Tuesday, 5 February 2019

East Budleigh objects to application to demolish habitat of 11 species of bat > to be considered Tuesday 12th February

There have been real concerns about the future of an important roost for rare bats:
Futures Forum: East Budleigh to consider application to demolish habitat of 11 species of bat > Tuesday 6th November

And although the parish council passed the planning application to demolish the roost, it has since been provided with more information  - and has therefore raised serious objections:
Futures Forum: East Budleigh objects to application to demolish habitat of 11 species of bat

The planning application is now with the District Council's planning department:
18/1464/FUL | Demolition of existing barn and construction of a single dwelling | The Pound Lower Budleigh East Budleigh

The Otter Valley Assn has submitted its objection: 

Comment submitted date: Wed 09 Jan 2019

After reading and studying the additional information submitted for planning application 18/1464/FUL the Otter Valley Association (OVA) continues to strongly object to this planning application.

The OVA considers that the incomparable nature of this site and its environs with regard to the exceptional number of bat species it supports is not fully appreciated. The evidence points towards this site being one of the rarest in Devon, if not in England. Indeed, the OVA regards this as of greater significance than Beer Caves. Following the completion of the East Devon AONB project taking place in Beer the follow-up study must be the Pound in East Budleigh.

If there is the slightest doubt that any development would harm the bio-diversity of this site the planning application must be refused.

The OVA strongly endorses the comment submitted on January 7th 2019 by the East Budleigh Parish Wildlife Protection and Conservation Group following their detailed work on the problems of light spillage and the flight paths of greater horseshoe and grey long-eared bats.

This significant harm should be refused under NPPF para.175.

The people of East Budleigh and the parish and district councils should celebrate that such a range of these rare mammals are living in their area and do all in their power to protect and encourage the welfare and habitat of these bats.

Comment submitted date: Mon 30 Jul 2018

The Otter Valley Association objects to planning application 18/1464.
The revised NPPF now in force puts great emphasis on Neighbourhood Plan policies taking precedence over existing non-strategic policies in a local plan covering the neighbourhood area.para.30.

This application is contrary to the East Budleigh Neighbourhood Plan policies:

Policy N2 Protection of Local Green Spaces
Policy B2 General design principles
Policy N1 Protecting and enhancing the landscape, biodiversity and local countryside character


The Pound is a Local Green Space designated in the East Budleigh Neighbourhood Plan. It has been designated because of the value of the space to the community due to its beauty and visual significance, its historic significance and heritage value.
As National Planning Practice Guidance states in Para. 11 b this protected area "provides a strong reason for restricting the overall scale, type or distribution of development" (designation of local green space is included in footnote 6) 


1 Laying down an aggregate driveway with frequent domestic use.
The designated Pound is now traversed by an inconspicuous, grassed, agricultural lane which is used very infrequently.
The proposed 2.8 m. wide driveway will be made up of angular stones or aggregate held in a cellweb mesh.( It has been recommended by Major Trees Ltd. that the driveway be covered by Cellweb, a product designed to protect tree roots from heavy traffic.) Hence the inconspicuous grassy lane will stand out as an aggregate driveway.
The OVA does not accept that the new arrangement for the driveway at the side of the Pound would improve the appearance at the back of the Pound, not least having no unsightly farm machinery there in future. The aggregate surface will stand out like a sore thumb, where ever its position.
This driveway would service a 3-bedroomed house with possibly 2 cars and the present infrequent, agricultural use will be replaced by that of the daily domestic access to a dwelling with a double garage and several carparking spaces.
The character of the Pound will be destroyed and the area developed contrary to Para.11 of the NPPF.
2 Crownraising, ongoing pruning, service trench digging and the effect of heavy machinery will severely affect the health of the protected trees.
The Pound's visual charm is due to the large number of trees. This has been acknowledged with 6 TPOs. 


1 Adverse impact on neighbouring property: 50 years old Pound House has enjoyed a delightful southerly garden. The proposed dwelling will be approximately 10.5 feet higher than Pound house, impacting on the light in the house and garden. (The OVA is disturbed that the site visit by the East Budleigh Parish Council did not include the residents of the adjoining property)
2 Adverse impact on the Pound: This large dwelling would visually dominate the rural character of the Pound.

Rare bats are found around the Pound and roost in the barn. The existing trees are used as navigation tools. The OVA cannot accept that building a bat barn will solve this problem. It will be sited behind the house and the trees used for navigation.
Construction works will interfere with the bats in the area.
East Budleigh is an important location for many species of bats and all should be done to encourage them.

