A B A N D O N E D!

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The abandoned Winslade Park site at Clyst St Mary is a sad reflection of a once vibrant employment site

 

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2017

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December 2015

Why would the Insurance Group abandon to dereliction, dilapidation, disrepair and deterioration what (until recently) would have been considered, by many, to be one of the most sought after idyllic, rural employment sites in this area? The answer lies in the Group’s future vision for a substantial re-development of the entire site primarily for residential purposes. What better way to grab everyone’s attention than to let the area “go to rack and ruin” so that ultimately a decision must be made on the future of the site.

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In and around 2013, there were initial discussions that 500 houses could be accommodated on this large site, on both green open parkland and sports fields and previously developed areas, known in planning terms as ‘brownfield sites’. However, such inappropriate proposals resulted in extensive objections from the residents who successfully protected the green open parkland and fields from inclusion in East Devon’s Development Plan to 2031. It could be foreseen that their small rural village with the limited services of a small school, one shop with post office, a pub and a garage could metamorphose into a town which would not only lose the special identity and character of the village but such disproportionate growth would detrimentally affect the social cohesion of the community, which was valued by all of the existing residents. Furthermore, such expansion would be considered unsustainable and inappropriate under national and local planning legislation and policies.

Planning Applications for around 300 houses were refused permission but East Devon Planning Authority had allocated up to 150 dwellings on the brownfield areas in their Development Plan to 2031 because they needed to prove sufficient future housing quotas over a five year period for the whole of East Devon to validate the Local Plan for adoption and the allocation of 150 dwellings at Clyst St Mary certainly assisted in reaching the required target figure!

Normally, under good planning practice, such excessive numbers would never be contemplated for a small village; but East Devon Planners created a proviso under Strategy 26B in the Local Plan that Winslade Park “formed an exception to policy for development at villages in East Devon as otherwise set out in the Plan”; leaving the village disadvantaged and outside of the protection of planning laws and guidelines specifically in place to safeguard its future.

The residents are not NIMBYs and the community is socially inclusive, being aware that people need somewhere to live. Consequently Clyst St Mary has already approved nearly 100 new dwellings with 80 houses currently under construction by Cavanna Homes plus a smaller development at Bridge House in the old village centre. However, currently the cumulative figure for approved and allocated new housing now totals almost 250 dwellings, when other villages and towns have more proportionate allocations and some have no allocations whatsoever!

The current planning application is provisionally scheduled for presentation to East Devon Development Management Committee on Monday 2nd October 2017, although many residents feel arbitration is necessary. They intend to make their voices heard on the unsuitability of both the hybrid application and the continuing emphasis by the Authority that a Development Plan cannot be adapted and modified to secure sustainable development for this community.

Consequently, the abandonment is not solely restricted to the Winslade Park redundant office complex because the residents of Clyst St Mary also feel they and their village have been abandoned in favour of proposals for unsustainable over-development. They fear that this current application will be the precursor to encroachment on to the open parkland and sports fields and once that is secured the village of Clyst St Mary will cease to exist. Could there be a more inspired, desirable vision for the future of this abandoned site at Winslade Park? Those people who actually live in this village truly hope for one.

 

 

Spectacular Flooding On and Around Friends Provident Site

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Grindle Brook The Raging Torrent

Yesterday brought a very big surprise! Grindle Brook became a raging torrent. As these pictures dramatically show parts of the Friends Provident site are flood plain!

Over the past year many Clyst St Mary residents have raised serious concerns regards flooding in and around the Friends Provident site. Here is the proof their concerns are well founded.

We have been assured by both the Environment Agency and EDDC that the risk has been fully assessed and that mitigating measures are in the development plans. Really?

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Grindle Brook Immediately Behind One of the Proposed Neighbourhoods

Are these the same sort of Environment Agency measures that have failed to spectacularly this winter in Northern England and Southern Scotland?

Building dwellings on these low lying areas will result in misery and financial ruin for the future occupants.

With the evidence of these photographs what insurance company will be prepared to insure the houses once built?

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Around 100 Dwellings Are Planned For This Flood Plain (Office Block to Be Demolished to Make Way for Them)

No amount of flood prevention measures are going to change the fact that there are low lying areas scheduled for house building that are prone to flooding.

Yet another reason to find a more appropriate new use for this site. Or at least put the plans on hold until the Environment Agency has carried out a fundamental review of the increased risk and come up with a fresh flood prevention plan.

Overwhelming our village with hundreds of new homes adjacent to a flood plain and one of the worst traffic choke points in Devon is a bad idea in so many respects.

The burning question for 2016 is whether EDDC will have the will t0 resist the massive pressure being placed upon them by the developers to approve their plans?

 

 

Clyst St Mary Built Up Area Boundary

You may be aware that East Devon District Council (EDDC)are in the process of putting together the final elements of their Local Plan. Our Neighbourhood Plan is progressing well and once both are adopted, should safeguard our village boundaries that we have recently fought so hard to protect.

