Public presentation about Local Needs Housing – 2nd March 2019

A public presentation about proposals for affordable housing in Brentor has been arranged by Brentor Parish Council for 2nd March 2019 from 12.00pm to 3.00pm at Brentor Village Hall.  The Parish Clerk sent the following letter for display on this website:-

Dear Parishioners

A public presentation on the proposed Local Needs Housing development at Hammer Park Brentor, has been arranged for Saturday 2nd March following the Coffee Morning and continuing until 3pm.

Housing Officers from WDBC will be in attendance to outline the proposals and to answer questions which residents may have and which are not covered by the extensive information given at the moment on the village website, which covers the housing proposal.

Please try and attend and give your views on how you would like the building design to look, should this development proposal take place.

Thank you.

Brentor Parish Council

Learn to Paint in Water Colours!

Caro Woods, the Brentor artist who lives in the old Chapel that is now her studio, is offering a four-week ‘taster’ course for enthusiastic amateur watercolour painters and improvers.  Learn to handle the special qualities of water colours; tone, colour mixing, textures and composition.  Drawing materials and paper will be provided.  Bring your own paints and brushes.  Please contact Caro if you need advice on buying materials.

The course will be on Tuesday mornings, 10.00am – 1.00 pm, beginning 26th February, 2019.

£40 for the 4-week course (£10 per morning).

‘Landslip’ by Caro Woods, watercolour and body colour on card

 

Please contact Caro for more details, telephone 811026 or see her website by clicking here.

New proposals for Local Needs Housing in Brentor

The concept plan for the site which was displayed at the drop-in session

At the drop-in session about possible local needs housing, held at Brentor Village Hall on Saturday 17th November 2018, visitors were able to view concept layout plans for up to 12 houses at Hammer Park. They were also able to question representatives of the Parish Council and West Devon Borough Council about the proposals. The recent Brentor Parish housing needs survey has demonstrated that, with existing housing list members, there is demand for up to 12 new homes. These would be built at Hammer Park as a ‘small affordable housing exception site’ scheme, which allows for the building of principally affordable housing in the National Park.

The current landowner has generously agreed to provide the Hammer Park site for an extremely reasonable sum, which would therefore enable the houses to be truly affordable.  A mix of perhaps three full market value homes (which would cross-subsidise the others), three discounted homes and six rented properties would in all likelihood make the scheme economically viable. Open market properties are commonly needed due to the decline of funding for local needs housing.

The full market value homes would be marketed only to people from Brentor Parish in the first instance, such as those wishing to downsize from their existing home. The discounted homes would be sold to local people at a much reduced price (which might be at about 40% discount, but in the future they could only be sold on for a similar discount to other local people). The rental properties would be rented only to people from the Parish initially.

In the future, if there were no takers for any of the properties from within the Parish they could only be occupied by people from within adjoining parishes, and if there was no demand from them, only by people from within the National Park. These properties will never be allowed to become second homes or holiday homes. The s106 planning agreement would include this detail to ensure that the properties were targeted for local people to the parish in perpetuity.

There would be a possibility of including some single-storey properties for the elderly if there is demand.

It was made clear that this development will only go ahead if there is support from people in Brentor, and this will probably need to be gauged by the Parish Council. If it does go ahead there would be full consultation about the mix of properties, their layout, materials and design. They would be well built, reflect the local vernacular, and be low-carbon emission. The properties would probably be built by West Devon Borough Council and retained by them as their own housing stock.

There are other possible housing sites in Brentor, such as the field behind the bus shelter in the village centre (which is currently listed by Dartmoor National Park as being suitable for development with up to 29 homes). If the site at Hammer Park were to go ahead the likelihood of development elsewhere in the village would be reduced for the foreseeable future.  West Devon Borough Council and the Parish Council clearly understood the sensitivity of this issue and the feeling in the village that it will engender, but they explained that that there is considerable pressure from Government for each Parish area to provide housing for local needs.

If you need further information about this issue contact Alex Rehaag from the West Devon Borough Council housing team – tel 01822 813600. This issue will no doubt be discussed at forthcoming Parish Council meetings – details of these are on the Parish Council pages of this website.

Watch this space for more information as it emerges.

If you want to find information about earlier proposals for local needs housing in Brentor click here.

