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Live Reporting

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  1. Industrial development approved for green field site

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    An industrial development will be built on green fields in Kingskerswell after plans were approved by the narrowest of margins at the second time of asking.

    The casting vote of the chairman was required to approve the plans for a new employment development to be built on land off Old Newton Road, that once was the Galliford Try offices during the construction of the new South Devon Highway.

    Kingskerswell field

    But Teignbridge District Council planning committee chairman Mike Haines chose to pass his deciding vote over to vice-chairman Councillor Lin Goodman-Bradbury after declaring a conflict of interest between his role on the district council and his chairmanship of the parish council.

    Tuesday's meeting had seen the committee initially vote 8-7 against approving the application. But with councillors struggling to find a reason for refusal that the planning officers felt was justified or could be defended at appeal, a second bid to approve the application was put forwarded and seconded.

    With the vote tied at 7-7, it was eventually approved on Ms Goodman-Bradbury’s casting vote.

  2. Bloodhound supersonic car back on track for high-speed run

    Jonathan Amos

    Science correspondent, BBC News

    A supersonic car which underwent testing and trial runs in Cornwall will conduct new high-speed trials in October.

    The team behind the rejuvenated Bloodhound project says it now has the financing to go test the vehicle at 500-600mph.

    This should provide the engineering data required to send Bloodhound through the sound barrier and to smash the existing land speed record (763mph; 1,228km/h) in 2020.

    Bloodhound reached speeds of 200mph at Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2017 and aims to hit 500mph in South Africa.

    The trials will be conducted on Hakskeen Pan, a dried-out lakebed in Northern Cape.

    The UK-led venture was rescued from administration by Yorkshire entrepreneur Ian Warhurst in December.

    Bloodhound car
  3. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A374 Devon northbound

    BBC News Travel

    A374 Devon northbound severe accident, from A374 to B3250 Drake Circus.

    A374 Devon - A374 Charles Street in Plymouth closed northbound from Charles Cross Roundabout to the B3250 Drake Circus junction, because of an accident involving a single vehicle.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  4. Cost of agency staff hits hospitals after increases

    Jenny Walrond

    Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

    The cost of agency staff has rocketed at many hospitals in Devon and Cornwall, with levels now far higher than in 2014 and 2015, before measures were first introduced to reduce them.

    The big spenders are the Royal Devon & Exeter, which spent just over £11.5m last financial year - its cap was £8.7m.

    The Royal Cornwall Hospital spent £9.3m - more than 50% higher than at its original peak - with Torbay and South Devon spending roughly the same.

    On the other hand Northern Devon Healthcare and University Hospitals Plymouth both reduced their spend considerably. Unfortunately there was no one available for interview to tell us how they had achieved that.

    Royal Cornwall Hospital

    Agency staff use matters because it's more expensive to buy in agency workers than pay for staff and NHS finances are already tight. Agency workers may also be less familiar with the teams they are working in.

    Demand for services is rising at a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to fill jobs, particularly in nursing. Brexit may be making the UK less attractive to some European workers.

    The Royal Devon and Exeter Trust said its priority was to maintain safe staffing at all times and that it had taken a series of actions to do this, including national and international recruitment, better conditions for temporary workers and reducing turnover rates.

    The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust also said it was trying to reduce such costs.

    The Royal Cornwall Hospital near Truro (pictured) declared a critical incident on Monday because of the large numbers of patients putting the hospital under immense pressure.

  5. Investigation into Torquay terrace fire

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Torquay fire

    An investigation is due to get under way into a fire that destroyed part of a row of terrace houses in Torquay on Tuesday afternoon.

    At its height, 50 firefighters tackled the blaze that spread to three homes in Shirburn Road after they were called to the scene at about 15:20.

    No-one was injured.

    Structural engineers have been assessing chimney stacks and roofs.

    Torquay fire
    Torquay fire
  6. Councillor calls for crackdown on 'brandjacking'

    BBC Spotlight

    signs

    It's been claimed Cornwall's tourism industry could be losing upwards of £30m a year to so-called "brandjacking".

    This is when online booking agents make sure their advert comes out at the top of searches, instead of the business itself.

    It is angering some hoteliers and B&B owners, who have said they are missing out on about 15% of the price of the accommodation.

    Councillor Armand Toms is asking Cornwall Council to write to the government to help crackdown on the practice.

    Guest house owner Nick Ames said: "You could be paying anywhere between 15 and 23% commission to these other companies."

    A Booking.com spokesman said search engines were open platforms where any business could pay to advertise.

    He said properties that chose to list with the firm were able to do so at no charge and it invested millions in advertising to help fill their rooms every night.

  7. School staff strike over pay

    BBC Spotlight

    Support staff at five Plymouth primary schools in Devon walked out in a dispute over pay on Tuesday.

    Woodford Primary is one of the schools involved. It is part of the Plym Academy Trust in Plympton.

    The staff said their pay offer is below the level set by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services.

    However, the trust said it is in an impossible position after funding cuts.

    sign
  8. Cornwall and Devon weather: Dry and sunny

    Alex Osborne

    BBC Weather

    A dry day with plenty of sunshine but some partly cloudy skies developing in the afternoon.

    Feeling warm with light winds.

    Maximum Temperature: 18 to 24C (64 to 70F).

    Weather