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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.