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To: Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secetary of State for Local Government and Communities, and Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for the Environment

Immoral tactics of Teignbridge District Council

UPDATE: 14/09/16

Warren Farm can continue farming, and the Weeks family can continue their farming family history.

We have heard this week that Teignbridge District Council has declared the land that has been selected for the SANGS is to the north of Dawlish, which adjoins one of the new housing developments.

Thank you so much for signing this petition, and for campaigning with me to keep Warren Farm farming. I would like to thank my fellow campaigners, Cllr Martin Wrigley and Cllr Gary Taylor too, for their part in driving this campaign forward. And finally, sending best wishes to Richard Weeks and his family, for the continued farming of Warren Farm.

Immoral tactics of Teignbridge District Council

Stop Teignbridge District Council in Devon forcing a farmer off his land and out of business through a compulsory purchase order.

Why is this important?

Teignbridge District Council intends to issue a compulsory purchase order to force a a farmer off his farm in Devon so that they can use the land for a country park for SANGS (sustainable alternative natural green-space). The farm land has been farmed by the same family for over 60 years, and is a mixture of arable, sheep and cows.

The council maintain that they are required to offset the loss of land a couple of miles away, and that they need to provide alternative green space. However, putting a park on this farmer’s land would require car parks to be built, possibly another road, and people using it would need to drive there.

Warren Farm is adjacent to South West Water’s sewage works, and we understand that Natural England advises that ‘Sangs’ should not be in close proximity. (Appendix 4: Natural England SANGS Guidance dated 03.07.07, "SANGS must be free from unpleasant intrusions (e.g. sewage treatment works smells etc").

Cllr John Goodey, of Teignbridge District Council, states that Warren Farm would be the ideal location for the SANGS (necessary because of the 1,200 new homes being built in Dawlish), and that it ticks all the boxes for Natural England. As well as being adjacent to a sewage works for South West Water, it is Grade 1 agricultural land. In Exminster, still managed by TDC, the land for SANGS was provided by the developers when they built all the new houses there.

If Cllr Goodey states that this SANGS location is ideal as it would protect the nature reserve at Dawlish Warren, why did Teignbridge D.C. give permission for houses to built there a few years ago - Sandpipers Court - if they are so concerned.

The farm has been farmed with countryside preservation to the fore for the last decade, and it is a habitat and feeding ground of the endangered cirl bunting, and also the endangered snipe. The way that the Warren Farm is managed benefits the local environment and wildlife through countryside stewardship, and should be promoted and recognised.

How can it be morally justified that a council can force a farmer off his land and out of business in order to provide land for green space in order that developers can build houses on other green space? The land is being usefully used for agriculture, and is not an eyesore, and there are public footpaths across and around some of the fields.

It is both morally and ethically wrong to prevent a farmer from growing food on a well-managed farm in this world of food shortages.

There is land currently for sale in close vicinity, why can the council not buy that land which is actually for sale?

Another option would be to open up the Cofton woodland walks to the general public - the land is presently already parkland and goes down to the Warren, and this could be arranged with the owners without putting them out of business.

Alternatively, Cllr Humphrey Clemens is a tenant farmer on farmland owned by Devon County Council, part of which is on the coast adjacent to Smugglers' Inn, and has excellent, possibly even better coastal views than Warren Farm. This land is already owned by Devon C.C., so should be a much cheaper option, and would have the added benefit of attracting people away from the Dawlish Warren nature reserve, and thereby protecting it.

Britain...imports 40% of the total food consumed and the proportion is rising (, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), so why are we getting rid of quality farmland, if this plan by Teignbridge DC goes ahead.

If this compulsory purchase order of quality working farm-land is allowed to go ahead, what is there to prevent Teignbridge District Council issuing further compulsory purchase orders in the future?

We the undersigned hereby oppose Teignbridge District Council's proposed compulsory purchase order of Warren Farm, and urge you to use your powers in Government to prevent this.

How it will be delivered

10/08/16: It has been made public news today that TDC is looking at another solution for SANGS, and that the TDC councillors have agreed in principle to purchase somewhere else. We wait to see where this will be, when TDC actually purchase the land. We are confident that it is not Warren Farm, because Richard Weeks still does not want to sell, but until it has been made public where the site for SANGS is, we do not know for certain. The campaign will continue, and we'll keep you updated.

Reasons for signing

  • Misuse of compulsory purchase power. Totally unjustified.
  • There are enough brownfield sites around without taking valuable agricultural land for projects such as this
  • This is not the middle ages!


2018-01-17 10:09:37 +0000

Petition is successful with 3,499 signatures

2016-09-15 12:01:55 +0100

Petition is successful with 3,495 signatures

2014-12-23 19:58:02 +0000

At the offices of communities and local government,Whitehall,on Friday 12th of December. Alison Foden hands in her on line petition of nearly 2700 signatures to stop TDC from compulsory purchasing Warren farm for a SANGS,along with a paper petition of over 1100 signatures. Thank you Alison for your help and all those who signed.If you have not already signed you can still do so on line or on paper copies at numerous shops and pubs around Dawlish and the Warren. Thanks

2014-12-23 18:40:08 +0000

We now have a Twitter account. @Save_WarrenFarm

Please re-tweet and share. Thank you.

2014-11-18 15:33:21 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2014-11-17 20:39:58 +0000

500 signatures reached

2014-11-17 16:02:16 +0000
Here is the response that the farmer gave to Teignbridge District Council in December 2013.

2014-11-16 19:30:18 +0000

2014-11-16 19:27:55 +0000

100 signatures reached

2014-11-16 14:24:56 +0000

50 signatures reached

2014-11-16 09:49:29 +0000

25 signatures reached

2014-11-15 22:38:51 +0000

10 signatures reached