Broadband update – no hope for faster broadband in Brentor until 2017 or later

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the local broadband survey over the last year or so.  The results can be seen by clicking on the link below – please note that these are the combined results for Brentor, Mary Tavy and Peter Tavy, all served by the Mary Tavy telephone exchange.  The speed results are for Brentor only and show that 88% of broadband users in the parish get less than 2 mbs download speed and 89% achieve less than 0.49 mbs upload speed.  The government’s target of 90% of broadband users having 2 mbs download speed is clearly not the case in our parish!

Click here for the Broadband survey results

The Parish Council has been in touch with our local MP concerning the plans for improving our broadband speed.  Councillor Drury met with our MP on behalf of Brentor Parish and has received two copy responses as a result of his discussions:

1)   From Devon County Council to our MP – click on this link to see the letter DCC letter to MP

2)   An e-mail from BT to our MP.  Click on this link to see this e-mail – BT response

The Editor of this website, Colin Dawes, has also been in contact with ‘Connecting Devon and Somerset’ about his apallingly slow broadband connection and received this e-mail from Ed Cross of the ‘Superfast Broadband Team’ on 29th September 2014.  So it looks as if Brentor has no hope of faster broadband until at least 2017 or later!

It would seem that the best way forward will be for us all to register our interest in this issue and keep all parties involved fully aware of our desire for a better broadband connection!  Why not follow BT’s own advice……………..register interest with the project team and keep in touch with them for any further updates.  The web link below has more information:

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

Sites for affordable housing in Brentor – update

The village of North Brentor has been identified by Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNP) as a rural settlement where the provision of a small number of affordable houses to meet an identified local need could be permitted. Suitable sites will be within or adjoining the settlement and well related to the existing buildings.

  • Following an appeal for suitable sites for affordable housing nine locations were put forward by the deadline of 30th September 2013.  These were initially assessed by the Community Council of Devon and have already been visited by representatives of Dartmoor National Park Authority Planning, West Devon Borough Council, and the Community Council of Devon, accompanied by Brentor Parish Councillors. Following this, the Dartmoor National Park Authority has produced an assessment of all the sites and a shortlist of those considered to merit further investigation.  All these documents are available on this website from the ‘Affordable Housing – Background documents’ section below.
  • The sites put forward and a shortlist from these were discussed at a special Parish Council meeting on Monday 24th February 2014.
  • A drop in session, where parishioners were able to ask questions about the affordable housing on a one-to-one basis with Parish Councillors, representatives of DNP and WDBC etc, was held on 17th March 2014 and was attended by some 80 parishioners, many of whom filled in feedback forms for the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Planners.  The sites map and consultation/background document available at the session and a feedback form are all available to view or download from the ‘Affordable Housing – Background documents’ section below.
  • Tim Beavon, Chair of the Brentor Parish Council, provided the following update on 17th April 2014:The initial assessment by DNPA of the sites put forward concluded that site 9 was undeliverable following a report that the land price required was too high.  In response to receiving a letter advising him that the site was considered undeliverable the owner has been in contact with DNPA and confirmed that affordable housing land prices are acceptable to him, making the site an option for affordable housing. DNPA has therefore revised its report, also updating some inconsistencies drawn to its attention at the consultation event.  The revised report is available below in the ‘background documents’ section.   
  • A question and answer session was held at the Village Hall on 12 May 2014, where  planning officers from DNPA, the Housing Officer from West Devon Borough Council and the Community Council of Devon’s Rural Housing Enabler answered questions about the plans for affordable housing. DNPA has completed a summary of the feedback received by 8 April on the possible sites for affordable housing. This is available in the ‘background documents’ section below.  Since receiving the feedback site 9, land at Station View, has been reassessed as deliverable therefore DNPA was able to accept further comments on this site.
  • Further discussion about affordable housing took place at a Parish Council Meeting on Monday 19th May 2014. The three Parish Councillors not affected by a declaration of interest were asked to rank the five shortlisted sites in order of preference and the result of the voting was as follows, in order of preference:-  Site 2 (War Memorial), site 3 (Shell Park), Site 1 (Hammer Park), Site 4 (Station Road) and site 9 (Station View).  This order of preference has been passed on to the Dartmoor National Park Authority planners.  The full minutes of the Parish Council meeting are available in the ‘Parish Council’ pages of this website.
  • The Dartmoor National Park Authority planners wrote to the owners/developers of the shortlisted sites, asking them to fill in a questionnaire about the deliverability of their sites – a copy of this letter and the questionnaire are available below in the ‘background documents’ section. 
  • DNPA has now provided its report on the responses made by landowners to the questionnaire on whether the sites can be developed to provide affordable housing in a reasonable period of time. The report is available below and is also pinned on the village notice board outside the village hall.
  • Officers from DNPA and WDBC will attend the next parish council meeting (Monday 15 September, starting at 19:30) and will be able to respond to any questions which you may have on the report. The parish council will consider the report at that meeting.
  • DNPA has also reported that a planning application has been submitted for the development of 12 houses at the Hammer Park site. As not all of the requirements regarding the drawings and supporting information have been met at the time of writing the application is not valid and no information on it is publicly available. Once the application is valid it will be published on the DNPA weekly list of planning applications received, and a site notice will be displayed advertising where the plans can be viewed, and how you may comment on these plans. A notice will also be placed in the local newspaper.
  • For further general information about affordable housing contact the Rural Housing Enabler, Sue Southwell, at the Community Council of Devon, telephone 01392 248919 ext 122.

