Venue: Phoenix Chamber, Phoenix House, Tiverton
Contact: Carole Oliphant Member Services Officer
ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN (0.04.04)
To elect a Vice Chairman for the remainder of the municipal year.
Cllr P J Heal was duly elected Vice Chairman for the remainder of the municipal year.
APOLOGIES AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS (0.05.55)
To receive any apologies for absence and notices of appointment of substitute.
Apologies were received from Cllr G Barnell who was substituted by Cllr B Holdman.
Members to note the Hybrid Meetings Protocol.
The Committee had before it, and NOTED, the Hybrid Meetings Protocol.
Note: *Protocol previously circulated and attached to the minutes.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME (0.06.25)
To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Note: A maximum of 30 minutes is allowed for this item.
Jan Jones spoke in relation to the proposed Solar Farm at Langford…… I am speaking on behalf of the residents of Langford and the surrounding areas who are unable to attend due to work commitments. I have two questions, my first is, can you tell me why this proposal is even being considered if in the Mid Devon Solar PV development in the landscape document it states that in this area i.e. the Lowlands Plane LCTVE, above 15 hectares, would be classified as a high sensitivity area and this proposal is 4 times that at 60.7 so therefore should be rejected? This question was not answered by the case officer in the planning balance section of his report.
My second question is, after 40 years of operation the soil will be severely degraded and recommissioning would have to be carried out with care to prevent damage to solar panels and leakage of toxic materials i.e. cadmium. How will this be done as the application says nothing about the decommissioning? I understand that after ten years of operation, the site could be reclassified as brown field. Is the Committee happy that this might mean the land is forever lost to agriculture and could become an industrial or housing estate?
Michael Jones spoke in relation to the same application…….At the previous meeting at which this application was discussed a question was asked as to why the reasons for rejection had been reduced to half a page of bullet points. The answer given was that the members of the committee could read all the objections. Surely it is the purpose of the officer's report to present all the facts. Can you state how many members of the committee have actually read all the objections?
Second question, it was stated in the previous minutes and the quote “there would be a financial investment in the local economy with employment opportunities”. Given the permanent loss of farm jobs and the supply chain, what are these opportunities? Contractors will use a transient workforce from outside the district and none of the investment will transfer to community jobs.
Third question, please can you clarify what provision has been made for the deer whose natural corridor runs directly from the solar farm along the River Weaver which has been observed by local residents for many years?
Richard Hughes speaking in relation to Deer Barn, Hockworthy stated……… If the investment is hugely disproportionate to the expected income making the proposal financially unviable will the application be refused? If it is not refused on these grounds, where in MDDCs Local Plan is there an indication that financially unviable businesses could be allowed?
If the Full Ecological Appraisal was based on incorrect information (regarding external lighting) and undertaken at a time when bats are hibernating (daylight hours in March) will the applicants be asked to commission a report based on correct facts and at an appropriate time of year for a fair report? Will the appraisal have provided false information on ... view the full minutes text for item 42.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS UNDER THE CODE OF CONDUCT (0.41.56)
Councillors are reminded of the requirement to declare any interest, including the type of interest, and reason for that interest at each item.
Members were reminded of the need to declare any interests when appropriate.
Members to consider whether to approve the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 23rd June 2021.
The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd June 2021 were agreed as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.
CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS (0.42.55)
To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.
The Chairman announced that Cllr D J Knowles had stepped back from the Planning Committee and she thanked him for his Vice Chairmanship and for the years he had served on the Committee.
DEFERRALS FROM THE PLANS LIST (0.43.45)
To report any items appearing in the Plans List which have been deferred.
There were no deferrals from the Plans List.
To consider the planning applications contained in the list.
The Committee considered the applications in the *Plans List.
Note: *List previously circulated and attached to the minutes.
a) Application 20/01631/FULL - Erection of a dwelling and construction of new vehicular access at Land and Building at NGR 305693 110454, (East Of Butsons Farm), Stenhill.
The Planning Officer outlined the application and explained that the application site was in Stenhill which was not a defined settlement under Policy S13 of the Local Plan. The application site was, therefore, in the open countryside under Policy S14 where development was permitted subject to appropriate conditions. It was subject to the same restrictions defined under Policy DM6 such as affordable housing and local connections for residents.
The Officer outlined the application by way of a presentation which highlighted the block plan, floor plans, elevations, illustrations and photographs of the site.
