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Colyton Parish Council

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

Colyton Parish Council Community Newsletter - Autumn 2021

The burning issue in Colyton right now is undoubtedly parking. Meanwhile Colyford is focused on road safety on the often busy A3052. Both communities were 'designed' in days when the motor vehicle was not the dominating factor in life that it is now. Solutions are never easily come by given the inevitability that improving the situation for some may well shift the problem elsewhere. What is important is that we have the debate, so we have tried to air it here. Your thoughts will be welcome via the email address at the foot. Meanwhile, there is so much going on in the parish that warrants reporting that we have had to increase our volunteer team producing this newsletter. Welcome and thank you to each of them. The next issue is due just before Christmas.


Wainhomes South West has postponed a planned public exhibition at which it was intending to introduce the detailed plans for development on the former CeramTec site. It is understood that the company is still in discussions with site owner Homes England regarding the suggestion that open space within the site be relocated from that shown on the outline permission The company has previously sought community comment on its proposal that the open space be moved from the top of the site to an area nearer the road in order to reduce the need for steps. It has said that it hoped to be able to start work on site in the spring of 2022. A new date for the exhibition has yet to be set.


a chart showing rise in coronavirus cases

While coronavirus case rates have fallen in recent weeks, health experts say they are likely to rise again and that we can expect "a challenging next few months into autumn and winter ". Steve Brown, Devon's Director of Public Health, said: "Clearly the health and care system nationally and locally is already under strain, and the additional winter pressures will only make the delivery of those services even more challenging." He added that excellent data was now available to guide local planning that could include additional measures such as more testing, self-isolating and the wearing of face masks. All will be on the table for use if needed.

Latest available statistics show that eight people in the local area of Colyton, Kilmington and Uplyme tested positive for coronavirus in the seven days to 24 September, equivalent to a rate of 95.2 per 100,000 compared with a national average of 297 per 100,000. In the seven days to 29 September, one person died in East Devon within 28 days of a positive test - 119,180 people (90% ) in the district had received a first dose of vaccine, while 112,691 (85%) had had two doses. In Devon as a whole, there were 2,097 cases in the latest week and 11 deaths. An average of six coronavirus patients daily were admitted to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in the week to 19 September.


traffic jam in the streets of Colyton

Demands for action to be taken to overcome serious parking issues in Colyton reached a crescendo over the summer months amidst complaints that life had become intolerable for residents and that some streets were impassible to an extent where emergency vehicles could not gain access. The Parish Council is currently reviewing the issue. Ideas in circulation for addressing the problems include extended double yellow lines, a 20mph speed zone, residents-only parking, limited parking in the Market Place and regular traffic warden visits. A special Parish Council meeting is to be held at the Town Hall at 7.15pm on Monday 4 October to explore the options ahead of a November consultation with Devon Highways. Due to limited public seating availability, please book a place with the Parish Clerk by phone or email.


A few comments gathered at random from those who live in King Street: "I can't even get out of my front gate " ..."There are times when an emergency vehicle couldn't get through " ... We often have large vehicles getting stuck and blocking the whole street " ... "Pedestrians are often in real danger "... " It is the cause of many angry confrontations ".


The emerging Colyton Neighbourhood Plan (NP) highlights on-street parking in narrow streets built in days before motor vehicles as a major problem for Colyton. The NP commits the Parish Council to consulting further on improvements while ensuring that new developments do not exacerbate the problem. The plan says the town is short of town centre parking spaces and that visitors would not be greatly inconvenienced by a car park on the perimeter of the town if pedestrian links were good. One of the NP's key policies is supportive of the provision of additional public car parking spaces as long as the design and layout of the area is sensitive to its surroundings.