The OVA questions who would look after the bat barn? What if the home owners decided to remove it?

Otter Valley Association

Dr. N.Daniel

18/1464/FUL | Demolition of existing barn and construction of a single dwelling | The Pound Lower Budleigh East Budleigh

East Budleigh Parish Conservation and Wildlife Protection Group have made a plea for interested members of the public to turn up to next week's District Council planning meeting, as printed on the EDW blog: 


5 FEB 2019

From the East Budleigh Parish Conservation and Wildlife Protection Group.

What they do not mention is that the barn is owned by Clinton Devon Estates – the company that puffs itself up as “gold standard” when it comes to conservation …..

“Planning application, 18/1464/ful. The Pound, East Budleigh.

Since April 2018, the East Budleigh Parish conservation and wildlife protection group, have sought to do its utmost to protect the rare, and the not so rare species of Bat, as well as the other wildlife that inhabit the barn and adjacent green space known as ‘the Pound’ in East Budleigh.

All through this application we have researched extensively, bat law, wildlife protection, mitigation studies, European and domestic legislation and directives from the Bat conservation trust, the Back from the brink project, and Natural England to name but three.

Each body has standing advice on how to protect and conserve EPS (European Protected Species). We have shared that information with all the concerned councillors from parish to district level.

The advice from Natural England and Conservation bodies state that for rare species, the avoidance method should be taken, yet here we are fighting for those methods and laws designed to protect to be implemented.

Through our many conversations with various conservation trusts, the overwhelming response has been, “the laws are there to protect these species, if the LPA follow the directives and adhere to legislation, permission will be denied.”

Having studied the plans for mitigation, We have found shortcomings in all of the mitigation offered by the agent on this application, and areas of complete misunderstanding, or disregard for the laws that are supposed to protect all wildlife. So much so, that this contentious application has reached the next stage of the planning….. the development management committee.

Getting the application to this point is a small victory for the wildlife, as we feel sure, that had we sat by and done nothing, by now, the site would have been levelled, the new house been built and the wildlife displaced, gone, or even worse, dead.(as suggested possible in Richard Greens ecology report) So we have done incredibly well to get this far.

Now…according to EDDC planning agenda, the application is recommended for approval with conditions. It is due to be discussed at the next DMC, on

Tuesday February 12th at
11AM, in the
Council chamber at Exmouth town hall.

But, of course, as is usual in a ‘democracy’, free speech and independent opinion is subject to what the ‘powers that be’, decide on as to what can be discussed and what should be taken in to consideration, so that an informed decision and vote can be made!

During this long process, it has been, and still is, the groups aim to get the best possible outcome for our precious, rare wildlife and our local green space.

We are putting forward the argument that:

1) the Pound is a significant site, regardless of numbers, with no less than four rare species of Bat, (with up to fourteen species recorded by ourselves), evidence of Hazel Dormice and an active Badger sett.

2) the mitigation measures are not adequate, with little to no evidence that these measures are successful for the rarer, disturbance intolerant, more light adverse species such as the Grey long-eared, Greater and lesser horseshoe Bats. An opinion upheld by DWT’s conservation manager in his ‘neutral’ letter to EDDC.

3) the lighting plan is not in line with current research provided by the bat conservation trust, nor the ILP,(institute of lighting professionals) suggesting the maximum light spill should not exceed 0.45 lux lumen on a moonless night. whereas the current proposed lighting plan stands at 0.95. so still more than double.

4) These species ARE protected by law, but human interest is, once again, being favoured above the interest and protection of rare species and local wildlife.

We are, teetering on approval being granted, everything hinging on a committee of councillors who may not be able to see the bigger picture. Which is, if we all stand by and do nothing to protect our local patch and its inhabitants, we will lose more and more green space, more and more species and biodiversity.

Now we may not be able to make a difference globally, but if we all made a stand for our own little corner, couldn’t we, wouldn’t we, make East Devon a better place to be, not only for our wildlife, but ourselves too?


We are meeting at around

10.15am outside the town hall in Exmouth,

to hold a peaceful protest prior to the DMC. So if you have time, We would greatly appreciate your support to stand beside us and be a voice for East Budleighs wonderful wildlife.


Bats versus Building [and Clinton Devon Estates] in East Budleigh | East Devon Watch

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