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Fancy hosting a Rugby World Cup team? East Devon hotel up for sale

An East Devon hotel that will play host to a couple of teams during the Rugby World Cup is on the market.

Woodbury Park Hotel near Exeter has been put up for sale with a guide price of around £12 million. It was previously owned by motor racing champion Nigel Mansell and the complex is still home to his World of Racing museum.

The Woodbury Park Hotel near Exeter Credit: ITV News


Investigation into water tank crash in Devon

The elderly woman was airlifted to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital with severe leg wounds Credit: PA

An investigation is underway into a crash in East Devon in which two elderly pedestrians were crushed by a water bowser.

It came loose from a tractor on the A375 at Sidbury, north of Sidmouth yesterday morning. The tank crashed into the man and woman, leaving them with severe leg injuries. They were taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for treatment.

Statement from former councillor Graham Brown

In a statement accompanying his resignation to East Devon District Council, Graham Brown maintained that he has not broken the law but had ‘misjudged the situation’. His statement read:

It is with great regret that I have decided today to step down and resign my position as an East Devon District Councillor due to the unbearable media pressure from the Daily Telegraph.

I wish to announce a full apology to my councillor colleagues across the whole political spectrum at East Devon and to the East Devon District Council officers for my disparaging remarks.

I would like to add that I stand by the fact that although I thoroughly misjudged the situation, I remain firm in the knowledge that I have not broken the law and will work to clear my name of any wrongdoing.”

– Graham Brown

Graham Brown resigns from East Devon District Council

An East Devon Councillor, suspended from the Conservative party after being secretly filmed apparently suggesting he can get controversial planning developments passed, has resigned.

Graham Brown has resigned his seat representing East Devon’s Feniton and Buckerell Ward with immediate effect following claims he made to undercover Daily Telegraph reporters. In his resignation statement he cited his reasons as 'unbearable media pressure'.

Earlier today East Devon District Council referred Mr Brown's comments to the police under the Bribery Act 2010 and its own policy on Fraud, Theft and Anti-Corruption, saying that the comments warranted independent examination by the police, who may choose to investigate further.

Although Graham Brown has not been a member of our planning committee his comments still raised serious issues and we have responded to them quickly, firmly and fairly.

Given our earlier referral of the issue to the police I do not wish to comment any further at this stage, other than to reassure the public that we will cooperate fully and openly if the police decide to investigate.

We continue to carefully assess the situation pending a response from the police, and any possible investigation under the Councillor Code of Conduct is on hold until we have that response.

– Mark Williams, Chief Executive of East Devon District Council

Council boss says Police will decide if criminal investigation is called for

Earlier this week we promised to carefully assess comments made by Cllr Graham Brown to undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph and to respond on the powers the Council has to deal with possible breaches of the Councillor Code of Conduct.

Whilst Cllr Brown is not a member of the planning committee which decides on planning applications his claims of being able to influence the system have deeply troubled both the council and the public."

– Mark Williams, Chief Executive, East Devon District Council


Councillor suspended after secret filming

An East Devon Councillor has been suspended from the Conservative party after being secretly filmed apparently suggesting he can get controversial planning developments passed.

In the film, Graham Brown, who runs a planning consultancy, is heard to say "If I can't get planning, nobody will."

Mr Brown insists he always declares his business interests and takes no part in planning decisions. In this interview for ITV West Country he denies he has done anything wrong.

See the secret filming by the Daily Telegraph here

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of the Conservative group on East Devon District Council said:

"I and other members feel that Cllr Brown has brought himself, the party and council in to disrepute with his comments, and even though his interest as a planning consultant has been declared this does not excuse the remarks he made."

Committee turns down Knowle planning application

Controversial plans to redevelop Council offices in Sidmouth have been thrown out by planners.

East Devon District Council wanted to build fifty homes and a sixty-bed care home on the site of their current headquarters and move to Honiton.

It follows protests by local people who formed the 'Save our Sidmouth' campaign.

Councillors on the Development Management Committee turned down the application, which had been made by East Devon District Council officers.

In a three-hour meeting, six councillors voted against the application and three were in favour of it.

Today’s decision followed an in-depth debate which took in to account the many and varied issues associated with such a unique application. It certainly proves that nothing about this application was a foregone conclusion and the proper process was followed by the council.

Members reached a decision based on clear material planning considerations having listened to arguments for and against.

– Cllr Mark Williamson, Chairman of the Development Management Committee
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