In our last Newsletter (8/20) we told you that we would be reverting to our more usual monthly edition rather than continuing to bombard you with Covid-related information now that lockdown has been eased slightly. Our passing on of notices, messages and emails about Covid has been widely appreciated, by the way. Only time will tell if we are forced back on to the virus trail.
PARKING AND TRAFFIC - WE NEED YOUR VIEWS
For many years there have been a number of parking and traffic problems in both Newton and Noss, particularly at busy times of the year and at certain pinch points:
Noss Hard at high water;
Pillory Hill and Creekside Road;
Yealm Road and Newton Hill outside the Co-op are some examples.
For many reasons the situation on Yealm Road around Yealm Steps has been little short of chaotic since the very first easing of lockdown. There has been a huge influx of daily visitors coming to enjoy the water activities that are on offer, and the holiday lets and second homes are generally fully occupied. This is all very welcome for our local businesses.
However the traffic congestion caused by the number of cars coupled with inconsiderate and unlawful parking has reached unacceptable levels at times along Yealm Road.
For example on one day last week at 9.15am there was not a single space to park even a bicycle right back up to the former Sailing School, and the road was reduced to a single lane road with no passing places. Even the loading/unloading bay at Yealm Steps was full of parked cars and double yellow lines had been ignored.
The residents of Court Wood are arguably the most affected as they can be trapped by the traffic jams that occur. To give you just a flavour of the situation and frustration that is being experienced, we have been asked to circulate the following:
Court Wood Concerns
The Residents of Court Wood are becoming increasingly worried about the traffic and parking situation in Yealm Road particularly at the harbour and bus turning area but also throughout almost its entire length.
Our main concern is the potential danger to life created by the inability of an emergency vehicle to pass through the ridiculously small gap left mainly by large vans and lorries but also skips which in some cases seem to have taken up permanent residency on the public highway.
We all know how long a 999 response takes without adding further delay.
Our much reduced bus service has suffered too when the driver has refused to come down to the Yealm Hotel, fearing he would be unable to turn and extricate himself from the traffic chaos.
The situation has been made much worse by the “Yealm Hotel” and major house renovations in the road needing so many tradesmen but recently by the large numbers of boarders and canoeists taking advantage of our lovely river with free access and free parking.
What can be done, given the fact that most residents of Newton and Noss will recognise the problem? Firstly, any householder having work done should make it very clear to the contractor that the highway must not be obstructed. Secondly, we are contacting councillors and the relevant authorities to ask for the law to be applied.
Wish us luck!
Members of your Committee will be meeting with the Parish Council in early September to discuss what, if anything, can be done. It is important that we go armed with your views and suggestions. Therefore can you please let us know whether you are affected by the parking situation on Yealm Road. Should something be done to sort out the problem? Or is it just the price we have to pay for living in a place that others have a right to enjoy too? If you have a solution or solutions, what are they? If traffic restrictions were to be imposed, what would you consider to be acceptable or unacceptable to you?
This is NOT a survey. All we are trying to do at the moment is to gauge what your views are. Please let us know by Tuesday August 25th. Whatever you tell us will be in confidence and non-attributable. Thank you.
You can respond by e mail in one of the following ways:
RYDA website at email@example.com
Christopher Lunn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Forrester at email@example.com
NEWTON AND NOSS IN 1895
The following is an extract from The Coasts of Devon and Lundy taken from a wordy Victorian tome by John Lloyd Warden Page published in 1895. The author spent a night at the Dolphin during his visit. The book is owned by Peter Court-Hampton but the extract was provided by Duncan Macpherson. Many thanks to them both for unearthing something that will be entertaining to Newtonians and, hopefully, to Nossites too!
Outside by the low wall that overlooks the scraps of gardens and the creek with its line of fishing boats is the promenade of Newton Ferrers. The promenaders, mostly men, do not walk much. The promenading for the most part seems to consist in shifting from one foot to the other to make room for some Jack or Bill who has just come in to tell of some piece of luck, or the reverse. Fishing is not always good off the Mewstone. But whether the luck be good or bad they smoke seriously, making as Mark Twain would say, quite a repast of it, leaning their elbows on the coping and staring reflectively at the water below. They do not talk much but the talk to them is often weighty. This is the village forum and its presiding spirit is mine host. As burly a specimen of the sons of Zebedee as you need wish to see. His rusty black Norfolk jacket seems almost a mark of distinction among the more common blue jerseys and guernseys of the smaller fries.
