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New town Cranbrook to increase population to 18,000

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

The new town of Cranbrook near Exeter will grow to have a population of around 18,000 people under a plan submitted to central government.

East Devon District Council has submitted the local plan for Cranbrook to the Secretary of State for examination.

Local plans are drawn up to shape the future development of towns and villages.

East Devon District Council said the plan envisaged the town growing to 7,750 homes.

When building first started in 2011 Cranbrook there were 2,900 homes planned as well as schools, shops, a library and energy plant.

Devon and Cornwall weather: Yellow warning for rain

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Today will be generally cloudy and, although many places will be dry initially, outbreaks of showery rain will become more persistent throughout the morning and also heavy at times.

Cloud will lower to cover high ground and southwesterly winds will become strong to near gale force.

Maximum temperature:16 to 19C (61 to 66F)


Triple amputee Mark Ormrod 'humbled' by university honour

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A former Royal Marine from Plymouth, who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan, is set to have an honorary doctorate of laws conferred upon him.

Mark Ormrod says he is "humbled" after receiving a letter from the University of Exeter.

"You know some days when I wake up and things are going wrong, I think to myself ‘What did I do in a previous life that was so bad to make times in my life so challenging?’," he said.

"And then other days I wake up and I think to myself ‘I must have done a couple of good things in that previous life to get so lucky'."

In September, the triple amputee was awarded an honorary degree at Plymouth University.

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Heavy rain expected across Devon and Cornwall

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A yellow weather warning for heavy rain across Devon and Cornwall has been issued.

The Met Office said the warning comes in force from 08:00 on Friday.

More information can be found here.

Weather warning
Met Office

Devon and Cornwall weather: Dry with sunny spells

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy at times this morning with some scattered showers, but it will become mostly dry and brighter as sunny spells develop and the showers become increasingly isolated.

Moderate or fresh west to northwesterly winds will ease and turn to the southwest later.

Maximum temperature: 17 to 20C (63 to 68F)

weather map

WW2 observation post to be turned into holiday let

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

An iconic former World War Two observation post will be turned into holiday accommodation.

Plans have been given the go-ahead for the conversion of the Brandy Head Range Observation Post, near Otterton, to create a two-bed holiday let.

The observation post was built in 1940 on Brandy Head and the Exeter-based Gunnery Research Unit, attached to Number 10 Group RAF, tested turret mounted guns as well as wing mounted cannons and latterly noise-mounted cannons.

The utilitarian observation post still stands as a shell, having lost its roof, but has fallen into disrepair.

Sam Walker, the tenant of Stantyway Farm, had wished to convert the lookout into visitor accommodation.

His scheme was supported by land owners Clinton Devon Estates.

Brandy Head Range Observation Post
Philip Halling

There had been 33 objections to the application, with just three letters of support.

The objectors had raised concerns that it would set a precedent for further holiday development, walkers would feel they were intruding on holidaymakers, it would harm the quiet character of the place, and as it is a memorial to the RAF a conversion would be "sacrilege".

Supporters had said that it would be an imaginative reuse for the building, would bring income to the area and diversify the farm, and would save the building from future demolition.

East Devon District Council planners have granted the scheme planning permission under delegated powers.

Devon 'facing economic shock from no-deal Brexit'

Ed Oldfield

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A council leader has warned that Devon is facing an economic shock due to a no-deal Brexit.

Plymouth’s Labour leader Tudor Evans revealed the government is asking local authorities to help businesses hit by exiting the EU.

He said the council would do what it could, but it had no spare cash to support local firms affected by the expected disruption to trade if the UK leaves without a deal on 31 October.

Mr Evans also said ministers had still not decided how to share out £20m allocated to local authorities nationwide to deal with Brexit-related costs.

He was reporting back to the city council’s cabinet after taking part in an online broadcast from ministers on Tuesday morning.

Plymouth City Council House

The unitary council leader said that the only option discussed was leaving the EU without a deal on 31 October.

He said: “They basically said that it would be our job to help small businesses through the economic shock of a no-deal Brexit.”

He said the council would work with partners in business groups to provide support but warned that it no longer had the flexibility for major intervention after losing £100m in funding cuts in recent years due to austerity.

