East Devon’s “North West Quadrant” of “linked villages” – or Exeter’s North East suburbs?

“The potential for strategic scale development in the North West Quadrant area of East Devon was identified and a network of linked villages, referred to as Clyst Villages, has been put forward

The concept of a ‘network of linked villages’ being built in the North West Quadrant area of East Devon will be investigated.

East Devon District Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday morning unanimously recommends to the Cabinet that East Devon supports the Exeter and East Devon garden communities status.

The Exeter bid would see around 12,000 new homes built in the city as part of the Liveable Exeter vision and has already been agreed by their council. …”

“The villages of Poltimore, Huxham, Clyst St Mary, Clyst St George, Ebford, West Hill, Woodbury​, Woodbury Salterton, Exton and Farringdon would be most likely to be included as ones that could be expanded further, based on them being in the quadrant and close to existing infrastructure….”

Cllr Philip Skinner said: “We are going to have the housing numbers whether we like it or not, and we cannot put off and delay this as there is a much bigger vision than just focusing on that. This is a really exciting project and I hope people grasp it with the enthusiasm that I have so we get the good things for the area that we live in.

“This is an extremely important document that we should be signing up to this now and I am bang up for seeing this comes forward in the right way.” …

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/east-devon-could-getting-network-3454612

“Air pollution causes ‘huge’ reduction in intelligence, study reveals”

Not good news for people on the route of the Sidford Fields Industrial Estate – or anyone in any of the villages close to Exeter that EDDC wants to expand.

“Air pollution causes a “huge” reduction in intelligence, according to new research, indicating that the damage to society of toxic air is far deeper than the well-known impacts on physical health.

The research was conducted in China but is relevant across the world, with 95% of the global population breathing unsafe air. It found that high pollution levels led to significant drops in test scores in language and arithmetic, with the average impact equivalent to having lost a year of the person’s education.

“Polluted air can cause everyone to reduce their level of education by one year, which is huge,” said Xi Chen at Yale School of Public Health in the US, a member of the research team. “But we know the effect is worse for the elderly, especially those over 64, and for men, and for those with low education. If we calculate [the loss] for those, it may be a few years of education.”

Previous research has found that air pollution harms cognitive performance in students, but this is the first to examine people of all ages and the difference between men and women.

The damage in intelligence was worst for those over 64 years old, with serious consequences, said Chen: “We usually make the most critical financial decisions in old age.” Rebecca Daniels, from the UK public health charity Medact, said: “This report’s findings are extremely worrying.” “

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/27/air-pollution-causes-huge-reduction-in-intelligence-study-reveals

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
Rewe
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.

Broadclyst
Clyst Honiton
Sowton
Rockbeare
Wimple.​

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

Clyst Hydon
Clyst St Lawrence
Aylesbeare
Marsh Green

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

Lympstone

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:

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

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.

Conclusion:

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?

Straitgate Quarry traffic re-route sends loads through busy Ottery junction

“Aggregate Industries (AI) held an exhibition last Wednesday to outline its latest proposals to extract sand and gravel from Straitgate Farm.

In its revised plans, the company proposes to send material from Straitgate to Hillhead Quarry, near Uffculme, instead of going to Blackhill Quarry, near Woodbury, for processing and distribution.

John Penny, south west estates manager for AI, said: “Effectively, we would have two or three campaigns per year, of five to seven weeks, and once we have finished that campaign, we would withdraw from the site and go back later in the year.”

AI proposes to extract around 1.5million tonnes over a period of 10 to 12 years and carry out a ‘maximum’ of 86 deliveries a day during a campaign that would take place between March and November.

District councillor Roger Giles, who represents Ottery, said: “I cannot understand why AI is going to such great lengths, and spending so much time and effort for so little reward – less than one million tonnes of sand and gravel. It makes no economic sense. Yet it will have an exceedingly damaging impact.

“The idea of heavy slow-moving lorries making a right turn across Ottery’s busiest road, which is full of fast-moving traffic, is sheer madness.”

A St Mary’s Park resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was concerned about the average number of movements in each campaign using one of the town’s busiest roads.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/traffic_caused_by_quarry_plans_dubbed_madness_1_4802103

Now it’s West Hill’s turn to go under siege from developers

“A PIECE of land in the centre of West Hill could be transformed into more than 30 homes, a satellite doctors surgery and a gastro pub.

A coffee shop, pharmacy, bowling club, land for the village’s pre-school, and underground parking may also feature in pending proposals for a two and a half acre site opposite McColls in West Hill Road.

That is what scores of residents have been told by Councillors Claire Wright and Jo Talbot, who fear development of what is known as Copper Trust land could see more than 200 extra vehicle movements in the area a day.

Any such move would come hot on the heels of widely derided Blue Cedar Homes plans to build 50 dwellings on land near Eastfield that have garnered controversy and hundreds of objections.

“Either scheme, if approved, is likely to prompt other developers to submit their own applications, citing these examples as a precedent for their proposals to be accepted,” warned the Ottery town councillors in a letter to Ashley Brake, Elsdon Lane, Ford Lane, Beech Park and West Hill Road householders.”

http://www.eastdevon24.co.uk/news/west_hill_30_home_development_shocker_1_614147

West Hill: new parish council boundary “compromise”

Independence day as West Hill splits

11:01 15 July 2016 Eleanor Pipe
Proposed new West Hill parish council boundary
Proposed new West Hill parish council boundary
Compromise reached over divisive boundary issue

“West Hill looks set to form its own parish council after a contentious bid to gain independence was given the green light.

A long and acrimonious battle came to an end on Wednesday (July 13) when members of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) cabinet voted in favour of the village breaking away from the governance of Ottery.

The bid was launched by the West Hill Parish Campaign Group (WHPCG), which argued the community has its own identity.

During the consultation process, a bitter row broke out over the proposed boundary.

Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting, WHPCG chairman Margaret Hall said: “Our primary objective has always been to establish a parish council for West Hill. We know we have overwhelming support for this from residents of West Hill. We are disappointed by the boundary, however, we do recognise the need for compromise. We do look forward to working positively with all our neighbouring councils in the future.”

The compromised boundary option means the new parish will be far smaller than the current West Hill ward, but it does incorporate some households in Higher Metcombe, who strongly objected to being included in the Ottery ward.

Mayor Glyn Dobson – not speaking on behalf of the town council – said: “I will be sorry to see West Hill go, because the parish of Ottery will lose approximately 25 per cent of its precept. However, if it’s the will of the majority of West Hill residents, I respect that.”

District councillor Peter Faithfull said the issue should be postponed entirely – as the level of acrimony did not allow for constructive debate. However, Councillor Phil Twiss argued there is a clear case for West Hill forming its own parish council.

EDDC needs to issue a final go-ahead before the proposal will come into legal effect on April, 1, 2017. The first elections could be held in May 2017.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/independence_day_as_west_hill_splits_1_4617573