You wake at the Dolphin to the tune of wood pigeons in the woods opposite. I know of nothing prettier in our west country, and I have travelled far, than the scene which reaches you as you lift the window curtain of your bedchamber. The sun is shining brightly on picturesque Noss bathing the fields on one side of the creek in a flood of light, though on the other his rays have but touched the treetops. Long reflections rest upon the water only disturbed as some early fishing boat creeps slowly up with the tide.
But at low ebb the scene is not quite so attractive. The waters disappear altogether and Noss is divided from Newton by a wide channel of silt which under the hot sun or indeed under no sun at all is anything but savoury. And if you cross by the steppingstones you will find Noss is scarcely sweeter than the bed of its creek. The lower part of Newton is not altogether fragrant but at Noss sweetness is at a discount. It very very far behind the times in a matter of sanitation. And yet it has had warnings. About 170 years ago a pestilence carried off all but seven of its inhabitants and in 1849 it was ravaged by cholera. Newton escaped. "Nobody died over this side", they will tell you with pride, "except a person who would go to Noss and he brought back the cholera with him".
Still Noss is not as bad as it was and had it not been for the pig- headedness of two people who would not consent to Lord Revelstoke’s scheme of improvement might by this time have been as free from danger of disease and certainly quite as sweet as the waterside street of Newton Ferrers. What a pity it is that's so lovely a spot should suffer prejudice because two cantankerous individuals prefer their own selfish ends to the public good.
Following a couple of serious crashes along the road linking Newton Ferrers to Yealmpton recently, there has been an outcry regarding speed limits.
Whilst there are many suggested solutions, there is a consensus that there is a problem that traffic speed is too high! This is not a new problem, there have been attempts in the past to get something done. Residents do not need to specify a solution but demonstrate the need. Reduced speed limits may not be the answer if the aim can be achieved by engineering. The "experts" in the Highways Authority should be able to identify cost effective solutions.
Government guidance says:
Traffic authorities are asked to keep their speed limits under review with changing circumstances, and to consider the introduction of more 20 mph limits and zones, over time, in urban areas and built-up village streets that are primarily residential, to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists
Speed limits should be part of a package with other speed management measures including engineering and road geometry that respect the needs of all road users and raise the driver’s awareness of their environment - - - - should also help drivers to be more readily aware of the road environment and to drive at an appropriate speed at all times.
The local Highways Authority, Devon County Council, have just approved an increase in highway spending by over 50 per cent for this year, that's an additional £27 million, making a total of over £80 million. Devon has 8000 miles of road so that's £10,000 per mile. So where has that been spent in this parish? With just 21 miles of roads, and one stretch of B classified road, are we forgotten?
If you wish to voice your concern, you could email those with some influence over the purse strings:
Councillor John Hart, of Bovisand, DCC Cabinet Chair: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Richard Hosking of Ugborough our DCC local Councillor: email email@example.com
Councillor Stuart Hughes DCC Cabinet Member for Highways Management: email firstname.lastname@example.org
with copies to our SHDC Councillors:
Councillor Keith Baldry, South Hams DC email Cllr.Keith.Baldry@southhams.gov.uk, and
Councillor Daniel Thomas email Cllr.Dan.Thomas@southhams.gov.uk.
and our Parish Council email email@example.com
Jungles Under the Sea.
Beneath the water in many sheltered parts of our coast lie lush green meadows of seagrass; marine flowering plants with stems and leaves, roots and flowers. Seagrasses can grow from a single seed, but meadows normally form by the spread of roots and rhizomes – much like couch grass found in many gardens.
At low spring tides exposed seagrass beds look limp and lifeless. But as the tide returns and the leaves float up, an underwater jungle rich in marine life comes alive. As well as providing vital food and shelter, this jungle is the spawning ground and nursery area for many other species; some of these, eg, Bass & Bream are commercially important too.
