Will police investigation halt villages plan?

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EAST Devon District Council (EDDC) has refused to say whether or not the Colyton element of a villages plan process will be suspended until a police investigation is concluded.

EDDC vice chairman Helen Parr was linked to a police enquiry involving the East Devon Villages Plan consultation and the rules regarding councillors’ declarations of interest.

Police have confirmed that an investigation is under way.

Councillor Parr says the allegation is “a fabrication” and is taking legal advice.

Pulman’s View asked East Devon District Council if it plans to suspend the Colyton element of the village plan process until the police investigation is concluded.

An EDDC spokesperson replied: “At this stage we are not prepared to comment on any matters relating to this issue.”

The council is producing the plan to help guide decisions on where new development should take place in 15 selected larger villages, as well as the town of Colyton.

CLARIFICATION: Further to last week’s stories headlined ‘Police investigate councillor’s role in village plan’ on page 2 and ‘Losing candidate disputes planning claims’ on page 4 of the Pulman’s View From Seaton, Colyton & Beer edition, we have been asked to clarify that East Devon district councillor Helen Parr does not own the land next to the CeramTec site in Colyton.

A statement from Councillor Parr (pictured) said: “The land is owned by J. & F.J. Baker & Co. Ltd. Mrs Parr is a director of J. & F.J. Baker but owns no stake in it.”

The confusion arose from Councillor Parr’s register of interests, which lists J. & F.J. Baker & Co and the land next to CeramTec, known as Turlings Farm, as land/property in which she or a relevant person has a beneficial interest with the word “owner” written in brackets next to both property listings, and the word “husband” also written next to both, referring to her husband and chairman of Colyton Parish Council, Andrew Parr.

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