authority in support of 17.3 changes and additions, plus the new Policy VP04 for Greendale Business Park and 18.1-18.2 changes and additions, plus the new Policy VP05 for Hill Barton.

To agree with the Inspectors proposals in full recognising the current employment boundary of Greendale and Hill Barton, this would protect the “open countryside”

The schedule of main modification, the updated SA/SEA, an amended version of the Villages Plan that incorporates the proposed changes and further information about the consultation may be viewed on the Council web site at: Villages plan examination – East Devon

If you wish to comment on the proposed schedule of main modifications or the updated SA/SEA, please email

by no later than

2nd February 2018.

All responses received will be forwarded to the Inspector for her consideration prior to issuing her report, which will be in the Spring of 2018.

If you want further information please contact the planning policy team on 01395 571533.

The Officer to contact is Linda Renshaw (Mrs) Senior Planning Officer East Devon District Council Tel. 01395 571683 Working days Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.


“These 14 East Devon villages and towns are going to expand”

“A total of 14 East Devon towns and villages have been earmarked for expansion, and residents have got a final chance to have their say on it.

Following consultation event in 2016, the public is invited to give even more feedback on the version of the East Devon Villages Plan that the district authority is going to submit.

The consultation includes details of the feedback received in response to the 2016 consultation and how the council amended the document after listening to those views. ..”

Any comments received in response to the latest consultation will be forwarded to the Inspector appointed to examine the plan – this is expected to happen during Autumn 2017.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee, said: “We would like to hear from as many residents as possible, as their views are an important part of the process in finalising the Villages Plan, which is destined to help determine planning applications across the district.”

Residents affected have until 12pm on

Wednesday May 10

to comment on the plan and the supporting documents and all comments will be sent to the Inspector appointed to examine the plan.

The Proposed Submission Villages Plan is available to view on the East Devon Council website:

as well as at local libraries and in the council offices in Sidmouth.

Villages/towns affected are:

Clyst St Mary
East Budleigh
Newton Poppleford
West Hill

Maps are helpfully provided in the Express and Echo article. In addition, maps showing the extent of land authorised for business use at Greendale and Hill Barton business parks have been included in the Villages Plan.

East Devon Villages Plan consultation

“East Devon Villages Plan –
Notice of Publication –
Representation period
22 March 2017
until noon on
Wednesday 10 May 2017

East Devon District Council is inviting representations on its Proposed Submission Villages Plan and the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal until noon on 10 May 2017.

Please see below the ‘Statement of Representation Procedure and Availability of Documents’, which gives details of where the proposed submission documents can be viewed and how to make representations.

The proposed submission plan, sustainability appraisal and all of the supporting documents may be viewed through Proposed submission plan and supporting documents – East Devon

This link will take you directly to the published plan:

Click to access villages-plan-publication-version.pdf

and this will take you to the comments form, which is our preferred method for making representations”

Villages – check if your built-up boundaries have been changed

From Strategic Planning Committee agenda (meeting on 20 February at 2pm – when most people will be at work:

“That it is recommended to Council:

1. That approval is given for the attached East Devon Villages Plan (and documentation that underpins the Plan) to be ‘published’ for a period of six weeks to allow formal comments to be made,

2. Following the six week period the East Devon Villages Plan be submitted for examination together with any comments received during that period,

3. That the Built-up Area Boundaries defined in the Publication Villages Plan, from the 23 February 2017, be used as primary policy for development management purposes instead of the boundaries on the inset plans included in the previously adopted Local Plan.

Click to access combined-agenda-spc-200217-compressed.pdf

page 9 plus appendix maps

“4.6 Main Changes from Consultation Draft Plan August 2016

The draft plan of August 2016 included justification for the approach of using BUAB’s and discussion of alternative approaches and details of how BUAB’s had been defined that is not necessary in the final plan. In terms of individual settlements the main differences between the two plans are highlighted below and full details of how individual sites were assessed against the criteria set and the refinement of this approach for Newton Poppleford and West Hill are included in the ‘Site by Site’ assessments for individual settlements.

