The Fly Tipping Epidemic. Fly-Tipping Near Knightshayes, April 2021
The fly-tipping ‘epidemic’ has become far worse during the recent lockdowns, and it can create an unattractive and unhealthy problem in our rural environment. To report the problem in Mid Devon, please see: https://www.middevon.gov.uk/residents/environment/street-care/fly-tipping/
Also, please see The Guardian; and CPRE’s campaign report on this issue.
The Anaerobic Digester Problem.
Lewis Clarke’s excellent interview with Tiverton’s MP, Neil Parish, for In Your Area, has highlighted a problem of real concern for many people. Neil feels that “the whole thing seems to be getting out of control now. We desperately need a policy on ADs; otherwise, it will get totally out of control.” Very large, and often very wide, tractors towing heavily trailers and tankers loaded with feedstock and digestate to and from Anaerobic Digesters are moving in increasingly large numbers along local roads, and the problem is likely to become much worse. The two local AD plants are the Red Linhay, at Halberton, and that at Willand, both of which draw feedstock from a very wide area, leading to concerns about road safety, enhanced pollution levels, increased congestion, and damage to local highways.
Please also see Paul Elstone’s detailed Audit Rev. 3 Red Linhay and Willand Bio Digester – AUDIT,
(Paul is not a Civic Society member, and the views expressed are his own.)
A Solution for the ‘Road to Nowhere’ and a Start for Development of Area A of the Eastern Urban Extension?
The aerial photograph, taken in 2004, shows much of the area covered by the Eastern Urban Extension. Apart from the Blundell’s playing fields in the foreground, most of the green fields shown have already been developed, or are designated for future housing and employment! Outline planning permission has already been granted for Area A.
The following detailed Reserved Matters Planning Applications have been submitted, which include plans for the building of 166 houses, a new road leading towards the A361 junction and a controversial Poynton shared-space roundabout at the junction with Blundell’s Road.
21/00374/MARM | Reserved Matters in respect of (landscaping, layout and scale) for infrastructure associated with initial phases of development, following Outline approval 14/00881/MOUT | Land at NGR 298088 113134 (Adjacent Barnesmead) Blundells Road Tiverton Devon. Comments to MDDC should be submitted before the end of March.
Please also see the related application, submitted on March 18th 2021:
21/00454/MARM | Reserved Matters (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) for 166 dwellings with the provision of public open space, vehicular and pedestrian access, landscaping, drainage and related infrastructure and engineering works following Outline approval 14/00881/MOUT | Land East of Tiverton, South of A361, and Both North and South of Blundells Road Uplowman Road Tiverton Devon. Comments to MDDC should be submitted by April.11th, 2021
Please see FINAL – 21-00454-MARM OBJECTION LETTER submitted to MDDC by Paul Elstone on Thursday, 8th April. This convincingly demonstrates that the highly unsatisfactory planning application by Redrow Homes is yet another example of a developer attempting to ‘call the tune’, in this case by ignoring and overturning several of the core principles laid down in both the TEUE Masterplan and the TEUE Design Guide, This is allocated land, the outline application has been approved, and we therefore support the development if both the Masterplan and Design Guide are closely followed. However,the application should be withdrawn, replanned, rewritten, and resubmitted, or, failing that, refused planning consent until the issues described have been satisfactorily resolved. The Tiverton Eastern Extension is the largest housing development in the town’s history and it should not be allowed to become a tarnished pipe-dream. Please also see Paul’s draft letter concerning the Arboricultural Impact Assessment for this application.100 – MDDC Development Objection Letter. Rev
(Paul Elstone is not a Civic Society Member and the views expressed are his own).
In addition, please see the previously approved Outline Planning Application 14/00881/MOUT.
Our further comments will follow.
Green Bullet, February 2021
The Latest Green Bullet, published by CPRE North-West, is now available. As usual, it contains a wealth of useful information and links on environmental issues.
Application by David Wilson Homes to Build 86 Homes and Associated Infrastructure etc at Braid Park, Tiverton.
Heathcoat Fabrics and the Successful Landing on Mars of the NASA Perseverance Rover.
