Greendale Business Park 120% expansion plan – battle for who really controls East Devon planning policy and an EDA councillor excluded from meetings about his own area.

document to support the already approved “East Devon Local Plan.”

The Owners proposal is approx. 120% more development beyond the present developed area. The various coloured outlines show the proposed
development areas.


“East Devon District Council recently asked local people about a planning

The Local Authorities proposal for Greendale Business Park. “No further expansion beyond the present permitted developments already permitted”

The Owners version published in a document called the “Greendale Masterplan” which is included in the published consultation documents.

This proposal, known as the “Villages Plan,” will provide planning guidance until 2031 for the larger villages in East Devon and two large industrial sites of Hill Barton and Greendale.

The Villages Plan is not yet approved but the owners FWS Carter and Sons have submitted a “masterplan” proposing a massive 120% expansion to their site. There is considerable local concern that further expansion at Greendale Business Park will now continue.

The company`s agents have submitted a multitude of documents to support their claim for continued expansion and in a bid to overcome possible objections have re-introduced a “liaison group” which they claim is:

“To provide better lines of communication and wider understanding”

A few years ago, following a great many complaints, contentious planning applications and planning appeals the owners of the Business Park were asked by the County Council to invite Planning, Environmental Officers and locally elected representatives to form a liaison group.

This was a success for a few years, but was disbanded by the management 18 months ago, however they held a liaison meeting on Wednesday June 21st at their offices.

There is local concern over who the owners invited to attend.

There was no invitation for members of the Residents Association, Woodbury Parish Council were restricted by the company who named two Councillors they wished to attend. Most controversially the “Terms of Reference” was changed by removing the word “Local” from “Local Elected Member of the District Council” and the invitation was sent to Conservative Budleigh Town and District Councillor Tom Wright but not the current ward member.

The local ward Councillor Geoff Jung (EDA Independent) who is also the secretary of the Residents Association and a Parish Councillor says:
“This is not the normal practice for a “Liaison Group”, but the company has the right to invite whoever they wish to these meetings.”

“It`s totally “legal” but it`s certainly not democratic, I am unable to represent people as a member of Residents Association, nor as a Parish Councillor, nor as a District Councillor”. “I now have the most bizarre situation that I must direct residents with local concerns to the new Chair of this Liaison Group, Conservative Exmouth Town and recently elected Local County Councillor Mr Richard Scott.”

“It`s standard practice that a District Councillor represents his own ward at Liaison meetings and this requires the approval of the District Council. Cllr Wright has ignored this protocol and attended but, I am very pleased to hear that planning officers from the District Council will not attend the meetings until my inclusion is agreed.”

“There are serious local concerns regarding the recently submitted “Greendale Masterplan” and I suspect that the re-introduction of this Local Liaison Group is to do with these expansionist plans”

The Planning History.

Thirty years ago, the business park was a farm with some agricultural buildings which the owners claimed to be “redundant for farming use” They were given permission to be converted to Industrial units. More agricultural buildings were built and again allowed to become Industrial. Many of planning applications were “retrospective” (Built or converted prior to Planning Permission being submitted.

In 2009 the Business Park was permitted to enlarge to its present size as an “Exception Site to the then Local Plan” This was because the East Devon Business Forum (chaired by disgraced Conservative Councillor Graham Brown who boasted to a daily Telegraph “sting” reporter that he could provide approval for planning for a fee). The Forum claimed there was an acute lack of Industrial land available within the district.

Steadily the owners have built a very large Business Park in the open Countryside which was never the local planning authorities policy.
The residents of the rural village of Woodbury Salterton consider that any further expansion will destroy their beautiful village set in the open countryside, and for the last 10 years have campaigned for better planning protection.

The Local Authority with their recently approved Local Plan decided on the location for housing and commercial land, and agreeing with the village residents that further expansion of Greendale Business Park would not be appropriate or suitable.

