EDDC totally screws up Local Plan: developers free-for-all to continue indefinitely

3 Apr



We all knew the plan was cobbled together in haste – here is the proof, though no mention of employment land so presumably he is happy for Sidford Fields to go ahead ….

Remember this when we come to vote.

19 Responses to “EDDC totally screws up Local Plan: developers free-for-all to continue indefinitely”

  1. Sara B April 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Errr no. E D Alliance members and similar screwed up. By not accepting that houses were needed. If sensible allocations had been agreed in the right place then we would have sustainable development. Now we have a crazy out of control free for all. Stupid and mainly due to organisations like EDA!

    • Richard Thurlow April 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

      Sara B, I think that you have not been paying attention. The housing figures in the LP were produced by EDDC themselves over the last 5 years. No “pressure groups” have had any input, ie those against the inappropriate placement or those for it, (housing developers like Persommon). The Inspector says that he finds that he finds that the housing numbers are not supported by any clear evidence and that he wants a re assessment. Again nothing to do with any pressure groups. Eddc incompetence. Please get your facts right.

  2. Sandra Semple April 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Er, those were EDDC’s numbers, produced by their officers and councillors AND, had EDDC’s own first LDF Framework Panel (ChIrman Graham Brown) not spent 3 years faffing about visiting EDBF member sites (Chairman Graham Brown) the numbers in a Local Plan that would have made it through the system before the NPPF would have been even lower! Can’t blame EDA for that – it didn’t exist then!

  3. Sara B April 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    OMG how ridiculous! This has nothing to do with Graham Brown no matter how silly he has been. Look at the way Mike Allen’s LDF panels pandered to the ill informed – no evidence just “how many houses do you want?” It was bound to end up like this and it is a mess which not just EDDC should take responsibility for but all the loony anti development groups who caused mayhem to the process…

  4. Claire Wright April 3, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Um, I wonder why did Paul Diviani said the result was what he expected? If it was what he expected I wonder why he allowed it to be submitted, with inaccurate evidence?

  5. Mike Temple April 4, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Oh yeah? WHEN did EDDC ever listen to the public? It’s now proposing to restrict public questions at planning meetings.

    Q: WHO is it wants to build all over our green and pleasant land?
    A: This government (hence the Inspector’s letter) along with developers and their friends in local government.

    Meanwhile, as the Chairman of the National Trust says, areas in the North and Midlands turn into Detroits. Why not regenerate these areas and build on brownfield sites?
    No wonder the MP for Stratford on Avon(Con) said that this government’s legacy would be the destruction of our countryside.

  6. Mike Allen April 4, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    In reality this is a political agenda by the Coalition Government of both Liberals and Conservatives with the Labour party promising even more homes to be built. The easy EDA answer is to attack the Conservatives because it suits their political purposes. Shameful and about time they got real. We do have pressures on house-building because the shifts in lifestyle mean that there are more single parent families and older people. We also have pressures on immigration from the Southeast and pressures from Exeter. The latest 2011 census shows that the population barely changed in the decade but the housing needs did not get satisfied because the banks cut mortgage lending, so developers land-banked housing mainly outside East Devon. We are well on the way to satisfying the locally developed and thoroughly consulted on Local Plan which is “suspended” for further proof and not rejected. There is no “free for all” since the National Planning policy Framework gives us key guidelines on sustainability for balancing our communities. So let’s get real it’s not a disaster but a temporary call for further justification and we will continue to work for the needs of the whole community.

    As regards the Development Management Committee… we are by law a non-party independent bunch of people who make decisions on merit.

    Mike Allen

    • Ron April 6, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      EDDC as a council is disliked, distrusted, and is simply not working for the people. Cllr Allen seems to have misunderstood entirely why the East Devon Alliance exists, and what its aims are, and hasn’t noticed that Conservative councillors are amongst those who signed the EDA Charter (see http://eastdevonalliance.org).

  7. Keith Tizzard April 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Who says that the Planning Inspector has chastised EDDC over its lack of housing provision? EDDC itself says:

    “East Devon District Council is to be given more time to provide additional evidence as to the volume of housing that is right for the district looking ahead over the next two decades. That’s the key message from a preliminary letter to the council from a planning inspector examining East Devon’s draft Local Plan.”

    You need to earn a lot of money to be able to come up with that interpretation.

    So that’s all good then!

  8. Sara B April 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    It appears that the problem has been caused by EDDC not providing convincing evidence re housing numbers. The answer is simple find the evidence to prove the number. The Inspector appears to have forensically analysed the approach taken and found it wanting. It must be bad, and the comments here do not recognise it, because the Government are actually putting pressure on Inspectors to find plans sound. The problem as I see it is that Councillors and campaigners encouraged reductions in overall numbers from c 17,500 to c14,000 (later going up to 15,000 when 14,000 was thought to be totally indefensible) without any firm evidence – their consultants did the Council’s bidding but even they could not find evidence which was robust. The result is a big mess. A mess for the council but also a mess for the campaigners against development because if they had approached it from a more evidence based position and encouraged housing where it was sustainable the threat from developers putting houses in inappropriate places would be much diminished. Now I fear it will be game over for a year or so and we will see inappropriate applications and permissions all over the place. The Council need to learn a lot of lessons but also bodies such as EDA et al who fuelled much of this mayhem.

  9. Mark Eppels April 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    I think the issue is that the evidence indicated an East Devon housing number over 17,000 and councillors and anti development protestors didn’t like it so pushed through a lower number. So the Inspector is simply doing his job. East Devon now needs to find some evidence to justify a new number. Best way forward is to use Cranbrook and Exeter as the growth engines to meet the demand for market and affordable housing. Thereby reducing the need for significant numbers in the villages. In the end everyone should be ashamed of themselves – we will now face a developers onslaught. Nightmare.