Affordable Housing – Background documents

The following links are for documents which relate to the topic of affordable housing in Brentor.  Click on them to go to the relevant website and document:

Brentor Housing Needs Survey Report, February 2011, produced by the Community Council for Devon on behalf of the Devon Rural Housing Partnership

Brentor Housing Needs Survey comments, February 2011.  Comments provided by respondents to the survey to question C8 of the Brentor Housing Needs Survey.  Please note that these are unedited comments and are provided on this website in response to a request to the current Parish Council by a local parishioner.  This document was released by the Community Council for Devon in response to a request by the Parish Council.

General information about affordable housing on the Dartmoor National Park website

Dartmoor National Park Development Plan on the Dartmoor National Park website

Dartmoor National Park Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), relating to Affordable Housing in Dartmoor National Park, from the Dartmoor National Park website

Brentor Affordable Housing Sites assessment produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority

Brentor Affordable Housing Sites shortlist produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority

17th March 2014 drop-in session background/consultation document, produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority

(Left) Annotated plan of sites put forward for consideration, produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority and displayed at the 17th March 2014drop-in session.

Click on the plan to see an enlarged version


Housing sites consultation feedback form produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority.  Use this form to send your comments on affordable housing to the Dartmoor National Park planners.

Brentor Affordable Housing Sites Assessment (revised April 2014) - the latest Sites Assessment produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority

Brentor Affordable Housing Sites Shortlist (revised April 2014) - the latest Sites Shortlist produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority

Brentor Affordable Housing Sites Final Feedback Summary -  feedback from the 8th April 2014 drop-in session, compiled by the Dartmoor National Park Authority (final amended version made available on 12th May 2014)

Letter to the owners of shortlisted sites - a letter from the Senior Forward Planner at Dartmoor National Park Authority to the owners/developers of the shortlisted sites for affordable housing in Brentor,  introducing the questionnaire below

Questionnaire about the shortlisted sites – sent for completion by the Dartmoor National Park Authority to the owners/developers of the shortlisted affordable housing sites in Brentor (this has to be returned to the Authority by 1st August 2014)

 Review of landowner’s returnscompiled by the Dartmoor National Park Authority from the responses to the questionnaire about the shortlisted sites

Broadband wi-fi at the Village Hall

Thanks to a Devon Town and Village grant organised by Brentor Parish Council, the Village Hall now has wi-fi internet connection.  This is now available free of charge to users of the Hall – the password is displayed in the Hall.

The grant of £300 means that this provision is at no cost to the Hall for the first year – following this it will cost just under £200 per year, so it is hoped that useage will make this provision worthwhile continuing.

Currently there is no mobile telephone signal at the Hall and the telephone is for emergency 999 calls only, so the broadband connection will be particularly valuable in allowing users to make and receive Skype or Apple Facetime etc calls.  But please turn off your wi-fi devices during performances etc!

Brentor Village Hall and Playing Field Committee

Please register for better broadband in Brentor!

INCA Welcomes Broadband Funding & Launches Superfast Notspot Registration Scheme

The Independent Networks Co-operative Association has launched a registration scheme for people who want to access better broadband but can’t get it.  Announced  on the BBC Radio 4 You and Yours programme, the scheme encourages individuals, businesses and communities register their notspot information at

The information collected will be made available to alternative broadband providers looking for opportunities to serve areas that are left out of BT’s superfast broad band roll out plans.

Earlier this week the government announced the distribution of an additional £250m central funding amongst local authorities. Councils are expected to find matching funds making a pot of £500m to extend superfast broadband coverage. Alternative providers delivering fibre, wireless or satellite broadband are well placed to fill in many of the gaps, often more cost-effectively than BT.

David Cullen, INCA’s chair and a director of ITS Technology Group said, “Further government funding to extend superfast broadband into the hardest to reach areas is very welcome. There are many companies and community projects eager to get involved and help deliver a truly world class digital infrastructure for the whole of the UK. The Notspot Registration Scheme will identify pockets of pent up demand, helping private sector providers and local councils direct their efforts to best effect.”

For more information contact

Brentor and the First World War project

The Brentor Archive Group are planning to mark the centenary of the First World War by studying Brentor’s contribution to the war effort and how the experience changed life in the area.

They hope to hold a History Exhibition to include original items, photographs and documents from the time in November 2014 and would like as many people as possible to be involved in preparing for this exhibition and other events surrounding it.

Click here to find out more

Boundary Commission Electoral Review – Brentor could be voting with Bridestowe, not Mary Tavy, for reasons of ‘electoral equality’! Have your say!

electoral reform mapThe Independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people in West Devon borough for their views.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking for our comments on the proposed new electoral arrangements for West Devon Borough Council.

These arrangements affect who our local councillor will be – currently ours lives in Mary Tavy, but if the changes go through this will of course no longer be possible.  In the draft recommendations the reason Brentor Parish is being grouped with Bridestowe is described as follows: ‘We have also included the parish of Brentor in our Bridestowe ward. While Brentor Parish Council identified community links with Mary Tavy, we have not been able to include the parish in a ward with Mary Tavy as this would result in our Dartmoor ward having a poor level of electoral equality’.  Click here to see the whole report.

Wards, ward boundaries and ward names
The Commission’s recommendations propose new wards, ward boundaries and ward names across the West Devon borough.  They ask:

  • Do the proposed wards reflect local communities?
  • How do you think the proposals can be improved?
  • Are the names of the proposed wards right?

Find out more about the review on the Commission’s website.
Have your say by 21 July 2014!
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for us.  If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email them by 21 July 2014:
The Review Officer (West Devon)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
London EC1M 5LG

We need your contributions!

Bog asphodel on Gibbet Hill

Bog asphodel on Gibbet Hill, July 2014 – Photo by Colin Dawes

Bog asphodel on Gibbet Hill, July 2014

Do you have an interesting photo, an item about the village or an event that you need to promote?

We want to keep this site topical – send potential contributions to .