Saturday, 10 January 2015

Save Clyst St Mary: Parish Council and campaigners ..... "The infrastructure can’t cope."

This week saw a public meeting on the proposed new housing for Clyst St Mary:
Futures Forum: Save Clyst St Mary: meeting Wednesday 7th January: Campaign Against Inappropriate Development

Here are two reports from that meeting:


January 8th, 2015


On 7 January well over 150 people packed into Clyst St Mary school hall for a public meeting to discuss the impact of massive development proposed for the village. Not just standing room only – villagers were waiting outside to hear what was going on. The meeting was told that Clyst St Mary could more than double in size if all development went ahead. A representative from local action group Save Clyst St Mary reported that the Express & Echo was likely to follow up this week’s article with another next week, and that Radio Devon should be covering the story this Friday morning: several thousands of pounds had already been pledged/promised in the form of voluntary donations to help towards a fighting fund.

The Parish Council is opposing inappropriate development, particularly on greenfield sites, and was to hold a meeting later that evening to discuss the implications of obtaining formal legal advice. But one of the first comments from the floor said it all: had a Local Plan been in place, the village would be in a very different position.

There’s a growing mood across the district that rural communities are paying the price for Council inertia: EDDC supplies the wind, East Devon villages reap the whirlwind

Uprising in Clyst St Mary | East Devon Alliance

Clyst St Mary residents queue out of door at meeting to discuss threat to double the size of village

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 0 Comments by Claire

Around 150 angry Clyst St Mary residents queued out the door of the school hall, to hear the parish council discuss a sudden influx of major applications, which would more than double the size of the village, if approved.

Including planning applications on their way in, the village is facing a development onslaught of well over 400 houses, which would swamp the primary school and local health services, say local people.

93 houses have already been approved on land adjacent to the village, which was the allocation for Clyst St Mary in East Devon District Council’s draft local plan.

Sound familiar?

Yes, like many other places Clyst St Mary is the latest community that seems to be attracting developers like moths to a candle flame. Although it does seem to be under more pressure than any other community currently in East Devon that I am aware of, except perhaps Gittisham, which has unfortunately had 300 houses foisted on their parish. This development West of Hayne Lane will be as close to Honiton as Gittisham.

The hamlet of Westclyst has probably grown by more than 800 per cent since 2010, when hundreds of houses were approved. More recently, hundreds more houses have been approved - on grade 1 agricultural land.

Arriving late from Aylesbeare Parish Council, I was one of those unable to get into the school hall. But it was clear from hearing the discussions that residents, EDDC councillor Mike Howe, and the parish council are fighting back. And at this evening’s meeting already a significant sum of money had been pledged by people who wanted to help with funding a planning consultant to object to the proposals.

Cllr Howe informed people that EDDC’s pre-application advice to developers had been that the housing proposed adjacent to grade II listed mansion, Winslade Manor, would harm its setting.

He also gave people the news that English Heritage had objected on that basis.

A campaign group has been set up by concerned residents, with an excellent website here - http://saveclyststmary.org.uk/

It was an odd feeling for me this evening - at Clyst St Mary Primary School and discussing the village that I grew up in.

My parents moved from Exeter to Clyst St Mary when I was six and I attended the school until I was nine, but carried on living at Winslade Park until I was about 21. It was a great place to grow up and play. I remember disappearing for hours on my bike with friends around the area and paddling in the stream near Winslade Manor. I was even in the church choir for a while!

I recognised a few familiar faces and it was good to go back, even if it was for a not very pleasant reason!

As with Woodbury, and any other village facing major over-development, I am happy to help or share my experiences of fighting similar issues in my own ward, if that helps.

Clyst St Mary residents queue out of door at meeting to discuss threat to double the size of village - Claire Wright

The outcome of the meeting is that both the Parish Council and the campaign group are to hire the services of the same planning consultant who has been working with other East Devon campaigners:

Clyst St Mary residents to hire private planning consultant to fight developments

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: January 08, 2015

CLYST St Mary residents are hiring a private planning consultant to help them fight developments which they say would ruin the character of the village. The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of the village’s parish council last night (Wednesday) when more than 200 residents packed into the school hall, due to space others had to be turned away.

Michael Norman, chairman of the parish council, said: “As a parish council we have agreed to oppose all the planning applications which include those for up to 273 new homes at Winslade Park, the array of solar panels, and up to another 40 homes on a site adjacent to Winslade Park. The parish council will pay for the consultant from our reserves and the Save Clyst St Mary campaign has also amassed a large number of promises to help with costs.”

The residents mean business as they are employing planning and environmental consultant Charlie Hopkins, who has already worked with residents in Sidmouth and Feniton on planning issues.

Mr Norman added: “We have to move on this as we have to respond to East Devon District Council regarding the planning applications by January 16.”

The residents are worried that if the new homes are given the go-ahead the character of the village will change.

Mr Norman said: “The new homes would increase the village by 120 to 125 per cent and would change the whole concept of the village. The infrastructure can’t cope – Devon County Council has told us that it is not going to build another school, there is no doctor or dentist and if we want to go to a supermarket we have to drive, putting pressure on the Clyst St Mary roundabout and Junction 30 of the M5. We already know that air pollution in the area is extremely high.”

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