General Election 2017 -
I want to reiterate my support for the campaign to save Manning’s Pit.
As with so many planning applications here in North Devon, the absence of an approved new Local Plan has allowed a developers’ free for all with scant regard for local concerns.
I would urge NDC to reject the application for the development of Manning’s Pit and rigorously defend their decision in the event of any appeal.
Nationally - for too long planning has been under-resourced and disempowered, with local planning authorities unable to stand up to big developers.
As a result, planning decisions have become too influenced by narrow economic considerations, with developers’ profit taking precedence over community priorities.We need properly resourced planning authorities with fuller powers to put people and communities at the heart of the planning process.
Pit is a classic example of how the
current planning chaos – created by the
government to try and stimulate the market
for major developers – can lead to the
destruction of our cherished spaces. In
fact, it’s such an unlikely spot to build
that it’s being proposed by a speculative
intermediary on a high-risk basis. We must
resist this until the North Devon and
Torridge Councils finally manage to get an
approved local plan in place – it has been
set back yet again – and stops this
anarchy. The government have a created a
huge mess in the house-building market,
with everything geared to releasing land
willy-nilly to big developers, who then
bank it in their balance sheets or build
estates that they market to overseas
Manning's Pit is a beautiful piece of unspoiled green land on the northern perimeter of Barnstaple. It has been enjoyed and cherished by the people of Pilton and beyond for generations. It must be preserved for the future. I am appalled that a planning application has been made to build on it, and I very much hope that it will fail.
Fundamental flaws in planning rules are leading to widespread developments where they should not be happening. Local plans are painstakingly drawn up, determining where should and where should not be built on. But these are meaningless while the Government continues its wretched 'five-year land supply' regime, which enables their big builder cronies to blow local plans out of the water. It is a 'bulldozer's charter'.
elected as North Devon MP, I will concentrate my
energies on challenging these rules and trying to
restore to councils and their local communities the
power genuinely to determine local planning issues
Heaton Jones. Peter
I am absolutely opposed to any development at Manning's Pit and have always supported the excellent campaign organised by local residents. Among other things, I've brought the regional head of the Environment Agency here to view the site, and lobbied North Devon planners to ensure our voices are heard.
I will continue to do everything in
my power to stop these unacceptable plans, but without
turning it into a party political issue. The
application is speculative and seeks to take advantage
of the vacuum before our Local Plan is finalised. The
developers should be given a clear message - hands off
Manning's Pit. I'll keep doing all I can to work with
the local community and save this beautiful place.
|First and foremost, let me
reiterate my support of all concerned residents’
opposition to the plethora of predatory planning
application in the Pilton area, despite the fact that
DC Highways have responded to serious access
implications with a significant improvement to the NDH
intersection. It’s much more than just vehicular
access – it’s about the unique historic ward of
Pilton, the whole concept of the quality of life and
the way in which the urban environment can be
Perhaps only one of North Devon’s aspirant candidates is going to voice support for Manning’s Pit (or for the Yelland development, the massive expansion at Chivenor, Fremington, Anchor Woods etc) – but if they go ahead, we will be reminded once again of the complete disregard the Powers That Be have for local dissent – fracking being a pertinent example.
We are living in very different times, faced with an election which might produce a government with a strong enough mandate to further erode the whole concept of opposition, whether that be from parties within Westminster or from grass-roots activists in communities across the country, for whatever cause.
But that is not a reason for giving up – at some stage, tying ourselves to trees, bulldozers – or each other – might have to become the option. I’ll be there!
Ricky Knight's letter of objection to the Planning Department
We would like to thank all the candidates for sending us their comments.