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Clerk to Haccombe with Combe Parish Council  bccs to interested/supportive villagers

Dear Suzannah,

I have yet to reply to your brief e-mail when you told me that the 'PRWO' Mr Jonathan Rowlands had walked up the drove track, and then right up to No Man's Land a week or two after the 'fire', with two parish councillors.  I will do so but should be grateful for your help as numbered below.

1.  The PC has been privileged in receiving information from PC Robert Harvey about the arson.  Although I e-mailed him twice I had no replies from him.  He had replied about the theft of the post - in essence down to me.  You told me that he said the black Ford Focus had been sold on several times.  No crime number was given to me that your contacts with him had generated.  The registration plate (and I learn they are being stolen and swapped without DVLA or police action) was recorded by the PC chairman, Tim Boarer.  Please tell me of his relevant observations.  You told me he had walked up the track that afternoon of the 2-06-2020 and seen the car positioned on the track - at a point nearest the linhay we finished building with a good stone mason and carpenter in 1994.  Home to barn owls later - nest included by me in the building.

2.  You said Mr Rowlands was going to write to me.  4 months have passed.  I have heard nothing from him.  As you know I have never had any contact with him ever since he was party with Dr Matthew Fox and the parish council in the removal of the posts in October 2012.  The posts had been set in place by me and Mark Blaber, whom I have employed for most of 40 years in about 2000 to stop destruction, especially of the hedge bank I own.  You will know that I have cared for this ancient drove track for c. 40 years, about six years before I bought the 25 acres to the east in 1986. 

I have read again the two postings on my website found by searching <drove track>. My accounts are clear.  I do not retreat one iota from saying 'the culmination of a malicious campaign by the Haccombe with Combe Parish Council.

Burnt Out Ford Focus Dear Mr Ball.

Your reply, and my further e-mail to you in responses, is posted here on my web site:

Reason - matters of public concern.

David Halpin FRCS


On 13/07/2020 8:58 pm, Ball, Peter wrote:

Thank you for your e-mail. We normally aim to respond to e-mails within 10 working days, however, due to the current situation, deadlines have been extended to 20 days. although we will do so sooner if possible.

If your query relates to a pollution or poaching, or water resources incident and requires immediate attention please report this to our Incident Hotline which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - 0800 80 70 60 /

Kind regards

Peter Ball
Environment Officer, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly


Dear Mr Ball,

There is misunderstanding.  I was reassured as to the foam used.  That is there were no toxic elements in it.

I copy my e-mail now and in bold are the reasons why I wrote to the Environment Aagency.  My first concern is that the hoggetts grazing on the wood pasture do not ingest toxic chemicals.  The second is the risk of toxic chemicals being carried down the ancient drove track, down the restricted byeway and into the Dod stream, and thence into the Teign Estuary .  The buddles are  nicely open at present but if there is very heavy rain, I know from past experience, that the buddles become blocked.  This is often due mostly to vegetable matter + gravels.  The stream is thus increased in volume and sweeps on downwards. 

You say " I understand that my colleague has already spoken to Mrs Halton (I correct you - Mrs Halpin)  in your absence (and advised you to perhaps contact Environmental Health at Teignbridge District Council) who may be contacted on 01626 361101."

There is no 'perhaps'.  I am a conscientious man who underwent a scientific training in medicine, and who served for 40 years as a surgeon in our NHS - in the main as a consultant orthopaedic and trauma consultant .  A man who keeps up to date with environmental matters.  I think the potential dangers here need the expertise of the Environment Agency. 

With regard to the burnt out vehicle, as this has now been moved on to private land, you will need to contact TDC yourself to request that this is moved. Tina Scotland is the Abandoned Vehicle Clerk at TDC and may be able to help.

If the Parish Council had not removed the posts which had prevented use by 4x4s over 12 years there would be no burned out vehicle - the clear result of arson.  As I have said, this was the culmination of a malicious campaign by the PC that had no basis in law. The 'vehicle' was removed at my request so that people could use the track and avoid seeing the centre of a very morbid, indeed evil picture.  2 women walked up today as Richard and I were burning the large amount of brash I had to remove to allow the 'vehicle' to be lifted out.