The government says the £20m extra funding is on top of £58m committed to councils in January to prepare for Brexit.

It says it has asked councils to get ready to leave the EU on 31 October and will assess and fund potential new requirements they identify.

Weather Watchers: A cloudy start in Devon and Cornwall

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

Both Devon and Cornwall are having damp, windy and cloudy starts on Wednesday, as these picture from two of our Weather Watchers are showing.

But it will be drier this afternoon and also brighter at times.

Mawgan Porth by Dammo
Uncle Fester

Have you any pictures you want to share with us? If so, please email them in.

Reports of transgender hate crime 'almost triples' since 2016

Adam Durbin

BBC News Online

Bex Mercer, a Transgender woman from Plymouth, has received verbal abuse in public a number of times.

The South West has seen a threefold increase in reported hate crimes against transgender people over the past three years.

There were 86 crimes recorded in the region in 2018, compared to 30 in 2016.

Devon and Cornwall police claim that the rise is largely explained by better reporting and recording of the incidents.

However, concerns remain that the figures are still lower than the reality, because many victims may still be reluctant to report incidents to the authorities.

Insp Sally Kingdon from Devon and Cornwall Police said the force's community links indicated that the incidents likely only represented the "tip of the iceberg".

"We genuinely want to encourage reporting so we can understand what's happening and where, so we can do something about it", she added.

LGBT charity the Intercom Trust has called for greater public awareness and understanding.

Andy Hunt from the charity said there was "a lot more" hate crime in public discourse and politics, especially online.

Devon and Cornwall weather: Rain and scattered showers

BBC Weather

There will be widespread outbreaks of rain on Wednesday morning.


Following the clearance of the rain, scattered showers will develop, but there should still be some fairly lengthy dry spells. A breezy day.

Maximum temperature: 17 to 20C (63 to 68F).

Fireworks to light up Plymouth's night sky

BBC Radio Devon

The first day of the British Firework Championships are to take place in Plymouth on Wednesday night.

Six of the country’s top firework companies will battle it out, each putting on 10-minute displays in a bid to be crowned the champion.

The displays - which will be fired from Mount Batten pier at about 21:30 - can be seen from a number of spots in the city, with the Hoe being the most popular.

For 2019's competition, Plymouth City Council has been working to reduce the amount of plastic involved by tightening up the competition rules to exclude types of fireworks which include additional plastic.

Press Association

Overturned car cleared from A377

Police have cleared an overturned vehicle after a crash on the A377.

The road between Exeter and Crediton was closed for recovery work, causing long delays at Newton St Cyres.

Overturned car
Matt Tancock

Devon and Cornwall weather: More rain and windy

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Cloud will thicken on Tuesday evening, rain will start to edge in from the south-west and winds will strengthen.

Rain will likely become widespread through the overnight hours.

Minimum temperature: 11 to 14C (52 to 57F).


Further outbreaks of rain are expected on Wednesday, some spells could be on the heavy side and it will likely be windy.

There should still be some drier interludes later in the day though.

Maximum temperature: 18 to 21C (64 to 70F).

Devon and Cornwall weather: Cloudy with showers

BBC Weather

A scattering of showers is expected on Tuesday and it will be rather cloudy.

However, not all areas will catch a shower and there will still be some sunny periods.

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

Devon and Cornwall weather

Weymouth medical bike 'not being withdrawn'

A medical bike with life-saving equipment will not be withdrawn from service in Weymouth but its future is under review.

There had been some speculation on social media that the rapid response bike would be "pulled".

But South Western Ambulance Service Trust said it was still being used on an "ad-hoc" basis because only one paramedic is trained to use it.

A petition to save the facility had attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

Devon and Cornwall weather: Showers and dry spells

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Some scattered showers are possible on Monday evening, but there is the chance that showers may become more widespread after midnight.

Not all areas will catch a shower, however.

Minimum temperature: 8 to 11C (46 to 52F).


A generally dry Tuesday for the most part with some sunny spells.

However, a scattering of showers may develop during the afternoon, more so along the coast.

Maximum temperature: 15 to 18C (59 to 64F).

