Venue: Virtual - Online meeting. View directions
Contact: Corporate and Community Services 01271 388253
Note: Please accept this appointment into your calendar (if you are able to attend the meeting). Can you please join 10-15 minutes prior to the commencement of the meeting by clicking on the "Join Microsoft Teams Meeting" link below this email to ensure that the meeting starts on time or by clicking on the Teams app on your iPad. If you are joining the meeting as a member of the public, please either click on the link below if you have the Microsoft Teams app or dial in using the international dialling code as detailed below and enter the conference code when prompted to do so.”
Virtual meetings procedure - briefing and etiquette
Chair to report.
The Chair outlined the virtual meeting procedure and etiquette to the Committee and attendees. The Corporate and Community Services Officer confirmed the attendees present.
Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Councillor Chesters (who appointed Councillor Lane to be her substitute), Councillor Gubb (who appointed Councillor Biederman to be her substitute) and Councillor Yabsley (who appointed Councillor Barker to be his substitute).
Apologies were also received from Councillor Mack, who, although had recently been elected to the Committee, had not yet received the required training to allow him to take part in the meeting.
Items brought forward which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered by the meeting as a matter of urgency
The Chair advised the Committee that he wished to be provided with an update on the High Court decision on the Application 56528 Ruda Holiday Park, Moor Lane, Croyde, and also to advise the Committee that his internet connection was intermittent and that the Vice Chair may need to step in should his connection be lost.
Declaration of Interests
(Please complete the form provided at the meeting or telephone the Corporate and Community Services Team to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting. Items must be re-declared when the item is called, and Councillors must leave the room if necessary)
The following declarations of interest were announced:
Councillor Crabb: Planning application 60823 declared a personal interest as the applicant was known to him.
Councillor Biederman: Planning application 71708 declared a personal interest as two of the applicants, and objectors were known to him.
The Committee considered a report by the Lead Planning Officer (South) (circulated previously).
The Lead Planning Officer (South) addressed the Committee and advised:
· Since the publication of the agenda, 98 (plus the 11 referred to in the addendum) letters of objection had been received (109 in total). All had been read. Additional issues not already captured in the report included:
o Format of the Planning Committee meeting
o Request for a recorded vote
o Water Quality concerns at Instow Beach
o Why wasn’t the site bought by NDC when it was offered for sale?
o Lack of broadband
o Impact on fresh water reed beds
o Rock armour would result in erosion elsewhere
o Quantity versus quality of biodiversity net gain
These issues would be covered within the presentation.
· Two further consultation responses had been received from Environmental Health (regarding noise) and the Environment Agency (regarding ecology) which would be dealt with as part of the presentation. The response from the Environment Agency had been emailed to the Committee Members.
· Local opinion on the site had been recognised. This was a complex site and the application was a hybrid for mixed used development as set out in the Local Development Plan – section FRE02.
· The site was a 12.36 hectare (ha) brown-field and considered for regeneration. The proposed application was for the development of 11.74ha due to the constraints on site. Many objections related to the asbestos on site. There were two areas of known buried asbestos contamination. These would be further buried when the site levels were increased by 2.6m. Environmental Health and the Environment Agency would be involved in monitoring contamination.
· Recreational use of the green areas (within the ash beds) would relieve dog walking pressure on the foreshore.
· The impact on the natural environment was a major concern in representations. Natural England and the RSPB were satisfied with the mitigation measures proposed within the site design.
· Further to the virtual site inspection, clarification had been sought regarding the fill plan for the site from the Environmental Statement submitted. Some of the fill would be transported to the site from Glenn Cross Quarry and some would be shipped to the site using the jetty.
· The Environment Agency had now recommended additional conditions to protect the water-based ecology. It was recommended that the Planning Officer be delegated power to include the additional conditions recommended by the Environment Agency. The provision of the Bat habitat would be covered within phase one of development.
· Additional views of the visual impact of the site from the surrounding area, showing the views at present (pre-development) were provided as requested at the site visit. These included views from Crow Point, Blackstone Rock (Heanton Punchardon footpath 24), Appledore, the south west coast path from the edge of the site, Braunton (from Down Lane and Old Down Lane track) and from the top of Pottery Lane/Worlington Hill.
· Heritage Impact on the site was deemed to be moderate to less-than-substantial harm.
· Further to the ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Adjournment of Meeting
RESOLVED that it being 14.35 pm the meeting be adjourned for a break and reconvene at 15.00pm.
The Committee considered a report by the Senior Planning Officer (RB) (circulated previously).
The Planning Officer addressed the Committee and advised that:
· Residents of the neighbouring properties had been consulted at each stage.
· The solar farm would have an operational life of 35 years.
· Impact on the roads would mainly be during the construction and decommissioning of the site.
· The application was covered under policy EN1 of the JLDP.
· The land classification was grade 3B and 4 agricultural land (with 1 being excellent and 5 poor) and was therefore permitted for use as a solar farm. The land was actively being used for pasture and it was anticipated that sheep would continue to graze when the solar panels have been installed.
· The panels would be single faced and not bi-faced as previously stated.
· The site would not be visible from any major leisure or tourist attractions in the area. The site would be visible to traffic using a short stretch of the A39 between Bideford and Barnstaple.
· An objection had been received from a neighbour in relation to the lighting and CCTV cameras on site. This was confirmed to be provided by four post-mounted CCTV cameras/lights which would be faced into the site and would be motion-activated.
· A correction to the report was noted – where the figure of 12,700 homes should have been written, rather than 12,7000.
· There were no listed buildings or assets within the site boundary, and no significant impact to any within 2km of the site.
· There were no objections from Historic England.
· The site was within flood zone one.
· Devon County Council (DCC) had no objections in principle.
· A drainage strategy had been proposed.
· Environmental Health were satisfied that any noise could be mitigated to an acceptable level.
· Natural England had no objections.
· Construction materials would be sourced locally and regionally.
· Construction vehicles would be using five different routes to travel to and from the site.
Stephen Jarvis Chair of Fremington Parish Council Climate Emergency Working Party (supporter), Paul Stagg (land owner) and Martin Gear (land owner) addressed the Committee.
The Senior Corporate and Community Services Officer read statements from Graham King (objector) and Ian Robinson (objector) to the Committee.
Dr Philip Bratby, Rebecca Bartleet and Penny Mills (objectors), all of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) addressed the Committee.
Claire Hewitt (agent) and Chris Featonby (applicant) addressed the Committee.
It was noted that Stuart Martin who had registered to speak, was present at the meeting, but unable to address the Committee.
In response to questions from the Committee, the Planning Officer (RB) advised: