Friends of South Hams

This Web site is for those who love the South Hams “The jewel in the crown of Devon” and who wish to protect and enhance the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


England’s right-to-build laws are tokenistic and feeble – just ask the people of Totnes

George Monbiot Since 2007, people in Totnes had been working to transform a big derelict site, previously a milk-processing factory run by Dairy Crest, into a community project called Atmos.’  Among the most important democratic questions is how the land surrounding us is used. Is it providing homes we can afford, public services and green…

‘Pause on Planning for the Future White Paper proposals’

The CPRE note: As sources for the government confirm that they will be pausing their unpopular plans to change planning rules, we celebrate a successful campaign and urge Michael Gove: ‘take a fresh look’. Just over a year after the government put forward their original plans to change the rules that control what gets built and where, we’re…

Ministers drop shake-up of planning laws George Grylls, Political Reporter Saturday September 11 2021, 12.00pm, The Times The biggest shake-up of planning laws for 70 years is set to be abandoned after a backlash from voters and Tory MPs in southern England. Reforms designed to help ministers hit a target of 300,000 new homes annually…

Economic harm – Brexit and COVID

When it was predicted that Brexit would cause long-term harm to the UK economy (before the onset of the pandemic, numerous studies estimated the likely economic effects of Brexit and almost all predicted the impact to be negative in the long term (eg Dhingra et al., 2017; HM Treasury 2016) the predictions were dismissed as…

We can’t build our way out of the environmental crisis

George Monbiot September 2021 Dig for victory: this, repurposed from the second world war, could be the slogan of our times. All over the world, governments are using the pandemic and the environmental crisis to justify a new splurge of infrastructure spending. In the US, Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure framework “will make our economy more sustainable, resilient,…


Anthony Mangnall, MP for Totnes and Brixham, writes in today’s Western Morning News: But do his proposals go far enough? “South Devon is home to some of the most extraordinary views, landscapes and coastlines.  As a representative of the area, I am only too aware of the privilege I have in speaking up for such…

Beauty still betrayed: State of our AONBs 2021

Beauty-still-betrayed.pdf ( Executive summary: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), are some of the UK’s most distinctive and cherished landscapes. Despite this, for several years there have been concerns about an ambiguity in the policy wording that underpins the planning protection for AONBs. This is leading to local authorities findingdifficulty in applying weight to the…


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Be in the know!

Well informed council tax payers and voters with robust, wide open, uninhibited access to information is the best safeguard of any constituency. Freedom of information is very useful and necessary for all democracies. It is also your individual right. 

Planning ensures that the right development happens in the right place at the right time, benefiting communities and the economy. It plays a critical role in identifying what development is needed and where, what areas need to be protected or enhanced and in assessing whether proposed development is suitable. 

Local people should take the lead in shaping their neighbourhoods and elected councillors have a key leadership role in this process. The role of councillors in district, county or single tier councils will vary depending on whether they sit on the planning committee (which makes decisions on planning applications) or not. However, all councillors have a role to play in representing the views and aspirations of residents in plan-making and when planning applications affecting their ward are being considered. 

 Changes in the Localism Act 2011 clarified the ability of councillors to be able to discuss matters which may relate to a planning application prior to voting on that application at committee, as long as they can show that they are going to make their judgement on the application with an open mind, listening to all the evidence and not having  pre-determined their decision. 

For more information, email:

Or write to: FOSH, Rathlyn, Grenville Rd, Salcombe, TQ8 8BJ

FOSH © 2021

This Web site is for those who love the South Hams “The jewel in the crown of Devon” and who wish to protect and enhance the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.