    • sidmouthsid April 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

      Of course the Inspector is doing his job! He has simply found EDDC’s submission, produced by its own officers and consultants, full of inaccuracies. This Council is notorious for ignoring and often belittling opposition. Now, with the humiliation of its unsound Local Plan, it has nowhere to hide.

      • Mark Eppels April 7, 2014 at 7:09 am #

        No, you are wrong. It is because it pandered to vitriolic opposition who were full of rhetoric and few facts that they are in this mess. So, yes they are accountable, but no, it is not their total fault. In life you will find, as you get older, things are never black and white. I am 57 and appreciate this from some hard personal lessons….

  10. Sandra Semple April 7, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Kate Little giving in to individuals without a fight, now that would be a scandal! If that had been the case we certainly would have won our case in Seaton and would have been shopping at a medium-size Sainsbury’s with a state-of-the-art Visitor Centre overlooking the wetlands on top of it. Instead we have an oversize mostly deserted Tesco next to its development site – a real desert and the prospect of a Visitor Centre yet to be built between said Tesco and main road.

    In all my years dealing with her I never saw Ms Little concede anything but how I wish I had!

    Now that it has bedn shown that groups didn’t exist when these decisions were made could therefore not be blamed for them now these posters blame individuals just because they had views different to council officers. This really is scraping the barrel. Officers put in these numbers, councillors went with them. The buck stops there.

    • Mark Eppels April 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

      You could say this is really funny, if it wasn’t so serious. The campaigners fight to reduce the housing numbers. They win and get them down to 15k. Then the inspector finds them flawed because, surprise, surprise, there is no evidence to support them. The campaigners blame the Council. You couldn’t make it up…!

  11. Sandra Semple April 8, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    So, basically EVERYONE else is to blame except councillors and officers who just did as they were told by the Great British Public. Pull the other one: if these people haven’t got the cojones to stand up for their figures they don’t deserve to be in office. Pathetic.

    AND they ADDED employment land against the wishes of the same Great British Public – how did that happen?

    Time to go back to the day job Mark – or is this your day job?

  12. Claire Wright April 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    It is fatuous and desperate to blame the residents or campaign groups for the local plan being found unsound.

    Seeing as Mr Eppells and Sara B apparently haven’t read the inspector’s letter (won’t take you long!) the inspector says the underlying evidence is unsound because it isn’t up to date! That is the problem here. Is this the residents/campaign groups fault? I think not.

    And while we are on the subject perhaps Mr Eppels and Ms B might also acquaint themselves with the section in the letter which relates to the five year supply.

    This will now have to be made up at great speed, thanks to new guidance linked to the NPPF – central govt landed that one on us,along with the 20 per cent penalty which makes it really hard to make up the shortfall. And while we are on the subject of the NPPF, if it wasn’t for the NPPF and its presumption in favour of development if a local plan is silent, absent or indeterminate, East Devon would be in a better position to see off inappropriate development.

    Yes the Feniton result is brilliant and we are all celebrating, but let’s not forget the first Feniton appeal – ALLOWED; the Ottery Butts Rd appeal – ALLOWED; – as a result of the NPPF. So it can go either way.

    Funny, that the only views of this nature I have come across so far is among East Devon conservative leadership.

  13. Mike Allen April 9, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    The Inspector has decided to ask for a Strategic Housing Assessment for the Exeter and surrounding Districts to be provided as evidence. As Claire has stated, that’s the reason for the delay.

    The Feniton Inspector’s decision provides very solid grounds for protecting our green fields and the Seaton decision helps protect our Green Wedges.

    The issue is the pressure for houses from Central Government policy and it would be far worse under a Labour Government.

    The CBD and now EDA position has always been impossible to achieve in the circumstances. Each application must be fought on its merits. The need for cooperation is damaged by the Green Party and Claire Wright’s insistence on polarising opinions as if the EDDC is somehow opposed to protecting the Countryside but the evidence from Development Management Committee decisions is clearly that we have stopped development on many applications, including the Knole redevelopment and in Feniton and Seaton precisely because the Council is not willing to be unreasonable.

    If Semple, Wright and other Green party activists would stop attacking the wrong target and work with us instead of distorting facts and issues, we could all win. Come on let’s all fight for the people of East Devon and stop playing silly political games

    Mike Allen
    Former Chair Local Development Panel

  14. Sandra Semple April 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Dear Mr Allen – To put it politely – claptrap. The reason that the Plan has been sent back to you is because EDDC used old data and out of date policies – it’s absolutely no use looking for outsiders to blame for that.

    Far from EDDC taking the credit for what happened at Seaton or Feniton, recall that in both cases the parish councils and private donors raised thousands of pounds to represent themselves at the planning inquiries with absolutely no assistance from anyone else and they had a major part in persuading the Inspector to throw the appeals out. .The words “EDDC” and “protecting the countryside” form an oxymoron.

    Finally, I have NEVER belonged to any political party in my life – blue, red, green or any other colour – and I am perfectly happy, speaking only for myself and not for others who comment, that I am indeed attacking the right target.

    Oh, and PS – just how do you expect us to work with you when just about everything you do is done in secret? – and we have been denied the right to speak at your DMC if we are not (a) able to put out points in writing days in advance and (b) not lucky enough to be one of the 5 electors who will be able to speak on the day even if 10 of us object to something and have 10 different reasons for doing so?

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