It likewise refers to extremely busy seasonal traffic on the A3052 as a big worry in Colyford. Both Colyton Primary and Colyton Grammar are each noted as having traffic issues.

view of a street in Colyford where traffic congestion occurs


Colyford has its own range of traffic issues affecting the A3052, which is at its busiest through the summer months when an estimated 12,000 cars a day pass through. The sheer weight of traffic makes crossing the road a hazard, especially for older folk. Concerned local people have operated a Community Speed Watch scheme for the past six years and recently installed vehicle-activated alert signs. One in ten cars have been shown to be 25% above the speed limit and many do over 45mph in a 30mph zone including Swan Hill, Seaton and Coly Roads. The problems are compounded during the morning and afternoon periods when buses park on the A3052 while delivering and collecting Colyton Grammar School pupils. Negotiating some ten parked buses creates a further hazard for other traffic. Although the Parish Council agreed a request from the Speed Watch team to purchase a £10,500 trailer speed camera, the police have since advised that it would not be acceptable as it would flood them with too much information and contravene GDPR rules.


County Councillor Marcus Hartnell (Seaton & Colyton) says that road safety and highways issues are high on the list of current concerns across the parish. In Colyford, he says that any proposed scheme would need to have buy-in from all corners of the community, recognising the need to provide safe crossing points whilst also keeping traffic flow moving and without impacting on businesses where customers rely on roadside parking. In Colyton, Cllr Hartnell said limited parking in the Market Place should be considered to keep spaces turning over. "Double yellow lines aren't always the solution as their implementation can often just move parking problems elsewhere," he said. "The importance of any changes to highways is to consult widely with all the community, and this is something I have already started to do."


street in Colyford which is looking to become independent parish

Consideration is to be given to a request that would separate Colyford and Colyton into separate parishes. The Colyford Village Residents Association has announced that it plans to submit an application to East Devon District Council by the end of September for what is known as a Community Governance Review. If accepted, EDDC would have up to a year to discuss and determine the application. If approved, the new council would effectively come into being for the Parish Council elections due in May 2023. Two rounds of public consultation would be required before a decision was made.


tourists back in Colyton visiting Seaton Tramway

Colyton's tourist trade is back in full swing as a mid-summer wave of UK staycations boosted its 'grockle' appeal. With the Seaton Tramway alone bringing in up to 5,000 visitors in a peak week, Colyton's businesses and other attractions have been kept busy. Jacquie McCullough of the Promote Colyton group says the tourist trade provides a considerable boost to the local economy. She and the team at Colyton Heritage Centre welcome many who are keen to trace family connections or immerse themselves in the history of the famous rebel town. At the Kingfisher public house, Lucy Dack has seen a noticeable increase in UK staycationers. "We are hearing lovely comments about how our pub is still so traditional and friendly," she said. "We are also very lucky to have loyal locals who welcome tourists." Sue Brown at Colyton Garden Shop said that the town thrived because of the economic boost provided by visitors. "It enables us to provide extra employment, especially for younger people, during the summer months," she said. "A good percentage of these earnings are spent locally, which helps all businesses in the area."


cover showing the new Coly Trail leaflet guide

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Seaton Tramway, students from Colyton Grammar School and volunteers from Colyton Heritage Centre worked together to produce the new 'Coly Trail' leaflet guide launched in July. Researched, designed and printed by 6th form students Olivia Petrini (original artwork), Sophie Thwaites, Emily Hales, Meggy Hemery, Marnie Broomby and Sophie Hilton, the leaflets contain a 'Brief History of Colyton' timeline and a fun activity for children at each key point of interest on the town map included. Jacquie McCullough from Colyton Heritage Centre said: "This project shows what can be achieved when local organisations work together for the benefit of Colyton and visitors to the town." The leaflets are available for £1 from Seaton and Colyton Tram Stations and Colyton HERITAGE CENTRE.


