Parish wants to retain countryside
Villagers have said ‘enough is enough’ over development that has transformed the character of a small rural parish on the edge of Exeter.
Farringdon – a rural parish of 593 hectares in East Devon – lies between the A3052 and Exeter Airport, and includes the dispersed village of Farringdon and parts of Perkins Village and Rosamondford, as well as other scattered houses and farms.
The parish only has 140 dwellings and an estimated population of 368, not dissimilar to that in 1851 of 395, and is more akin to a collection of small hamlets, each with their own distinct appearance and rural character, than a village.
But despite being one of the smallest populated parishes in the district, thousands of people visit the parish daily, as it is home to both Crealy Adventure Park and the Hill Barton Business Park, both of which developed from previous farmsteads.
Over the last 20 years, nearly 15 per cent of the agriculture area of the Parish has changed to industrial or commercial, with the growth of employment activity both in and around the Parish having ‘not been without problems’.
Now, with the community feels that ‘enough is enough’, and in the Farringdon Neighbourhood Plan, for which consultation on is about to begin, the further ‘industrialisation’ of land within the Parish will not be supported and further change should be resisted.
Laura Fricker, chairman of, Farringdon Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, said: “It has been made clear that we are preparing a plan for an area that is vulnerable to change, much of which should be resisted. Our purpose has been to develop planning policies that allow for some change to take place, but not at the cost of everything that makes the area special.
“The parish of Farringdon is a countryside asset for East Devon and is protected as such by the Local Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan for Farringdon endeavours to accommodate necessary change, whilst maintaining the healthy and harmonious rural environment that has for so long prevailed.
“For our own and for future generations, we serve as the guardians of a historic rural environment: not just for the benefit of the people and wildlife who are fortunate to inhabit the area, but for the many who appreciate and get value from having the countryside close-by, and for those who enjoy its rural character whenever they visit or pass through.”
Consultation is now open for people to have their say on the plan which has been submitted to East Devon District Council by the parish council.
The district council is inviting people to comment on the plan up until Tuesday, October 20, before the plan goes to an independent examiner, who will inspect the plan against a series of ‘basic conditions’ that the plan must meet. Should the examiner conclude that the plan meets the basic conditions it will proceed as soon as possible to a local community referendum.
However, under the Coronavirus Act 2020, no referendums are currently allowed to be held before May 5, 2021, so unless the law is repealed or amended, residents won’t have their chance to vote on the Plan until next year.
If more than half of the electors in the local area vote in favour of the plan, it will become part of the statutory development plan for East Devon.