We recently heard some very good news that Mount Radford Lawn has been listed by Exeter City Council as an "Asset Of Community Value".
This does not come with any guarantees of its future, but it is an important step along the way to keeping the playing field as a playing field.
The the owner asked for a review of the decision to list, the review took place and ECC did not change their mind. Here's what they said:-
" Justification for listing Mount Radford Lawn as an Asset of Community Value:
The playing field has been used for as a playing field by pupils from a variety of local schools (e.g. ISCA Academy, and the Maynard School, in addition to Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education), and for other recreational purposes (e.g. pre-school play) for decades, with use ceasing in 2019, (i.e. the very recent past) only when access to the field was restricted by the owners, Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education. There is every reason to think that, if listed, use will continue to be made of the asset for organised sports and other recreational purposes by local schools and the local community, which will further both the social wellbeing and social interests of that community, both in the same way as before and in new ways. For example, the playing field has unquestionable capacity to function as a more general greenspace, as a venue for community and social events (such as fetes and fairs / markets), and as a venue for more ad hoc physical activities, such as Frisbee, outdoor aerobics or other forms of ’keep fit’, etc, as distinct from organised sports.
Listing the playing field would be entirely consistent with the need to protect playing pitches in Exeter at a time of rapid population growth leading to growing organised sports team formation, and with the strategic aims (e.g. promote community resourcefulness) and ’Whole System Approach’ to increasing physical activity advocated in Exeter’s July 2019 Physical Activity Strategy - ’Exeter Live Better & Move More’
Then some bad news 13/8/2020..... ERADE have taken this decision to a First Tier Tribunal, that means the decision gets reviewed again by a Judge away from Exeter. We have responded to this appeal. A projected date for a decision on the ACV listing is January 2021!
To find out how the listing helps us and more, go to the ECC website here.
To see our vision for how this playing field could be used for the community - click here.
Here is a statement from South West Water explaining the situation.
Background for the infrastructure work
Under the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) South West Water has a requirement to deliver improvements to our wastewater network. As a result, we are upgrading the existing combined stormwater overflow (CSO) located in the highway at the bottom of Holloway Street with a mechanically raked 6mm screen.
To install a new structure to accommodate the screen would require the closure of Topsham Road for approximately three months. It would also not be a good location to install equipment that requires maintenance as this would require future traffic restrictions, so we have chosen to relocate the CSO to the residential car park at Colleton Court.
With the Covid-19 restrictions earlier in the year we agreed with Devon County Council Highways to gain early access during the reduced traffic movements so we could close Topsham Road for one week to lay a new sewer from the centre of the highway to the verge adjacent to Colleton Court, this work was completed in June.
We are currently working in Colleton Court to dig trial holes to accurately locate the existing services so we can install a small tunnel beneath the high brick boundary wall. This work will be completed prior to Christmas.
In January, work will commence on installing the new CSO chamber, sewers and an eight-metre deep shaft connecting to the surface water culvert running beneath Colleton Mews. This work is planned to be operational by the end of April 2021 with final reinstatement completed during May 2021.
Site compound at Mount Radford Lawn
Over the last few months we have been in discussion with the Deaf Academy, who own the demolition site on Topsham Road. We have tried hard to locate the compound somewhere on the disused school site, as we had previously done for the roadworks earlier in the year. However, work is due to start on the disused site shortly which means that we are unable to use it for our compound.
However, the Deaf Academy were happy to accommodate us on their former playing field opposite, which is no longer used. Prior to the agreement we engaged with the Planning Authority and the Conservation Officer to ensure there were no restrictions to use the land for a temporary compound.
The compound is required for a site office, welfare facilities and drying rooms. There will also be an area for parking vehicles and for storing materials. It has been agreed with the Conservation Officer not to strip the topsoil other than for the access track from the gates, but instead to cover the area with a membrane and stone.
As the compound is near St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School, we will ensure no deliveries are made to the compound during the school’s drop-off and pick-up times.
On completion of the work the stone and membrane will be removed, and the topsoil below will be reinstated and reseeded by a specialist contractor. The site will be occupied from now until 30 May 2021, but will be closed over Christmas from 23 December until 4 January.
If you require further information:
If you need any advice or assistance please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Liaison Officer, Barry Birch, on 07818 578502 during the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. firstname.lastname@example.org. For emergencies only outside of these times, please contact our Services Helpline on 0344 346 2020.
Secanim (J.L.Thomas Ltd)
We have been told by Exeter City Council:-
"SecAnim (J L Thomas) will cease to operate from Christmas. No formal application has yet been received to surrender the permit, but it is anticipated that this will be submitted shortly."