In response to public questions he stated:
· The authority had recognised the green credentials of the scheme but the location had to be sustainable and not outweigh the emissions created by it. There were no public transport links close to the property
Consideration was given to:
· The siting of solar panels on the garage roof and electric car charging facilities to enable a more sustainable way of living had been incorporated in the design
· Officers views that the development location was not sustainable as it was not in a designated settlement and had no access to public transport or local infrastructure
· The views of the objector who stated it was a significant property in a rural area, there was no need for the dwelling when the applicants family already had a substantial building very close to the site
· The views of the supporter who stated that the applicant had met all the criteria of Policy DM6 apart from the location. The site was 1 mile from the settlement of Uffculme and other properties had been allowed on appeal. The development aligned with a top priority of the Council which was climate change
· The views of the Ward Members who stated the development was a design of exceptional build and quality, refusal was wrong as this was not just a house but a way of life and that the Council should be encouraging these sorts of self builds in rural locations
· The views of Members who felt that the location already had a number of large farmsteads around it and that now and again smaller properties were required in hamlets
· Members views were that any village property would need to rely on private transport due to the lack of public transport in rural areas
· Members views that if there was a barn on the site it would have been granted Class Q permission to turn it into a house anyway the only difference was this was a new build
It was therefore RESOLVED that: planning permission be granted subject to conditions delegated to the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration.
(Proposed by Cllr B G J Warren and seconded by Cllr L J ... view the full minutes text for item 47.
To receive a report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration regarding this Tree Preservation Order.
The Committee had before it a *report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration with regard to an application for a Tree Preservation Order 13 The Oaks, Yeoford, Crediton, Devon.
The Planning Officer outlined the contents of the report by way of a presentation which highlighted the site location plan and photographs of the site and the trees.
It was RESOLVED that: the Tree Preservation Order be confirmed.
(Proposed by Cllr C J Eginton and seconded by Cllr B Holdman)
Reason for the decision: As set out in the report.
i.) Cllrs E J Berry and S J Clist requested their vote against the decision be recorded
ii.) *Report previously circulated copy attached to the minutes.
Application 19/01679/FULL - Construction of ground-mounted solar PV panels to generate up to 49.9MW (Site Area 60.78ha) and battery storage facility together with all associated works, equipment and necessary infrastructure. (4.12.46) PDF 478 KB
To consider a report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration with regard to the above application.
At the Planning Committee Meeting on 31st March 2021 Members deferred a decision on the above application in order that a site visit take place and officers provided responses to a number of questions raised.
The Committee had before it a report of the head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration regarding the above application. At the Planning Committee Meeting on 31st March 2021 Members deferred a decision on the above application in order that a site visit take place and officers provided responses to a number of questions raised.
The Interim Development Management Manager then provided responses to questions previous posed by Members which were set on the annex of this report.
The Officer then went on to outline the conditions agreed with the developer which would mitigate the impact of the development and gave detailed explanations of what the conditions were for and how they would be monitored.
In response to public questions the officer stated:
· Officers did not ignore the Wildlife Trust, revised condition 12 specifies regular monitoring
· He could not comment on Members reading objections, these were available to Members via the Planning Portal
· They are aware of the nearby solar farm but it is on a case by case basis and we must determine the application before us
· The flood defences are required to be maintained and are monitored by way of a condition so if there is a failure it would need to be resolved
· The Deer migration routes would be monitored by way of revised condition 12
· Energy storage capacity of batteries has been covered in the report
· The developers would need to clarify what operations would be happening at night and what happens when the panels are not generating solar energy
· The specific benefits of energy to 10k homes is dependant on the range of the installation
· The fire service was not consulted on any potential fire hazard as they are not a statutory consultee but they would be consulted as part of a building regulations approval
· Forced labour was not a planning issue and we cannot impose a condition for non planning matters
· Landscaping has been dealt with in additional condition 22
· Soil degradation and decommissioning needs to be done with care and is covered by condition 4 and does not mean that it will refer to a brown field site in the future
· Fixture and fittings must be removed once operations on site ceases
· There is no a condition for employment opportunities as such a condition would not pass the 6 tests
The Officer then reminded Members of the application by way of a presentation which highlighted the site location plan, revised site plan, photographs of various locations around the site and additional viewpoints.
In response to Members questions about the District being close to saturated with solar panels the Officer explained there was no cumulative impact of a number of sites and that each application had to be determined in its own right.
Consideration was given to:
· Members concerns with who would monitor al the conditions;
· Members concerns with who would compensate people living nearby;
· There was no upper limit quota prescribed by the Government for the number of solar panels installed in Devon;
· Members ... view the full minutes text for item 49.
List attached for consideration of major applications and potential site visits.
The Committee had before it, and NOTED, a list * of major applications with no decision.
Note: *List previously circulated; copy attached to the minutes