Sunday, 20 August 2017

Plans for Port Royal: campaigns and picnics

Here's a little reminder of various campaigns from the Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue website - reblogged with permission:

Dear Friends,
Three quick reminders and an update.

1) Don't forget to sign the petition at 38 Degrees if you haven't already done so.

2) Don't forget to come to the free meeting on Wed 23rd August at All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Road, Sidmouth. 7 o'clock start and a chance to both listen and talk.

3) Join the Ham Picnic ( rather than picnic ham) on the afternoon of the 27th August. Taking place on The Ham, weather permitting. You need to bring your own everything which makes for a picnic, nothing to eat, drink, or sit on, will be provided but information will be available. The Ham was left to the inhabitants of and visitors to Sidmouth.for the purposes of recreation so come along and recreate the vibes of yesteryear when it was a place where people met and enjoyed the fresh air together. If you want to dress up in period dress that is entirely up to you. Take inspiration from the old photographs of The Ham which will be on show at the public meeting.

Lastly, the pdf of the Consultants four Consultation Boards from the public consultation in June are no longer available on EDDC's website, or perhaps they have been moved to somewhere I can't spot them. So I have put them up here so they can still be seen.

Hope to see you at the meeting.
Kind regards, Mary

 © 2017 Mary Walden-Till, All rights reserved.

Newsletter Archive - Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue

Plus a helpful link:

Port Royal Consultation Boards June 2017

The survey on the Port Royal proposals has now closed, and the images of the Boards which were displayed at the Public Consultation have been removed from the EDDC website.
In order that they are still available for viewing I have placed them on a page on my website. To go there click the picture below.

Port Royal Consultation Boards June 2017 - Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue

Keeping lorries out of Sidmouth's town centre >>> >>> >>> "an out-of-town distribution centre could be created so deliveries can be transferred from massive lorries into smaller vehicles"

There was discussion at the last Town Council meeting on what to do with Sidmouth's pavements:
Futures Forum: Cherishing the streetscape: how paving helps define the character of a town

The point being that it is the constant pressure of trucks mounting these pavements which are putting them under so much stress:
Futures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth: serious incidents at the pinch point at the top of Sidmouth High Street

A problem being that the pavements are too narrow:
Futures Forum: An idea for improving Sidmouth: making the town more pedestrian friendly
Futures Forum: An idea for improving Sidmouth: making the town more pedestrian friendly: press report

We could do with a Traffic Management Plan which might be able to deal with the traffic:
Futures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth: "We have a golden opportunity to address Sidmouth's future traffic and transport issues which will help improve everyone's quality of life and shopping experience."

These issues were debated at Town Council:

Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald

Cherishing the streetscape: how paving helps define the character of a town

There has been extensive consultation on what residents want to see when it comes to the town's 'built environment':
Futures Forum: Neighbourhood Plan: final household survey launched > getting the balance of the Sid Valley's natural and built environments right

One aspect is the architecture - with concern across the country that what is unique to a town's character needs to be looked after:
BBC Four - Going Going Gone: Nick Broomfield's Disappearing Britain
Futures Forum: Going, going, gone >>> Disappearing Britain @ BBC Four >>> allowing buildings to fall into disrepair so they can be sold to developers

Sidmouth has its 'shopfront' planning policies:
Supplementary plans and development and design briefs - Sidmouth town centre conservation area - shopfront practice notes - East Devon

[Although this did not stop the demolition of Knight's unique shopfront:
Sidmouth store Knights closes - Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
001N8BGHBU000 | Fat Face 4 Fore Street Sidmouth EX10 8AJ]

See also:
Enhancing Streetscapes | Sustain & Build

Another aspect is the 'streetscape' - the mundane matter of lamposts and paving - but these all have an impact on the appearance, the feel and the character of place.

This was discussed at last week's Town Council meeting:

Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald

Is the fast-food chain Subway about to hit Sidmouth? >>> reaction from the public

Last week's online Herald was running a story:
Futures Forum: Is the fast-food chain Subway about to hit Sidmouth?

And this has provoked some reaction from its readership:

Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald

Plans for Port Royal: an alternative view: a new campaign: an online petition > The '3Rs' vision to "retain, refurbish and reuse" > public meeting Wednesday 23rd August >>> invitation and alternative designs

Details of Wednesday's public meeting on Port Royal were published yesterday:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: an alternative view: a new campaign: an online petition > The '3Rs' vision to "retain, refurbish and reuse" > public meeting Wednesday 23rd August >>> the line-up

Here is the invitation to the meeting published in the latest Herald:

Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald

Utopia: In Search of the Dream @ BBC Four

What is the difference between 'utopia' and 'dystopia'?
Futures Forum: Utopia/Dystopia: looking forward to the end of the world

There is 'technology and the secret joys of bureaucracy':
Futures Forum: The language of bureaucracy >>> >>> David Graeber and "The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy"

But technology isn't always going to live up to its promise:
Futures Forum: Techno-promises unfulfilled >>> Where did the future go?

