I spent the day yesterday with a team from the BBC’s One Show which is interested in the plight of Feniton following Wainhomes’ failure to install the largest two attenuation tanks on their site in the village (see https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/conditions-what-conditions/ and updates thereafter).
We shivered for much of the day under constant drizzle … and Feniton was on flood alert.
Having explained the background to the story that the site was allowed at appeal in 2012 against the wishes of Feniton Parish Council and the planning committee at East Devon District Council, I was asked to explain the importance of the attenuation tanks in a village which floods so readily.
Flooding in Feniton is a known problem and concreting over one of the higher fields in the village without putting in the tanks to mitigate the effects of extra surface runoff is a cruel move by the developer and demonstrates abject disregard for the Planning Inspector who placed the condition on the site.
We then moved to the Wainhomes site itself where the camera crew were keen to film the Leader of the Council, Cllr Paul Diviani, about East Devon District Council’s response to Wainhomes’ reneging on such an important planning condition.
As we turned into the site, we were met with a rather irate site manager, who refused to allow us entry to the site and suggested to the One Show presenter, Lucy Siegle, that she ‘get a life’.
The film crew was completely unfazed by the antics of the Wainhomes staff and set up their cameras on the pavement outside the site, where they manfully battled against the odd passing car, passing plane and passing dog walker.
Cllr Paul Diviani was interviewed at length by Lucy Siegle and he explained that EDDC was very concerned by Wainhomes’ failure to install the attenuation tanks and that morning had served a Breach of Condition Notice on the developer (https://susiebond.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/breach-of-condition-notice-served-on-wainhomes/).
He explained his concerns about the flooding issues faced by Feniton and reiterated the Council’s stance that the Planning Enforcement Department would ensure that Wainhomes complies with the Notice, which gives them 6 weeks (i.e. until the end of November) to install the tanks.
Feniton could not have had a stronger response from the Council.
Following some filming in the old village, we all met up at Jayne Blackmore’s house where filming took place round her kitchen table. Jayne and resident, Bill Knollman, explained what it was like to be flooded and to live in constant fear of being flooded again. Dr John Withrington, chair of campaign group Fight for Feniton’s Future, explained the recent history of planning in the village which suffers poor infrastructure, narrow roads and poor public transport, and reiterated the theme of the day, that is Wainhomes’ blatant disregard for the existing community in Feniton and its indifference to the conditions placed on them by the Planning Inspector in 2012.
The programme was aired on Monday 20 October at 7 p.m.
It is available on iPlayer for the next 4 weeks on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04ls1zx/the-one-show-20102014.
The piece starts at 03:34.