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Colyton Parish Council

Local information for the people of Colyton, Colyford and the Coly Valley


Spring 2023

view of country lane in Colyton

This issue marks a significant change for our parish, with Colyton and Colyford each about to elect their own separate parish councils. Historically combined into one parish, the decision was made by East Devon District Council that the time was right for Colyford to be self-governed. The change takes effect from 1 April 2023 and will be swiftly followed by elections on 4 May at which Colyton will choose 11 councillors and Colyford seven. At the Colyton end of the new arrangement, we wish our neighbours well and look forward to areas in which collaboration will be to mutual advantage. This issue also gives us an opportunity to set our the practical arrangements for the elections and to appeal for candidates who care about their community to come forward.

yellow and purple poster advertising local elections on Thursday 4th May

Election Day is coming up - the day when we choose the parish and district councillors who will guide local decision-making over the next four years. Please make a note of the date and make the necessary arrangements if you want to vote by post. Of particular importance this year is the fact that you will for the first time need photo ID in order to vote at a polling station. If you don't have a photo ID, such as a driver's licence or passport, you can apply for a voter authority certificate. Apply online or call 0333 241 2340.


If you have a passion for your community you may want to consider standing for election. Parish councils work towards improving community well-being and providing better services. Their activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community; delivering services to meet local needs; striving to improve quality of life and community well-being. They provide and maintain a variety of important and visible local services including allotments, bridleways, burial grounds, car parks, open spaces, community safety and crime reduction measures, events and festivals, footpaths, leisure and sports facilities, litter and dog bins, public toilets and planning.

Councillors are the champions of their community and give residents a voice on the decisions the council makes. Becoming a councillor would allow you to make a real difference by engaging with residents, local groups and businesses to find out their needs, making decisions on which services and projects the council should take forward and getting involved locally to ensure the services are meeting local needs.

On average, councillors put aside three hours a week for council work. This often includes attending meetings, engaging with residents and speaking on behalf of the council to other bodies.

To stand for election you must be:

  1. A British citizen, a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union
  2. 18+ years of age and have lived in or within 4.8 kilometres of the parish for the past year.

Completed nomination forms will be accepted from 10am on 27 March till 4pm on 4 April by East Devon Electoral Services, Blackdown House, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton EX14 1EJ

For more information, contact the Clerk, Sasha Haines, at


Wednesday 19th April 2023 at 7.30 pm

Colyton Town Hall



At a recent meeting, Colyton Parish Council agreed to increase the parish precept by 20%. This represents an average increase of £9.53 per household for the forthcoming year - an average total annual spend of £48.55 per household. The formation of the new Colyford Parish Council has put a serious drain on Colyton's finances and CPC stands to 'lose' around £17,000 of its annual income while still bearing the responsibility involved in the upkeep of the vast majority of the assets. It is estimated that the increase would have been around 5% if Colyford had not split from Colyton.

The precept for last year produced a total of £58,584, which will drop this year to £43,050. This will be mitigated by the increase of 20% plus taking a further £9,911.00 from the CPC reserves to cover the shortfall. Colyton Parish will be reduced by 400 homes following the split to a total of 1,064 homes. The situation is a little exacerbated by this being an election year, which generally costs CPC an additional £5,000.

Amongst the costs covered by the parish precept are the salaries of two part-time staff, maintenance and business rates for the cemetery and buildings, grass cutting, insurances, tree work and dog bin emptying. While continuing to have responsibility for a lengthy list of amenities, CPC has lost only a playpark and three village gateways with the separation from Colyford.


architects drawing of new housing on former CeramTec site

Colyton Parish Council has not supported the 'reserved matters' application for the development of the former CeramTec site. The council cited several areas where it believes further details are needed or amendments should be considered. Since the demolition of the former CeramTec buildings in 2021, the site has remained vacant. While outline planning permission for change of use has been granted, WainHomes South West has still to gain permission for what are known as 'reserved matters'. The proposal is for six light industrial units and 72 dwellings of which 14 are affordable, equating to 19.5%. The Parish Council has been informed by EDDC that, as is the case with many councils across the country, there is a lack of town planners and planning decisions are taking longer than would normally be expected.

