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New Year Update from Rosemary Berry
Jan 16, 2017

Rosemary Berry is the Mid Devon District Councillor for Cullompton Outer. In this informative roundup, she updates us on the Local Plan, J27, Garden Village Status and the Mills Project.

Rosemary Berry

How time flies! Since being elected to Mid Devon District Council in May 2014 I have learnt a lot about how things work, and enjoyed being more involved with the area in which I grew up on the edge of the Blackdown Hills.

My Ward includes Kentisbeare, Blackborough, Sainthill, Orway, the areas around the circumference of Cullompton to Bradninch, and Butterleigh – one of the most rural and easily the best Ward in Mid Devon! When I brought the new Chief Executive around the Ward in July he was impressed by the breathtaking views from Blackborough and the landscape generally. I regularly attend and update the Parish Council, but realise I have not done so more publicly. Hence the following update...

Consultation on changes to the Local Plan Review and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is open until midnight on 14th February. This is your opportunity to have your say on the modifications made following the previous Consultation, with a number of local Exhibition days open to all. Details of open days and how to respond can be seen on the web site and in the local newsletter, separately.

Junction 27 - I voted in favour of allocating land for tourism, leisure and retail at Junction 27 as I believe it has the potential to provide jobs for local people, help with economic regeneration and encourage visitors. If the Eden Westwood proposals come forward they should provide a welcome focus on food and farming, provide education and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as the other elements of tourism and leisure.

Garden Village status - At the beginning of 2017 it was confirmed that MDDC had been awarded funding following their bid to have the proposed East Cullompton development designated a Garden Village. Phase one will incorporate the land east of Cullompton allocated in the Local Plan for more than 2,000 homes. For illustration purposes in the submission for the Bid a further 2,000 plus houses were inserted up to the boundary of Kentisbeare. It is very unfortunate that this was not discussed with the Parish Council before the bid was submitted, and the Head of Planning has apologised for this omission.

However, these extra houses are not in the Local Plan and are not in tablets of stone. I am trying to find out more about this and the terms and implications of the funding - not yet known. I will be reporting to the Parish Council later in the month. I have asked that they be kept fully informed. If there is a bright side the extra funding should ensure that improvements to M5 Junction 28 and the Cullompton Eastern Relief Road will be delivered much sooner, other infrastructure and better design should follow.

Even without the Garden Village Planning issues seem to be at the top of the agenda for most of the people who contact me and certainly around Cullompton generally that is likely to remain a hot topic for the future. I have been very happy to be able help individuals with their personal planning issues.

Concerns over poor road infrastructure at Cullompton, in particular the section through Kingfisher Reach, and at M5 J28 have generated numerous meetings, with what feels like little progress, but John (County Councillor) and I will continue to raise these issues at MDDC and with Devon County Council. The mantra is very much that only with development will sufficient funding be found. Common sense would dictate that road improvements must be in place before more development takes place.

Mills Project – an exciting and unique project to bring disused water mills back into operation will not only provide hydro power, but has the potential to mitigate flood risks. Funding has been raised for an initial pilot study, which is hugely supported by Neil Parish and he has got the Minister interested.

I don't have a regular local 'surgery' but please don't hesitate to get in touch. I am very happy to help anyone with any Mid Devon related problems or areas of concern.

Please contact me by email: rberry@middevon.gov.uk or phone 01884 32320

Very best wishes to everyone for 2017

Rosemary


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