Wainhomes swoops on Feniton for a second bite of the cherry

Or is it the third bite … or fourth, or fifth?

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve written ‘Wainhomes’ in the title of a blog. As a company, they have certainly figured high in the lives of the residents of Feniton.


The last harvest on land now under concrete at Winchester Park, site of Wainhomes' development in Feniton

The last harvest on land now under concrete at Winchester Park, site of Wainhomes’ development in Feniton

The history of the relationship between Wainhomes and Feniton is one of planning by stealth. Their initial proposal was for a vast site stretching from Station Road to Green Lane.

During pre-application discussions, it became clear that such an immense site foisted on an unsuspecting village would not be approved, so the number was reduced to 50, and these houses are currently under construction immediately behind Louvigny Close. This application was brought before EDDC’s planning committee and was comprehensively turned down. Residents turned out in force to argue against the development.

Undeterred, Wainhomes took the application to appeal in 2012 and won the case on the basis of the lack of a Local Plan.

Ever with an eye to their original ambition, Wainhomes came back with an application for 83 houses and, after being turned down by the planning committee, they took the application to appeal.

Super inquiry

Many residents attended the super inquiry on a daily basis in January this year to watch the unedifying spectacle of three developers, including Wainhomes, squabbling over the right to concrete over a rural village.

Planning Inspector, Jessica Graham, looked long and hard at the village and came to the conclusion that it was not sufficiently sustainable to host the number of houses proposed, allowing only the site for 32 houses at the back of Acland Park.

Euphoria in the village was short-lived as just four months after the village’s success at the super inquiry, Wainhomes started pre-application discussions with EDDC on yet another development.

Playground bully

In the main, Wainhomes has adopted bully-boy tactics against the village, with the most recent fiasco surrounding the attenuation tanks (or rather the lack of them) being taken up by the local press, local radio, as well as local and national television. Their actions are inexcusable.

The reason Wainhomes gave for ignoring the condition to install the tanks before a single house was occupied, was that they required to be redesigned.

However, as expected, their ‘redesign’ of the attenuation tanks was so that more houses could be accommodated on the site. The company has now installed temporary tanks (although these have yet to be approved by EDDC) and says it will install permanent tanks by the middle of December. Wainhomes has been served with a Breach of Condition Notice by EDDC which runs until the end of November.

Latest proposal

A further application for 31 houses has now been lodged with EDDC. The application seeks to ‘tidy up’ the current site with houses dotted around its periphery. The application (14/2585/MFUL) can be viewed on line at http://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=NE51YHGHH1J00.

Feniton residents on the march against the overdevelopment of the village (January 2014)

Feniton residents on the march against the overdevelopment of the village (January 2014)

At a meeting of Feniton Parish Council last night, it was resolved to hold an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting to discuss the site and respond to the application on behalf of the village. The meeting is scheduled for Monday 24 November at 7.30 in Feniton Primary School. Feniton residents are urged to attend and express their view on this latest application.

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12 Responses to Wainhomes swoops on Feniton for a second bite of the cherry

  1. Paul says:

    It rained on Sunday and Susie blogged about the effectiveness or lack of it of the temporary abatement tanks which were apparently full and not soaking up any more rainwater. It has been raining pretty solidly again overnight and most of this morning so far, presumably before the ground has dried out much, so I imagine that the abatement tanks are full again and rainwater is running off into the lower parts of the village (again).

    A couple of things thoughts:

    1. Has anyone been recording the rainfall amount and the flooding depth to be able to demonstrate whether these have got worse since the Wainhomes development?

    2. Can an expert be found who can advise whether the temporary abatement tanks are as effective as the tanks previously approved by EDDC?

  2. Sandra Semple says:

    The experts are the Environment Agency and they work for US!

  3. Peter Bending says:

    Will the annexe be large enough Susie?

  4. Jo Epsom says:

    Seems like the same blog over and over and over again!!! Find a new topic to moan about! You’re boring! Clearly it doesn’t matter what you write! These houses are going up weather you like it or not! Get over it! The people buying these houses could be very nice people! You should be privileged that they want to join our community! Why not write about the lucky people moving to Feniton or the hot topic right now…… Who will win I’m a celebrity…. GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!!

    • Paul says:

      Well Jo, I am sure that the people at the bottom of the village who get flooded deeper and more often, and those who get sewerage splattered over their bathroom ceilings more often, and any residents who haven’t been flooded or sewerage splattered before but now join that happy (sic.) band, and the new residents who can’t get their kids into the Feniton Primary School (or indeed the existing residents who can’t get THEIR kids into the primary school) and the new residents that can’t register with the doctors, will all appreciate your sentiments.

    • Paul says:

      P.S. In my opinion, Susie does an outstanding job of representing the people in her ward, unlike some other EDDC councillors. And part of that job is to raise the visibility of the issues facing Feniton, reminding us of the consequences of these sorts of decisions, in order that they will actually get addressed.

      But of course, if the EDDC leadership had done their job and created an acceptable Local Plan that had been adopted, these sorts of blog entries would not be necessary. And let’s not forget all the effort that Susie put into the Planning Super-Enquiry without which Feniton would be sinking under the weight of new houses, builders lorries etc.

      So keep up the good work, Susie.

    • Paul says:

      P.P.S. I hadn’t previously spotted the irony of someone who is a fan of a TV show where celebrities are paid to undertake icky endurance trials complaining about a blog which (in other entries) highlights how real people living in Feniton (who are not celebrities and are not paid 6 figure sums) have to endure much worse trials (like sewerage on their ceilings).

      And Jo is wrong when she says that these houses are going up “weather (sic.) or not you like it” – as the Super Enquiry showed, a solid campaign by Susie and local residents meant that a lot of the proposed houses were actually not going to be going up.

      Oh, and whilst probably a genuine spelling mistake, the phrase “weather or not” is also ironic considering the relevance of the weather to the risk of further flooding.

  5. Peter Bending says:

    Is Jo a nom de plume of Peter Crawford? Incidentally some of the lucky people who have moved into the new homes don’t want the extra houses either.

  6. Val Jones says:

    If you don’t like the blog Jo don’t bother to read it. Flooding and spilling sewage is a very real problem for a lot of people in Feniton. One day maybe you’ll understand. .

    • Paul says:

      I guess that will be the day that rainwater entering the sewerage system creates a fountain of sewerage in Jo’s own bathroom. Empathy is obviously not her strong suit.

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