Many congratulations to all those responsible for the important part Heathcoat Fabrics played in the successful Mars landing. The full story is on the company website:
Pollution in Towns and Cities
The latest research by the charity ‘Centre for Cities’ suggests that 1 in 16 deaths in the south of England is directly linked to pollution and urges the government to bring in much stricter guidelines. This has been widely reported in the media recently, including The Independent,
In Tiverton and Mid Devon air pollution is carefully monitored, particular roads which are a potential concern in Tiverton being Leat Street and Blundell’s Road between Tidcombe Lane and the Horsdon Roundabout, although national pollution limits are not exceeded at either location. It is essential that further major development, which would feed more traffic along these roads, should not proceed until alternative routes are opened, and that the Eastern Urban Extension should not proceed further until the link between Blundell’s Road and the full junction with the A361 North Devon Link Road is completed. Also, please refer to the Archives Page.
‘Anyone can enter a postcode and house number at addresspollution.org and get a report on levels of three pollutants: fine particles known as PM2.5, larger particles called PM10, and NO2, a gas that in urban areas is emitted largely by diesel vehicles. The website gives each property one of five pollution ratings from low — meaning all three pollutants are at least 80 per cent below WHO limits — to very high for those where all exceed it and one is at least 20 per cent above the limit’. (The Times 17.3.21)
Trail Tale app
The TrailTale app entry for Tiverton has been developed in collaboration with this society. It is based upon The Merchants’ Trail and includes photographs and other information we have provided. Full details of the app, which can be downloaded onto Smart Phones free of charge, can be found at: http://www.trailtale.co.uk/
Details for Tiverton, and many other towns (but few in the South West) can be found under ‘Guided Walks.The history of many of our finest buildings is outlined and illustrated.
This Website in 2020.
There were 7563 views of this website from 3877 visitors in 2020, and, in comparasion to 2019’s previous record, there was a 38% greater number of visits. These large increases reflect the widely reported increase in internet usage during the current pandemic. In 2020 the most popular months were August and December, both holiday months and both months during which controversial local planning applications were submitted and widely followed on social media, especially Facebook. Over 89% of visits were from the United Kingdom,.the remainder being from 41 different countries, only China and the USA reaching 2% of the total. By a considerable margin the Listed Buildings and Scherduled Ancient Monuments Page was the most popular, followed by the Recent News, Town Trails, and Bibliography and Resources Pages. There was a significant increase in the number of visitors requesting genealogical information who are researching their family trees.
Planning Application 20/02027/OUT to Demolish the Former Police Station in The Avenue.
This fine building, formerly Beechwood, was built for Robert Loosemoore, a Tiverton solicitor, in the early !880s, and it was one of the first houses, if not the first, to be built in The Avenue. Its distinctive features, many of which can be seen in the photograph, include elaborate decorated stonework, a fine porch, interesting terracotta roof pediments, and attractive bay windows. Because of damage from dry rot the upper part of the atrium (skylight) was removed before 2018, while the fine railings, by Garton and King, were removed during World War 2. It is not listed, mainly because of the many changes made to the building while it was a police station, both internally and externally, including the addition of a large annex on the southern side. However, many of these changes could be reversed.
The building, and the attached annexe, was used as a police station until 2012, and it is shocking that it has deteriorated so rapidly in the last eight years. This is a stark reminder of the 1960s, a time when Tiverton Civic Society, as well as many other civic societies, were formed, largely because of public dismay when ‘managed decay’ of much-prized buildings by potential developers, both locally and nationally, led to the loss of vast numbers of them, including, in Tiverton, the Palmerston Hotel and the Fore Street frontage of Starkey, Knight and Ford: Tesco, the new owners of the latter building were, at the time, widely castigated. We had hoped that this period of cultural vandalism had been left behind!
At a time when the new Government White Paper, ‘Planning for the Future’. places good design at the heart of its proposals, it is surely perverse to propose demolition of this finely proportioned building with many excellent external features, some of which could be used as exemplars when planning future local housing developments.
Why is it not possible to retain a refurbished ‘Beechwood’ as part of the proposed new housing development? An examination of the map in the Planning Statement, suggests that, with demolition of the annexe and some rearrangement, and, possibly, a small reduction, in the number and size of the plots, this would be quite feasible – during the 1970s Tiverton Civic Society were much involved in the ‘rescue’ of the 1846 former Police Station and Gaol, now Bridewell House, in St Andrew Street, which was in an even more dilapidated condition, and, in 1978, this was fully restored and converted into flats by the Devon Historic Buildings Trust and successfully incorporated into a larger development.
