Saturday, 5 September 2015

Knowle relocation project: Cabinet meets Weds 9th Sept

Although the District Council would prefer to call any now-published documentation on its relocation project as 'historical':
Moving and Improving - East Devon

... there are still many issues to be addressed as to how we have got to where we are now:
Four supermarkets were competing for EDDC’s new HQ site in Honiton | East Devon Watch
Relocation to SkyPark - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow

Meanwhile, the District Council is to survey the public about its relocation plans:

Now the decision has been made we specifically want to understand how our residents would like us to organise services in the future from: 
 Offices in Honiton and Exmouth 
 Surgeries (drop in sessions) in our main towns where customers can come in and see us on specific days between particular times 
 A greater number of online services. 


... although it does seem rather difficult to pinpoint exactly what is meant by 'surgeries/drop-in-sessions' - which seems to be a downgrade from what had been promised earlier:
District Council costing the provision of hubs - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow

Meanwhile, a paper has been put together looking ahead to where the relocation project is going:
Cabinet agenda 9 September: informationon on relocation arrangements | East Devon Watch

These are the points re Knowle:

Agenda for Cabinet Wednesday, 9 September 2015; 5.30pm

Agenda Item: 10

Report in full Following on from the Council’s reassertion of its commitment to relocate at an extraordinary Council meeting in 3 June 2015, the project has moved forward on a number of fronts:

4. Knowle Park: 

a. Sidmouth Town Council - 
The Deputy Chief Executive has proposed key terms to Sidmouth Town Council regarding the transfer of the remaining parklands and lower car park area into the ownership of Sidmouth. Detailed negotiation is expected to follow that will include more specific detail on conditions, timing and the financial considerations. 

b. Rights of Way (RoW)- 
As has been previously advised, an inquiry will be held shortly (15 September 2015) following an objection by EDDC, to the proposed registration of RoW across parts of the Knowle site. The outcome of the appeal does not affect the ability of the project to move forward but is a matter to be considered within the planning process if the appeal fails and rights of way are registered. 

c. Community Asset 
There has been a threat of challenge to the Council’s decision to reject an application to register the Knowle as an Asset of Community Value. The original application was made by the Knowle Residents Association although they are not the party now seeking to challenge the decision (rather it is an individual). The Council has rejected the basis for the challenge and we wait to see if the matter will be pursued. Should the challenge be successful then in all likelihood the Council will have to take the decision again. At this stage it is not possible to determine what the outcome of any such decision would be, but even if it was to register the land claimed as an Asset of Community Value it would not prevent or delay the sale to Pegasus Life Limited. 

Cabinet: 9 September 2015: Relocation Update

There has been much talk about a 'transfer' of the remaining parkland to the Town Council:
Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Sidmouth Town Council 18 May 2015
Trinitymatters.co.uk website of Cllr Ian Thomas EDDC - A new future for The Knowle? - EDDC Cabinet resolves to leave Sidmouth…
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: contracts exchanged: >>> >>> "The council's continued commitment to hand over the remaining parkland to the ownership of Sidmouth Town Council."

The District Council's appeal against the granting of RoW through the parkland is imminent:
Decision due this summer on Knowle public rights of way - News - Sidmouth Herald
Futures Forum: Public Rights of Way through Knowle: County Council have now included three footpaths in the Definitive Map
Futures Forum: Public Rights of Way through Knowle: public hearing due

With a very pertinent case brought to light by the East Devon Watch blog:


Judge upholds challenge over town green and local authority land

Friday, 04 September 2015 09:43

A High Court judge has recently upheld a judicial review challenge by a campaigner over an inspector’s refusal of an application to register land in Exeter as a town green, it has been reported.

Local Government Lawyer - Judge upholds challenge over town green and local authority land
Does this decision about a public green in Exeter affect Knowle Parkland | East Devon Watch

The District Council hopes to dismiss the application to declare the complete parkland as an Asset of Community Value:
Council minutes for 25 March 2015 - Public Speaking - East Devon
Knowle Relocation | East Devon Alliance
Exmouth is not alone in having a problem... - Exmouth Splash - Public Opinion & Discussion Page
Save historic Knowle Parkland - CrowdJustice
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: crowd-funding campaign launched >>> legal challenge to rejection of application to list Knowle park as an Asset of Community Value

This is the front page of the latest Herald:

Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

A principal for objecting to the relocation project is that it is about appropriation of public land:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: expropriation & eminent domain >>> "The principle that there is a public realm of common citizenship and essential public goods and space which ought not to be appropriated for private benefit."

The Town Council and SOS have made their opinions very clear:
Sidmouth Town Council adamantly opposed to EDDC “appropriating” extra land to develop at Knowle | Save Our Sidmouth

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