One in three children in poverty in part of north Devon

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

One in eight children live in poverty in Devon – and one in three in parts of Barnstaple.

The startling figures are revealed as part of a new Devon County Council strategy to create "Healthy and Happy Communities" in the county.

The strategy aims to address health and wellbeing challenges that the county faces and to address the considerable inequalities in health and poverty.

It states that there have been recent increases in child poverty and more people are accessing emergency food supplies, and that one in eight children (12.5%) are in poverty.

However in the Forches area of Barnstaple, one in three children are in poverty, compared to just 1.1% of children in the Teignmouth Road area of Dawlish.

Fuel poverty rates also fluctuate dramatically, with 27.9% of people living in Mount Pleasant in Exeter facing it, compared to just 3.6% in Douglas Avenue in Exmouth.

Life expectancy in Ilfracombe Central is just 75 years, compared to 90 in Liverton. While in Sidwell Street in Exeter, 8.2 per cent of 16-64 year-olds have a long term health issue, compared to just 0.8 per cent in Widecombe-in-the-Moor.

About 800,000 people live in Devon.

A consultation on the draft Devon Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for 2020 to 2025, runs until 5 September.

The final version of the strategy is due to go to the Health and Wellbeing Board in October for approval.

Drug crime mapped: SW sees 'some significant increases'


Drug crime is increasing in many small towns and villages even as it falls significantly in city centres, the BBC has found.

Police data shows drug crimes in England and Wales have fallen by more than 50,000 in the past five years. But national averages hide a major shift in where drug crimes are being committed.

As well as towns on the peripheries of cities seeing increases, another pattern can be seen along the south coast of England.

In Dorset, Bournemouth and Weymouth both saw rises of at least 50%, and Swanage, Bridport, Lyme Regis - plus Exeter in Devon and Redruth in Cornwall - all saw significant increases in drug crime.

It comes as the government pledged an extra £85m to prosecutors to help deal with a rise in violent crime.

County lines, England's south coast

Hospice beds 'will close unless funding is changed'

BBC Spotlight

More hospice beds will close in the South West unless the way they are funded changes, according to both the Royal College of Nursing and hospices themselves.

The organisations are calling for an urgent review following news two weeks ago that a 12-bed unit at St Margaret's hospice in Yeovil was to close due to pressure on staffing and finances.

Hospice UK said two in three hospices across England were operating at a deficit and many planned to cut services.

It said government funding had only increased by 3% over the last 10 years, and hospices were having to rely more and more on their charity shops and money left in wills.

Hospice bed

Steven Roberts, from North Devon Hospice, added that such funding problems were leaving the facilities in a "desperate" situation.

I don't think it's right in 2019, when people are at the end of their life, that whether they die pain-free and with dignity is reliant on people buying second-hand clothes."

Steven RobertsNorth Devon Hospice

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was evaluating hospice services to help health commissioners to decide what was best to fund.

Devon and Cornwall weather: Generally dry and bright

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

A generally fine day ahead as it should remain dry and bright for many areas.

A few showers are possible however and it will feel cool.

Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

Weather map

Watering can and police hat among stolen items from police

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Thieves have stolen £600 in cash, a police hat and a watering can from inside police stations and vehicles in the last four years, it has been revealed.

A freedom of information request to Devon and Cornwall Police showed there were seven thefts from stations and two from a police van.

On two occasions, cash was stolen, including £600 from Heavitree Road Police Station in Exeter.

Other offences saw thieves steal a car aerial and dust caps, a watering can, a sat nav and a police hat.

Police hat

'Heavy traffic' causes delays to Exeter bus services


Chiefs trio in England sqaud

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Exeter have three players in the squad for England's first World Cup warm-up match against Wales on Sunday at Twickenham.

Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie starts in the front while Henry Slade gets the nod at centre.

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Prop harry Williams is on the replacements bench while winger Jack Nowell is not picked as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

England's final 31-man party for the World Cup in Japan will be named next week.

More than 100 guns surrendered to police

Charley Adams

BBC News Online


More than 100 firearms have been handed in to the police during a firearms and ammunition surrender.

The surrender organised by Devon and Cornwall Police ran from 20 July to 4 August.

The national campaign, instigated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, was supported by other forces around the country, including Dorset Police.