Writing on ‘Creative Destruction‘ in the Financial Times on January 9th Edwin Heathcote states that ‘demolition is failure-the failure of architecture to accommodate the future and the failure of the present to understand how to reuse the incredible resource of an existing building.’ Also, in an article in The Times on November 20th, 2020, entitled ‘Britain’s Glorious Historic Edifices are Crumbling Before our Eyes’ Richard Morrison wrote: ‘with all these endangered buildings the choice is the same. Do we want them to be the architectural gems of their neighbourhoods — brick testimonials to the imagination and craftsmanship of local people? Or embarrassing blots on the landscape? It’s incredible that we are even having the discussion’.
The Former Police Station can be claimed to be Tiverton’s finest Victorian house, Knightshayes being outside the settlement boundary in Bolham, yet the Heritage Statement, while recognising the ‘historic, architectural and historic interest of the building,’ states that ‘the scope to refurbish and repurpose the building is considered unrealistic in economic and practical terms’, and, while admitting that ‘the total loss of a historical building can never be fully mitigated,’ states that ‘any residual effects should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal in securing an optimal viable use of the site’. (Conveniently, no costings are included). Are there any overriding public benefits?
As Richard Morrison shows, this type of reasoning, leading to the eventual demolition of many’crumbling historic buildings’ is being widely used! We consider that all options should be explored for the retention of this fine building, and that, until this has occurred, the present Planning Application should be refused.
20/02027/OUT | Outline for the erection of 5 detached dwellings with associated parking and landscaping following demolition of existing buildings | Former Police Station 2 The Avenue Tiverton Devon EX16 4HS’
Full details of this application, including information as to how to comment, can be accessed on the MDDC Planning Portal (Click on this, and, to make a comment, click on ‘Comments’ and then click on ‘Make a Comment’).
Tiverton Civic Society’s Objection to Former Police Station Planning Application December 2020 was submitted on Thursday, 17th December
Comments must be submitted by December 24th, and, if objecting, please do so as soon as possible! (As the notice for this application did not appear in the Tiverton Gazette until December 15th, comments should be accepted well into January.).
At their meeting on Monday, December 21st, Tiverton Town Council Planning Committee recommended unanimously that this Planning Application should be refused, ‘It is felt that as this is an historic building, and therefore part of the heritage of the town, the exterior of the property (front) should be retained, but developed at the rear, possibly with threerather than five dwellings.
Therefore, in its present form, Tiverton Town Council does not support this application.’
As well as Tiverton Civic Society, other influential organizations and individuals who have recommended refusal of this application include The Victorian Society, the Mid Devon Conservation Officer for Tiverton, The Campaign to Protect Rural England, The Devon Buildings Group, Professor Oliver Nicholson, and the emerging Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan.
December 2020 Newsletter Links
The article by Geoff Clarke discussed the‘The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid’, a novella by Thomas Hardy, set in the Exe Valley. As he says, the full story can be read online in the Gutenberg edition.
The article by Jeremy Salter on ‘The Life and Death of a Midshipman in Nelson’s Navy’ refers to the book by Lord Coleridge ‘The Story of a Devonshire House‘ This can be read online, as can the lyrics for ‘Tom Bowling‘ by Thomas Dibdin, this reference also including a performance of the song by Robert Tear.
CivicVoice’s Response to the Planning White Paper consultation
Civic Voice have responded to the Planning White Paper after an intensive period of consultation. Tiverton Civic Society have now also responded.
Green Bullet (CPRE North West)
‘Buscombe’ or ‘A Michaelmas Goose’ by R.D Blackmore, edited by Douglas Rice.
This is now available for purchase. Please click New Book Announcement final best for full details. All proceeds for the first thirty copies sold will be donated to local charities.
Tiverton Museum Reopening
The Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life is temporaily closed during the current lockdown.
Tiverton Museum Temporary Closure Emergency Appeal
The long periods of closure have been very challenging, with a massive reduction in revenues. ‘We will be very grateful if you could make any donation to help us survive this closure period. You can donate online by clicking here.
You can also support us by becoming a museum member. Download the form here. Your membership period will commence from the time that we re-open the museum.
We will continue to share our collections via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); just search for @TivertonMuseum.’
Planning Proposal for 22 Dwellings at Tumbling Field Lane
Tiverton Civic Society have objected to this Planning Application( TCS Objection to Planning Application 20.01263.MFUL (Tumbling Fields). August 2020 ) on an unallocated greenfield site because of a number of issues including flood risk, damage to the setting of Cranmore Castle and potential impairment of the views southward from the town centre. Please follow the link to the MDDC Planning Portal for this application.