And the paperwork, the targets and the timetables on the path to utopia can be pretty soul-destroying:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and “structural stupidity”

Besides, can we really be sure our planning is going to get it right?
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the European Green Capital

A series on BBC Four looks at how we see utopia in all its various guises:
BBC Four - Utopia: In Search of the Dream

Blueprints for Better

Utopia: In Search of the Dream,Series 1 

Episode 1 of 3

In this first episode, Prof Richard Clay explores how utopian visions begin as blueprints for fairer worlds and asks whether they can inspire real change.

Charting five hundred years of utopian visions and making bold connections between exploration and science fiction - from radical 18th-century politics to online communities like Wikipedia - Richard delves into colourful stories of some of the world's greatest utopian dreamers, including Thomas More, who coined the term 'utopia', Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, and Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek.

Richard builds a compelling argument that utopian visions have been a powerful way of criticising the present and he identifies key values he believes the imagined better futures tend to idealise. He shows how the concept of shared ownership, a 'commons' of both land and digital space online, has fired utopian thinking and he explores the dream of equality through the campaign for civil rights in the 1960s and through a feminist theatrical production in today's America.

Immersing himself in a terrifying '1984' survival drama in Vilnius, Lithuania, Richard also looks at the flip side, asking why dystopias are so popular today in film, TV and comic book culture. He explores whether dystopian visions have been a way to remind ourselves that hard-won gains can be lost and that we must beware humanity's darker side if we are ever to reach a better place.

Across Britain, Germany, Lithuania and America, Richard talks about the meaning of utopia with a rich range of interviewees, including Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, explorer Belinda Kirk, football commentator John Motson and Hollywood screenwriter Frank Spotnitz.

Release date:8 August 2017

BBC Four - Utopia: In Search of the Dream, Series 1, Blueprints for Better

Build It And They Will Come

Utopia: In Search of the Dream,Series 1 

Episode 2 of 3

Utopia has been imagined in a thousand different ways. Yet when people try to build utopia, they struggle and very often fail. Art historian professor Richard Clay asks whether utopian visions for living can ever reconcile the tension between the group and the individual, the rules and the desire to break free.

Travelling to America, he encounters experimental communities, searching for greater meaning in life. Richard visits a former Shaker village in New Hampshire and immerses himself for a day at the Twin Oaks eco-commune in Virginia, where residents share everything, even clothes. He looks back at the grand urban plans for the masses of the 20th century utopian ideologies, from the New Deal housing projects of downtown Chicago to the concrete sprawl of a Soviet-era housing estate in Vilnius, Lithuania. He also meets utopian architects with a continuing faith that humanity's lot can be improved by better design. Interviewees include architect Norman Foster and designer Shoji Sadao.

BBC Four - Utopia: In Search of the Dream, Series 1, Build It And They Will Come

A Good Place Within

Utopia: In Search of the Dream,Series 1 

Episode 3 of 3

Art historian Richard Clay asks whether utopia is, ultimately, a state of mind. Can we find utopia within? He explores the many ways we have created to immerse ourselves in a perfect moment, of epiphany ortranscendence, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and pleasure.

Seeking answers in a broad range of arts, Richard meets digital games pioneer Sid Meier, Rada improvisation teacher Chris Heimann and opera impresario Martin Graham. He tries to compose a haiku and uncovers traces of the hedonistic medieval Carnival tradition in the churches and pubs of his native Lancashire.

Richard also compares and contrasts different musical escapes, interviewing Acid House legend A Guy Called Gerald and the celebrated minimalist composer Steve Reich. This is not about the utopia of the future but about the utopia of the immediate world that we can experience now.

BBC Four - Utopia: In Search of the Dream, Series 1, A Good Place Within

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The South West: "This is where the young people are struggling to get on to the property ladder which is why towns are banning holiday homes."

