06/2020 june

RYDA Newsletter                       No. 06/2020








Despite the impact of Covid-19 on South Hams District Council (SHDC), all planning applications are still being processed. However there have been changes to the procedure:


1.               The Development Management Committee (DMC) has suspended all meetings. It has been decided that in-person meetings could not be replaced by virtual meetings such as by Zoom because the Committee needs to have a discussion in public, and others need to be given the opportunity to give their views – principally the applicant, any objector and the Parish Council.

2.               Applications will proceed as normal and the Planning Officer will produce a report. The Chair of the DMC and the relevant local District Councillors will be given a chance to give their views on the report. It will then be agreed whether to Approve or Refuse the application.

3.               If agreement cannot be reached or if the application is sufficiently important for it to be referred to the full DMC, the application will be held over until the DMC is able to resume its meetings as normal. It is inevitable that when ‘normality’ returns, there will be a backlog.


This temporary procedure places even more importance on the role of our District Councillors:


Cllr Keith Baldry Cllr.Keith.Baldry@southhams.gov.uk 01752 881402


Cllr Dan Thomas Cllr.Dan.Thomas@southhams.gov.uk 07917 877706







The Parish Council is the statutory authority with responsibility for representing the views of the entire local community regarding planning applications. However, the RYDA can play an important part by having an independent voice with which we can represent our members.


You will be familiar that we use our Newsletters to draw your attention to any planning application that we think might be controversial or raise significant planning issues. For these we will always give you the application reference number so that you can look at the full application online by at http://apps.southhams.gov.uk/PlanningSearchMVC/.


We ask for your comments and use these to inform our decision whether we wish to comment to SHDC on the application and, if so, how. We do therefore find your responses to be very important.


However, if we do comment to SHDC it only counts as a single comment no matter how many responses we have had from you and been incorporated into our response.

It is therefore ESSENTIAL that you comment directly to SHDC if you feel particularly strongly about an application, whether you support it or object to it. We would also encourage you to copy your comments to both ourselves and the Parish Council so that they can be properly taken into account in those responses.


Finally, it is probably worth being reminded what are valid comments as SHDC can only take material planning considerations into account. 

The following list is not exhaustive but it gives an idea of the sort of things that would be classed as a material planning consideration:

  • Car parking provision
  • Design, including appearance, layout, scale, density and materials
  • Highway safety issues and/or traffic generation
  • Impact on important trees
  • Impact on the character or appearance of a Conservation Area or Listed Building
  • Local drainage or flooding issues
  • Planning policies and guidance
  • Loss of important open spaces or community facilities
  • Noise disturbance, smells, obtrusive lighting or other impacts on amenity
  • Over-dominance, overshadowing and loss of light
  • Proposed landscaping
  • The planning history of the site


Comments that are not material planning considerations will not be taken into account no matter how strongly they are felt. Examples of what is not considered to be a material planning consideration could be:


  • Loss of value to your property
  • Loss of a view
  • Boundary and neighbour disputes
  • Impact on private drainage systems
  • Inappropriate or personal comments
  • Breach of covenant




The Retreat, Riverside Road West.

Provision of a summerhouse in the riverside garden, replacing an existing block built shed.

Planning Application Ref: 1325/20/HHO (click link for full application)

This application is the resubmission of an earlier, refused application, omitting the earlier parking provision. It is promised that the proposed Summer House will be finished in stone to match the surroundings. With a lower roof profile than adjacent garden buildings it is not envisaged that the proposal will be out of place or have an unacceptable impact on the waterside..

The key issue is the disruption during construction.

Despite this being a relatively small project, given the narrow nature and lack of parking or passing places on Riverside Road West, some impact seems inevitable.

The Construction Management Plan submitted with the application recognises this and make some commitments to attempt to minimise disruption.

We would like to have seen the provision of warning notices informing residents of planned deliveries or removal of waste.

Although described as ancillary accommodation it appears that this application is to provide an office / store and a bakery.

It is many years since Newton and Noss had a bakery, so is this new provision to be welcomed?

That this is a new business is not clear, however new enterprise and businesses are welcome, although there may be no retail element should a parallel change of use application, to Business use, be required?