The CPRE Devon Summer Newsletter has now been published.
An outline planning application for up to 179 houses has been submitted for the Tidcombe Hall site. Full details for the application can be found by clicking on 20/01174/MOUT
‘Outline for the erection of up to 179 dwellings, including the conversion of Tidcombe Hall and outbuildings to 12 dwellings, a shop, a cafe, an open sided shelter, community allotments, community orchards, public open space, associated infrastructure and access with all other matters reserved | Tidcombe Hall Tidcombe Lane Tiverton Devon EX16 4EJ’
Tiverton Civic Society’s Letter of Objection has now been submitted, is posted on the MDDC website page for this application, and can be downloaded by clicking here:TCS Letter for Planning Application 20.01174 MOUT Tidcombe Hall. August 2020 (2)
Although the last official date for the submission of comments has now passed, MDDC will, in practice, accept comments up to the date when the application is discussed by the Planning Committee, and those who have already responded can write further letters, perhaps to criticize addional points or revisions made by the applicants.
Concerned local residents expressing their views to the applicants in 2020!
Tiverton Town Council voted unanimously to recommend refusal of the application at their meeting on Monday, August 24th. This was the first encouraging step in what is likely to be a long battle, and much will now depend on the recommendations of the MDDC Planning Officers, and on the eventual decision of the MDDC Planning Committee. Although the final official date for submission of letters has now been reached, in practice further letters are accepted up until the date of the planning committee meeting when this application is on the agenda. It is important that members of the public continue to submit letters, especially if new information becomes available!
The applicants and the planning officer have agreed a further extension of time until 26th May, 2021, and the applicants have been asked to submit any additional reports by the end of March. These reports, largely ripostes to the major objections, were posted, mainly by Walsingham Planning, on the website for this application on April 6th. They include a controversial and probably unworkable, proposal to close part of Tidcombe Lane to all vehicles other than buses and those owned by local residents.The first MDDC Planning Committee Meeting at which this application can be discussed will be on 19th May, 2021. Members of the public, consultees, and local stakeholders etc. will be able to submit further comments about any new proposals submitted by the applicants, in practice right up to the date of the relevant planning committee meeting.
‘Planning for the Future’ and The Threat of Deregulation of the Planning System
‘Planning for the Future’, outlining reforms to the planning system, was published by the Government on August 4th, 2020, and its contents have already been widely publicised. Reforms include:
- All land in local authority areas will be designated as ‘renewal’, ‘development’ or ‘protection’. (Local authorities will be given two to three years to make these designations)
- Developers wishing to build on land designated for ‘renewal’ or ‘development’ will no longer have to go through full planning procedures.
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Green Belt will be designated for ‘Protection’.
- There will be standards to ensure properties match the style of existing homes.
- There will be a new system of developer contributions to local infrastructure.
Eighteen charities, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Friends of the Earth, Woodland Trust and RSPB, have written to the prime minister to call for “locally accountable and democratic” planning rather than further deregulation.
The letter says: “Further deregulation of the planning system would erode the foundations of any green and just recovery long before the first brick is laid. Nowhere else in the world is such a deregulatory race to the bottom being considered.”
“It would be completely out of touch with the public mood, when two thirds of people reported wanting to see greater protection and investment in local green spaces after lockdown. This surge of appreciation for quality local green spaces is just one indicator of the increased appetite for action to tackle the housing, climate and nature crises head on.”.
‘We fear that the rush to remove appropriate checks and balances on how planning decisions are made could have a disastrous effect on our countryside, our communities and local democracy, without providing the affordable, sustainable homes that Devon badly needs.’ (Penny Mills, CPRE Devon)
Please also see Policy Exchange’s influential publication ‘Rethinking the Planning System for the 21st Century’.
Mid Devon Local Plan 2013-2033.
MDDC received the Inspector’s Report on the Examination of the Mid Devon Local Plan Review 2013-2033 from the Planning Inspectorate on 26th June.
The Inspector has concluded that the Mid Devon Local Plan Review 2013 – 2033 provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the District, provided that a number of main modifications (MMs), are made to it to make the Plan sound and capable of adoption. With the inclusion of the Inspector’s recommended MMs, the Mid Devon Local Plan Review 2013 – 2033 satisfies the requirements of Section 20(5) of the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) and meets the criteria for soundness in the Framework.