It is clearly a very good investment to buy property - if not lucrative 
- as covered in today's Daily Mail:

One in 10 adults now owns a second home with HALF being snapped up by wealthy baby boomers

> Some 5.2million Britons own at least two properties – up 30 per cent since 2002
> Half of these homes are owned by wealthy baby boomers (born from 1946 to 1965) with another quarter owned by those born from 1966 to 1980
> But research by the Resolution Foundation think-tank will add to concerns about declining home ownership, particularly among younger people born after 1980

Half of second homes snapped up by wealthy baby boomers | Daily Mail Online

Here's the full piece from today's Telegraph:

One in ten British adults now a second-home owner


St Ives in Cornwall has voted to ban the building of second homes CREDIT: JOHN LAWRENCE/TMG

Olivia Rudgard, social affairs correspondent 19 AUGUST 2017

One in ten British adults now owns a second property, research has found.

The figures published by the Resolution Foundation show that the number of people with multiple properties rose from 1.6m to 5.2m between 2000 and 2014 - a 30 per cent increase in the proportion of adults who owned more than one home.

The analysis also suggested that most of these owners are not landlords, with just 3.4 per cent of adults letting property out. This would mean that 6.6 per cent of adults, or 3.4m people, have extra properties that they leave empty as an investment or use as holiday homes.

The think-tank examined data from the British Household Panel Survey and the Office for National Statistics to find that while overall home-ownership has plummeted, second home-ownership has risen dramatically. The proportion of adults owning any property rose to a high of almost 66 per cent in 2002 but has since fallen to just over 60 per cent.

Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Multiple property ownership is still a minority sport, but a growing one that represents a significant boost to the wealth pots of those lucky enough to own second homes. People with second homes not only have an investment that they can turn to in times of need, for instance in later life when care is required, but if the property is rented out they also see a boost to their incomes here and now."

She added that properties not being used for rental could include "holiday homes, flats that adult kids live in for free, empty properties they’re speculating on, MP’s with London flats and constituency houses, people who’ve inherited their recently deceased parent’s home and haven’t worked out what to do with it yet".

Paula Higgins, of pressure group the Homeowners Alliance, called the figures "shocking".

"It's really the haves and have nots - there's a generation of people being locked out of owning their own home and all the benefits that go along with it, and there's another generation who's got the leverage to benefit from rising house prices. We need to get homes that are for living in and not for investment. It's telling that there's little incentive to sell - even with an empty house you're sitting on a rising investment."

The majority of those owning second or third homes were based in the wealthiest areas of the UK, the report added. Almost six in ten landlords are based in the South East or South West, the East of England and London.

"This is where the young people are struggling to get on to the property ladder which is why towns are banning holiday homes," added Ms Higgins. "These people have had years and years of benefit from a rising housing market - but you shouldn't be making more money off your house than you do from going to work."

Last year the Cornish town of St Ives voted to ban the building of second homes. The town, dubbed Kensington-on-Sea because of its popularity with well-heeled west Londoners, held a referendum last May after figures revealed that one in four new properties were being used as second homes. A judicial review of the plan brought by an architectural firm failed in November. 

One in ten British adults now a second-home owner

With the full report here:

Homes sweet homes – the rise of multiple property ownership in Britain - Resolution Foundation
Second home owners – very wealthy | East Devon Watch

The question is whether the action taken by St Ives will have any effect:
St Ives referendum: Second homes ban backed by voters - BBC News
High Court: St Ives second home policy lawful | The Planner

Holiday lets are particularly good business:

Trouble in the Dales as holiday homes become the new buy-to-let

Holiday homes are attracting investors with returns of up to 12% a year, but will it make life more difficult for local people?

Patrick Collinson Saturday 1 July 2017 07.00 BST

Since April buy-to-let investors have faced new taxes on their rental revenue, while at the same time the Bank of England has enforced stricter lending requirements on the banks issuing the loans – with the result that buy-to-let lending is down by half this year.

Now investors are turning to furnished holiday lets, which enjoy an abundance of tax benefits that no longer apply to traditional buy-to-let. The companies promoting holiday lets as an investment say that while Cornwall and Devon remain firm favourites, the best value is to be found in the Yorkshire Dales.

The tax treatment of furnished holiday lets is startlingly generous. If you buy a property and let it out for holiday use, you can still set your full mortgage interest repayments against tax, unlike under the rules that have hit buy-to-let. You can also kit out the cottage to a luxury standard and deduct the entire cost from your pre-tax profits. A major tax loophole means you also don’t have to pay council tax on the property, and can almost certainly avoid local business rates. You can even run the income into your pension and obtain tax relief. And when you come to sell it you can qualify for a whole range of reliefs that mean any capital gains tax is minimised. About the only tax barrier for investors is the 3% additional stamp duty that applies to any second home purchase.

Trouble in the Dales as holiday homes become the new buy-to-let | Money | The Guardian