Beer – the majority of the western part of the village and the new
housing at Little Hemphay and Bluff Terrace are now included in the BUAB. The wording of policy Beer 01 – Village Centre Vitality now reflects that of Policy E9 of the adopted Local Plan.

Broadclyst – the community orchard and car park in front of the primary school are now excluded and the new buildings at the secondary school included.

Clyst St. Mary – no change to the preferred approach boundary.

Colyton – part of the former Ceramtec site is now included together with
part of a former garage site. Policy 01 has been changed to reflect the
wording of Policy E9 of the adopted Local Plan.

East Budleigh – minor change to exclude parts of three gardens.

Feniton – the ‘Ackland Park’ site and is included but the land adjoining
the railway on the ‘nursery’ site is excluded.

Kilmington – additional land to south west of village is now included.

Musbury – both the ‘Mountfield’ land and ‘Baxter’s Farm’ site (including
village hall) are now included.

Newton Poppleford – minor change to reflect size of King Alfred Way
planning permission and preferred approach boundary followed, which excludes western part of village that was included in previously adopted local plan.

Sidbury – no changes to preferred approach boundary.

Uplyme – boundary now follows that proposed in the Uplyme Neighbourhood Plan.

West Hill – preferred approach boundary largely followed, but with some
limited expansion.

Whimple – no change to preferred approach boundary.

Woodbury – no change to preferred approach boundary.”

Green Wedges reinforced by planning decisions in eastern and western Seaton

EDDC’s refusal to allow ‘sprawling development in the countryside’, in refusing of the latest planning application for houses on the Seaton-Colyford Green Wedge, has been reinforced by an Inspector’s rejection of an appeal by a developer wanting to build on the western edge of Seaton.

In dismissing the appeal, over plans to build 3 houses in the garden of Pembroke House, Beer Road, the Inspector says:

The effect of the proposal would also be to consolidate built development along Beer Road and extend the sporadic line of dwellings into the countryside. The proposal would harmfully erode the positive contribution it currently makes to greening the settlement edge. Therefore … the development would result in harmful encroachment of urban sprawl from the settlement into the open countryside.’

The appeal decision is also good news for residents concerned to protect the field adjacent to the site from development. The inspector notes:

‘a large paddock between this property and the appeal site reveals views to the coast and surrounding landscape. This paddock represents a definite visual break, marking the point where the character of the lane changes from urban into open countryside.’

Important case law on village development and exception sites

Parish council wins High Court planning battle over village needs

East Bergholt Parish Council has won a case against Babergh District Council that it said would affect two more planning applications in the district and potentially other rural areas.

The parish argued in a judicial review at the High Court that Babergh’s decision to allow 10 homes to be built was flawed as it did not take account of the village’s needs as set out in the local plan.

David Bowman, a senior associate at law firm Royds Withy King, which acted for East Bergholt, said: “The judge decided that Babergh had made a number of material legal errors, including misrepresenting to councillors what ‘local housing needs’ means in the context of the local plan.”

Bowman said the court also agreed with East Bergholt’s interpretation that the needs of the local area differed from those of the wider district, and that Babergh had incorrectly conducted an exercise to decide whether development on land within the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty had an exceptional reason to overrule the ordinary prohibition on development.

The area is associated with the work of the artist John Constable.

A separate decision by Babergh to allow 144 homes on another site in East Bergholt is being reconsidered and a further development of 75 homes on a third site is also affected by the ruling, Bowman said.

He said the ruling was “a major setback” for what the parish believes is Babergh’s financial dependence on the New Homes Bonus.

A Babergh statement said the council would “consider the judgment of the High Court carefully before making any further comment about the consequences of the court’s decision, or the future consideration of this planning application”.

Estate agent or developer?

Interesting advertisement in a recent Midweek Herald. Estate agent Greenslade Taylor Hunt is seeking assist in to influencing the draft East Devon Villages Plan by persuading landowners in turn to “to influence planning policy in the villages of East Devon”.