The Inspector’s Report sets out where 55 MMs (Major Modifications) are needed to the Mid Devon Local Plan Review 2013-2033. The MMs all concern matters that were discussed at the examination hearings and which were subject to public consultation over a six-week period, together with the updated Sustainability Appraisal (SA), Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA), and the Equalities Impact Assessment. In some cases, where these relate to the provisions for Gypsies and Travellers, and Junction 27 of the M5, the Inspector has amended the detailed wording of the MM and/or added consequential modifications where necessary.
The full MDDC Council voted to adopt the Local Plan Review, with minor modifications, at their meeting on Wednesday, July 29th. One important effect of this vote is that ‘substantial weight may now be attached to the policies of the Local Plan Review when making planning decisions’ and ‘where there is a conflict between the outcome which arises from the application of policies of the adopted development plan and those of the Local Plan Review, the Local Plan Review will generally outweigh the adopted plan and will prevail’. (Planning Committee Agenda, July 29th, 2020)
Our Comment: Much of the report refers to proposed developments at Cullompton and elsewhere, but some rewording to the draft policy is suggested for Tiverton, in particular the Eastern Urban Extension, which is discussed in Paragraphs 59-61.
At the Inspector’s Examinations Tiverton Civic Society representatives expressed particular concerns about the impact of a new Designer Outlet Village at Junction 27 of the M5. The inspector, although approving the aspiration and overall concept of the Junction 27 development, seeks to provide greater protection for Tiverton and other local retail centres by adding the following strengthened condition to the Plan : “Any planning application which includes a ‘designer outlet shopping centre’ should be accompanied by a full retail and Leisure Impact Assessment to ensure that any potential adverse impacts will be identified and addressed and mitigated.”
Paragraph 139 comments on the section in the submitted Review on climate change and its mitigation.
“The Plan includes policies designed to secure that the development and use of
land in the local planning authority’s area contribute to the mitigation of, and
adaptation to, climate change. In particular, criterion j) of Policy S1 which sets
out sustainable development priorities commits the Council to meeting the
challenge of climate change by supporting a low carbon future, energy
efficiency, increasing the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy,
managing flood risk and conserving natural resources, amongst other things.
Moreover, Policy DM2 (as modified) allows for renewable energy schemes to
The Inspector has also strengthened the section on Design (Page 39):
“g) Adequate levels of daylight, sunlight and privacy to private amenity spaces and principal windows;
h) Suitably sized rooms and overall floorspace which allows for adequate storage and movement within the building together as set out in the Nationally Described Space Standard with external spaces for recycling, refuse and cycle storage; and
i) On sites of 10 houses or more the provision of 20% of dwellings built to Level 2 of Building Regulations Part M ‘access to and use of dwellings.”Insert additional supporting text as follows:
“4.5b National policy states that planning should always seek to secure high quality design and a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings. This is particularly important for the design of the homes that people live in and the spaces that surround those homes. The aim in Mid Devon is to deliver high quality buildings and spaces that meet the needs of users, taking accountof an aging population whilst ensuring compatibility with surrounding development and uses. Though compliance is delivered through buildings regulations, criterion i) will be implemented through a condition attached to the planning permission.”
The Inspector has, in Paragraphs 122 – 130, clarified and modified Policy DM25 on the Protection of Heritage Assets and other protected sites.
The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan and Hartnoll Farm
The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan published a Draft Policies and Site Options Consultation in which a major residential development of between 950 and 2172 houses was proposed for 101 hectares at Hartnoll Farm by the landowner, the final number being dependent on the ‘site sensitivities’.
The GESP Plan was discussed at a ‘remote’ meeting by the MDDC Cabinet, on Thursday, August 6th. At this meeting the Cabinet voted, by 7 votes to 1 to pull out of the GESP. ‘This Cabinet believes that GESP presents Mid Devon with an unacceptable risk of large scale developments that are not warranted by any formal measure of local housing need.
- The Cabinet, therefore, does not approve the recommendations of the Head of Planning in her report on the GESP draft policies and site options.RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that: Mid Devon:-
- Withdraw from GESP
- Bring forward the preparation of the next Local Plan Review
- Enter into discussions with our former GESP partners on a new Joint Strategic Planning Framework that ensures responsibility for development site allocations and targets is retained with the Local Plan
Reason for decision:
This Cabinet believes that GESP presents Mid Devon with an unacceptable risk of large scale developments that are not warranted by any formal measure of local housing need.
