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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'.