Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Feniton, development and scaremongering

Following on from press reports on the Inspector's decision to turn down most of the proposed housing for Feniton:
Futures Forum: “The village of Feniton has been targeted by speculators seeking housing developments” - but the Inspector has now rejected most of these...

... a posting which included this observation:
Green belt scaremongering obscures a housing shortage that is truly frightening

... in the District Council's press release, the Deputy Leader has also suggested there has been scaremongering going on in East Devon:

Joy at ‘common sense’ decision on Feniton homes

Feniton Inspector opens inquiryTuesday 08 April
An East Devon District Council Cabinet Member has welcomed the dismissal of three out of four cases in the Feniton ‘Super Appeal’ as a “victory for common sense”.

EDDC Deputy Leader Andrew Moulding said he was “delighted” that a Planning Inspector had rejected appeals against the council’s refusal of three proposals to build a grand total of around 260 homes in the village.

Inspector Jessica Graham did allow an appeal by Feniton Park Ltd against refusal of permission to build 32 homes to the north of Acland Park. Among the Section 106 undertakings is that the developer will pay £85,000 towards flood relief in the village.

But the major victory for EDDC, for Feniton Parish Council and for local residents was the refusal of Strategic Land Partnerships’ alternative proposals for up to 120 homes or 59 homes on land to the west of Ottery Road, Feniton, and a proposal from Wainhomes for 83 homes to the south of Station Road. The Inspector also rejected the appellants’ claims for costs against the council for three of the appeals.

The four planning applications had been rejected by EDDC’s Development Management Committee and were the subject of a combined appeal in January, with daytime sessions held at the Flybe Training Academy near Exeter Airport.


Councillor Moulding said: “This appeal decision totally vindicates our decision to defend Feniton against wholesale development. It also puts the lie to the contention by some scaremongers that East Devon is open to a planning free-for-all.

“I want to thank my planning officers and our legal team for the hard work they put in on this ‘super appeal’ and I note the Inspector’s approval of our decision to move the venue to a larger building. I also want to give credit where it’s due to Feniton Parish Council and to the residents who showed resilience and determination in fighting for their village. This victory is an example of what can be achieved when we are all pulling in the same direction”.

The appeal decision was also welcomed by Feniton’s ward member on EDDC, Councillor Susie Bond. Speaking on Monday, after the result was announced, she said: “This is an extremely good day for Feniton. I’d like to thank everyone in the village who helped fund our legal representative and who ensured that there was strong attendance at the hearings – especially the special evening session at the primary school.

“We’ve shown what can be achieved by working together and Feniton will be a better place for the decision announced today”.

Caption: Planning Inspector Jessica Graham opening the Feniton 'super inquiry'.

East Devon District Council - News 

With these observations on Cllr Claire Wright's blog:

EDDC press release on Feniton planning success
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 2 Comments by Claire
EDDC press release
Note Cllr Moulding’s comments on the “scaremongers.”
... Councillor Moulding said: “This appeal decision totally vindicates our decision to defend Feniton against wholesale development. It also puts the lie to the contention by some scaremongers that East Devon is open to a planning free-for-all.
1. At 12:49 pm on 08th Apr Paul Arnott wrote:
Mr Moulding, I’m a bit confused.
A couple of months ago when the BBC made a programme from Feniton you apologised that the chaos there was substantially caused by your council’s failure to have a Local Plan in place. Actually, one or two of us thought that was a decent thing to do on your part. It was time someone at EDDC did.
But now you are describing others as scaremongers for pointing out the dangers of a planning free for all you apologised for. What’s up? Have the spin doctors changed your mind?
Because the biggest voice boasting from the front page of the Tory house organ, the Daily Telegraph, that a free-for-all was about the begin was your erstwhile chum, former Cllr Brown.
Any news there, by the way? EDBF Task and Finish Forum? Action Fraud Hotline? Inspector Clouseau?
2. At 03:06 pm on 08th Apr Damien Mills wrote:
So how, I wonder, does Cllr Moulding reconcile his assertion that East Devon ISN’T open to a planning free-for-all with, for instance, last week’s decision to grant permission for almost 800 houses between Pinhoe and Westclyst.
This ‘super appeal’ has failed because the inspector has judged that these particular applications weren’t sustainable - Feniton, remember, is built on a flood plain - and, welcome as it is, does not set any kind of precedent for the rest of the district.
The fact remains that in light of EDDC’s abject failure to deliver a Local Plan, the National Planning Policy Framework dictates that there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. This being the case, it’s inevitable large swathes of East Devon countryside will fall victim to the greed of developers and, as a result of the council’s shortcomings, there’s next to nothing we can do about it.
We may have won this battle but without a Local Plan and Mess[e]rs Diviani and Williams at the helm, it is, I fear, all but inevitable we’ll lose the war!
EDDC press release on Feniton planning success - Claire Wright

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