During discussions the impact of any development at Hartnoll Farm on Halberton and Sampford Peverell was highlighted.
The one member who voted against the decision was Councillor Bob Deed (Independent), Chairman of the Council, and he subsequently sacked the four Liberal members of the Cabinet, replacing them with Conservative Councillors, and thereby, if he votes with them, handing control of the Cabinet back to the Conservatives! The reaction of the sacked councillors has been posted on Devon Live.
At the Full Council Meeting on August 26th Bob Deed proposed following amendment:
- Commit to prepare a revised joint strategic statutory plan;
- Should Officers subsequently advise that 1. proves not to be the most appropriate option in planning terms, consider a review of other options for further strategic and cross-boundary planning matters with willing participatory authorities in the Housing Market Area;
- Instruct officers to review and incorporate relevant elements of the GESP Draft Policies and Site Options consultation document and other supporting documentation and evidence that remain valid;
- Jointly prepare necessary technical studies and evidence for the new strategic plan, including conducting a further call for sites process, align monitoring and share resources where there are planning and cost benefits for doing so;
- Reaffirm the Council’s commitment to the delivery of high quality development at Culm Garden Village as part of the Garden Communities Programme and continue to work collaboratively as a group of Councils in the garden communities programme with Homes England;
- and Task Officers to prepare a further report on staff resources to prepare a revised joint strategic plan with resources to be provided equitably to the team through equalisation arrangements.
- Task Officers to bring forward the preparation of the next Local Plan Review.
A vote on this amendment was carried by 25 – 10, with two abstentions
At the MDDC Cabinet Meeting on December 2nd 2020 it was RECOMMENDED to the Full Council that: in principle the production of a joint non-statutory plan be supported, to include joint strategy and infrastructure matters, for the Greater Exeter area in partnership with Exeter, East Devon, Teignbridge and Devon County Councils. This will be subject to agreement of details of the scope of the plan, a timetable for its production, the resources required, and governance arrangements to be agreed at a later date..
Mid Devon Design Guide SPD Public Consultation
The public consultation for the design guide ran for an eight week period from Monday, May 11th until Monday 6th July. Full details will be found at
Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan Website
The website for the emerging Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan has now been launched. It can be accessed at: tivertonneighbourhoodplan.org.uk/
The Newte Library at St Peter’s Church
Nothing has been finally arranged, but the Newte Library is possibly going to move to a new home because of the need to find extra space for the reordering of the church.
The Library was founded from part of the private library of Rev. John Newte, rector of the Tidcombe and Pitt portions of Tiverton on his death in 1716. He had inherited the library of his father, Richard, in 1678. The books bequeathed are consistent with what would be expected of an Anglican clergyman of the later 17C and early 18C. There are also some later books and a 15th century ‘Book of Hours’.
A survey, published in 1959, and research carried out since then shows that the Newte Library is one of only 4 of the 13 parish libraries known to have been founded in Devon before 1800 for which the bulk of the collection still survives. Of these it is the only parish library to be housed in the original parochial church, and it is not only an important survival, but also a key part of Tiverton’s history which must be preserved intact.
Anna-Lujz Gilbert, a PhD student working in the field of early modern book history, who has written a paper on the Library, and Emma Down, a professional archivist,
are at present both working on cataloguing the Newte Library and carrying out a condition report.
Living with Beauty – The Final Report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission was published on January 30th 2020.
The full report is now available online
This report, which has important implications for housing design, was led by the late Sir Roger Scruton and Nicholas Boys Smith (Create Streets) and contains dozens of recommendations to support the creation of ‘more beautiful’ communities, including:
• Speeding up the planning process for ‘beautiful buildings’ through a new ‘Fast Track for Beauty’ rule for councils
• Recognising that some developers can abuse permitted developments rights to produce accommodation of the lowest quality. They call for all new homes to meet minimum standards for space, amenity and comfort
• Increasing democracy and involving communities in local plans and planning applications, including using digital technology like virtual reality and 3D modelling to help local people shape their own areas
• Recognises that a lack of resources and expertise in local authority planning departments was contributing to wider design-evaluation problems and suggests a new planning “fast stream” could be a solution
The Great Tiverton Tree Plan
We fully support the aims and activities of Sustainable Tiverton and the Tiverton Tree Team
.Civic Voice Manifesto
The Civic Voice Manifesto was launched on November 18th 2019.