This would enable any less obvious implications such as impact on traffic and parking or nuisance to neighbours to be considered.

Planning permission will not normally be required to home work or run a business from home, provided that no external changes are necessary and that a dwelling house remains a private residence first and business second. The neighbourhood Plan Policy N3P-13 b) on Business Premises says “Home working and home-based businesses will be supported providing they are in keeping with the locality and would cause no detriment to local amenity or nuisance to neighbours”.

Collaton - Proposed Development Site at SX 566 494. Land West of Collaton Park, Newton Ferrers.  

Planning Application Ref: 1435/20/NMM

In case you thought that the large development at Collaton had gone away, here is a reminder that it rumbles on.   This application is to modify some of the Conditions imposed by the original outline approval, all of which seem sensible.

You may wonder why large developments are able to maintain planning approvals indefinitely when usually work has to begin within three years of approval.   When outline approval is granted, work must begin within the expiration of two years from the final approval of the reserved matters or, in the case of approval on different dates, the final approval of the last such matter to be approved. Therefore, to maintain the approval, all a developer has to do is submit revised detail plans of some aspect, every two years. This, of course, is not suspected in the case of the Collaton development.

Indeed, from recent unconfirmed Minutes of our Parish Council “Cllr. Baldry advised that he was keeping an open mind about potential changes to the Collaton development which could involve significantly more than 70 houses. The Parish Council may need to consult the public.” We await with interest.

"Spirit of the Yealm" - Membland Hall 

Much has been written about this house and the Baring family in the book “Spirit of the Yealm”, but little seems to have been recorded about the interior design and contents of the house itself.


The Victoria and Albert Museum in London does, however, have one of the interior panels from one of the rooms, To view these please go to https://www.ryda.org.uk/the-spirit-of-the-yealm/chapter-2.1-membland-and-the-barings.---membland-hall-.html

The Newton and Noss Coronavirus Emergency Fund

A short update on where we are with the Fund to which 65 of you have so generously contributed.

Firstly a special thanks to the RYDA, its chairman and committee for publicising this initiative in late March. As of today 27th May, 8 weeks after starting, we have raised £17,840, an amazing tribute to the spirit of our villages and our residents’ willingness to help those whose circumstances have been severely reduced by this pandemic.

The 3 members of the award committee and myself meet by Zoom once a week. We are currently helping 17 people most of whom are self-employed although some are employees and students, to whose assistance our brief was extended by the committee and myself a few weeks ago without any donor objecting. By 24th June we will have distributed £8,260 in cash and voucher help and we will hold approximately £2,000 of vouchers to use for current and future applicants in July, to make the total expenditure £10,260. The committee’s view is that as lockdown is eased many more people will fall out of the various government schemes and require help from the Fund. We cannot really see the Fund being wound up until life returns to normal with the advent of a vaccine. So the balance of about £7,500 will continue to be used for the benefit of those in financial distress in the community. Just to show you how much your donations are appreciated, a quote from a recent recipient:

“I do not know how I would have coped without your help”

Meanwhile if anybody knows of someone in financial difficulty please ask them to call 872167, 872444 or 872437.

Thank you again for your generosity and support

Andrew Beveridge

If you are out walking for exercise, take your binoculars.

One member has said, “on our exercise walks around the Yealm Estuary to Tea House Cross , our local coast, we and others have seen seals, whitethroats, pipits, yellowhammers, cirl buntings, stonechats, linnets Bullfinches and goldfinches. Also, Orange Tip, Wall and Holly Blue butterflies.”

Horrible History

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for

animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof... Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor."

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.

Hence the rhyme: Pease porridge hot, Pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & Sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "P### Poor"

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to pee in" & were the lowest of the low

England is old and small, and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive...

So, they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, "saved by the bell" or was considered "a dead ringer".

And that's the truth....

Now, whoever said History was boring?

And finally –

More Lockdown freebies

As we try to find things to keep ourselves and our kids occupied during the lockdown, the good news is that many companies have decided to put some of their previously paid-for online content and services out there for free.