The Parish Council provides important input to the wider local planning process. Courtesy of Cllr Crispin Denny, who chairs the Parish Council's Planning Committee, this is how it works:

All planning applications, including listed building consents and tree preservation orders, are determined by East Devon District Council. The Parish Council makes comments on them in the four weeks following registration, with EDDC having a further four weeks to make a determination. This period of consideration can be extended for various reasons including requests for further information, Covid issues and officers needing to work from home. Members of the public may also comment direct to EDDC, with all comments appearing on the planning website. A copy of these comments may be sent to the Parish Clerk if required. The applicant, if not satisfied with the EDDC decision, can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for a further determination.


picture showing water tank that serves Colyton allotments

The Parish Council owns the allotment site and the area above known as Millfield. Presently, there are 19 allotment plots split into various divisions of quarter, half and full plots, with 43 allotment holders, and a waiting list of 16. There is no on-site water source, with water being brought in by tractor and bowser by a friendly farmer who fills a large top tank which, in turn, feeds other tanks. As a more permanent solution, two proposals have been considered: 1 A permanent metered supply by South West Water via pipework to the top tank; 2 A borehole powered by solar or wind pump tapping an underground water source. At its August meeting, the council decided to adopt the SWW option to ensure a reliable water supply at a lower, assured capital cost. A meeting is being held between the council and allotment holders to discuss charges and other items.


Colyton and Colyford are being promised ultrafast internet speeds with the installation of full fibre networks. Both Jurassic Fibre and Airband are currently active on cabling in the area and are inviting potential local residential and business customers to pre-register interest via their websites. Jurassic Fibre promotes four different residential packages with download speeds of between 150 and 950 Mb/s (megabits per second) at costs ranging from £35 to £80 per month. It's roll-out programme for the area is currently uncertain but will start for some properties in 2022. Airband is offering up 250 Mb/s with costs of between £30 and £37 per month. It envisages being operational on its first phase by the third quarter on 2022. Full fibre means the line is fibre optic cable directly from an exchange to the property as opposed to traditional copper cables which slows the internet speed considerably. Current download speeds in Colyton vary greatly but are generally less than 60 Mb/s.


George Janssen in his Chandos bookshop before its closure

After 19 years of trading, George, as he is simply known because Colytonians can't pronounce his Dutch surname (Janssen), is closing his much loved bookshop and moving to Somerset. Chandos Books is one of those increasingly rare, almost Dickensian bookshops stocked with a treasure trove of antiquarian books, half-forgotten authors of yesteryear, as well as maps and periodicals. George once discovered in a job lot a rare gardening book published in 1790, which he sold for £2,500. No one would be surprised if a first folio of Shakespeare were to be discovered hidden under a pile of miscellanea. George is also a talented bookbinder and once restored a sixteenth century 'chained Bible'. Colyton's many bibliophiles will mourn the closure of Chandos Books.


young children get together to read the new books in the library

Pupils at Colyton Primary Academy are enjoying the school's biggest investment in books for a very long time following an additional £2,000 injection by the First Federation Trust. "The children are so excited to get reading these books," said Head of School Aerfen Mills. "We have ensured that books are phonically decodable for younger years and also include books that inspire and excite children's imaginations!" With fewer Covid restrictions, it has been possible to re-start the school library and appoint school librarians and prefects. There has been enthusiasm too for the re-introduction of weekly reading assemblies where children got together in their school teams to read.


Kaz Rhodes walking in a Colyton street

I moved here in 2009 and have several medical conditions which affect my ability to walk any distance - just recently I have stopped driving. Myself and my husband David live on Kingsdon Hill which means I have to rely on my husband and others to help with tasks I'm unable to do. I have found our community to be nothing but helpful. During lockdowns we had lots of offers of help, food deliveries and chemist runs. We have a really good range of shops, all of which are accessible and the staff are all very helpful and happy to help out or deliver my shopping. I was sat in the car the other day and watched a staff member wiping down a lady's mobility scooter. It reminded me how special our community really is.