The Local Plan is a blueprint for district planning until 2031 and includes policies for commercial and industrial developments to be built close to urban settlements. Substantial commercial opportunities exist at Cranbrook, Exeter Airport and on land known as the West End (on the outskirts of Exeter). This is to follow the Government`s planning policy that people should not be required to commute far from their homes to a place of work.
The village community, through their Residents Association, their Parish, District and County Councillors have strived for a sensible balance of development and the proposals included in the Local Plan and the emerging Village Plan are a direct result of 10 years of hard work of campaigning and lobbying.

Councillor Geoff Jung says:

“The decisions for both the Local Plan and the Villages Plan were decided democratically and agreed by full Council and by a Government Planning Inspector. The owners of Greendale must not be allowed to bulldoze further and further into the countryside.”

Greendale business family accused of neglecting city centre pub

“A year has passed since a long-standing pub in Exeter city centre closed its doors. But the mystery continues as to the future of it.

The Mint on Fore Street has been shut since New Year’s Eve 2015, and has remained closed ever since, despite plans to reopen ‘soon’. …

… Owners Greendale Leisure Ltd, based at Woodbury Salterton, have remained tight-lipped about their plans for the venue.

It was initially thought that the pub closed over ‘management issues’.

David O’Callaghan, of Gentry barber shop, said: “There have been all sorts of rumours, but no one is any the wiser.

“We have seen people taking out pumps, coolers, chilling units, the fruit machine and pool table. So maybe they aren’t going to keep it as a pub.

It’s an eyesore, and I’m concerned squatters are going to get in there.”

Business must be going well for the Carter family if they can afford to leave a city centre property empty for a long period.

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.”

More “Future [lack of care] Care” roadshows – probably your last chance to give your views

Friday 16 December 2016
Town Hall, 09.30 – 11.30

Friday 16 December 2016
Kennaway House, 14.30 – 16.30

Monday 19 December 2016
All Saints Church Hall, 09.30 – 11.30

Wednesday 21 December 2016,
Village Hall, 09.30 – 11.30

Budleigh Salterton
Wednesday 21 December 2016
Public Hall, 13.30 – 15.30

Thursday 22 December
The Beehive, 14.00 – 16.00

Friday 23 December 2016
Guildhall, 13.30 – 15.30

FWS Carter and Greendale Business Park – trees, who cares?

East Devon District Council has moved to prevent more trees being felled at a business park near Woodbury Salterton.

“A tree preservation order has been made after concerns were raised about trees being removed at Greendale Business Park, off the A3052.

It comes as owner FWS Carter & Sons Ltd is set to appeal against the council’s refusal of planning permission for an extended compound, warehouse and office building on the eastern edge of the site.

Groundworks on the scheme, including the removal of some trees, started in March last year, before a planning application was submitted in November.

Planning consent was refused by East Devon District Council in July this year.

Earlier this month, the council confirmed a tree preservation order to safeguard the remaining trees on the eastern side of the business park.

The trees were planted some years ago to provide screening to mitigate the impact of the industrial estate on the surrounding rural area.

Councillor Geoff Jung, the local ward member on the district council, claims between 300 and 450 trees have been removed – but the developer says only 50 have been cleared.

Georgina Turner, owner of the nearby Brooklands Caravan Park, which overlooks the site, said: “It’s affecting my house as well as my livelihood.

“When we bought this place 18 months ago, the holiday park was protected from the industrial estate by this thick band of trees, so you couldn’t hear it or see it.

“Since they removed the trees, people coming here on holiday have commented on the noise. It has put some people off. People want to go on holiday somewhere peaceful and quiet.

“Even if they were to replant the trees, it will take another 15 years for them to grow, so it’s not going to be an immediate solution.”

Councillor Jung said: “These trees were specifically planted to act as a semi natural screen to help shield the industrial area from the open countryside and local residential properties.

“We will have to start again and await further planting and years of continual growth to replicate what has been ripped out.”

The planning officer’s report notes that works have been ongoing on the site, where a concrete compound and light commercial unit have been constructed.

