Decisions

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Decisions published

11/01/2023 - To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 30th November 2022 (attached ) and 14th December 2022 (attached) ref: 3345    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 11/01/2023 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 24/01/2023

Effective from: 11/01/2023

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2022 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

The Committee noted that the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2022 had been previously approved as a correct record by the Committee at its meeting on 14 December 2022.


11/01/2023 - 74775: Land at Stonelands Cross, Rackenford, Devon ref: 3346    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 11/01/2023 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 24/01/2023

Effective from: 11/01/2023

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Senior Planning Officer (DB) (circulated previously) in relation to planning application 74775.

 

The Senior Planning Officer (DB) provided an update following the deferral of the application by the Committee at its meeting on 14 December 2022 as detailed in the report.  She advised that the Highways Officer was present at the meeting to help clarify traffic data in relation to the vehicle accident and traffic movements along the A361.  In relation to the amendment to the hedgerow, she advised that the Highways Officer had confirmed that changes to the hedgerow were not required in terms of highway safety and that the Highways Authority had assessed all of the information provided by the applicant and had no technical grounds for the refusal of the application.

 

Sarah Child (Parish Council representative), Ian Lucas (objector), Pete Cruceaon (objector), Mr Comley-Payne (objector), Susanna Coffin (objector), Sarah Coffin (objector), David Morgans (objector) and Andy Pryce (applicant) addressed the Committee.

 

In response to a question from the Committee regarding the reasons why Devon County Council Highways Authority changed their consultation response from refusal to no objection, the Highways Officer (MC) advised the following:

 

·       The original planning application submitted contained very little information in relation to transport.  It stated that customers may walk or cycle to the site, therefore the Highways Authority had recommended refusal.

·       The applicant had since submitted a detailed transport assessment and modelling, which he had carefully gone through which showed that there were no capacity issues at the junction with the A361.

·       He had had discussions with Devon County Council’s Director of Climate, Environment and Transport and the Highways Improvement teams who had made significant improvements at the Borners Bridge junction and there was no evidence of the need for any improvement either with or without development in this area.

·       He had reviewed the collision data for this area and it was correct to the best of his knowledge with the exception of one incident which he had been advised by a member of the public had been plotted on the map incorrectly.  This had now been corrected.

·       The Highways and Traffic Orders Committee had recently received a presentation at its meeting regarding the safety of the highway network.

·       There was no evidence that this development would have an impact on the safety of the junction with the A361.

·       The applicant had undertaken and provided a “gap assessment” which identified that there were a significant number of gaps for traffic to join the A361 on a normal day. There would be an increase in traffic on Bank Holidays and the applicant would be aware of this and plan for that.

·       The tractor servicing would take place on farms and it was unlikely that many farmers would drive to the site, although machinery would travel to the site on lorries.

·       There was no policy reason to support the refusal for this application.

 

In response to further questions from the Committee, the Highways Officer (MC) advised the following:

 

·       The applicant had offered to provide count down markers (300, 200 and 100 yards) before the junction, which would indicate to drivers that they were approaching a junction.

·       It was common for collisions to take place when vehicles were slowing down to turn left and to be shunted by a vehicle behind.

·       The visibility splay was provided when the North Devon Link Road was constructed. If trees were encroaching, these could be cut back.

·       The location of the hedgerow was a matter for the Committee to consider in terms of landscaping and the environment. If the hedgerow was removed it would open up the site to drivers.  The Road Safety team had advised that a number of collisions had occurred on the A361 due to the lack of interest along the road, compared when travelling in an urban area which consisted of people, buildings and signs.  If the site was opened up, it could potentially have some benefits in terms of road safety.

·       It was proposed that normal directional signage would be provided along the A361 and no additional signage had been offered by the applicant.

·       If the application was refused and the applicant appealed against this decision, the Highways Authority would be not be involved in the appeal as it had  not raised an objection to the application.

·       If there was an appeal for non-determination of the application, he was confident that the Highways Authority had evidence to support no objection to the application.

·       In terms of the average vehicle movements per hour on the A361, the highest average in August was 1555, which was the busiest month of the year. The maximum number of vehicles that could accommodate a two second gap was 1800.

·       The gap assessment that was undertaken by the applicant was carried out in May and counted the number of seconds between vehicles. There were three gaps of two seconds, one gap of two seconds and then a longer gap of 56 seconds. There would be “bunching up” of vehicles travelling behind slower vehicles which would then result in a larger gap and then a platoon.  The analysis undertaken was at the busiest time of the day which was 8.00 – 9.00 am and 5.00 – 6.00 pm.  The traffic was significantly lower during the middle part of the day.  During the summer time and change over days, the traffic movements were busier.

·       If the application went to court, then the Highways Authority would attend and provide all of the necessary evidence required.

