How come we knew that the DMC decision regarding King Alfred’s Way would lay it open to judicial review and officers – who recommended approval – did not?

14 Apr

Below is the SIN post from 21 August 2013. It raises disturbing questions. If WE knew that the DMC’s decision to approve the King Alfred Way’s application would lay it open to judicial review, why did officers – paid to know this sort of stuff too – recommend approval?  They had the chance to pull the application at that point but decided to continue on with it and give it approval.  Very worrying.

The 21 August 2013 post:

The Clinton Devon Estates’ planning application for 40 houses at King Alfred Way in Newton Poppleford, was pulled from deliberation at yesterday’s DMC after a ‘last minute’ intervention from Natural England. Committee chair Cllr Helen Parr expressed surprise.

SIN’s friendly planning expert tells us that EDDC planners shouldn’t have been surprised that the application was challenged – and, in fact, had it been approved, it would have been wide open to judicial review because vital environmental safeguards were missing.

The Newton Pop site is a short bird flight from the internationally protected East Devon Pebblebed Heaths where Dartford warblers and nightjars nest.

Any major development near such a Special Protection Area is deemed likely to have  significant effects on them. Therefore legally, it must include very detailed provisions to mitigate these effects.

The CDE application included no such provisions.

Which makes it even more remarkable that planning officers’ recommended the application for approval.

And that East Devon AONB has failed to comment on this proposal to concrete over part of the landscapes they are supposed to protect.

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One Response to “How come we knew that the DMC decision regarding King Alfred’s Way would lay it open to judicial review and officers – who recommended approval – did not?”

  1. Emma April 21, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    The council has issued its revised screening opinion on the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). To no great surprise, they still maintain that there is no need for an EIA to be provided with this application, despite the potential cumulative effects of development at King Alfred Way (40 houses), Badger Close (46 houses, going to an appeal hearing on May 13th) and Waterleat (up to 17 houses) in the village.

    Clinton Devon Estates’ proposed mitigation of the environmental impact of the development is to ‘manage access’ on the common, which Natural England have accepted. They have said that will be done through signposting and promotion of less sensitive routes, but personally I suspect that the recent fencing of the common with razor-sharp barbed wire is also intended to play a role. Not only is the wire itself dangerous to walkers and dogs, but its purpose is to allow a herd of wild ponies to graze the common, including giving them unrestricted access across public footpaths. At times, these ponies will charge from one place to another as a herd, and woe betide anyone or anything that gets in their way. They are making the common increasingly unwelcoming to dog walkers, horse riders and walkers, especially those with young children, which is a great pity.

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