FWS Carter & Sons has said around 30 jobs are associated with the new development.

Director Alec Carter said: “Greendale Business Park is a major employment site in East Devon, supporting over 1,300 jobs and contributing well over £16 million to the local economy each year.

“The planning application in question was submitted in November 2015 with a target date for determination in February 2016. The application was not considered until eight months after it was lodged.

“The refusal of the application was surprising given that the majority of the site in question had previously been granted planning consent for a large 1,661 square metre office building.

“The business occupying the site employs 30 people and is predominantly using the area for open storage. A small 120 square metre warehouse is also on the site.

“A planning appeal is being lodged with the Planning Inspectorate against the refusal of the planning application. Two detailed planning applications are also being re-submitted to East Devon District Council.

“Around 50 young trees were removed to accommodate the business site and a number have been replanted on the boundary of the proposed development. The trees were not covered by a Tree Protection Order and their removal is not in breach of Forestry Commission regulations, who were notified at the time.”

The developer has agreed to repay part of a grant from the Forestry Commission which was used to fund the original planting.

It added that over the last 15 years, around 23,000 trees covering 21 hectares have been planted around Greendale Business Park.”

Straitgate Farm Quarry Application for 100 acre quarry, near Ottery

A planning application for a 100 acre quarry at Straitgate Farm, near Ottery St Mary has been made by Aggregate Industries to Devon County Council.

A separate application has been submitted for processing the sand and gravel at Blackhill Quarry on Woodbury Common, which would result in a minimum of 140 lorry movements each day along the B3180.

Residents now have until 2nd July to comment on the application, by Aggregate Industries.

Also, the draft minerals plan (long term strategic quarrying document), in which Straitgate Farm is a preferred site, will be considered by Devon County Council’s development management committee on Tuesday 15 July, before being consulted on for three months. It is vital that as many people attend this meeting as possible. It starts at 2pm.

For more information about the proposed quarry visit  Straitgate Action Group
This is Claire Wright’s thoughts   Cllr Claire Wright’s Blog
Cllr Rob Longhurst has posted his views Cllr Rob Longhurt’s Web site
Here’s the link to the documentation – Planning Applications – Devon County Council

Send your comments to

If you want to add comments – please do – if you want to add links to more information – tell Owl

Owl says – These applications effect the whole of the West of East Devon – it is therefore a MAJOR EDW issue.  Apart from the obvious environmental damage to our ancient heritage the impact on the B3180 is immense – this road is not wide enough in many sections to allow a large 40tonne articulated lorry and a car to pass – these lorries are not slow and meeting one is scarey in the extreme.  Write to this blog or better still Devon County Council but oppose these applications.

Roger Giles (Ind) polls highest vote in District Council elections

We’ve had further feedback from today’s election of East Devon District Councillors, when Independents gained considerable ground. Here are some highlights:

– The voters’ favourite was Roger Giles, the seasoned Independent Councillor for Ottery St Mary Town Ward, with 2087 votes.
– Paul Diviani, Leader of the Council) retained his seat at Yarty. He received 776 votes. But votes against him totalled 795.
– Cabinet member, Ray Bloxham (525 votes) lost in Raleigh Ward to IEDA candidate, Geoff Jung (950 votes).
– IEDA Leader, Ben Ingham successfully held Woodbury & Lympstone, where he and IEDA colleague, Rob Longhurst, defeated David Atkins (Con).
– The most significant cull of Tory Councillors was in Sidmouth, with Independents now in control:
There was a surprise defeat for Graham Troman, who ironically has often stood up alone for Sidmouth, without the backing of the other local councillors.
Stuart Hughes is the sole remaining Conservative, sharing Sidmouth-Sidford with Dawn Manley and Marianne Rixson, both IEDA.
Sidmouth Town Ward is in the hands of Cathy Gardner (IEDA), Matt Booth(IEDA) and John Dyson (Independent).

The Sidmouth Herald reporters were quick to pick this up:

For complete election result information, go to