Closure of Butcher Park Hill from 11 February for 14 weeks

A main route from Brentor toTavistock is closed for around three months as groundworks for a the new Embden Grange housing estate, being built on the northern edge of Tavistock, are being carried out.  Butcher Park Hill will be closed until at least Friday 17 May unless the work is completed more quickly.  The road closure has been granted by Devon County Council so that the developer of the 120 houses being built at the top of the hill, (Barratt Developments PLC) can instal sewerage and gas pipes and modify the BT cable.  A footpath is also planned to be built at the same time.

Although the closure is anticipated for 14 weeks, the closure order is for up to 18 months, so the closure could be extended if there are delays to the works.

Brenstock 2019 – 29th June

Brenstock, Brentor’s very own music festival, returns after a year’s break on Saturday 29th June

The fantastic musical lineup for this year will be ………. THE KINGSTONS – FIREBLOCKERS – Dad Dancing – Rufus Stoned  – The Strange & the Beautiful – Hannah & Trefoil – FoXXy & The Sinners – All Bar One – David Street – Morzim – Briar – Kidz Open Mic

More details will follow, so watch this space!Click here to see what happened at the previous festivals

Conservation work for Brentor Commons

The Tavistock Taskforce put in two solid days work on Bowden and Liddaton Down for the Brentor Commons Association.
On Bowden Common they have virtually opened up the full length of the ancient drovers route, once the main route from the north towards Tavistock before the roads went in.  We call it the ‘hollow way’ as it was eroded by hundreds of years of use by packhorses etc.  It is a lovely walk with fantastic views over towards Dartmoor.  There will be more work along here in coming months, such as hedge laying and coppicing of hazel to let more light in.
The Taskforce spent a very messy and muddy day removing and reducing invasive willow from the quarry pond on Liddaton Down.  The pond is a much-neglected feature that had been used in the past as an illegal dump and place for the dreaded fly tippers to dump rubbish over the years.  Incredibly it is home to a wide variety of invertebrates and molluscs, including our very rare mud snail.  In spring it is covered in a mass of frog spawn, deer go there to graze and drink and now hopefully more birds will come in to the open water.  Again more work will be done in the coming months to make the access easier and hopefully we will make some ‘rustic’ benches from the felled willow.
The work has been carried out by the Tavistock Taskforce who undertake restoration, renovation and environmental projects.  They have a wide range of volunteers including people with additional needs who are gaining work experience and qualifications.  I cannot express how amazed I was at their commitment , energy and positivity while working in pretty difficult conditions.
All of this work has been made possible by the amazing amount of money, £5501, that we have received from the Co-Op Good Causes Fund.  It’s great to recycle the money we have received back into another local organisation.
Will Walker-Smith

Keeping our roads clear of water

A cleared gulley in Burn Lane

Walking around Brentor you may have noticed that many of our roadside ditches and watercourses have been cleared of debris that has been building up during the summer and autumn. 
Water can now drain off the roads onto adjacent land and into ditches more easily, avoiding the formation of puddles that can be a danger to traffic and pedestrians. This is thanks to the work of the local Parish lengthsman, whose recent work has been funded by a grant obtained by the Parish Council.  Occasionally landowners have been known to block drains created by the lengthsman, but if you own open land next to the highway you are required by law to allow drainage from the road onto your land.

A cleared ditch in Burn Lane

Devon County Council also employs their own lengthsmen who are scheduled to work for four days a year in Brentor.  In addition if there is flooding or large puddles on a road the County Council will, 24 hours after the rain has stopped, take action if:

    • the road is impassable
    • the water is forcing vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians away from the nearside of the road by more than one metre
    • vehicles have to cross the centreline marking

They undertake to attempt to clear the standing water if appropriate. If unable to clear the water, they will set up a flood sign, guard the area or close the road to make the location safe and then investigate a permanent solution.
To find out more click here to visit the County Council’s highways website.

You can notify the County Council of flooding, potholes and other road problems by clicking here and following the links.

The parish lengthsman can only do a limited amount of clearing in the time he has, so it’s worth watching out for blocked gullies and drains and helping by keeping them clear of debris!

Brentor and the First World War

To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War  Brentor Archive Group has done a huge amount of work to research what happened in Brentor during WWI.  Irene Cradick has researched the lives and service of local men who died in the war and who are listed on the Brentor War Memorial.   She has also brought together many other accounts of those who survived the war – all this makes fascinating and poignant reading.

