Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Permisson given for 255 Houses at land between Coombe Valley and Higher Exeter Road

We lost the vote 5 to 15, on the Coombe Valley/Higher Exeter Road application 14/00447/MAJ. I'm very concerned about a whole series of inconsistencies, 25% of the development site is outside area approved in Plan Teignbridge(TE3). Quite surprised to see June Green (chairman of TRACE*) come to the planning meeting to support the developer wanting to build 255 houses on countryside between Higher Exeter Road and Coombe Valley Nature Reserve. Especially as TRACE's arguments against the Shepherds Lane planning application (13/02612/MAJ) were precisely the same as the arguments against this application. Many of the objectors today will have been in sympathy with the words on TRACE’s website: “If you share our views that our environment, trees and protected wildlife species need to be protected; if you don't want more cars on our already overloaded roads; if you believe that our green fields must be saved for future generations; if you don't want to add to the poor air quality that blights certain roads in Teignmouth then please make sure that you let Teignbridge District Council know how you feel.” The Shepherds Lane planning application (13/02612/MAJ) is still pending. Whilst very unlikely to get approval; it's nevertheless not particularly wise for TRACE’s chairman June Green to support a similar development, it completely undermines some important arguments against Shepherds Lane. *Teignmouth Residents Action Committee for the Environment - www.traceteignmouth.org.uk

Thursday, 24 July 2014

No Room for more Building

This is a map of the civil parishes/towns of Teignbridge. It shows the urban areas of each parish/town. Teignmouth's urban area almost fills the whole area. At the edges Teignmouth's urban area spills over the boundaries into Bishopsteignton and Dawlish. Compare the tiny area of countryside Teignmouth has with the undeveloped areas Dawlish and Newton Abbot enjoys.

Waste of Space

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has launched an initiative to identify thousands of derelict sites suitable for new homes in a bid to help solve Britain’s housing crisis without building on the countryside. The campaign, called Waste of Space, is hoping to tap the local knowledge of people across the country about disused buildings and former industrial sites. The CPRE is asking people to nominate sites by tweeting or emailing photographs, which it will compile and publish in a national database. The information will be used to put pressure on the government to increase the incentives for developers to target brownfield sites instead of the countryside. http://www.cpre.org.uk/how-you-can-help/take-action/waste-of-space

Your Right to Know

Your rights to know, what your council, councillors and council officers are doing. Parliament has now approved the draft Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014. The Regulations come into force on 6 August, giving the public new rights to film and report council meetings. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335930/140630_Draft_Openness_Guide_-F.pdf

Friday, 11 July 2014

Why did Tony Hogg pay £165,000 to get rid of his chief executive?

The publication of the accounts for the office of Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner, earlier this month reveal that Tory Commissioner Tony Hogg paid £165,000 to get rid of his chief executive - Sue Howl. The former chief executive was in the post from the time of Mr Hogg's election until November last year. At the time she left in circumstances that have yet to be fully explained. According to a press release issued at the time of her departure, it was the ubiquitous "to seek new challenges" reason. When Liberal Democrat Councillor Alex Folkes asked, Mr Hogg and his office refused to give any more information. The accounts show that the former chief executive - who was paid a basic salary of around £98,000 per year - received a pay off of about £142,000 and further pension contributions of about £23,000. Mr Hogg is insistent that Ms Howl left of her own accord. So why did she get a pay off worth about a year and a half's salary? That money would have employed around five uniformed police constables to make our streets safer. Mr Hogg is also having to explain why his total office costs came in at more than £1.95 million, well over budget. That's about £350,000 more than the police authority he replaced despite a promise by the Home Secretary that costs would fall. Among the additional costs were tens of thousands of pounds on consultants and money spent on accommodation for Mr Hogg because he refused to take up the free accommodation made available for him.

Strange Priorities of Conservative Police Commissioner

The spending priorities of Conservative Police Commissioner Tony Hogg continue to puzzle people in Devon and Cornwall. It has emerged that he spent more than £7,600 in his first 16 months in office on promotional items such as post-it notes, lip balm and mints. Mr Hogg claims that such items help him and his office to engage with the public. Surely more officers on the beat would be a better way of engaging with the public and doing the job he is paid for? During the same period, commissioner Sue Mountstevens in neighbouring Avon and Somerset spent only £2,626 on promotional materials for bigger force.