Issues listed by the Parish Council as needing attention include:

  • It remains concerned the development will look like any other major housing development and will not be 'both sympathetic to and inspired by the historic Colyton vernacular'. It believes further thought should be given to the materials proposed to include facing stone.
  • It is asking for confirmation that the pavement fronting the site will be made 2m wide.
  • It notes objections raised by DCC Flooding, Devon Wildlife Trust, the Police Crime Prevention Officer, South West Water and EDDC Housing Strategy and supports their comments.
  • It believes the EDDC target of 25% affordable homes should be achieved.
  • It Is concerned about the potential for noise from air-sourced heat pumps.
  • It is concerned about the increase in pressure on the already overloaded foul drainage system.
  • It believes three-storey buildings would be incongruous and should be reconsidered.

You can access further details by searching application ref 22/2795/MRES on the EDDC planning website.


image showing new banner for King Charles 111 coronation

Planned celebrations are shaping up for the Coronation Bank Holiday Weekend in Colyton, commencing with King Charles lll's coronation being live streamed on the big screen in St Andrew's Church on Saturday morning with refreshments being served. Put on your dancing shoes for the Coronation Party at the Peace Memorial Playing Fields from around 4pm till late on Saturday, come rain or shine, featuring the sounds of the ever-popular Mojo Stone Cold Players, a bouncy castle, face-painting, BBQ and bar.

A Sunday morning Civic Service at St Andrew's Church will be followed by a Street Party and DJ in Church Street from 12:30pm till 3pm (Town Hall if raining) - bring your own picnic, cakes and refreshments to share. The winners of the weeklong coronation-themed Shop Window Competition will be announced. Events for 'The Big Help Out' on Monday and an exhibition by Colyton Primary Academy over the weekend are still in the planning stages, so keep your eyes peeled for posters closer to the coronation. As a late treat, there will be a Conservation Exhibition featuring the Parish of Colyton in the Town Hall on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May in recognition of our 'Green King'.


photo of Jacqueline Mccullogh and Mike Ilsley holding up new banner for King Charles 111 coronation

The Coronation is coming, and Colyton will celebrate by adding a further banner to its much loved collection. The group doing the work has, however, now shrunk and the crowning touch for Mike Ilsley and Jacquie McCullogh would be a bit more help to make it happen. Launched in 2015, the team has created 36 banners that add colour to the town in summer and attract tourists. The time involved in helping to get the banners ready and displaying them is not great - a couple of mornings at St John's Hall to check, clean and repaint if necessary. Support is also needed (and an estate car or van) to help ship the poles from the Reece Strawbridge Centre to the town centre ready to be put in place and returning them to the store in September. Can you help? If so please contact Jacquie or Mike for further information.


photo showing aurora view from Colyton

Were you lucky enough to spot any auroras above Colyton in recent months? Captured here by local photographer Tim White is a display of the Northern Lights in the early hours of Friday 24th March caused by a severe geomagnetic storm.


aerial diagram of planned new homes between Colyford and Seaton

Bakers Estates have submitted an outline planning application for up to 130 houses, of which 32 (25%) will be affordable, on land between Colyford Road and Harepath Road, Seaton (22/2781/MOUT). Whilst the site is not within the parish boundary, EDDC have requested comments from Colyton & Colyford as the adjoining parish. The application is for change of use and site access, with all other matters to be dealt with under a future reserved matters application. Seaton Town Council decided to support the application but then, on the strength of local opposition, later decided a further meeting was necessary. The application also proposes a new football pitch on land to the west of Harepath Road for use by Seaton. A further area of light industrial development is shown as an extension to the existing light industrial units off Harepath Road, but this does not form part of the current application.

At a meeting on 6 March, Seaton Town Council decided to reverse its decision to support the project to a decision of not to support. It cited, amongst other items, concerns over future flooding and traffic.