This is very good news for the residents of St Leonards and all those affected by the smells which come from the factory. It's not such good news for those employees of Secanim who will be losing their jobs.
It was always a factory in the wrong place.
Following the Government’s announcement of a £250 million emergency active travel fund, a series of temporary measures to support public safety are being explored by Devon County Council. These outline the County’s immediate priorities for supporting social distancing on key travel to work routes, city and neighbourhood shopping centres.
The changes have just been reviewed after a 6 month period and the result of a DCC meeting on the 13th October was that the blocking of traffic on Wonford Rd would go forward to consultation to be made permanent, but that the Magdalen Road changes would be 'urgently' reviewed and greater consultation with the traders and the community would take place. The SLNA issued an Opinion Poll which was responded to by just over 1000 people, the results are here.
On the 18th November DCC issued a process for the consultation on the Magdalen Road and wider changes. It is:-
• Following HaTOC decision to consult on long term proposals, intention is to keep temporary arrangements in until outcome of an options consultation on long term changes. (also seem sensible giving rising COVID cases and ongoing need for social distancing)
• DCC will be gathering opinions from the Traders and other stakeholders over the next few weeks as to their suggestions for design changes to the traffic layout in Magdalen Road. This will primarily focus on changes within the current layout.
• DCC will draw up 3 or 4 design solutions for consultation. One of these could include a design for traffic routes around the whole of the St Leonards area rather than just Magdalen Road.
• Sometime early in the new year a formal consultation process on the 3 or 4 solutions will take place as widely and as comprehensively as possible, C-19 circumstances permitting. The solutions will be put to the public with full explanations of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
• Depending on the results, design for a permanent scheme would be progressed (which may also be subject to further consultation) before then decisions are made on its permanent implementation.
A group of friends of the very popular and iconic Hour Glass pub in Melbourne Street have got together and applied to Exeter City Council to have the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value. The Localism Act of 2012 had community-loved pubs specifically in mind when it was passed.
The pub freehold is owned by a larger pub group and leased to the present landlords. In these commercailly difficult times a lot of pubs are closing and it is specifically for this reason that the 'locals' are trying to get it listed. An ACV listing would give the locals a chance to buy it if it came up for sale.
Last month the owners, who bought it at auction, submitted a planning application to develop it into three, 2+ bedroom houses.
The reference is:- 20/1139/FUL.
I must say that if the community can’t own or use it as a community hall then this is the next best solution for it. I think that the architects have done a good job in preserving the appeal of the building. There is no chance that the residents will be dirty, bathrooms abound!.
We had feared that it would be allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair that demolishing it would be the only practical solution, thankfully we have been spared that.
We wish the hall and its future inhabitants well.
You must have been on another planet if you have not noticed the fenced-off area in Bull Meadow Park which has been there for some years now. In Spring time it gets sewn with a wonderfully colourful mix of wild flowers which is the only good thing about it.
There is a “public service water sewer” underneath it which is collapsing and it is owned by South West Water who are challenging their responsibility to repair it and 69 other such sewers throughout Devon. They claim that it is the responsibility of the landowners to repair these sewers, that would mean, in a lot of cases, private residence’s owners would be responsible for the upkeep of the drains beneath them. After much discussion with Water UK who represent sewer companies, a protocol for such occurrences came into force in February this year and Exeter City Council (ECC) is trying to get SWW to follow this protocol.
ECC believe that “it’s fundamentally wrong for private homeowners and the tax payer to take on the responsibility for the failings of a private company who have had the ownership of these sewers for over 40 years and have invested little in their maintenance and upkeep.”
So let’s hope that something gets done about it soon and that the wild flowers can be sewn somewhere else nearby.
At 10/3/2020 a letter was written from Ben Bradshaw, Matthew Vizard, Richard Branston and Carol Whitton (our MP and Labour Councillors) to South West Water on the issue. READ IT.
Rapid Charging Exeter -
Residents of St Leonards Road have received a letter from this company telling them that they have applied to DCC for converting four of the nearest parking bays to electric car charging bays. This initiative will install electric vehicle chargers in local neighbourhoods across the city; bringing rapid charging to where it's needed. It’s powered by 100% solar energy that’s generated in Devon. No EV? A partnership with Co Cars car club means that in many locations there’ll be an electric car available to hire by the hour or day. Exeter is a green motoring hotspot, with more sales of electric vehicles than anywhere else in the UK.
View the TRO and submit comments before 11th February 2021 on this if you would like to.
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