The importance of the engagement of local communities and people at all stages of the design process is stressed! ‘Our job is to create communities where people want to live and work together, and to empower local people to shape what happens in their area’.
Also, please see PCT_3619_High_Street_Pamphlet_FINAL_LR This pamphlet on ‘Take Back the High Street’ puts forward ideas for the revival of town centres and again stresses the importance of the involvement of local communities.
Podcast on TCR Radio
There is a 27 minute podcast on Tiverton Community Radio in which the excellently prepared Caro Bushnell talks to the TCS Chairman about the society’s 50th anniversary and Tiverton’s heritage.
Caro Bushnell also talked to the TCS Chairman about the Town Leat on June 14th, and this can be listened to online.
Tiverton Town Leat
The Town Leat was temporarily repaired and flowed again in early summer 2018, but since then it has been largely dry. Although a major meeting is planned between interested parties, probably on June 18th, the local concern about the lack of progress is very considerable and a protest meeting in Castle Street, followed by a march through the town to Coggans Well, was held on Saturday, June 1st. This was fully supported by Tiverton Civic Society, many of our members taking part.
The protest and march was set up by Caro Bushnell (TCR) and Jo Mortimer. Our Chairman made a short speech at the meeting TOWN LEAT
Both local and national media have shown a considerable interest and, as well as the online petition (see the Sidebar), a Facebook page has been set up https://www.facebook.com/groups/2723616954322233/?ref=share.
A committee of Tiverton Council are researching sources of finance for the necessary repairs, including an application for Heritage Lottery funding. (August 2019). Plans to restore the flow to the leat at the Chettiscombe end, and to enhance Chettiscombe Green have been outlined. in January 2020 by Councillor Irene Hill:
The enhancement and renovation of Chettiscombe Green for public enjoyment includes*the restoration of Chettiscombe Weir
*the installation of public benches
*the creation of a wildflower meadow
*provision of open, safe, natural, space and resource for the local playgroup.
The Village of Chettiscombe is built on land owned by the Chettiscombe Trust and managed by the Knighsthayes Estate. It lies about 1½ miles northeast of Tiverton town centre. Estate cottages are found built close to a triangular green, bounded on one side by a stream whichsupplies water to The Tiverton Town Leat. At the southern narrow end of the green the road leading to Chevithorne Village passes over a small stone-built bridge. At this point the stream divides: part runs over a small (currently broken down) weir eventually to the Lowman river. The pond created by the weir forms the head water for the Town Leat which flows along a separate channel into the town. This is an integral and important part of the history and heritage of the town, which it does not wish to lose.
The work to enhance the weir involves bringing the structure back up to it former height and strengthening it so that the Leat continues to
flow. The finish will be sympathetic to the history and existing environment, ensuring it complies with suggestions made by the conservation officer, and fits in with the surrounding village green. This work could also help to alleviate the flooding of the green which has happened due to the sudden increased flow of water from the surrounding hills.
At the other wider end of the Green there is a ford and a small wooden bridge for pedestrians. The Village provides a very picturesque scene with the cottages, farm buildings and a children’s playgroup.
The Chettiscombe Trust have agreed that this area could be enhanced to enable other people to enjoy this open space. A circular walk from the National Trust Property at Knightshayes Court to include the village is being enabled. A tea shop is soon to be opened by the Chettiscombe Trust in one of the old Barns just North of the Green.
The Town Council would like to purchase two benches which will be located on the green, to enable residents, walkers, and cyclists to enjoy a rest and open space so created. The benches to be purchased will be made of recycled plastic and fixed permanently to the ground. The use of recycled material fits in wit6h Council policy.
The Green will be prepared and planted with wild flowers to create a meadow appearance, leaving a metre of rough grass around the trees, edges and surrounding the wild flower area to enable easy access to the banks of the stream. This is required when the stream needs de-silting or for weeding.
The meadow will take two seasons to establish but should be sustainable after that. The children in the playgroup and the villagers will be invited to take part in the planting and the Council hopes that it will become an area for them to experience and learn about the abundance of flora and insect life which the wild flowers would attract. The meadow should encourage bees and pollinators to thrive.
This project, as well as providing a new open space for all to enjoy, will also be one of the areas where the Council is looking to make a statement and a positive contribution in answer to the climate change challenge we all face.
