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Dear Susanna,

I note this e-mail from you at 10.09 last night.  I have slept well on your prior response.  Clearly your attention to your duties as clerk for 12 years to the Haccombe with Combe PC (HcC) goes well beyond the usual.  Perhaps you regard your initial acceptance of my application to fill one of two long standing vacancies as of some importance to the function of this PC, and the perverse reversal since.

I am copying this quite widely.  I know that although people generally do not like 'rocking the boat', there are citizens in the HcC parish who are very concerned with the doings of the HcC PC - over years.  You know I have brought evidence of that to you as clerk since 2012.  Bias against the general good is clear to a fair bystander.  The response to my reporting of the vandalism regarding the restoration of an ancient buddle by me with paid labour for public good, by the new owner of Cow Field up Barcombe Lane, is the latest.  The PC response is anodyne at least, and I would say firmly biased in general favour of wider, gross vandalism by him.  There is photographic evidence of that on file - my disc and another, but the attaching key ones take too long in the sending by e-m.

It goes without saying that you are clerk, going back you say over 12 years, to a public authority and forum.  I have suffered great distress, now shortly to be 82, as a result of the  malicious intent to do with the Ancient Drove Track that borders my wood pasture of 18 acres on its west.  And spent hundreds of hours writing in vain to you as clerk, as well as continuing to care for the track, often with paid labour.  I have done this since about 1980, six years before I purchased this land from Martin Boyd.  This as you know involved restoring the two buddles so it became a good foot and bridle path, rather than a deep V.  That allowed older citizens to enjoy the nature in the banks, and the beauty of the trees.  Sadly, the wide trampling by 4x4s which PC directly facilitated has contributed by introducing root disease into often majestic wild cherries/geans.  The few that remain standing are now dead.  You will also know that there are three extant crime numbers relating to this track, generated by myself.  The most relevant to me is the criminal damage done to the ancient hedge bank I own, and care for.  The erstwhile chairman, and present deputy chairman, Mr Tim Boarer, has driven his own vehicle up this beautiful track, and widened it at points with a mini-digger hired from him and paid for from public funds.  ie HcC PC account.

A good saying is ‘think global, act local’. So I start with the headline in last weeks MDA – Transforming Town’s Centre. That is after the lovely environs of Newton Abbot have been transformed and mostly by central government diktat; more houses owned by banks and the certain prospect of even less paid employment.

I read of grand schemes and see ‘socially distanced’ mannequins in the artist’s impression on the front page. “A new eating quarter, a new cinema, a remodelled entertainment and events venue, and a high quality market space.” The stimulus for this is The Future High Streets Fund, launched I see by HMG in December 2018. Although the Money Tree I spoke of is bare of fruit, ‘multi-million plans’ are being considered by our august Teignbridge District Council and decisions made later this year. I note the reassurance that when the Alexandra is bulldozed, there will be room for local theatre and congregation; the Greeks and Romans had such in plenty 2000 years ago and beyond.

I am no enthusiast for John Major, and his privatisation of our permanent way for instance. You will recall we had to separate the wheels from the track to suit EU competition law so that ridiculous ruling made sure complexity, inefficiency and constant bickering were certain. But he said ‘back to basics’.

Primary addressees - Mr Chris Hart -Head of Development Management and Mr Kevin Bishop - Chief Executive DNPA

Dear Mr Hart,

The delegated decision to allow this application was relayed to me by Mrs Helen Cock. Attached.  As an interested party who has made cogent objections to this process, I would expect the courtesy of being informed directly.

I am very aware this is not a 'planning' matter, but at a stroke the privacy of my wife and me, and of guests, will be the less when in our north facing rooms, both by day and night. The value of our property has been lessened by an amount that cannot be measured.  It puts us in the shoes of the couple who bought this Colt bungalow about 40 years ago.  It had lain unused.  The retired thatcher and his artistic wife had to fight their way up a drive overwhelmed by brambles and seeded trees.  They set to work with their daughter and her partner.  They tamed the large garden and enhanced it greatly, including excellent stone masonry.  We can put ourselves in the shoes of Mr and Mrs Hodges who saw apartments rising up where there had been a small dwelling with a small commercial garage run by a talented mechanic - Mr Edgecombe I believe.  The Hodges planted laurel as a screen.  Happily, some layered on the bank derived from excavation for the apartments, and these screen the lower storeys between the properties.

Before I comment further on the process and principle, I respectfully ask for further information.  As you know, I do not have to cite the Freedom of Information Statute, all public bodies being bound to respond to proper questions within 20 days.  The answers will be immediately at hand and could be given to me within a few days only.

Dear Ms Godfrey,

Good morning.  Time passes.  I have taken preliminary advice from a lady barrister who specialises in ''planning'' with a possible judicial review in mind.  I had heard from local people as to how ''prior approval'' can be revoked, and then read it up.

Given that TDC was given 'false information' (euphemism) after Ms Kelly Grunnill  Senior Planning Officer asked a clear/unambiguous question - No 2, it would seem to this layman that revocation of the 'prior approval' is the way out of this mire for TDC.

Perhaps TDC is worried the appeal will stay live.  I would hope that an inspector would kick it out quickly given the travesty of this most recent application.

FAO  Mr Nicholas Davies
Business Manager  Strategic Place  Teignbridge District Planning Department

Ref:  15/01296/MPA   Charlecombe Mill Top Farm  Mr King  


Dear Mr Davies,

I understand that TDC gave its assent to the construction of a large timber barn to be used for agricultural purposes on this site in about 2010 even though it would serve only 48 acres.  Indeed,
the assent then was for a barn that could have been 30 ft longer.  There is a view in the parish that the applicant wanted a dwelling at this site from the start and that perhaps he had wind of the relaxation of the planning rules blowing his way.  

As a layman, but with some knowledge of our law, I believe that a judicial review is probably indicated in regard both to process and the respect given to statutory declarations.

I should be grateful for your answering the most salient questions coming out of my study of the records.  I will try to give context.  The questions/requests will be in bold and numbered.  I have concentrated on the latter communications – the 'flurry'.