So if you are trying to stave off cabin fever, maybe give one or two of these a try…

Free comedy

Lots of big names including Robin Ince, Al Murray and Josie Long are playing the Stay at Home festival from the Cosmic Shambles Network. All the shows, for now, will be live only and free to watch, though donations are being encouraged. Check cosmicshambles.com/stayathome.

Free theatre

The BBC has announced a number of theatre productions as part of Culture in Quarantine, its “virtual festival of the arts”, including new filmed recordings of Mike Bartlett’s play Albion, Emma Rice’s Wise 

Children, and six Royal Shakespeare Company productions including its 2016 Hamlet and 2018 Macbeth.

You can now also stream a National Theatre Live production on YouTube for free every Thursday.

Rock legend Neil Young has released the first instalment of his Fireside Sessions via his Neil Young Archives website: a six-song acoustic set featuring classics such as Sugar Mountain and Love Art Blues.

The Montreux jazz festival has just made more than 50 festival concerts available to stream for free, including performances by Ray Charles, Wu-Tang Clan, Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Deep Purple and Carlos Santana. You can access them for free for 30 days. Go to stingray.com/FREEMJF1M and enter the code FREEMJF1M.

Free art exhibitions

Galleries may be shut but plenty have opened their virtual doors, and some have organised special events. For example, you can watch My Body, My Archive, an online-only performance by the Congolese choreographer and dance artist Faustin Linyekula filmed in the Tanks at London’s Tate Modern.

And while the doors of London’s Royal Academy are temporarily closed, you can still experience its exhibition on Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert via a video tour of the galleries.

Free Opera and Ballet

The Royal Opera House is closed – but in the meantime it is offering free online broadcasts that you can access anywhere, at any time across the globe. A range of ROH productions can be accessed for free via its Facebook and YouTube channels. It is also offering a free 30-day trial on Marquee TV, an arts streaming service.

Each day the Metropolitan Opera in New York is making a different presentation available for free on its website, although the window to watch it for free will only last for 23 hours. Go to MetOpera.org

Free maths lessons for kids

The former Countdown star Carol Vorderman has made her learning programme the Maths Factor – an online maths tutoring site for four- to 11-year-olds – free for everyone (usually it costs about £2 a week) for the duration of the UK schools closure.

To use the flowers, cut the clusters whole, with about 2” of stem. (check they are free of insects!)

Never wash the flowers as this will remove much of the fragrance.

Please do not strip the tree bare – as later on there will be berries for wine and also for the birds.

Traditional Elderflower cordial (makes about 750ml)

1 lemon, grate the rind and slice the fruit; 25g (1oz) citric acid; 1kg (2lb) sugar; 10 Elder flower heads; 750ml boiling water

Put sugar in a bowl, add the boiling water; stir; add lemon rind and slices; citric acid and flowerheads. Leave for 24hrs, stirring occasionally. Sieve and pour into clean bottles with screw top caps. It keeps for 6 months or you can freeze it into ice cubes.

If you are along the estuary, you might find Sea beet, also known as sea spinach, which can be used in identical ways to the garden variety.

Carragheen, also known as Irish Moss, grows on almost any western or southern shore.

Carragheen is an important source of vegetable gelatines, which are used for thickening soups, emulsifying ice-cream or setting jellies.

Irish Moss Blancmange

1 cup of fresh weed (washed); 3 cups of milk (water if you want to make a jelly); sugar & Flavouring (try chopped root ginger while simmering)

Put all ingredients into a pan; Simmer slowly until most of the weed has dissolved; Sieve into a mould to set.

Food for free

Last month we shared Trevor’s item on Wild Garlic;

This month there is much free food in abundance if you know what you are looking for.

The easy and popular one to spot is Elderflower; Elderflowers can be munched straight off the tree on a hot summers’ day, and taste as frothy as a glass of ice cream soda.

Do you have any news item you would like to see in the this newsletter?

Virtual lockdown get-togethers, Thanks to someone who has gone the extra mile; or an unusual bird/insect spotted along the Yealm. All items welcome. Please send to


The River Yealm and District


Registered Charity No. 262929