The results of her research on those who lost their lives can be seen by clicking here.

To find out more about the people and families in Brentor who contributed to the war effort click here.

Do you have memories of the Brentor Inn?

Harvest Festival at the Brentor Inn, 1970

There are many people in Brentor who remember happy times in the Brentor Inn when it was open – a real meeting place for the community.  Do you have any photographs that could be made into a gallery about the pub on this website?  Here’s a good one as a starter…….

The Brentor Inn (named Brentor Hotel) in its heyday
Sale poster of the Herrings Inn, 1838

Did you know that the Brentor Inn used to be called The Herrings Arms – no doubt because for many years the Herring family owned Langstone and local land, including some alongside Burn Lane.

What a shame that Brentor no longer has a pub that is open.  Back in May 2005 Brentor News carried the following article:-

‘ Brentor Inn Update
The new owners of the Brentor Inn – Cynthia and Dudley Smith, daughter Emma Harcourt- Smith and partner Andy Stone – are hoping to open by Christmas.  Since buying The Brentor Inn last June, they have needed several re-thinks on structure, design and layout but now feel they have an achievable scheme and “will be applying for planning permission for the changes within the next two weeks”.
Changes will include a new kitchen, toilets and a cellar. The intention is to open initially as a pub with a range of beers and simple but goodbar food. The function room will open later – hopefully with restaurant facilities.
Sharp-eyed passers-by will have noticed the recent appearance in the car park of a JCB, which has been purchased for the construction. The family has engineering experience in varying forms – which should help.
We are happy to report that they all categorically deny any rumours about applying for change of use! ‘

Don’t just moan about potholes – report them!

A pothole on Brentor Road – it was reported and is now repaired!

A winter approaches potholes seem to appear overnight in our local roads.  It is easy to report them for repair – click here to go to the Devon County Council roads and transport website page to report them.

You’ll need to take a photograph and note where the pothole is, so that you can mark its position on the County Council’s website,  but it’s easy and worthwhile to do and it could prevent an accident.

If you are reporting an emergency that requires immediate attention, please call the County Council on 0345 155 1004.  An emergency on the highway is defined as something that is very likely to present an imminent threat to life or serious injury or serious damage to property.

Where next for Brentor broadband?

NEWS

The Government is introducing a Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband provision and is aiming for this to be in place by 2020 at the latest.  This should apply to Brentor residents who cannot receive an Airband signal and who currently have less than 10mbs broadband download speed.  Below is the House of Commons Library Briefing that details the Government’s plans to introduce a Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband.  It was published on June 5, 2018.

What is the broadband USO?

The UK Government is introducing a Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband. The new USO is a UK-wide measure to deliver broadband connections to the hardest to reach premises in the UK. It is intended to fill the gap left by the UK Government’s existing broadband roll-out programs.
The USO will provide a legal right to request a broadband connection of at least 10 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed. Eligible consumers and businesses will be able to request a connection under the USO and a Universal Service Provider(s) will be required to fulfil all requests up to a cost threshold of £3,400. The USO will be funded by industry through a cost-sharing fund.
The USO is underpinned by secondary legislation made under the Digital Economy Act 2017, and will be implemented by Ofcom. The Digital Economy Act allows for the Government to review the USO and to increase the minimum speed. There was broad cross-party and consumer support for the introduction of a statutory USO for broadband in general, but there were mixed views from industry stakeholders as to how universal access to broadband should be delivered.

Technical specifications
The minimum technical standards for connections made under the USO will be:

  • Minimum download speed of 10 Mbps.
  • Minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps.
  • Additional quality parameters: medium response times, a minimum data cap of 100 GBs and a contention rate of 50:1 (which means a maximum of 50 users to share one bandwidth).

A mix of technologies that meet the minimum specifications will be used to deliver the service.  In 2016 Ofcom advised that satellite connections will probably be the only option for some consumers (approx. 0.2%) but may not be able to fulfil the additional quality parameters.

When will the USO be implemented?