Plans are in hand across East Devon to double council tax for the owners of second homes and to double rates for empty homes after one year instead of the current two. The move has been agreed by the Cabinet of East Devon District Council with the aim of being introduced from 1 April 2024. The hope is that it will act as encouragement to empty properties being brought back into use for the local community. The council also says the change could help towards making up finances following reductions in council tax for lower income households.


photo of Emma Herrod outside new fresh farm milk vending business photo of Emma and Mark Herrod and their children beside their dairy herd

If there were a prize in Colyton for sheer grit and determination, Emma and Mark Herrod would surely be candidates. The couple have really had to dig in to bring their dream of a fresh farm milk vending business into being - and then they have had to battle to survive. Their business draws its delicious milk from grass-fed cows via a newly installed pasteurising unit at the family's Colcombe Abbey Farm in Colyton run by Emma's brothers, Richard and James Voysey and father John. All was going well, with a 24-hour shed in Axminster's Station Yard and shop-based machines in Seaton and Lyme Regis. But while Axminster proved a great success, spiralling energy and other costs forced closure of the shops in Seaton and Lyme Regis.

Their biggest setback came when Mark suffered a freak accident at a wedding they attended that left him with serious burns and required a ten-day stay in hospital. Fortunately, he mended well and the couple changed their formula by introducing small milk machines at the Premier Stores in Colyton and at the Taste of Devon Butchers in Seaton. A further machine is now planned at Musbury Garage. To cope with all the financial demands, Emma, Mark, and children Herbie and Daisy, have moved back to live for a while with Emma's parents at Colcombe Abbey Farm. Ever the entrepreneurs, they have also now acquired a 'people trailer' and hope to do farm tours in the near future. They also have plans for a charity farm fun day on Saturday 9 July. "We are very proud of what we have achieved and determined to make it a long-term success," says Emma. "We could not have done that without the huge support we receive from local people - our Colyton sales in particular have gone through the roof."


photo showing people who received funds from carnival team

Thanks to the generosity of everyone in the parish, a total of £6,210 was distributed to local organisations who form part of the Colyton Carnival Committee at their meeting on 24th January. Representatives received cheques on behalf of:

  • Short Mat Bowls
  • Colyton Brownies
  • Colyton Scouts
  • Nunsford Nutters
  • Colyton Football Club
  • Colyton Primary School Family & Friends Association
  • Colyton Theatre Group
  • Colyton WI
  • Colyton Youth Football Club
  • Thursday Club

The carnival committee meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:45pm in St John Hall, King Street. If you would like to become involved, new members are always welcome. A note for your diary: this year's Colyton Carnival Week runs from 2nd September, with the Carnival Procession on the 9th.


view of allotments site Millfield which has been cleared

The site at Millfield, just above the allotments, has been cleared of the brambles and a new land drain installed, diverting the stream which crossed the access road. The car park for the allotments has been extended and the hedge between Millfield and the allotments has been expertly laid by Parish Handyman Arthur Parsons. The ground will be prepared shortly for wild flower planting with raised allotment beds and new fruit and indigenous trees. It is hoped Millfield will become a haven for wildlife for the enjoyment of the parish.


photo of the 2 EV charging units in Colyton

Colyton's long awaited EV chargers are now in use. First promised in 2021, the two charging points supplying four bays are amongst a network of new chargers in 12 locations across East Devon. The rapid chargers will take around 40 minutes to charge an EV battery to 80% full at a cost of £0.55/kWh. Payment can be made through the Wenea App.


with Hugh Westacott

photo ofwalking boots

Amongst the local talking points over recent months has been the subject of achieving harmony between dogs and horses when the two come together on a footpath crossing a field. We asked our footpaths expert Hugh Westacott for a rundown on the legal position.



photo of Colytons Master Wheelwright Greg Rowland MBE

It's been a rollercoaster of a ride for Colyton's Master Wheelwright Greg Rowland MBE since his award in the Queen's Birthday Honours last June for services to Heritage Crafts. Not only did he refurbish the wheels of the Royal Navy State Funeral Gun Carriage used to process Queen Elizabeth ll's coffin through the streets of London to Westminster Abbey where Greg had a front row seat at her funeral, he also made several television appearances and received his MBE medal from King Charles lll at Buckingham Palace on 15 March. Greg said, "It was a fabulous day. Perhaps when the King opened with, "We have met before ....", made it a little bit more special." Accompanied by his wife Nina and daughters Daisie and Lilac, the King chatted with them for five minutes after the medal ceremony saying how he remembered meeting Greg at the 'Gate to Plate 2018' event in Honiton and had seen his work in the news. He went on to stress how important Heritage Crafts and apprentices are.

