Leaflets have been dropping through some local letterboxes inviting comment on the upcoming development of the northern edge of Plymouth, between Woolwell and Bickleigh – filling in most of the open country on one side of the road out as far as the Green Cafe (Dartmoor Diner) but skirting the old airport, in case it is needed again.


Consultation is almost over, the necessary final permissions are expected to go through over the next four months and most of the interest now is likely to be from people wanting a house there.


About 30 percent of the 2,000 homes, possibly more if the politicians insist, are supposed to be “affordable”, in various ways including social housing for rent, part-ownership deals, starter mortgages, etcetera. Shops, school, park, roundabouts, sports fields and community centre also schemed, to serve a likely new population of close to 5,000. No estimates yet available for prices or rents but the building cost will be about £100,000 a house, on top of land costs.

The development, by a national private company called Barwood Land, a specialist in brokering deals, has been under discussion for more than four years and most of the land has already been bought, so the first building could start this year.


It is supposed to cater for local needs identified by South Hams Council and Plymouth Council in particular and the developers insist that local connections will be a strict condition for the subsidised housing. Existing locals complain that this rule is so loose Devon is taking overspill from the big cities but the planners say they do not want to do this and it will not happen in this case.


From the point of view of commuters from the Tavistock direction, most of the objections are likely to be about obstructions to the A386 during building and increased traffic afterwards.

Barwood say all this has been taken into account. The building will be staged to keep lorry traffic down. Within the new estates, parking will mainly be off-road and pedestrians and cyclists and buses will be encouraged. And at the junctions with the A386, some road widening is now promised. It is estimated that 7,000 people a day travel into Plymouth daily from the South Hams area alone and the thinking is that a lot of them will move in closer to their work – at Derriford Hospital, Marjon University and so on – and take some pressure off the roads.

A spokeswoman said: “We have done a lot of consultation already in the immediate area and acted on it. But we are still listening and we are now encouraging feedback from all communities within a five-mile radius, including Yelverton area.”


However, at this stage in the game, any formal objections should also be made to South Hams Council, which will take three or four months to consider the final planning applications.


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Fun amdram events taking bookings:

Meavy players doing their own panto, Ice Queen of Meavy, with big input from Walkhampton Inn crowd, Feb 15-19.

Buckland Monachorum Drama Group doing Dick Turpin next week, Weds-Sat Feb 5-8.


Sharp comic Mark Thomas plays first gig in Plymouth at student venue The Red House Theatre, 6 pm this Sat Feb 1.

Actress Kathy Burke is director of a new play running at Theatre Royal, Plymouth, all next week.

Drakes of Tavistock have their regular monthly auction Monday Feb 3, with viewing over weekend.


And the big news of the month  …

Tom Jones booked for Plymouth June 19. Sale starts at Ticketstore tomorrow (Friday).



Government inspectors meet at DNPA headquarters in Bovey Tracey from Feb 25 to consider the application to build a small village of chalets at Magpie Bridge. Lift available from The Shed if anyone else wants to go.



Might have been our slip, but before the general election we said Geoffrey Cox, answering questions from Greens in Tavistock, had said that even the Conservative Party was committed to getting petrol and diesel cars off the road by 2030. Sounded ambitious and after failing to find this promise anywhere else, we asked for clarification.

His office said: “The Committee on Climate Change advises the government on emissions targets and reports to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The CCC advised the Government last year that the target for banning petrol and diesel cars, and to ensure all new cars are zero-emission models, should be brought forward from 2040 to 2035. The current target is 2040. The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to “consult on the earliest date by which we can phase out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars.” I anticipate proposals will be brought forward in due course regarding that consultation.”

In short, given the madness of green politics, it could happen.



Letter to Tavistock Council:

Dear Sirs and Madams. It is probably impossible for all sorts of health and safety reasons but may a small committee of oldsters suggest that a person with a mop and bucket and basic DIY skills should be easily found to keep a set of toilets in acceptable condition during the busy hours of most days – in return for a £1 coin from those who can afford it? Might do a shift ourselves. Yours from The Shed, Horrabridge.



Allfornow …

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.