We’re looking for freelancers, sole traders and businesses with fewer than 10 employees, to work with us on a research trial designed to boost Devon’s economy.
We can’t say too much about the trial at this stage because that might compromise the research, but essentially it’s to look at different ways of providing support to these businesses.
We’re aiming to have more than 250 businesses in the trial group, and we’re looking specifically for micro businesses, freelancers and sole traders in Devon and the Exmoor and Blackdown Hills areas of Somerset, working in tourism (including food, accommodation and retail); health and social care; trades such as construction, market traders and lifestyle businesses; and manufacturers.
If you’re one of these and you’re interested in being part of the trial, we’d like to hear from you:
Georgeham Parish Council has been very fortunate in being given one of the Lodges surplus to requirements from Ruda Holiday Park which is now positioned in Georgeham Playing Field.
The Parish Council is indebted to Ruda for the donation of this building which it is hoped will be converted into a building suitable for community use, including changing facilities for the Football Club.
It has been necessary for some work to be carried out to the exterior of the building to make it safe. The Parish Council’s thoughts are now turning to the interior and quotations are being considered. All this comes at a cost and before any work is put in hand, it will be necessary to obtain grant funding towards the work to keep the price as low as possible that the Parish Council has to pay. These arrangements are not done overnight and Parish Councillors want parishioners to be aware that yes, the work is being considered but it will be a little while before the project can be finished.
We very much hope that you will bear with us while the project moves forward. Councillors hope, as well as parishioners, that it will be in a fit state to use as soon as is practible possible.
Georgeham Parish CLT is now being formed to provide genuine affordable homes for people with a connection to the parish of Georgeham. We all know how urgently these are needed and it was no surprise when, in 2019 a local survey identified 18 local households looking for homes for rent or shared ownership. By ‘local connection’ we mean people with a connection by living here now (perhaps grown up but living with parents), work here now (but travel from away), or have lived here in the past (but have been forced to move away to find somewhere to live).
If GPCLT is to provide these homes we will need to build on one or more sites. Affordable homes for local people can be built on land that would otherwise unavailable to private developers; usually agricultural land adjacent to the existing settlement. This is allowed under Local Plan Policy ST19: Affordable Housing on Exception Sites.
We are therefore appealing to local landowners to let us know if they would like to talk to us. We are looking for sites that are reasonably level (or at least not too steep!), accessible from an adopted road, 1/2 acre or more in size, not prone to flooding and generally developable. Potential sites should be adjacent to the main settlements of Georgeham or Croyde. The value of these sites is more than agricultural value but nowhere near commercial residential value. Typically, the value is up to £7,000/plot.
Any land we develop will be owned freehold by GPCLT and permanently held for the benefit of the community. No-one involved in the CLT will profit financially from the project; we are all volunteers. We will work with a suitable housing association on our terms to fund and build the homes using a model that has proved very successful elsewhere in Devon. The latest such project to complete was by developed by Appledore CLT and their partner, Aster Housing.
Please help us help local people to live here! For an informal discussion, contact Tina Luxton (recently appointed as designate chair of GPCLT) on 07831145898 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org by 28th October 2019.
I’ll be sending the Agenda for next Thursday’s meeting and the draft Minutes later this evening.
The Community Insight survey is running until 22nd December and is capturing a snapshot of life in Devon for our diverse communities.
We’re asking people whether they: can get around easily, access green spaces, look after themselves, feel safe, can access community resources and adult learning etc. We’re also asking about their health and wellbeing and social connectivity alongside views on fly tipping/cleanliness, decision making, whether they feel listened to and whether they think council tax should increase.
In order to reach all Devon’s communities, I’d be grateful if you could publicise this in your local areas.
Here is a link to the survey:
Initial results will be available early in the new year and will be shared with partners, including District Councils. Further analysis (age, disability, locality etc) will be available by the Spring.
The CLT had its first steering group meeting on Monday 9th September in Georgeham village Hall. There were eight residents present along with Alison Ward from Wessex Community Land Trust Project providing professional support and guidance.
There was positive enthusiasm from all attendees for affordable, sustainable housing for local people. The two main tasks for the steering group are to formally establish the CLT and look at the aims and vision.
At the next meeting we will also begin to consider options for a housing project. If you would like to join the steering group to help with this project you should come along (please be mindful the steering group is not a public meeting so anyone coming along should be willing to get involved and not just to observe).
The next meeting will be held at Georgeham village Hall at 4pm on Thursday 10th October. The group will vote on a chairperson, secretary and treasurer. If you are keen to see affordable housing delivered in our parish please come and get involved in this exciting project happening in your community.
Local residents are being reminded to make sure they get the right planning permission for their development before starting work.
The advice is being given following recent enforcement action which needed to be taken by North Devon Council on the owner of a building in a village within the Authority’s area. The building had planning permission for use as an agricultural plant store and garage but was being used as the owner’s home.
An enforcement notice was issued stating the first floor, internal fixtures and fittings relating to the use as a dwelling and an external staircase needed to be removed. A additional building on the site also had to be removed because the owners didn’t have any planning permission for it.
The Leader of North Devon Council said “The planning process provides the opportunity for applications to discuss their plans with our officers before starting work. This case highlights the financial cost that can be experienced and the loss of a building when someone decides to do something without the correct permissions.
It’s the Council’s job to make sure development is carried out in appropriate locations across the district. Unrestricted residential development outside the development boundary such as this goes against policy strictly controlling development within the open countryside. When unauthorised development is brought to our attention and it is in the public interest we will take appropriate enforcement action”.
North Devon Council offers a pre-application advice service providing anybody considering development within the North Devon district with the opportunity to discuss their plans with a planning officer before submitting a planning application. Information about the service is available on the planning pages of the Council website. Information about planning enforcement including how to report a concern, the enforcement process in North Devon and notices issued, is also available on the website.
Japanese Knotweed Fallopia japonica is perennial and spreads through underground stems (rhizomes) and can regrow from small fragments even though it does not set seed. It is very invasive. Digging out is possible, but as rhizomes grow deeply, regrowth usually occurs which needs destroying. This method also creates problems over disposal as Japanese knotweed is classed as ‘controlled waste’ under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires disposal at licensed landfill sites. Alternatively, it can be destroyed on site by cutting or digging it repeatedly and burning it when dry. In this way the energy reserves in the remaining underground parts will be gradually exhausted; a process which may, however, take several seasons. Similarly treatment with herbicides will require several repeated applications. On no account should Japanese knotweed be included with normal household waste or put out in green waste collection schemes.