In a nod to his proud parents, Mike and Doreen, Greg went on to say: "It represents years and generations of hard work and is as much for my father as myself. We have always strived to ensure the survival of the craft, be that through modern techniques or materials tightly entwined with traditional methods or running learning weekends or just sheer hard work and honesty. We have raised the profile of the craft to new levels and support the trade however we can. Huge thanks to @heritagecrafts for the nomination and the foresight to see that we are progressing a special trade and making it secure for the future, and also to everyone who works for and with us."

Congratulations Greg! The entire community is immensely proud of your achievements.


photo showing residents planting trees by Road Green

Pictured from left to right are Cllrs Colin Pady and Alison Stenning, Parish Handyman Arthur Parsons, Mrs Angie Williams, Mrs Helen Long, Cllrs Andrew Parr and Kenneth Clifford and District Cllr Helen Parr as they planted a Horse Chestnut to commemorate Queen Elizabeth ll on behalf of the Parish at Road Green on 3 February.

The Parish Council would like to thank Angie Williams and Helen Long for donating and planting an Oak, also at Road Green, for the people of Colyton in memory of their parents, Raymond and Jeanne Long, who some may remember ran London House Drapers and Haberdashers during the 1970s and 1980s. The trees replace the much loved Horse Chestnuts which formerly stood there but sadly had to be felled last year because they were diseased. We look forward to reaping conkers there once more.


photo of horse chestnut fruit

Colyton Parish Council thanks Sue Rumney for donating seven oak and horse chestnut saplings which she has grown. Five of them have replaced native species planted last year by pupils from Colyton Primary School in a hedge bank west of Heathhayne Cross. Dedicated to the Queen's Green Canopy, they sadly succumbed to the hot summer. Two remaining chestnuts have been planted by the river at The Peace Memorial Playing Fields.


view inside St Andrews Church Colyton decorated for the Ukraine prayer sessions

Holyford Mission Community held a 24-hour Vigil for Peace at St Andrew's Church on 26 February to mark the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. Commencing at 11am, prayers were offered throughout the day and candlelit night for peace in Ukraine and all other countries currently experiencing conflict and unrest. Paper doves were hung from the rafters made by children from Colyton, Musbury and Branscombe Primary Schools, who also wrote prayers for peace.

After a short service of Dedication and Commitment the following morning at 11:30, joined by the choir from Colyton Grammar and pupils from Colyton Primary Schools, the vigil ended with a Quarter Peal of the bells for over an hour rung in thanksgiving by both local ringers and others from across the Diocese of Exeter.

The vigil was featured on both BBC Spotlight and the BBC News website. You can read the article here.


photo of children from Colyton Primary School

It has been a busy half term at Colyton Primary Academy. We started off the term with a Rainbow of Hope. Each class wore a different colour of the rainbow to remember those who are suffering due to war and we made our own rainbow on the playground. The children took part in the Prayer Vigil at the Church too and they led the prayers in both English and Ukranian. They also decorated doves of peace to decorate St Andrews. We also have held our annual Science Fair in the town hall and lots of children showcased their great investigations and this was part of National Science and Engineering week.

One of our highlights was leading a Women in Art project with other local schools to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th. The children produced their own artwork inspired by famous female artists and this was sent to all parents as an online gallery. Children have also been learning all about the springtime in our reception class and visited the Wetlands. Our year 1 and 2 children have started to find out about the Great Fire of London. Our older classes have been studying the Mayans in history and North America in geography. The year 6 children raised money from a sponsored silence to buy their leavers jumpers and they look very smart in them. At the end of the term we will be having our Easter service in the church and also the year 3 and 4 children will be putting on their school play - we can't wait to see it!