Items were voluntarily surrendered at all ten police enquiry offices in Devon and Cornwall.

As a result of this firearms surrender, all of these items are now permanently out of potential circulation. While not every firearm is owned with the intent of criminal activity, every firearm can become a weapon in the wrong hands, removing the guns from circulation reduces the risk of danger to public safety.

Michelle MounseyHead of alliance firearms and explosives licensing department

Cornwall and Devon weather: Showery and windy

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

It will be a showery day, with some showers being heavy and thundery at times.

Winds will continue to strengthen to be strong, occasionally gale force by the afternoon, with gusts of over 50mph in places.

The yellow weather warning remains in place for rain from 00:00 to 23:59 on Friday.

A further yellow weather warning will be valid from 15:00 to 23:59 for wind.

Maximum temperature: 18 to 21C (66 to 70 F)


Drivers urged to 'travel carefully' in stormy weather

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Road users are being urged to travel with care this weekend, as strong winds and heavy rain is forecast.

Rain on Thursday night, leading to thundery showers in places on Friday and Saturday, coupled with gusts reaching 50-60 mph could make weekend driving conditions hazardous, Devon County Council is warning.

Councillor Stuart Hughes said the weather is "already having an impact on plans".

"We’re seeing organised events cancelled or postponed across the region due to the unseasonal forecast", he said.

“Strong winds are likely to make driving difficult for high-sided vehicles and caravans, and trees are also likely to feel the impact."

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning and more information can be found here.

weather warning
Met Office

'Awful' resurfacing job 'ruining motorists' tyres'

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Resurfacing work
Councillor Rob Hannaford

Residents of St Thomas in Exeter have reacted furiously to a recent resurfacing job completed on two roads.

Union Street and Church Road were resurfaced last week, but Councillor Rob Hannaford said he's been "inundated" with a large number of complaints with people saying it is "ruining motorists’ tyres".

He has demanded Devon County Council get some remedial work done immediately and said residents feel their council tax has been "thrown away".

“It’s clearly an awful resurfacing job, which has upset local residents in and around the area," he said.

"Within days of completion, they have reacted furiously to the finish – which sees tarmac fly onto the pavement when cars go over it.

“Furthermore, some of the tarmac still seems to be unset and sticky, so it’s ruining tyres and people are walking it into their houses."

Devon County Council said it always welcomes feedback on road repairs.

It added: "The work was only carried out here last week and microasphalt typically takes six months to completely settle down.

"The appearance of this type of surfacing is known to improve in the weeks and months following treatment.

“Once all of the works are complete, a joint site inspection will be carried out by Devon County Council and the contractor to sign the site off”as being completed to the correct standard."

Resurfacing work
Councillor Rob Hannaford

Fundraising effort saves Bronze Age gold for Devon

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) has successfully completed a fundraising campaign to save a locally-found Bronze Age hoard.

The full £12,000 required to buy, conserve and display the Dawlish Hoard has now been raised.

More than 200 people made donations with many organisations contributing too.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Exeter jeweller, Erin Cox stepped in to donate the final £300 and she said the RAMM "holds a special place in my heart".

"I spent hours exploring the old RAMM as a child and have some really wonderful memories of my brother and I exploring", she said.

"My daughter now loves RAMM and has probably spent as many hours as me making her own memories in the new RAMM.”

The hoard consists of four gold bracelets, 11 fragments of bronze ingot, two fragments of axe and a section of bronze sword.

The hoard was deliberately buried rather than just lost, with the gold bracelets intentionally folded and the ingots and weapons purposely broken, RAMM said.

Cornwall and Devon weather: Fine and dry, rain later

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

It will be a generally fine and dry start to the day, although a few isolated mist or fog patches are also possible, but these will be quick to clear.

Extensive low cloud and potentially heavy rain will spread in from the South West during the afternoon with a risk of fog in places later.

There will be moderate south-east winds that will increase fresh towards evening.

Maximum temperature: 19 to 22C (66 to 72F).

Basking sharks caught on ‘SharkCam’ in Inner Hebrides
It is hoped the footage from the Inner Hebrides will reinforce a case for conservation in the area.