Even though the virus restrictions are being slowly lifted (for now) ~ Did you know –
Hopefully that’s the last we will write on the virus!
Wycherley, 66 Yealm Road
Of interest this month is an application for substantial alterations to Wycherley, a prominent house set above Yealm Road.
Further detail can be obtained by following the link below:
This application seeks approval to extend the house over the existing garage and for the replacement of the first floor to create a new first floor layout with the addition of a new raised pitched gable roof at the eastern end.
A balcony is to be created on the south elevation of the first floor. At the rear an existing garden store and greenhouse will be replaced to create a large garden room, to include a shower room and an open side covered area for a hot tub. Concerns may centre on the use of the hot tub and potential for disturbance of neighbours.
It may also be possible for the new garden room to be used for additional accommodation.
The application mentions a new conservatory, but following a check with the architect this has been confirmed as an error, there is no conservatory.
Wycherley (south elevation)
Appeal Result boathouse at Tamarinda, Yealm View Road
A disappointing outcome to the long awaited planning appeal for a new boathouse at Tamarinda, Yealm View Road, has been decided in favour of the development.
Some of the protections we believed were provided by the Neighbourhood Plan seem to have been swept aside by this decision, namely Policy N3P-2: Protecting the Waterfront and N3P-9: Protecting the Landscape. Both were intended to draw a line under continuing development of the natural waterfront of the Yealm.
The decision also undermines the ability of the Neighbourhood Plan to control development outside the Village Development Boundary (VDB). Although the proposed boathouse lays on the edge of the VDB and only partly outside of it, the Planning Inspector commented:
“Policy N3P-1of the Neighbourhood Plan (The Village Settlement Boundaries), states that outside the VSB development will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances, and where it will meet an essential local need which cannot otherwise be met. Therefore, on a straightforward reading of the Policy alone, the boathouse would conflict with it.
However, the Policy is included under the heading “Housing” at paragraph 3.3, and its stated objective is that the scale and amount of housing is in keeping with the size of the settlement and locality.
Paragraphs 4.2 to 4.5 of the supporting text for the Policy refer to how housing requirements can be met whilst retaining the VSB, with no mention of other forms of development. Therefore, on consideration of the Neighbourhood Plan as a whole, the aim of the Policy seems to be to restrict housing development outside the VSB, rather than to place a blanket prohibition on all forms of development in the countryside.
Policy TTV26 of the Plymouth & South West Devon Joint Local Plan 2014-2034 (adopted 2019) (the Local Plan) also addresses the issue of development in the countryside. In seeking to protect the special characteristics and role of the countryside it has a two-pronged approach. Firstly, isolated development in the countryside will be avoided, and only permitted in exceptional circumstances. Secondly, there is a set of criteria that apply to all development proposals. The presumption against development in the countryside is therefore limited to isolated proposals, which is different to the blanket prohibition on development outside the VSB in Policy N3P-1 of the Neighbourhood Plan. The Local Plan has become part of the development plan more recently than the Neighbourhood Plan. Therefore, in accordance with Section 38(5) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended), I conclude that the approach to development in the countryside, under Policy TTV26, should take precedence over the approach in Policy N3P-1 of the Neighbourhood Plan. The boathouse would be very closely related to the built form of the settlement of Newton Ferrers, and it would be near to a similar boathouse on the foreshore. On the evidence before me, part of the boathouse would be within the VSB. It would not, therefore, be isolated development, so the first part of Policy TTV26 would not apply. Therefore, based on the particular circumstances of this case, I conclude that development plan policies relating to the countryside, taken as a whole, do not result in the proposal being unacceptable in principle.”
It will be regrettable if this interpretation overrides the limitation on development outwith the VDB, provided in the Neighbourhood Plan.
Protection of the footpath adjacent to the Tamarinda boathouse during construction was a particular concern and the decision requires a Construction Management Plan to be agreed prior to commencement.
To ensure that the building is limited to its approved use, there is a condition that the (flat) roof shall not be used for a sitting out area, terrace or similar form of amenity.