As part of the process EDDC have a public consultation out at the moment (ie before the aforementioned Plans are adopted) giving the opportunity for the public and developers to ask for changes on village boundaries.http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1249785/buab-consult-doc-final-august-2015.pdf

If you are happy with Clyst St Mary’s current boundaries, as outlined in our Neighbourhood and Local Plans and do not wish for them to be changed (for example, the field behind the football ground, currently owned by the Plymouth Brethren, could be re-designated as an area on which to build)  please add your name and address to  the letter we have prepared for you CLICK HERE to pen and forward it to localplan@eastdevon.gov.uk or please print off a copy and post it through our letter box: 11 Clyst Valley Road (which we will deliver by hand).

If possible, please send a letter per household member (over 18) rather than per household.

If you know of anyone in this area without access to a computer, please alert the contents of this email. We will happily provide a printed copy of the letter to be signed if they call 01392 969100.

Best wishes
Gaeron

A Very Positive Outcome For Clyst St Mary

As you will be aware, today was the day the Development Management Committee met at EDDC to discuss the Local Plan.

This had great significance for Clyst St Mary, given that it had been proposed that both the Winslade Park area and the green field owned by the Plymouth Brethren would be used for the village’s allocation of an additional 200 houses.

22 members of our group met last Monday and discussed our key arguments against this which were to be delivered at today’s meeting.

We are thrilled to announce that, following today’s Committee meeting, it was unanimously agreed by the 15 councillors present to reject the green field proposal and reduce the housing allocation for Winslade Park to 150 in total.

A massive thank you to everyone who attended last Monday’s meeting, including the seven brave souls who spoke so passionately and articulately today, as well as all those local residents who turned up simply to offer moral support. It really was greatly appreciated.

Whilst this was only a hearing for the Local Plan – not a hearing for the specific applications to which we have all objected – it does give us hope for the future. Things certainly appear now to be less bleak than they did ten days ago!

Rest assured, with your support, we will continue to fight in a dignified, professional and open manner to unite and preserve our village community.

Gaeron

For more information and interviews on this post please contact Peter Simmonds at info@peterwikaniko.com

Revised East Devon Plan Allocates 200 Additional House to Clyst St Mary

There has been a significant development regarding the Clyst St Mary planning applications of which you need to be aware.

We have been advised that East Devon District Council, in its amended Local Plan, has now stated that our village is to take an additional 200 new homes (on top of the 95 that we have already agreed to.) Moreover, the Friends Provident and  Plymouth Brethren sites are the proposed locations of these new homes.

It is important to note that this news concerns East Devon’s Local Plan – it is not a result of the specific hearings for which we have all battled so hard to object to (these planning applications are still to be heard). This announcement is part of a totally separate decision where, for reasons we are not party to, our village seems to have become the exception to the apparent aim of preserving  East Devon villages’ identity; it is believed it is due to our ‘proximity to Exeter’.

As you can imagine, having devoted a large part of our spare time to this campaign for several months, we feel, as you probably do, utterly devastated to hear this shocking news. There remain many questions unanswered and we would, in the longer term, be keen to hear your views regarding  the group’s response and possible actions. In the first instance, we desperately need speakers at the meeting at the Council’s headquarters on Monday 23rd March at 10am. It is crucial our voice is heard. Would you be prepared to speak? If so, please respond to this email – or call 01392 969100 – as soon as possible. Anyone that is prepared to speak must have a booking made by mid day with EDDC.  We are hoping to arrange a short get together for anyone prepared to speak on Tuesday evening.

To say that we are shocked at this development is an understatement; now, more than ever, we have to stay strong and united as a group and really hope that, despite how recent events appear to have manifested themselves, ultimately  justice, transparency and equality shall still prevail.
Gaeron

Relevant links:

The agenda for the Special Development Management Committee to be held on Monday, 23 March at 10amcan now be viewed at: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/990985/230315-special-combined-dmc-agenda.pdf

The revised draft New East Devon Local Plan can be viewed here: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/990979/230315-sp-dmc-local-plan-with-changes-for-post-hearing-consultation-ver-04-march-2015.pdf

The draft schedule of proposed changes to the East Devon Local Plan can be viewed here:http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/990982/230315-sp-dmc-table-of-changes-to-local-plan-v3-march-15.pdf

Another Solar Panel Farm Application!

A new application which has been lodged with EDDC under reference 15/0123/MFUL. This is for the installation of ground mounted photovoltaic solar arrays with inverter cabins, sub station buildings, access tracks, underground cable, fencing and CCTV.  Location is Kenniford Farm (land South Of) Clyst St Mary Exeter EX5 1AQ
If you think this is inappropriate development for this area please object.  Government policy is changing it April to encourage panels to be installed on the roofs of industrial units instead of prime agricultural land.
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Do we really want our village encircled to the east by solar panel farms?

Planned Development v Profiteering

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Construction site at Rydons, Exeter. If you don’t want to see this on a large scale in our village object NOW

If you drive anywhere from A to B you cannot help noticing that the UK is in the grip of a house building boom. The political elite who have encouraged mass immigration for years now tell us the country now needs millions of new homes  to meet the demand their policies have created. Continue reading

Save Clyst St Mary Story Now on Express & Echo Webiste

Fantastic result today!

The Express and Echo has published an article about our campaign on their website and this will also be in the paper when it comes out on Thursday.

Read the article here

Every bit of publicity helps our cause – please keep spreading the word wherever you go.

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