photo showing rescue of a horse stuck in a ditch in Cowhayne Lane Colyton

In a rural area, animals also occasionally need the support of our fire crew, A recent call out saw them involved in the rescue of a horse stuck in a ditch in a field in Cownhayne Lane. The Colyton fire crew was joined by a specialist animal rescue team from Exmouth. As first on the scene, the Colyton crew made the area safe and waited for the specialist equipment to arrive from Exmouth's Specialist Rescue Tender, which carries animal restraints and lifting slings. A request was also made to send the telehandler from service headquarters to lift the horse and a vet was on hand to assist in the successful rescue which was achieved with no long term impact on the horse.


photo showing people attending Colyton Feoffees Banquet

After a 'pandemic pause' of two years, the Colyton Chamber of Feoffees held its annual banquet once more in the Town Hall on 10 February to commemorate the 477th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter by King Henry Vlll for those who had made a significant contribution to the community. Some 144 paying guests enjoyed a delicious three-course meal provided by local chef Damon Ralph and his catering team led by wife Sarah, a bar run by The Gerrard Arms and listened to an amusing anecdotal account from guest speaker and local resident General Sir Rupert Smith who recounted the tale of when he was a young army recruit at Honiton Barracks of the missing rifle at lights out, with advice on how to pass the blame onto those of higher rank "within a very large organisation." The errant rifle was eventually found, but not before the buck was passed all the way to the top. An array of documents, including the original Charter, was on display.


photo of Donald Campbell with his book Landslips

The seven-mile Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliff is only a fraction of the length of the World Heritage Coast but it is a critical section because of what happened in 1939 and 1840. A new book, 'Landslips', explores the events of those and subsequent years but is also much concerned with the 60 years since it was established as a National Nature Reserve. It was initially left to look after itself and valued as a geological site but eventually a few individuals began to appreciate its varied wildlife. Since that change of attitude it has attracted a range of naturalists, including the book's author Donald Campbell who has been investigating many little known and hard to reach parts of the Reserve for the last 25 years as Volunteer Warden. Donald, who received an MBE for services to Nature Conservation and writes all his books longhand, said, "Writing 'Landslips' kept me sane during lockdown." Landslips is extensively illustrated throughout 263 pages and available from local bookshops or from the author at Wheatears, The Butts, opposite Colyton Primary School at the reduced price of £10.


Work at the Colcombe Castle continues. The owner and developer, Eddie Dayment reports that the upper two floors of hotel bedrooms are nearing completion. The ground floor has had the former wcs removed from the Dolphin Street facade and the structure for the new terrace has been installed. The ground floor and cellar still have quite a bit of work to do although the openings for the skittle alley have been created along with unblocking and installation of two new windows to the cellar.


Colyton Parish Council

Allotments ... Cemetery ... Benches ... Footpath maintenance ... Gardens ... War Memorial (grass cutting) ... Local Grants ... Neighbourhood Plan ... Picnic Site ... Community Woodland ... Peace Memorial Playing Fields & Pavilion ... Tennis Courts ... Reece Strawbridge Youth Centre... Road Green & Playground ... Colyford Play Park ... Churchyard (grass cutting)


Benefits & council tax ... Car parking ... Community safety ... Elections and electoral registration ... Environmental maintenance and dangerous structures ... Flyposting ... Food hygiene & safety ... Parks & recreation, countryside, trees ... Housing & homeless ... Licensing ... Litter, graffiti & fouling clearance, street cleaning ... Pest control ... Public toilets ... Waste collections & recycling.


Fallen trees ... Flooding / drainage ... Highways inc drains, potholes ... Libraries & archives ... Parking on road, parking enforcement ... Public transport ... Recycling centres ... Registration (births, marriages, deaths) ... Rights of ways ... Social services ... Trading standards ... Traffic management ... Wildlife guidelines.


Use the menu at the top of this page to access Agendas and Minutes for Colyton Parish Council and Meeting dates

East Devon District Council planning portaL

Recycling and waste collections

Report a pothole


photo of Sasha Haines the Colyton Parish clerk

Parish Clerk Sasha Haines can be contacted at the Town Hall from 10.30 to 12.00 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She can also be contacted by email or phone as shown at the foot of this newsletter.

This newsletter has been produced by a small group made up of parish councillors Crispin Denny and Alison Stenning plus volunteers Barrie Hedges, Hugh Westacott. To subscribe to future issues or to submit ideas please email us at Your personal details will be confined to this use and will not be shared.