February update

We’re getting ready for spring! Jon Freeman from Clyst Great Trees introduced our project to map new walking and cycling routes across Pinhoe. We also announced a series of Spring workshops with silk painting, knitting, embroidery and quilting for our new Parish Map AND news of tree planting in the new woodland at Monkerton Ridge.

Thank you to everyone who came to the meeting. And special thanks to Cllr Hilary Ackland for assisting with our rights of way enquiries, and to Cllr David Harvey for investigating the fate of the beautiful oaks on Church Hill. We’ll keep you posted…


Thanks to everyone who supported our Memories of Pinhoe exhibition – with raffle sales, delicious mince pies and our special Pinhoe 2020 Calendar, we are delighted to have raised funds to support our activities this coming year.

At the end of last year, we promised a discussion of TRAFFIC CONCERNS across Pinhoe, following on from meetings with Will Pratt from Devon County Council Highways. Problems on Park Lane and Church Hill remain at crisis point and several new planning proposals are coming through, including proposals for the new Lidl which raises great concern about traffic levels for residents in Summerway.

Following the establishment of the PINHOE FORUM group, it was decided that they would host the Traffic Meeting and produce a report documenting their community consultation. They will collect all your opinions and present the report to Devon County Council Highways. This meeting is WEDNESDAY 12TH FEBRUARY in Alicia’s at 7pm and we encourage as many people as possible to document their concerns.

The PINHOE FORUM group has applied to Exeter City Council to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for Pinhoe – it’s a really exciting opportunity to shape the future of Pinhoe and we are pleased to support their vision. Everyone who lives and/or works in Pinhoe is encouraged to join the group: www.pinhoe.org as it’s really important that members from across all ages and all parts of the Pinhoe ward join the consultation.

Treasure Trove!

Special thanks to Margaret and Dave Mogford, who came to our evening meeting in October with the most amazing collection of photographs of Old Pinhoe.

We’re planning to re-stage their amazing exhibition as a special Christmas treat for Pinhoe, so WATCH THIS SPACE!

HOME FARM – development report

Heritage Statement provided by Waddeton Park, the original developers – also usefully showing sites of archeological evidence from the Old Farm, Pinn Lane

Application for development of this site was allowed at appeal following a Public Inquiry, held in 2014. Despite the efforts of Exeter City Council, 120 houses with ‘associated infrastructure and open space’ were allowed, with all matters reserved for future consideration apart from access.

Here’s a really useful overview, including links to full decisions https://cllrpaul4cowick.wordpress.com/category/planning/

At a recent meeting of the Planning Committee on Monday 30th September 2019 to discuss ‘Reserved Matters’, all three of Pinhoe’s local councillors raised detailed concerns following discussions with local residents. These concerns included:

  • safety of the highway at Church Hill – for pedestrians and cars – resulting from landscaping proposals
  • remote location of the proposed playspace areas and the safety concerns of access to areas of open water, which had been relocated in the updated plans
  • imbalance in the development of the site, specifically regarding required sensitivity in handling the landscape context of the listed, historical Home Farm buildings – dating from 15th century and on a central historical route through the village – according to Heritage England recommendations, which had not been considered by the Heritage Officer
  • residents’ concerns regarding flooding measures and ground water considerations, based on current and historical evidence of substantial problems
  • adequate provision for reinstatement of the important hedgerow linescape along Church Hill in line with biodiversity requirements

Councillor David Harvey mentioned recent problems holding developers to account when they exceed permitted development, however Council officers confirmed they do not routinely enforce or regularly monitor compliance. Indeed, when Cllr Harvey described Linden Homes’ recent removal of a large hedgerow at Gypsy Hill during nesting season, which was confirmed as an illegal act, Committee Members openly laughed when he said there had been no evidence remaining for the Devon and Cornwall Police to act upon.

Burrington Estates purchased the Home Farm site from Waddeton Park and the RB Nelder Trust. However, no site modelling or detailed location images were presented for the Committee’s consideration by Burrington Estates, who were represented at the meeting by Mr Seaton. Despite considerable changes to the original proposals, Mr Seaton suggested the entire case made by local councillors and residents was simply an attempt to review the original planning consent. No further detail or response was offered to the meeting.

Throughout the Committee, Council officers restated the details for consideration within “Reserved Matters” included layout, scale, landscape and appearance. Labour Councillor Emma Morse declined to support the concerns of local residents anxious to protect both the heritage and history of the site. Describing Home Farm as “an open wound” she described losing every battle for the site and announced her ‘practical’ approach meant she could only support the development.

With fellow councillors moving to support her position, including Cllr Phil Bialyk who recently commented in the Express & Echo, Cllr Yolanda Henson said the play areas ‘were bigger than some in other developments across the city’.

Cllr Amal Ghusain asked detailed questions regarding drainage provision and liability if the development was approved. Council officers said they were unable to answer and stated that drainage would only be signed off when considered satisfactory. Chair of the Planning Committee, Cllr Lyons, suggested submitting photographic evidence and Council Officers agreed benchmarking measures would be considered.

Chair of Pinhoe Village, Kate Jago, approached Mr Seaton following the Committee’s decision to approve the development, but neither he nor the developer were willing to comment at that stage. We hope Burrington Estates will recognise the widespread community interest in the development of the Home Farm site and look forward to positive discussions in the future.

Meanwhile, we are developing a “Flood Monitoring” resource for local residents across the Home Farm and Pinhoe Quarry sites – please contact us for further information.

We are also monitoring both the removal of protected hedgerows, and problems for the local community caused by the long-term blocking of the main route along Church Hill, from the village to the church

Church Hill blocked by building site materials

NOTES: Extensive planning notes from the Exeter City Council Planning Dept are available here (as a pdf), including the following protection for the hedgerows:

Notwithstanding the details shown on drawing no. ML.01 Rev D all the existing hedgerows on site shall be maintained and managed in accordance with details that shall previously have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The submitted details will be expected to demonstrate how the hedgerows will be managed to secure their long term retention and health, and how any additional boundary treatments alongside them will be erected so as not to compromise them in the future.
Reason: In the interests of the privacy of the occupants of both existing properties adjoining the site and the proposed properties, the visual amenities of the area and the ecological interest of the site”

History at the Library: Dr Todd Gray MBE

Monday 30th September, Pinhoe Library, 7pm

As part of his tour across Devon this autumn, popular historian Dr Todd Gray gave a talk about his latest book, “Uncle Tom Cobley and All” to an enthusiastic audience at Pinhoe Library.

The phrase ‘Uncle Tom Cobley and all’ has passed into common usage and comes from the Devon folk song Widecombe Fair, which ends with a chorus of a long list of names.

Dr Gray’s book tells the fascinating history of this ancient song – once the county’s favourite – and reintroduces audiences to more than 50 variants, most of them long forgotten after hundreds of years.