And if landowners don’t want to ‘influence’ planning by turning land into housing estates themselves, GTH will facilitate interaction with a house builder to help to get planning permission.

Seems that it is no longer enough to be an estate agent you have to be a “land and planning specialist” too.

And begs the question: what if an estate agent (or land and planning agent) is assisting with selling a house that he or she knows is next to a possible development site being handled by the same firm? Will they declare an interest?

Feniton village boundary: putting the record straight

From the blog of Feniton district councillor Susie Bond:

“Development in Feniton always excites comment, but I was especially disappointed to read an ill-informed, anonymous letter in the September issue of Feniton’s parish magazine.

It’s all too easy to set rumours running and temperatures rising, by which time of course the damage is done. However, this letter was so unhelpful, I thought it needed addressing paragraph by paragraph:

“I was surprised to receive details of the so called proposed changes in Feniton’s Built Up Boundary through an e-mail from a local estate agent.”

Why would an estate agent have any interest in Feniton’s Built Up Area Boundary (to give it its proper name)? Unless of course the correspondent meant a ‘planning agent’, i.e. developer, who of course would have a vested interest in moving the site in question to within the boundary.

“There is a large piece of land to the east of Ottery Road leading up to the station which has been the home to some dilapidated greenhouses for as long as I can remember having lived in the village for nearly fifteen years and as far as I know throughout this time, this land has been included in Feniton’s Built up Boundary.”

This paragraph is probably the only paragraph that is factually correct.

“Why suddenly do I hear of a proposal to take it outside the Built-up Boundary and who exactly proposed this. There is no point in pretending that further development will not occur in Feniton at some point to come, but I do object to this eleventh hour clandestine approach to remove a site that has always been earmarked for such further development without understanding who and what reasons are behind such a proposal.”

I posted a blog about this on 9 August (, and of course EDDC’s proposed changes have been discussed extensively, including at the monthly public meeting of Feniton Parish Council on 11 July (minuted in the August issue of the parish magazine). There is nothing ‘clandestine’ about any of this, and the author seems not to understand what a Built Up Area Boundary (BUAB) actually is. It does not, for example, designate areas for development.

The proposed BUAB also draws a line tightly around the current Wainhomes estate, i.e. making it harder for Wainhomes to build the hundred or so more houses it wants to there.

“Essentially such a proposal, if successful will once again leave the rest of the village wondering nervously where further inevitable development will take place.”

Had the correspondent undertaken some elementary research, including on the Villages Development Plan Document (DPD) to which he refers, a lot of this scare mongering could have been avoided.

For example, the Villages DPD is an ancillary document underpinning the Local Plan. Planning policy in East Devon, outlined in the newly adopted Local Plan, is for development to be prioritised around Cranbrook, where there is easy access to employment within the thriving city of Exeter. Indeed, the draft East Devon Villages DPD makes clear just how unsuited Feniton is to mass development.

The decision to site the black line (proposed boundary) for Feniton as it is shown in the parish magazine and in my 9 August blog was taken by EDDC following extensive discussions by a team of planning policy officers and no-one else. Not landowners, not developers, not District Councillors, not Parish Councillors, not the residents of villages who may/may not own land they wish to propose for development. The planners undertook a full site assessment (the results of this exercise can be found through a link on my blog of 9 August).

The Built-Up Area Boundary is for consultation at this stage, but the black lines drawn on the map will only move if there is strong evidence that they should do so. I feel sure that the anonymous correspondent will put in a submission to EDDC voicing his views … although he should be aware that if he does this, he will lose his anonymity.

East Devon is not looking to increase development in Feniton for the time being. This position will undoubtedly change in the future, but the decision as to where development should take place will have to take into account Feniton’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

I would urge the anonymous correspondent to come along to Feniton Parish Council meetings where there are frank and open discussions. Using the parish magazine to needlessly raise inaccurate and misleading stories only fuels the fires of rumour and gossip.”