The Farringdon Parish Plan - 2008


During the latter part of 2007 and then 2008 a Parish Plan for Farringdon was produced following the issue of an extensive questionnaire that was responded to by 85% of the population.

The Parish Plan was then endorsed by the planning committee at East Devon District Council. What this means, in the words of the planning department, is that....
 

"The Parish Plan will provide a very useful insight into the community’s views, resulting from an extensive impartial public consultation. This will ensure that decisions taken by the District Council will take these views into account and will assist in prioritisation and working in partnership with the Parish Council and other local bodies."

"Once endorsed the Plan will be taken into account when making decisions and when considering allocation of resources. It is envisaged that the actions will form standing items on the Parish Council agenda and the Parish Council have agreed that the Action Plan will be regularly reviewed to ensure it remains current."

Click here to download the Farringdon Parish Plan 2008 (pdf)


In retrospect - 2010

 

When producing the Parish Plan we were often asked if it would make any difference and our opinion at the time was that its existence would probably not make much difference outside of the actions that we ourselves took, but that its absence would probably be used against us by showing that Farringdon residents didn't care. 

Having participated in and observed various planning meetings on behalf of Farringdon Residents Association we realised that we were right, the whole Parish Plan process seems simply to be a way of patronising the local residents but without impacting local and regional plans and without being seriously considered as part of the planning process. Subsequently in a meeting with members of Farringdon PC, leaders of East Devon DC planning have confirmed that the parish plan has in fact been ignored by them.

What we have observed is that the level of discussion of planning applications in the EDDC planning meetings is woeful and shallow in the extreme, the discussions being subjective rather than objective, and the votes of members often being whipped on party lines. For example, a councillor who is a long standing member of the planning committee didn't even know the meaning of the classes of industrial use such as "B2". Another example; the same councillor accused the local people who made the 3 minute statements on behalf of the parish as being "too parochial", thereby missing completely the meaning of the word "parochial"! At one meeting we saw an application rejected against the advice of the planners, but when the very next application was accepted in line with the advice of the planners, one of the arguments used was "what's the point of employing planners if we ignore their advice"! 

In much the same way that national government ministers are often accused of being seduced by the aura of major business leaders and so forgetting the normal people they are supposed to represent, the same appears to be true in microcosm locally, where some local politicians and council officials appear to be equally in awe of local business leaders and forget the interests of the local population who they represent or who pay ther salaries.
 

An issue raised in the plan that continues to upset residents is the planners' attitude to the Travellers in a couple of local sites. It is not the presence of Travellers per se that causes problems but rather the fact that different rules appear to apply when it comes to planning matters. When local residents properly go through the process, their applications are handled with great rigour, whereas Travellers' applications, which are typically retrospective, are met with a supine attitude and inevitable approval on appeal followed by a complete lack of any serious enforcement of conditions.

So would we do it again? Probably not! 

There is hope - the Neigbourhood Plan and a new Development Committee

Things have moved on in recent years and the various issues concerning the local planning process have gone away and a new Development Committee is in place and the new East Devon Plan that runs until 2031 has now been approved.

The most important development for Farringdon is the arrival of Neigbourhood Plans which, unlike Parish Plans, are legal documents that act as adjuncts to the Regional Plan and must be considered as part of the planning process. Farringdon has now been designated a Neighbourhood Area, so it is intended to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish. Click here to go to the Farringdon Neighbourhood Plan page. 

Background Information


Click on the links immediately below to get more background information:

Parish Plan summary - a short summary of the results 

Community consultation summary - the original topics raised in an open meeting

The Parish Plan includes an Action Plan, which can be found at the end of the document. This action plan will also be maintained separately and will continue to evolve as the various actions in it are implemented, and it will contain more information about who is doing what plus the timescales. So the version of the action plan included in the parish plan is really a snapshot at this point in time. 

 

Traffic Survey

 

Around the same time as the Parish Plan, a Traffic Survey of the A3052 near Farringdon was organised and undertaken by local residents. The report of the survey can be seen below.

Farringdon Traffic Survey