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Plantation House

From: “Geoffrey Osborn.
Subject: Re: Plantation House, Bennet Road Salcombe TQ8 8JJ
Date: 19 March 2018 15:50:48 GMT

Re: Plantation House, Bennett Road Salcombe TQ8 8JJ

Dear Viv et al,
I was alerted to this from Cathy, via Bob Harvey, the other day.
This is my response to them, fyi:

“Dear Cathy and Bob,

Many thanks for forwarding Cathy’s email, Bob. I entirely agree that the wooded areas in this part of Salcombe are a priceless asset, which ought to be preserved for posterity, as they help to give Salcombe its unique character, especially when viewed from the estuary.

I see from Savills’ website that they have Plantation House on the market for £2.5m, pointing out its redevlopment potential.

This type of case is very difficult. The CAF has a statutory duty to get the best price possible, and Savills have a similar duty to their client. In the end it is the officers and members of SHDC who have the power to save areas such as this, even if the house is demolished and rebuilt, as seems to be a frequent occurrence in Salcombe and elsewher in the South Hams. If and when a planning application is submitted the planners can, if they wish, impose strict conditions to protect the woodland. Patrick Whymer is the senior planning officer at SHDC at present.

Have you alerted Salcombe’s representative on SHDC?

The existence of TPOs should help, but as you say, unscrupulous owners may not fear a small fine in their overall scheme of things.

I assume there are no other designations (apart form it being in the AONB) such as Site of Special Scientific Interest (probably very unlikely to satisfy the necessary criteria), or even County Wildlife Site, which could help. Natural England and Devon CC respectively.

Is it in a Conservation Area? If so, planning permission is needed to fell any trees.

Salcombe TC is preparing a Neighbourhood Plan, which you mention Cathy, so it would be good to know if they have any comment on this site. Can it have “Local Green Space” protection if it has no public access? I don’t know the answer to that.

As for the role of the AONB in cases like this, they have a management plan which says that any development should protect and enhance the landscape of the AONB. They usually then only become directly involved when a planning application is submitted and they have the opportunity to object, if, that is, they feel strongly enough about it, and what’s more, if they have the resources to do so, which is not always the case, sadly.

Nevertheless, I will bring this one to the attention of Roger English (although he is on sick leave at present) to alert him and his team to the possible future problem.

Have you raised this with Vivien or Ray at SHS?

I’m not sure if this helps, but the more people who are ion the lookout for actions on this site the greater the chance of stopping anything untoward taking place.”

Hope this may help.

Best wishes,

Geoffrey

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From: Cathy Koo <cathykoo3@gmail.com>
Subject: Plantation House, Bennet Road Salcombe TQ8 8JJ
Date: 19 March 2018 12:55:47 GMT

Dear Viv and Ray

Hope you are both keeping well?

I am writing to alert you to the imminent sale of Plantation House on Bennet Road in Salcombe. As you both will know this property sits on an important site in Salcombe running almost the entire length of Bennet Rd ( I have provided a map at bottom of the message). It is one of the last large plots  ( over an acre) of  undeveloped land with uninterrupted views of the estuary and will no doubt be eyed keenly by developers who could make a fortune from it.

The property and woodland belonged to my late stepfather Dr Harold Stanley  and he has gifted it to the Charities Aid foundation (CAF)  who will be marketing  it this week with Savils for £2.5 million.    Any new buyer, unless we are very lucky and it gets sold to  someone with a conscience,  will  doubtless  be seeking a return on their investment and not in acorns!

The woodland  is the subject of a protective zone  which was set up  in 1958 by Miss Jennings  but it is only the trees that were alive in 1958 that are protected –  not the new growth ( which forms the bulk of the woodland). Unfortunately there are no TPO’s  on these trees and so there is no protection for them at the moment. I fear that as they are mature trees they impede the view of the mouth of the estuary and would be at risk of felling by the new owner.

The local tree warden Mark Long Marklong.connect@btinternet.com has visited the site and shares my concerns for these woods and  is of the opinion that the whole site must be protected as soon as possible. Bearing in mind the value of land in Salcombe and the  indiscriminate and unlawful felling of trees that goes on in Salcombe these woods must surely be worth of some serious SHS attention?  for without them there will be no verdant  tree canopy along the  mouth of the estuary.

Neither of you need me to tell you of the view of  Salcombe from the water –  you already  know how lovely those woods are and  how important their protection must be. They provide one of the last refuges for many birds and mammals and a much needed balance to the  now dense development in Salcombe town itself.

I have attached a screenshot of the ID map at the bottom of this message – which as you will see  shows where these woods lie.  They are the at heart of the whole woodland area which basically runs from  the estuary to the top of the hill. They provide a clear  uninterrupted route  for deer, badgers and all manner of birdlife –  not to mention the public footpath that runs through the middle of it. Without Plantation House woods  the neighbouring woodland  which surrounds it at Woodcot which is owned by Age UK (who are already trying to  develop the land ) and The Plantation will become two isolated little copses.

I already have the bit between my teeth and have alerted various SHS members as well as Justn Haque CPRE,  Roger English AONB, Ross Kennerley, Woodland trust, Sue Hallet Forestry Commission and will alert the Devon Wildlife Trust and various other bodies to get their support. Mike Richards  is I believe raising the matter with the NDP steering group this Tuesday,  but it is imperative that the SHS acquaints itself  with the situation as a matter of priority.

I am happy to write an email to the  SHS members  (and you may disagree with me here Ray) but I believe that if enough noise is made now it will alert people to what is at stake and may even save Salcombe’s last little bit of green.

Do contact me if you need any further information.

Many thanks

Cathy

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From: Michael Richards
Date: 19 March 2018 at 11:14:40 GMT
Subject: The Plantation woodland.

Good morning ,  I note that the Plantation is identified as a local protected green space in the consultation draft NDP .
I was informed by Gill Claydon ( STC Clerk ) last Thursday that all of the woodland below the public footpath and down to Bennett road belongs to the property Plantation House and is not afforded protection under the NDP remit.
Although there is no public access through the Plantation House woodland the footpath does run parallel above it and there’s a major arterial road below it , so there is a clear case of ethereal community amenity.
I am told that Cllr. Mark Long ( tree warden ) and Alex Whish  ( SHDC tree Officer ) will be inspecting this woodland in the next few days to assess what protection measures they can put in place , that protection would surely be enhanced by adoption alongside the Woodland trust area above the footpath into the draft NDP.
This iconic woodland and it’s precious amenity must be protected from fragmentation and destruction of habitat and wildlife and I ask that you will be able to rectify the current situation and adopt ALL of the Plantation woodland within the draft NDP.
I enclose for your inspection the I D plan of the Plantation House owned woodland.
Yours sincerely,
Mike Richards .

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