Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by the Lead Planning Officer (Majors) (circulated previously).
The Service Manager (Development Management) addressed the Committee and advised that:
· The application consisted of the demolition of number 18 St Andrews Road and the building of 161 dwellings, with the access through the site of the demolished dwelling.
· Correspondence had been received from the owners of Church Farm regarding the movement of vehicles alongside their property. Amendments had been made to the application to alleviate this.
· Natural England were satisfied with the proposed access to the Tarka Trail on the provision that a condition was included to monitor and review the mitigation measures proposed. The Environment Agency confirmed thay had no objections subject to receipt of an updated Flood Risk Assessment and imposition of a condition to control finished floor levels. Delegated Authority to the Head of Planning, Environmental Health and Housing was sought to update the FRA and impose the above suggested conditions.
· The site access had been reviewed by the Highways Officer and now had improved visibility and surface treatments. Development was now to be further from the western boundary than originally planned.
· Although the site was initially considered within the North Devon and Torridge Joint Local Plant had been found unviable as there was no access. The demolition of 18 St Andrews Road had enabled it to be considered viable and had been approved with no concerns from Devon County Council (DCC).
In response to a question from the Ward Member, the Service Manager (Development Management) confirmed that the photographs presented had not been ‘doctored’.
The Service Manager (Development Management) advised that:
· The site would provide a biodiversity net gain of over 44% which gave the application substantial weight.
· Traffic headlight heights would be looked at in relation to lights shining into properties.
· An Air Quality assessment had been submitted. The resulting effects of the development were deemed to be low and the levels were expected to remain at an acceptable standard.
· DCC would use Section 106 contributions towards improvements to be made to the Esso garage junction.
· There would be minimal tree loss and further planting.
Paul Hyde (supporter) and Cllr Graham Bell (of North Devon and Torridge Housing Crisis Group) (supporter) addressed the Committee.
Patricia Ward (objector), Diane Etheridge (objector), Helen Elder (objector), Nancy Child (Reading a statement on behalf of Derrick Slade) (objector), Deborah White (objector), and Kerry Slocome (objector) addressed the Committee.
Dan Yeates (agent) addressed the Committee.
Councillors Walker (Bickington) and Knight (Roundswell) addressed the Committee as objectors from neighbouring wards. Councillor Biederman addressed the Committee as Ward Member.
In response to questions from the Committee, Paul Young of Devon County Council Highways confirmed:
· Highways were opposed to the development in 2017 as there had been issues to be addressed, however it was now considered that the access met the minimum standards required. There was adequate room for commercial vehicles to pass and the footpaths met the required standards. The only reason for refusal from DCC would be the failure to agree a Section 106 contribution towards improvements at the Cedars and Wrey Arms’ junctions. DCC North Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee had considered indicative proposals for those improvements.
· On street parking was not found to be a concern at the location.
· Any new access was required to be 2 metres wide. Existing areas were not required to be updated to meet that width. Although the preferred option would be for all to meet the new standards this was not a reason to refuse or object to the proposal.
· The area was residential and classed as a low speed area. Shared use of pedestrians, cyclists and cars was acceptable.
· In response to questions from the Committee, the Service Manager (Development Management) confirmed that the Fremington Neighbourhood Plan had not yet been adopted so it currently held no weight.
The Legal Adviser confirmed that the path was owned by BDW Trading and this path was not expected to be the main access to the site. It was unknown as to whether BDW Trading were connected to the applicant.
RESOLVED (12 for, 0 against, 1 abstained) that the application be DEFERRED for 2 cycles to allow for a site visit to take place in order for:
(i) The Committee to view the site from a distance,
(ii) To understand the amenity issues at the 2 access points.
(iii) The Officers to obtain information from Church Park Farm in relation to the creation of a public right of way across the land, and consider, with Ward Members and Officers, the need for the football pitch, and
(iv) To allow the developers time to investigate alternative access to the site and consider a 2 metre barrier to reduce noise, and a specialist be invited to attend a future Committee to discuss this.
Publication date: 03/05/2022
Date of decision: 13/04/2022
Decided at meeting: 13/04/2022 - Planning Committee