petition

joel herron

Moderator
I have a receipt for a petition handed in to Bideford Town Council asking for a Community Centre to be provided on Londonderry Estate. This was promised thirty five years ago! As was a primary school and some shops. None have been built. The petition has over two thousand five hundred names on it. Makes me wonder about promises that developers make.
 

AlanR555

New member
I have a receipt for a petition handed in to Bideford Town Council asking for a Community Centre to be provided on Londonderry Estate. This was promised thirty five years ago! As was a primary school and some shops. None have been built. The petition has over two thousand five hundred names on it. Makes me wonder about promises that developers make.
Yes, I was involved with Londonderry over ten years ago. We did a community survey that included the community centre issue and a shop.
The great hope was for new facilities on what is now College Fields (albeit that the site is in a different ward). Plans by the christian group
based in Lower Meddon Street were at the forefront but proved not to be economically viable. No "Plan B" existed. Now there is very
limited potential on College Fields and strong opposition to development on the only green space in Londonderry (the area at the entry
to Lane Field Road). Where do the petitioners want the centre located? After the 2011 election of Trevor Johns, I took no further part in
actively pursuing Londonderry issues. Peter Christie was involved with an attempt to gain "Village Green" status for the space by the entry
to the estate. It needed habitual use of the area for recreation for over twenty years - which I believe that it had. I have sent some archival
material directly to councillor Herron.
 

Chris.Hassall.

New member
Joel wonders about the promises developers make !
Developers' promises are just bait to tempt the public to accept their development plans. Once the plans are passed, it is up to the Council (Torridge) to ensure that these promises are fulfilled. Usually what is called a 'S106 agreement' is signed which legally obliges the developer to comply, but if then nothing is done within (?) ten years the obligation lapses and can not be enforced.
Several years ago an investigation revealed that a considerable number of past S106s had lapsed due to Council inaction, resulting in the loss of much funding and many very happy developers. There are probably few Councillors or Officers left from that time, but I wonder how many present Councillors know the present situation, and are they kept up to date with the S106 obligations attached to all the current housing developments taking place ? Incidentally, I undersŧand TDC are yet again having to recruit a new Enforcement Officer, whereas major developers have unlimited resources to run rings round our Local Authorities.
This is just one aspect of local government where we need a strong representation of TCG Councillors on TDC - - and at present we have only two, so we have plenty to work for next time around ! Our Town Councillors (Bideford and Northam) can do their bit in pressing for action, but it is Torridge District Council who are responsible for virtually all planning matters.
Chris H.
 

carl_hawkins

Administrator
Hi all.
I questioned this a short time ago, i found it hard to understand why the performance of a developer wasnt taken into account when future developments were put forward, i would have expected that if a developer hadnt completed all tasks agreed upon then TDC should be able to say NO, you need to fulfil your prior contract before you move to another location, i had one officer also tell me that some of the houses built were of questionable quality and much work was needed to fix some of the issues, yet it appears even the quality of the workmanship on prior builds isnt sufficient enough to stop future bids.
 

Chris.Hassall.

New member
I'm afraid that's how it works on the present system - - "Each application must be decided on its own merits" is one of the basic principles that planning officers and Councillors have to work to. There was a time when Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) could use their own experience and judgement, but these days the Appeals Inspectors work to the strictest gov't guidelines and are always ready to award costs to the developer at the slightest excuse. (as TDC know to their cost !)
In a recent appeal judgement on a Torrington housing dev. the Inspector not only granted the appeal against TDC, but went on to declare that the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan, that had been ratified only a year earlier, was now invalid because not enough houses had been built - - never mind that it's the builders who decide how fast to build them, which is out of the control of TDC.
The consequence is that it's now harder than ever for TDC to refuse planning consent for new developments even when outside the designated areas.
As for the poor build quality, design and misleading sales contracts that land many purchasers in the proverbial, these matters are continually being raised on BBC Radio consumer and finance programmes, but still to no avail.
Apologies to those who have already read of all this in letters in the local press !

Chris H.
 

Chris.Hassall.

New member
CPRE's analysis of the government’s own energy performance certificate data for large new housing developments shows that nearly one in five (17%) of new developments perform very poorly on energy efficiency grounds.
(So we'll need more nuclear power stations to keep them warm in frosty winter nights. !)
Chris H. - - ( CPRE Devon.)

I have a receipt for a petition handed in to Bideford Town Council asking for a Community Centre to be provided on Londonderry Estate. This was promised thirty five years ago! As was a primary school and some shops. None have been built. The petition has over two thousand five hundred names on it. Makes me wonder about promises that developers make.
Joel - - is this a new petition or are you referring to the original Londonderry community centre petition from many years ago ? (Whatever became of that ?)
Alan - - The WINGS youth/training/charity/community centre that was proposed for College Fields where there is now a large empty space would have been ideal to serve both estates, and should have had support from the Local Councils. Failing that, it should be planted up as community woodland - - and quickly, or it will become the next new housing estate application ! I bet that land still belongs to the developer, who will just be waiting for the S106 to expire so they can build on it.
Chris H.
 
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