Please also see Devon Live
Please also see item above (TCR Radio) for a discussion between Caro Bushnell and Jeremy Salter.
Many people have expressed concern about Exeleigh House, very significant because of its links with John Heathcoat, because it is a fine building and because it is in the Tiverton Conservation Area. Jo Mortimer has, at our request, produced this excellent, but depressing, picture of the front of the house in its recent condition. She has also kindly presented the original picture to the Society. The picture, entitled ‘Agent of Change’, reached the long list for the John Ruskin Prize, 2019. The jury said:
“On this occasion your work has not been shortlisted. However, your submitted work did reach the penultimate stages of the judging process, reaching the long list of just 150 artists. Given the strength of this years applicants you should be encouraged by this news.”
For further information please see further information on the Listed Buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments Page.
The condition of this listed house was one of the reasons for Historic England’s classification of the Tiverton Conservation Area as ‘Heritage at Risk’, ‘Very Bad’ and ‘Deteriorating’.
The good news is that work is now in progress to restore the exterior of the house.
BBC Radio Devon
Tiverton Civic Society featured in BBC Radio Devon’s new community focused evening show– ‘celebrating the county of Devon and the people who live there’ on Tuesday, January 15th from 8 – 9.15 p.m. Anne Davies, Jeremy Salter and Mike Sanderson joined the programme host, Michael Chequer, in the studio.
‘Tiverton Conservation Area was 8th in Civic Voice’s Competition to find England’s Favourite Conservation Area!
Civic Voice asked their members to nominate their choice as their Favourite Conservation Area in England and, out of the 249 nominations, Tiverton Conservation Area was included in a shortlist of 18, the nomination being made by this society. The first conservation area was established at Stamford fifty years ago, there are now more than 10,000. (However, many, including Civic Voice, are concerned about their future).
Following a nationwide vote the result was declared on October 20th 2018. The final vote placed Swindon GWR Railway Village Conservation Area first. The Tiverton Conservation Area did very well to achieve 8th place, and together with the 2017 nomination of this as one of six ‘Amazing Conservation Areas’ in England, confirms that the town has one of the finest of this country’s conservation areas. However, it is classified as ‘Heritage at Risk’, ‘Very Bad’ and ‘Deteriorating’ by Historic England, and everyone needs to do more to enhance it!
Joan Humble, Chair of Civic Voice said: “When we decided to launch England’s Favourite Conservation Area, we wanted to use it to test the enthusiasm people have for the place where they live. To get people talking about why conservation areas matter. What it has turned out to be is something truly amazing. It has surpassed all our expectations at Civic Voice. We received 249 entries from across the country and from announcing the shortlist to announcing the winner, we received just under 16,000 votes in 14 days. People do care about where they live. I look forward to visiting each of the winners at some point soon with Civic Voice.”
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
All organisations were required to comply with the new GDPR regulations by May 25th 2018, and we have made every effort to do so. We have written a new Privacy Statement which can be read here: Tiverton Civic Society Privacy Statement
We have also contacted all members to request their permission to continue to use the contact details they have provided, including postal and e mail addresses as well as telephone numbers.
Historic England have mounted a campaign to celebrate 50 years of Conservation Areas in England. They have highlighted six examples of ‘amazing conservation areas’, including the Tiverton Conservation Area, after a submission by this Society! Nevertheless this area remains classified as ‘Heritage at Risk’.
See the latest Historic England findings about ‘Heritage at Risk’.
‘Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Beauth of Tiverton’ – see the Archives Page.
Canonsleigh Abbey – see the Archives Page.
Launch of ‘Tiverton Cloth’ by Pater Maunder -see the Archives Page.
The Fountain in the People’s Park – see the Archives Page.
Local Plan Review Examination – see the Archives Page.
Links Provided by Tristan Peat (MDDC) following his presentation on October 30th 2018 – see the Archives Page.
Tiverton Floods in 1960 – see the Archives Page.
Unveiling of Plaque to Private Thomas Sage VC on October 4th 2017 – see the Archives Page.
Planning Committee on 29th March 2017 – see the Archives Page
Pictures accompanying the article on John Heathcoat in the November 2016 Newsletter – see the Archives Page
Oil Paintings in Tiverton Town Hall – see the Archives Page
Flood Risk – see the Archives Page.
Diesel Emissions – see the Archives Page.
J.D.Salinger in Tiverton – see the Archives Page
Tiverton Floods in 1960 – see the Archives Page.