Agenda item

73208 Former Clay Pits, Tews Lane, Bickington, Devon

Outline application for the erection of 2 dwellings, some matters reserved (appearance, landscaping and scale) (amended plan, documents and description). Report by the Senior Planning Officer (attached).


Also present:  Mr M. Steart (Agent), Councillor S. Kingdom, representing Fremington Parish Council.


The Committee received the following statement from the Corporate and Community Admin Assistant:


“Any observations which are made during the course of this site visit by Members of the Planning Committee are limited to those issues identified by the Planning Committee of North Devon District Council.


Such observations are made after viewing the site and on the basis of the limited information available on site.


Any such observations are, nor should they be taken as an indication that the application is acceptable or unacceptable. A full presentation and consideration of all the planning issues will be made when the matter was determined by the Planning Committee.”


Councillor F. Tucker re-declared a pecuniary interest and took no part in this site inspection..


The Committee considered the reasons for the site inspection as outlined by the Senior Planning Officer (circulated previously), those being:


·         To consider the issues surrounding the access to the proposed site

·         To consider the visual impact of the site on neighbouring properties


The Senior Planning Officer briefly outlined the application (circulated previously), noting the objections raised by Devon County Council (DCC) Highways regarding the access to the proposed development and that they were limited to concerns regarding the visibility either side of the access point opposite Shallow Fields Road.


The Committee:

·         Arrived on site at the car park, located to the south of the proposed site.

·         Walked down Tews Lane from the car park to the proposed access point of the site.

·         Walked west along the proposed access road, noting the boundary edges either side of the road. It was further noted that the Former Clay Pits had been closed approximately twenty years, and that prior to the closure, the road had been used to access the Clay Pits.

·         Continued down the access road towards Footpath 17, noting the large concrete passing point along the road prior to Footpath 17.

·         Walked along the northern path of Footpath 17, noting the boundaries of the site along the northern and western edge bordering Higher Gorse Road.

·         Walked along Higher Gorse Road to note the proposed drainage and the boundary along the northern side of the proposed site. The Committee also noted the spacing of the existing housing.

·         Viewed the access road from the garden of 5 Higher Gorse Road, and noted the impact of the road overlooking the garden.

·         Returned to the car park via Higher Gorse Road.


In response to a question as to who owned the hedge rows and boundary fence along either side of the access road, the Senior Planning Officer advised that the northern side of the access road (the hedgerows) were not owned by the developer, but that the boundary fences along the south of the access road were owned by the developer.


In response to a question as to whether or not the access could be changed from the old access road and moved to Higher Gorse Road, the Senior Planning Officer advised that a land dispute currently prevented the access from being changed from the existing old road to Higher Gorse Road instead.


The Committee requested the following information for consideration at Planning Committee:

·         Was Footpath 17 always present and formalized prior to the Clay Pits opening, or was it established at a later date, and how does it impact any Rights of Way for the proposed development.


Supporting documents: