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Moves to list Fremington Army Camp could end housing plans

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: February 05, 2010

TO BE LISTED? Fremington Army Camp.

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FREMINGTON Army Camp could become a listed site — potentially blocking extensive housing development — the North Devon Journal has discovered.

English Heritage confirmed this week it was being consulted about an application to make the camp, which was used by US military during the Second World War, a protected site.

Listing "marks and celebrates a building's special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system so that some thought will be taken about its future," English Heritage says.

English Heritage said it could not reveal who had asked for the camp to be listed, citing the Data Protection Act. It was also unable to say when the application was made.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will make the final listing decision. The camp will be assessed against a number of criteria, including: age; rarity; architectural and historic interest.

Local councillor Rodney Cann, who takes a close interest in the camp, said: "I would be happy to see it listed and utilised by workers on the Atlantic Array (windfarm).

"It does serve a useful purpose for local groups also. It would be a sad loss to see it go."

North Devon MP Nick Harvey said the listing "needn't be disastrous – but could be, depending how widely it is drawn".

He asked: "What do they actually want to list? The whole site? Some of the buildings are truly appalling and can't be worth preserving, even if a few might be worth retaining as specimens. It will certainly reduce drastically the scope of what can happen at the site if significant areas are covered."

The Army camp shut without public announcement in December 2009.

● Did you apply for the camp to be listed? Please call us on 01271 347429 to tell us why, or leave a comment below.

Camp could house Atlantic Array workers - read more.

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    Joanne Bell, North Devon  |  February 10 2010, 8:43AM

    Well said Velma Hammond from Fremington! It is quite clear to me now from speaking with LOCAL people how highly regarded the camp is and its history during the war. Many from that camp gave their lives for this country and a large number of us feel it is a worthwhile gesture of respect to have it "listed" if at all possible. To Juan King - don't worry, you are quite normal. The adjudicator took off my colourful comments as to what I do when I see politicians of all makes and sizes! I believe most thinking people now realize the complete farce over so called "low cost" homes particularly those who have commented from Ilfracome. We all have children and grandchildren who will now never be able to afford to buy their own homes (well, not until Grannies like me drop dead)! Of course, if we belive Shiona (who won't even put her full name and clearly does not live in Fremington but supports the green party) we can all improve our lives, l with more and more traffic & road building; earn heaps of money from her friends in the power companies by building thousands of off-shore turbines and then buy cheap houses that she wants to build on this lovely site. Shiona love, not everything in this life revolves around making shed loads of money, building endless housing estates that people on low incomes simply cannot afford and following your party political doctrines! Personally, I would like the camp "listed" and the rest given over to a Magnificent Country Park! Trees, trees trees, large Lake, area for childen, education area for local schools to be involved; wildlife, wildlife, wildlife and loads of local volunteers! This is what should happen as this site is adjacent to the Tarka Trail and the Estuary. I have now delivered leaflets in the local area. It only takes the majority of local people to demand this for it to happen. The "park" is already there with masses of trees and wildlife. For heavens sake - why can't our politicians have some vision and imagination? I am genuinely appalled that Nick Harvey has already spoken to Ministers in Whithall about putting 3,000 migrant workers on this site BEFORE SPEAKING TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY, many of whom voted for him and actually pay his wages.

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    Len, peterlee  |  February 09 2010, 3:51PM

    It is a shame that the camp has had to close. I have used it as an army cadet and in the Regulars. However if it is costing too much to maintain then it has to go. There is a similar site up here used as a museum, but has lost funding and has had to close down.

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    Local, Ilfracombe  |  February 09 2010, 11:47AM

    As the subject of affordable homes etc being built on this site has been addressed, can I put another idea to be tossed over while this large area plan is discussed. This is not particularly Fremington Camp, but the situation for North Devon as a whole. WHEN, oh WHEN will places be built for LOCAL people? At least years ago in the old Council House estates era, it was local people who moved into new homes. In a village where my daughter lives properties have been built which can only be purchased---and resold---or rented-----to locals. What is the point of building anything if outsiders buy them-------------that doesn't make the housing shortage any better at all. Where I live now there are several holiday homes on what was all 12 months residence when we moved in. This is a modern housing estate, similar to several built in the area, not a seaside cottage. Empty houses used for a couple of months of the year! Regardless of whether they are owned by individuals, it's 'dead' housing stock for 10 months of the year, which would have been lived in, yet we're continuing to lose more open spaces to build ever more houses on.

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    Velma Hammond, fremington  |  February 08 2010, 5:01PM

    My husband is a radio ham and has spoken to numerous old soldiers all over the country who served at the camp and have very fond memories of the camp. im sure many of them would like to know it has been preserved.

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    Joanne, North Devon  |  February 08 2010, 9:54AM

    Shiona, Thanks for your response - but am in a dreadful hurry! You just don't seem to get the most issue here:- THERE HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY NO PUBLIC CONSULTATION! Clearly the greens don't believe in the democratic process .... but most of us voters do!

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    incomer of 15 years, Barnstaple  |  February 08 2010, 7:08AM

    I think that the council, English heritage and County council shouls hold lots of meetings about meetings and in 5 years time it will still be there, un touched,there will be even more homes needed by then, and we will have help to support financialy all those meetings for some not to have made a move. what ever they do with sight it will upset someone, somewhere. My own take on the building of new homes is not worth a count however if you do build new homes, remember you need to build more schools the 2 main ones in Barnstaple have seen class numbers rise and rise, the hospital will need more funding to cope, the roads to service North Devon will become much busier all year round, and will need more work to fill in the holes and resurface them. its not just about building homes there is a much bigger picture that the house builder never take on. incomer of 15 years

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    Shiona, N.Devon  |  February 07 2010, 7:51PM

    The army base has been there for years with hundreds/sometimes thousands of troops living and working there. Heavy transportation equipment and military vehicles have been travelling on those roads as well. What is the difference that Joanne finds so repugnant between the military activity on and around the site and a different group of workers (migrant or not) using the facilities. Surely, if it's affordable housing, you'll still have traffic and people using local services etc. And think of the benefit to the local economy of people buying from the local services. If it were a green field site that hadn't been used for accommodation I could understand that it would be deeply concerning to local residents. However, it's not. It's a site with accommodation and services in situ going to waste. Slightly concerned about English Heritage's sudden interest. What is there so special within the architecture and site that needs to be preserved permanently and renders it not suitable for other use? Can this not be done sympathetically - i.e grade two listings if the architecture is of interest, small museum in one of the buildings, plaques/signage etc There's little point in preserving just for the sake of it, when there is a need for redevelopment of existing area.

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    catstuffer, Fremingbum  |  February 07 2010, 3:50PM

    Joanne Bell, your a total treehugging *******

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    Juan King, North Devon  |  February 06 2010, 6:46PM

    Every time I see or hear the the term "affordable housing" I want to throttle a politician, second home owner or buy to let landlord. Am I normal?

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    Joanne Bell, Fremington, North Devon  |  February 06 2010, 12:50PM

    Nice one chaps! Totally agree with you Colin Shaddick and also Bill, Gary etc. I hope sincerely that this camp is listed and not turned into yet another souless housing estate. What has infuriated me more than anything .... is that all our self serving politicians have put all the nonsense about 3,000 migrant workers being housed here WITH ABSOLUTELY NO CONSULATION WITH FREMINGTON RESIDENTS! I call that disgraceful! If Nick, Philip, Rodney and all the other ppc's who will no doubt read this, think we, the people of Fremington Ward are just gonna roll over and play dead ..... think again guys! You should have treated us with more respect and some courtesy & consulted with the community first .......instead of just throwing this at the media because you think there's a few votes to be had! We have two millionaires here who will be living far away in the middle of green fields so they won't have to put up with the new road building to house the HUGE lorries for the building of the off shore turbines! As for the "affordable" housing red herring - haven't you seen the new regulations? If we are that desperate for low cost housing ... let's put up all low cost housing; stop 2nd home ownership etc. No, the rich developers just want to get their grubby hands on more and more of our beautiful wildlife areas. The two main threats to our country are OVER POPULATION and CONSUMERISM! Keep your hands off my countryside and my wildlife! You sure gotta work a lot harder to secure my vote. xxx

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