the congregation in the Methodist Church before its closure

Colyton's Methodist Church in King Street sadly closed its doors in August due to a declining membership and with no one able to take on the responsibility for its administration. The closure brings to an end an association with Methodism going back to the beginning of the nineteenth century when a chapel was built in Rosemary Lane. The present church was built in 1814 as an independent chapel and bought in 1964 for use as a Methodist Church. The full story of the church's history and the background to its closure is provided on the attached sheet prepared by Katy and Gerry Darby.



outside view of the Colcombe Castle building

The Colcombe Castle is looking good from the outside but there is still plenty to do inside. Planning and Listed Building Consent was granted recently for some internal alterations and improvements to external access. This includes a ramp replacing the steps off Market Place, a new access to the ground floor from Dolphin Street and the removal of the old toilet extensions. Internally, there are alterations to basement stairs, new en-suites and toilets, and the creation of a new skittle alley in the cellar, plus further works inside including new fire alarms, fire doors, new heating system, full electrics and LED lighting, and a new water main. The building will be completely redecorated internally before being opened in late 2022.


Rodney Turner a Colyton parish councillor

Rodney has lived in Colyton nearly all his life and has spent a great deal of time working and volunteering within the community. He gave his time to be a governor at Colyton Primary Academy both during and after his three sons attended. A family man, he has most recently been working as a teaching assistant at the Axe Valley Academy. Some will know him for his time spent lending his skills to Colyton FC, a hobby turned passion. After serving on the Parish Council for nearly 22 years, Rodney has settled as the chair of the Finance Committee while also being a member of the Planning and Amenities Committees. In line with an ongoing effort to keep the parish clean and tidy, the committee has allocated funds for new bins alongside new litter picking tools and equipment.


view of Colyford Post office from across the road poppies in foreground

The Colyford Post Office and General Stores, run by Rachel and Geoff Tattershall since 2014, is located at the brow of Swan Hill Road. It has remained a true staple of the village, having existed long before the A3052 was paved. Today, the business is open 7:30am to 5:00pm weekdays and closes at 2pm on Saturdays. "We aim to provide a balance of convenience with local produce," says Geoff. Showcasing some of the best that East Devon has to offer, the post office and shop offers a wide range of seasonal local produce, artisanal baked goods alongside local wines and ales. Find out what's new by visiting its Facebook page.


Colyford butchers staff

Sharing the same roof as the Colyford Post Office, Colyford Butchers has been serving the community since 1982. Tony Manville and his helpful staff serve from 7:30am till 5:00pm Monday through Friday while closing early on a Saturday, so finding just what you need for your BBQ or Sunday roast could be as easy as a short walk down the road. Their skill and passion for their craft is immediately obvious after seeing their range of artfully prepared locally sourced meat. Be sure to ask questions as Tony and his fellow butchers are a wealth of knowledge, from farm to frying pan, with a range of recipes to suit all occasions. "Keeping it fresh, local and fair, we will continue to bring good old fashion butchery to our community," says Tony. Find out more on their website.


rescued hedgehog on its back on a blue towel

It's a sad fact that hedgehogs are on the verge of extinction. They get squashed by vehicles, injured by agricultural machinery, and suffer from bites, burns, parasites and poisoning. But help is at hand for Mrs Tiggywinkle and her extended family. Alison Foxcroft runs the Hedgehog Hut in Colyford where they are nursed back to health, and the hoglets fed by hand, before being released onto suitable sites. Alison has crowdfunded for a new hedgehog hospital and has received generous financial support.

