Agenda item

73742: Land south of Broomhouse Park and west of Willow Rise, Witheridge, Tiverton, Devon. EX16 8FD

Residential development of 155 dwellings and associated infrastructure (amended plans dated 18/07/2022), Report by Lead Officer (South) (attached).



The Committee considered a report by the Lead Officer (South) (circulated previously).


The Lead Officer (South) advised that following the publication of the agenda the following had been received:


·       The consultation period in relation to the amended plans ended on 12 October 2022. As a result, the total number of objections received had increased as summarised in a table on the presentation.

·       An updated consultation response from South West Water.

·       An updated consultation response from Devon County Council (DCC) Lead Local Flood Authority and raised no objections.

·       Ongoing discussions and emails had been exchanged between the GP Medical Surgery and the applicant’s agent. The applicant had now answered a series of questions that had been raised by the Surgery in relation to the land ownership and the provision of parking spaces.


Further to the questions raised at the Planning Committee site inspection held on 13 October 2022, the Lead Officer (South) advised the following:


·       In relation to the potential visual impact of the view of the church from the view point along footpath (FP1), Two Moors Way, once the development had been built out in accordance with the landscape visual impact assessment the visual impact would lesson over time once the hedgerows and trees had grown.

·       There would be a requirement for DCC to hard surface the footpath link from Willow Rise to the development.

·       There was no proposal to hard surface the public right of way as discussed at the site inspection.

·       The footpath from phase 1 of the development would not be adopted as part of the cycle network. Cyclists would be able to travel between phase 1 to phase 2 using the road networks.

·       No additional lighting would be provided along the lane as the development was located in a “dark corridor” and would conflict with ecology.

·       The application site was predominately grade 3 best and most versatile agricultural land.  A condition would be proposed regarding the use of top soil.

·       The applicant had agreed to gift the area of land located at the rear of the GP medical centre to the centre to maintain privacy for the consultancy rooms.

·       The location of the attenuation pond could not be relocated on a technical design basis.

·       The land located adjacent to the medical centre was privately owned and there was no guarantee that this would become available for the medical centre to expand.

·       NHS Primary Care had advised that there was no requirement for section 106 contributions to be obtained for the expansion of the medical centre and therefore section 106 contributions could not be sought for this purpose.


Councillor Jacky Harvey (Parish Council Representative), Reg England (objector), Mat Bennett (applicant) and Martin Bagshaw (agent) addressed the Committee.


The Senior Corporate and Community Services Officer read out statements received from Barnabas and Campie Hurst-Bannister (objectors) and Hugh Meller (objector) to the Committee.


In response to representations made, the Lead Officer (South) advised the following:


·       The former Planning Manager had attended a Parish Council meeting and that she had also met with representatives of the Parish Council and Ward Member on site.  The issues raised had been addressed within the committee report.

·       A capacity study in relation to sewage had been submitted as part of the application and no objections had been received from South West Water or DCC Lead Local Flood Authority.

·       The statutory provider of electricity National Grid would be responsible for keeping the grid up to date.  Broadband providers had a duty to ensure that connections were up-to-date.


In response to questions, the Highways Officer (MN) advised the following:


·       He was not aware of the trigger points for the provision of additional bus services. 

·       He had provided a consultation response to the application and 3 out of the 4 recommended conditions had been included as part of the recommendation.

·       He had also gone through every objection.

·       The proposed road widths were in accordance with the Devon Design Guide Manual and there was no evidence to state that the road widths were unsuitable.


Councillor Yabsley addressed the Committee in his capacity as Ward Member and Devon County Councillor.


In response to questions from the Committee, the Lead Officer (South) advised the following:


·       Discussions had taken place with the developer at an early stage in the planning process regarding the location of the attenuation pond and it could not be moved due to technical design reasons.

·       Section 106 contributions for the expansion of the GP medical centre could not be sought as the NHS Primary Care had advised that there was no requirement for the centre to be expanded.

·       Historic discussions had been previously held regarding the footpath being used as an alternative access if the garages were demolished, however this was not part of the application.

·       The GP medical centre were aware of the offer that had been made by the applicant. The developer had submitted amended plans including the area of land to be gifted to the medical centre and the provision of parking spaces. This was an additional offer by the developer and not a planning obligation.  The GP medical centre first responded that the  provision of 8 parking spaces was not sufficient and there was no opportunity to future proof the expansion of the medical centre.  This could not be secured as it was not currently required. In relation to gifting of the land to the medical centre, the developer had agreed to cover the medical centre’s fees, but these would be capped.  There was still some disagreement regarding sufficient land being available to the north of the medical centre for expansion, however there was no policy basis to seek this.

·       The applicant had submitted a twin tracked application reference 74789.

·       Delegated authority was being sought for further negotiations with the applicant to ensure that the layout and barriers along the footpath from Wiringa Way did not conflict with cyclists.

·       Officers had not requested the developer to use a Design Review Panel as there was no benefit in doing so given the neighbouring site established design principles.


In response to a question from Councillor Yabsley, the agent confirmed that the applicant would be in agreement to transfer the land for the provision of 8 parking spaces to the GP Medical Centre and for it to be coterminous with the land gifted at the rear of the centre.  He confirmed that the attenuation pond could not be moved.


In response to questions, the Service Manager (Development Management) advised:


·       That the Committee needed to take into account the planning considerations in accordance with planning policy and the National Planning Policy Framework. The provision of land to the GP medical centre was outside of the planning considerations remit.

·       That the Council still did not have a 5 year housing land supply. The Planning Policy team were currently looking at the numbers and the position would be known during the autumn.  Therefore for this application, the tilted balanced needed to be applied.


RESOLVED that it being 1.00 p.m. the meeting continue in order for the remaining business to be transacted.


RESOLVED (11 for, 0 against, 1 abstained) that the application be APPROVED as recommended by the Lead Officer (South) subject to the Lead Officer (South) being delegated authority to undertake further negotiations with the applicant regarding the proposed parking spaces for the GP medical centre and the position of the attenuation pond in consultation with the Chair of the Committee, Ward Member and the GP Medical Centre.


Councillors Fowler, D. Spear and L Spear left the meeting.

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