 

In response to questions, the Senior Planning Officer (DB) advised the following:

 

·       The Exmoor National Park Authority had not been consulted as it was very doubtful that the site would be visible from the National Park.  The applicant had submitted a Landscape Impact Assessment.

·       The Flood Authority had provided a consultation response and recommended technical details to be resolved as part of conditions which was not uncommon.

·       The relevant Local Plan policies were addressed and included in the main section of the report.

·       The application would be restricted to agriculture and to classes E and B.  The floor space and business units would be restricted to agricultural use.

 

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

 

·       The planning balance very clearly outlined that the application was not strictly in accordance with planning policy.

·       A sequential test had been undertaken by the applicant and no sites in South Molton, Tiverton or Witheridge were suitable and achievable. The sequential test was a snap shot in time of the sites that were available at that time.

·       Paragraph 85 of the National Planning Policy Framework supported that other sites could be identified in rural areas to meet local business needs.

·       The development was sensitive to the surroundings and there was no unacceptable impact on the road network.

·       The Highways Authority would not support an appeal.  There was risks to the Council to have costs awarded as there was no technical evidence why the application should be refused.

·       She had recently visited the site to view it from the A361.  The hedgerow screened the development and the previous development on the site could be viewed from the A361. She considered that it was more beneficial not to remove the hedgerow, however it could be translocated and all year planting could be provided to screen the development.

·       The height of the hedge could be conditioned and for the landscaping to be carried out in the first planting seasons.  The Highways Authority had advised that the hedge did not have an impact on the visibility.

·       Policy DM14 should not be used for a reason for refusal as it was not a small scale development and was larger than 250 sq m.

·       The development would not provide any retail, it was for larger agricultural goods and services and the vets would be constrained to larger animals.

·       She read Policies ST07 and ST11 (7) to the Committee.

·       The Council always relied on Devon County Council Highways Authority for an independent assessment.

 

In response to a question, the Solicitor and Data Protection Officer advised the following:

 

·       The Committee’s decision needed to be in line with planning law and planning policy.  There were two areas, where the Committee needed to balance its decision in terms of:  highways impact and economic, social and environmental benefits.

·       If the Committee was mindful to refuse the application, it had to consider that the application either significantly and demonstrably outweighed the benefits of the scheme or it had significantly adverse impacts which was demonstrated by technical representations and evidence.  The Highways Authority were the Council’s technical advisors. 

·       The Highways Officer and Road Safety Team had considered the technical reports provided by the applicant and concluded that there were no capacity issues at the junction and there were no need for improvements to be made to the junction.  Although highway improvements were not required by the Highways Officer, the applicant had put forward proposals for improvements.

·       The Council was not legally responsible for any traffic accidents that occurred and that there were a number of elements for an accident to take place.

 

The Highways Officer suggested that a presentation be provided to Members on road safety and statistics following the District Council elections in May 2023.

 

RESOLVED (6 for, 4 against, 0 abstained) that the application be REFUSED as the application did not accord with the following Local Plan policies:

 

(a)  ST11 (7) as it conflicted with other Local Plan policies;

(b)  ST01 – asked to make a judgement in terms of the social, economic and environmental impact and it was considered that the application did not outweigh the economic benefits;

(c)  ST07 – as the site was outside of the designated development boundary and it had not been demonstrated that the social and economic need outweighed the policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wards affected: Witheridge Ward;


09/01/2023 - NMD Building Control ref: 3334    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2023 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 24/01/2023

Effective from: 09/01/2023

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Planning, Housing and Health (circulated previously) regarding NMD Building Control fees.

 

The Head of Planning, Housing and Health highlighted the following:

 

·       The NMD Building Control service was facing a challenging time following the departure of a number of employees since September 2022. 

·       The current salary levels and benefits package was considered to be a contributing factor in the service’s inability to retain and attract staff.  The private sector offered very attractive financial packages.

·       Current surveyor salaries need to be enhanced to be competitive with the private sector.

·       A market supplement of 10% of basic for the surveyor positions could be accommodated by an 8% increase in fees to make the positions more attractive in the market place.

 

In response to questions, the Head of Planning, Housing and Health advised the following:

 

·       Officers had carried out analysis of the private sector building control fees.

·       Elements of the Building Control service was a statutory function and there were aspects that could only be delivered by a Local Authority.

 

Councillors Lane and Prowse declared non-registerable interests as they used the NMD Building Control service as part of his work.

 

RECOMMENDED that Building Control fees be increased by 8% with immediate effect, subject to there being no adverse representations received following the notice of intention to make this change.


09/01/2023 - Litter Working Group ref: 3344    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2023 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 24/01/2023

Effective from: 09/01/2023

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Lead Member for Environment and the Ilfracombe Harbour Master (circulated previously) regarding the Litter Working Group.

 

The Lead Member for Environment outlined the Litter Working Group report on Binfrastructure to the Committee.   She advised that this report concluded the work of the Working Group and thanked Members of the Group and Officers who had supported the Group.

 

In response to questions, the Lead Member advised the following:

 

·       Some engagement work had taken place with Petroc which resulted in some limited success in terms of littering, however the problem had now returned.

·       Business could sign up to a voluntary code of conduct in terms of litter.

·       Under the Environment Act, businesses would be responsible for the disposal of plastic.

·       If businesses persistently allowed litter on their land, then it could be cleared by the Council and the business would then be recharged.

·       Litter enforcement was really important.

 

In response, the Chief Executive advised the following:

 

·       The use of mobile cameras was highly regulated.  The Council was regulated by RIPA and the Council was not able to carry out covert surveillance unless a court order was approved by the Magistrates Court.

·       The Council was able to use overt cameras which some officers wore as body cameras.

·       Civil Enforcement Officers had powers to enforce some elements of the Public Spaces Protection Order.

·       In accordance with the Data Protection Act, the Council was required to have specific reasons to collate data.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a) That the report be and that its proposals reflect the Litter Strategy agreed by Strategy and Resources in February 2021, and that a better record of our assets and improvement in procedures was necessary in order to manage litter more effectively be noted;

 

(b) That it be noted that the Harbour Master had made a funding bid to support the harbour binfrastructure changes, and that if the bid was not successful that a future bid, or request for funding from NDC, would be needed;

 

(c) That it also be noted that the Environment Enhancement Service had set a target of the end of March to achieve an up-to-date record of bins in the bin mapping tool; that this target included a system for requesting mapping updates in line with bin requests.

 

Councillor Worden thanked Councillor Pearson, the Harbour Master and Members of the Litter Working Group for their work.


09/01/2023 - Corporate Plan Delivery Highlight report ref: 3343    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2023 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 24/01/2023

Effective from: 09/01/2023

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Programme Management and Performance (circulated previously) regarding the Corporate Plan Delivery highlight report.

 

The Head of Programme Management and Performance highlighted the following:

 

·       In December 2021 the Heads of Services presented their emerging programmes to Members to test their proposed direction of travel and to give Members an opportunity to identify any other areas they felt needed to be considered within the scope of these programmes.

·       This was the first highlight report presented to the Committee and it provided an update on progress being made on the four emerging programmes to support the delivery of the Corporate Plan.

·       Feedback on the layout of the report was welcomed.

·       Page 41 showed a pyramid diagram which set out the thread of activity and how this hangs together.

·       The Policy Development Committee at its meeting on 5 January 2023 approved the service plans.

·       The table under paragraph 1.10 of the report, set out all of the projects sitting under the four programmes, the project manager/lead and the status of that project.

·       Further work was required to test the performance measures to ensure that they were progressive rather than reflective.

 

In response to questions, the Head of Programme Management and Performance advised the following:

 

·       The frequency of reporting progress on the Corporate Plan delivery to Members was a decision for the Committee.

·       The Lead Members could present the progress reports to the Committee.

·       The balanced scorecard provided the totals of the number of projects that contributed to each corporate priority.  It showed that the number of projects were quite balanced across all of the Council’s corporate priorities.

·       Regular update reports were provided to the Senior Management Team and further work required to be completed for critical paths were considered.

 

In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:

 

·       There had been no change in policy in relation to changing holiday homes to permanent homes.  Where a planning application was submitted to change the use of a property, Officers would consider the planning balance.  Due to the current housing problem, this was a material consideration when determining applications.

·       The Government was currently carrying out consultation in relation to the introduction of a registration scheme for holiday homes and the requirement for planning consent for the change of use of accommodation to a holiday home.

·       The Street Marshalls patrolled during the daytime and evenings.  Prior to the temporary closure of the public conveniences at the Cattle Market, Barnstaple, the Street Marshalls patrolled this area on an hourly basis.

·       Considered that the highlight report should be presented to the Committee on a regular basis i.e. quarterly or half yearly as it provided an update on the programmes which delivered the Council’s corporate objectives. If quarterly this could be presented either alongside or within the performance and financial management report.  Presenting the report on an annual basis was too long a period.

 

In response to questions, the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised the following:

 

·       That if the highlight report was incorporated within the current quarterly performance and financial management report that it would then be presented to the Strategy and Resources Committee, Policy Development Committee and onto full Council and therefore all Members would be kept informed. Discussions would take place regarding how it could be embedded within the quarterly performance and financial management.

 

The Committee noted a typographical error on page 65 of the report and that the “Environment Bill” should be amended to the “Environment Act”.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That the progress made to date on delivering these programmes be noted;

(b)  That where possible Lead Members report on progress made on programmes within their portfolio on a quarterly basis to the Committee.