Backing has come from Colyton Kitchens, JKS Flooring, MKM Honiton, Mike Wye, Devon Sheds, and Evergreen Renewable Energy, and from many individuals. But more donations are needed so that she can expand her work. See The Hedgehog Hut Colyford on Facebook.


view of country lane

The unclassified county road between Nunford Farm, Kingsdon and the Musbury boundary has been obstructed for many years by rubble, weeds, and flooding (writes Hugh Westacott). The parish and county councils have cooperated to clear the ditches and provide a surface of crushed stone. This has opened up two waymarked circular walks. From Nunford Farm, continue for 600 metres, turn right along the East Devon Way to Colyton. Alternatively, continue to the new footbridge and turn left to Whitford. Follow the road to Seaton Junction, cross the railway, then follow the path along the Umborne to Road Green.


volunteers working at the Colyton and Colyford Memory Cafe

Colyton & Colyford Memory Cafe is back to business (almost) as normal and full of ideas for forthcoming sessions. In October it will welcome The Filo Project and also local Age UK representatives to hear what their services can offer. There will also be plenty of chat, tea, cake and music. Now established as a key element in the local community, the Cafe is for anyone who has had a diagnosis of dementia and their carers; plus also for anyone who has concerns about short-term memory or anyone who just fancies a lovely afternoon of conversation and varied interest. Volunteers are well versed in managing the sessions in Covid safety. To find out more please call 07517 054166.


picture of dog reading a newspaper in the toilet

With East Devon District Council proposing to hand over responsibility for the Dolphin Street public toilets to someone else or knock the building down and provide more parking space, we all have until 5pm on Friday October 1st to let them know what we think about that by completing their short, online questionnaire.


children playing on a playground climbing net

Section 106 funds are contributions made to local planning authorities by developers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 towards the cost of providing new community and social infrastructure to support the additional residents living in the community as a result of a new development being built. An EDDC S106 grant of £13,900 became available for outdoor sports facilities and equipment when Saxon Meadow on Coly Road was developed and Colyton Parish Council asked residents how they would like it spent, bearing in mind it needed to be in close proximity to the site. By popular demand, a meandering Trim Trail will shortly be installed between the pavilion and play park at the Peace Memorial Playing Fields


Colyton townsfolk enjoying first Apple Day

Devon's most rebellious townsfolk have enjoyed their first Apple Day in recent years. Attendees had the chance to: crush apples into juice; swap and identify different varieties; and sample home baked apple cakes and pies. The afternoon was organised by SAVE food hub and hosted by FINN Studio and Umborne Studios. It also marked the end of a successful Devon Open Studios held by artists based at the Umborne Bridge units. Yvonne Taylor, a Trustee of SAVE food hub, said: "I've often walked past windfalls and wondered whether more could be done to use them up. This event was on a small scale but there was lots of interest. Wouldn't it be great if one day we started a Colyton apple cooperative?" SAVE food hub is a volunteer-led community group that shares surplus food with the community to prevent it from going to waste.


view of entrance to Colyton Business Park

Alison Stenning found a few surprises when she went along to an open day at Colyton Business Park in August. Here is her report:

The Open Day at Colyton Business Park on August 21st didn't require the lure of a free BBQ to attract the curious. Grand tours of four units were given with some fascinating back stories told. Managing Director Sarah King of Sky4Pilots, for example, has been designing and manufacturing bespoke covers for the international aerospace and aviation markets, from microlights to airliners and military applications, since 2003, yet her background is rooted in the world of high end couture. She still keeps her fashion industry skills honed by providing aviation wear and accessories for pilots, plus her other company based under the same roof, Axe Creative Stitch and Print, specialises in both embroidered and printed workwear and banners. Oh, and let's not forget the Eton collars! Yes, she cuts those too since being entrusted with the original and unique cutting machine upon the retirement of her predecessor as an acknowledgement of her professional integrity.

From one hive of industry to another, Rhubarb Upholstery & Interiors specialises in traditional and modern upholstery, furniture restoration, canework, bespoke handmade curtains and blinds, lampshades and soft furnishings. Members of the Guild of Traditional Upholsterers, proprietors Anna Doxey and Sharon Leney met while learning their skills on a three year government funded course for residents of rural communities and later decided to start a business together. They have now worked together for over 20 years. Their showroom is stylish and offers a wide selection of quality fabrics.

Next-door at Hillbilly Furniture, the spray painted array of original shelving units in the shape of seahorses, steam engines, trees, to name but a few of the imaginative designs, made quite the colourful and impressive splash. Joiner and cabinet maker 'Bill' has been creating bespoke custom made furniture at his workshop here for the past nine years, crafting all manner of made to measure items, fitted or otherwise, to a very high professional standard. This new shelving venture is named Kooky Ledge and one to watch out for as the units would be eye-catching in any room or display.

The BBQ beckoned but not before receiving a fascinating tour of Kobocrete by the younger members of the family run business, Konnor and Harvey, who are to be commended. Focused on supplying high quality garden furniture (rattan), paving and cast stone products throughout the UK, Kieran Overall-Barnes, his wife Fran and her mum Beverley, make up the other members of this family enterprise.

If you haven't explored Colyton Business Park yet then do ~ it's a real eye-opener. Who knew?


Jon Pratt Colyton Parish history society volunteer cataloguing documents

If you live in Colyton, you may well love its history and traditions. But you might not know that academics also love the town's history quite simply because it is so well documented. Their appreciation is due in no small part to the fact that the records of the town's Feoffees have been meticulously recorded right the way back to the 14th century. And now, thanks to the efforts of a small band of Colyton Parish History Society volunteers, they are also now accessible to us all. Drawing on National Lottery funding that has also paid for the displays at the Heritage Centre, the team led by Jon Pratt (pictured) has catalogued and created invaluable summaries for some 1,200 documents. Notably, they have included names and places in the massive new digital archive so that it's possible to trace families and properties. You can access it during Heritage Centre opening hours (Tues, Wed, Thurs 11am - 3pm), or for more info email Jon.


waxcap mushrooms can be found in Colyton

Did you know that Colyton is one of the last bastions of a beautiful genus of fragile mushrooms that are increasingly threatened across the UK through habitat loss. In our little town, we are incredibly lucky to have a few small and diminishing areas that are host to a variety of the the wondrous Waxcaps. We also have Luke Proctor who knows all about them and he has kindly allowed us to use this column that was first posted on the Facebook page Heart of Colyton.



Due to two councillors resigning recently, Colyton Parish Council was reduced to 11 members. Unlike the elections on May 2021, this time there was no call from the public (minimum 10 eligible voters) to hold a formal by-election, and permission was granted by EDDC to co-opt new members. Following a public invitation, two applications have been received from legally suitable candidates, which the Parish Council will vote on shortly. If adopted, this will bring the council back to a full contingent of 13 councillors.


Following the Parish Council meeting on 13 September, Andrew Mills and Keith Mills (no relation), both of Colyford, have been co-opted onto the Parish Council. More detail on them in our next issue.


Until recently, due to the pandemic, the Parish Council was meeting via Zoom and being broadcast over YouTube. As the infection rate dropped, the Government advised that face-to-face meetings should return, with CPC deciding to meet in socially distanced style in the Town Hall from April. Unfortunately, it is difficult to record meetings without serious money being spent on filming and (more essentially) sound equipment, which has resulted in broadcasting becoming unfeasible. Ironically perhaps, EDDC has returned to Zoom meetings until at least January due to the lack of a sufficiently large local venue.


Did you know there are byelaws which carry a hefty fine excluding dogs from the Peace Memorial Playing Fields, Road Green, all three playgrounds in Colyton and Colyford, the Picnic Site and the War Memorial? Dogs are prohibited because these are areas where people sit, play and eat. It is also very unpleasant for the parish handyman, Arthur, to have to cut the church lawn, particularly around the War Memorial which an increasing number of dog owners use as a dog toilet. EDDC Environmental Health are keen to hear of any breaches of the dog byelaws, including dogs let off leads, and can be reported here.



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


picture of Parish Clerk Sasha Haines

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, Kaz Rhodes and Joe Dunnett with photography support from Katie Sivier.