The Government is aiming for the USO to be in place by 2020 at the latest. Secondary legislation was laid in Parliament in March 2018, and came into force on 23 April 2018. Ofcom has responsibility to implement the USO and that process is expected to take up to two years. Several factors need to be finalised, such as the designation of a universal service provider, and the design of an industry cost-sharing fund. Ofcom’s first document on the USO implementation is expected in summer 2018.

How many premises will be eligible?

Ofcom reported that as of January 2018, 925,000 premises in the UK (3%) would qualify for the USO based on the proposed technical specifications.
The USO will be available only to those consumers that do not have access to broadband connections that fulfil the minimum standards, not those who have such a connection available but choose not to subscribe to it. The number of premises covered by the USO will ultimately depend on the number of consumers that register.

Click here to see the full Government report as a PDF


So that is where those of us without Airband access are at the moment.  If anyone in Brentor has further information please do contact the website Editor, Colin Dawes, at colinvdawes@btinternet.com.  It might well be worth lobbying Geoffrey Cox MP to ensure that the Government’s commitment to the USO (Universal Service Obligation)is actually implemented by 2020 as promised!

For more information about how this issue has evolved click here


You can still check your broadband speed by clicking here. (Just click the button marked ‘Start Speed Test’ below the two dials).

 

Colin Dawes, Editor

Brentor Commons update – September 2018

After a few rather quiet walks around the common over the past month or so, it was a pleasure to see and hear a return to a much more active habitat.  On parking my car I was greeted with a mixed flock of long tailed, blue and great tits being very mobile and calling continuously to each other.  There may well have been other birds with them but they quickly moved away.  On walking across to see the new heather planting I disturbed first one then another snipe. The second of these birds flew directly away, not zigzagging, and with no rasping “schaarp”.  This may have been a Jack Snipe, a close but smaller relative of the common snipe.
As I moved further along the common, a party of ten or so meadow pipits were moving from the telephone wires to the ground and back, a typical feeding behaviour for meadow pipits.  As I watched them a great spotted woodpecker flew up and across the common clearly showing its white wing bar and undulating flight.
Along the bridle path I came across a stinkhorn fungi pushing up through the leaf litter.  My attention was drawn to it by the swarm of flies that were clearly were aware of its reputed smell of rotting flesh.  I did not try to smell it.
There are still a good crop of sloes on the blackthorn and another bonanza of the glorious summer are the sweet chestnut fruit to be found on the ground under the trees at the end of the track to Burcombe farm.  The trees are not that mature so it is good to see them producing fruit already.  They are not very big, but large enough to roast.
Finally, as I returned to my car, I saw a couple of butterflies taking advantage of the late afternoon sunshine.  Poppy had enjoyed her exercise and I felt well rewarded with an interesting and busy perspective of our common.

Barry Albrighton

Click here to see earlier monthly Commons updates by Barry Albrighton

We need your contributions!

Do you have an interesting photo, an informative item about the village or an event that you need to promote?
We want to keep this website topical, local and up-to-date, so please send your potential contributions to the Editor at brentorvillage@btinternet.com .

Ongoing community issues

This section of the website sets out to provide a source of information about issues which are of ongoing concern to our village.  Often these issues first appear on this home page, but require additional space to do them justice.

Click here for information about Broadband provision for Brentor
Click here for information about Affordable Housing provision in Brentor
Click here for information about the possible new railway line through Brentor (part of the Dawlish alternative route)

We want your recipes!

This website now has a recipes page, but there’s only a few recipes on it! 
As we all know, lot of Brentor’s social life revolves around cooking and eating with family and friends.  The recipes on the new page have been provided by Brentor residents past and present.  No doubt some have been adapted and improved as the years pass – and they are reminders of residents past and present and of many good times around the table, as well as being household favourites.
WE NEED LOTS MORE RECIPES!  So please email your contributions – a recipe with a small introductory text – to the editor, Colin Dawes, at brentorvillage@btinternet.com . 

Click here to go to the Recipe Book page

Sign up to receive Brentor event reminders by email!

How often do you think ‘I wish I had remembered to go to that!’?
If you sign up for the free village event reminder service that won’t happen again.
For many special village events or activities you will receive an email reminder during the week before the event. Occasionally events are put on at short notice and may only be advertised by this service.
So why not join over 80 households who have already signed up!
To take advantage of this free service just send your email to brentorinfo@btinternet.com.
Colin Dawes
 

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