09/01/2023 - To agree the agenda between Part 'A' and Part 'B' (Confidential Restricted Information). ref: 3332    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2023 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 24/01/2023

Effective from: 09/01/2023

Decision:

RESOLVED that item 10 be considered following item 7 on the agenda to allow the Head of Planning, Housing and Health to attend the webinar on the Local Authority Housing Fund.


09/01/2023 - To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2022 (attached) ref: 3331    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2023 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 24/01/2023

Effective from: 09/01/2023

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2022 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


09/01/2023 - Devon Carbon Plan ref: 3333    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2023 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 24/01/2023

Effective from: 09/01/2023

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Sustainability and Climate Officer (circulated previously) regarding the Devon Carbon Plan.

 

The Sustainability and Climate Officer highlighted the following:

 

·       The Devon Carbon Plan had been officially launched on 27 September 2022. 

·       The Devon Climate Emergency Partnership had led the collaboration and alignment of almost 30 organisations across the county.

·       The Plan provided an evidence led plan which formed a roadmap which encourages each partner organisation, and organisations and communities beyond the partnership to help deliver it.

 

In response to questions, the Sustainability and Climate Officer advised the following:

 

·       North Devon Council’s to reach net zero emissions by 2030 was a target for the Council as an organisation.

·       The Devon Carbon Plan’s target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 was a target for the county as a whole which included all businesses and organisations which was in line with the Government’s commitments.

·       These targets were reflected in the Council’s Climate Emergency Declaration and Carbon Reduction Plan.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That the Devon Carbon Plan be endorsed;

 

(b)  That the Council continue to work in collaboration with the Devon Climate Emergency Partnership in reducing carbon emissions across the County.


23/01/2023 - Request for waiver: Heritage Protection Commissions programme ref: 3355    Recommendations Approved

Project Manager for a successful funding bid to the Heritage Protection Commissions Programme: A fabric type series for medieval and post-medieval pottery in Devon and Cornwall.

 

Decision Maker: Director of Resources/Deputy Chief Executive

Decision published: 23/01/2023

Effective from: 23/01/2023

Decision:

That Kate Berlewen be awarded the contract.

Lead officer: Sarah-Jane Mackenzie-Shapland


19/01/2023 - Port Safety Ladders for Ilfracombe Harbour ref: 3353    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Head of Place, Property and Regeneration

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 19/01/2023

Decision:

Port Safety are the only supplier of these GRP safety ladders in the UK and the alternative would be to replace the Harbour ladders with steel ladders or galvanised and although Port Safety ladders are not the cheapest, these ladders are the best design and most durable for maritime conditions and will stand the test of time. The ladders are part of the funding package awarded by the Marine Management Organisation under ENGFaSS2938 and have undergone the MMO procurement process which is consistent with the councils own procurement requirements and the MMO have awarded Port Safety as the supplier of the Harbour Ladders.


Wards affected: Ilfracombe West Ward;

Lead officer: Georgina Carlo-Paat


19/01/2023 - Oltco Rebound Pedestrian walkway for Ilfracombe Harbour ref: 3354    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Head of Place, Property and Regeneration

Decision published: 19/01/2023

Effective from: 19/01/2023

Decision:

within the fishermen’s working area.
I can confirm that, despite non-compliance with the requirement to seek at least three quotes, the award of this contract to the above supplier will be best value for the Council for the following reason(s):
Oltco have been awarded by the Marine Management Organisation to supply this resin bound walkway as part of the grant funding ENGFaSS2939 and as such have undergone the MMOs procurement process which is in line with the councils own procurement process. Oltco are the only supplier of resin bound surfaces that utilise waste plastic made from recycled fishing waste from vessels in the south west including those in Ilfracombe Harbour. This material is suitable for heavy artic lorries and has a 20 year minimum guarantee.

Wards affected: Ilfracombe West Ward;

Lead officer: Georgina Carlo-Paat


11/01/2023 - Temporary Closure of Cattle Market Toilets, Barnstaple ref: 3342    Recommendations Approved

Incidents of drug taking and alleged dealing from the public toilets at Tuly Street (Cattle Market) have increased in recent months.  Council staff are now clearing drug taking paraphernalia from the toilets on a daily basis.  Officers have reported numerous issues including one officer having to resuscitate one person who had suffered an overdose.  As a result, a decision was taken to close the facility prior to Christmas in order to prevent further health and safety issues.  The closure was intended to last until 10th January.

 

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 11/01/2023

Decision:

To temporarily close the toilets until 7th February 2023 in order to prevent further criminal activity at this location

Lead officer: Sarah-Jane Mackenzie-Shapland