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.
Mr Sauer referring to item 10, Silverdale, stated that I am the owner of the land next to Silverdale. To enable the development of the neighbourhood plan, Silverdale, the Parish Council made requests for land with potential for housing and I presume this included affordable housing. I was asked by the person co-ordinating the plan to send in details of land a Silverdale. This land was subsequently refused because I had sent in a scanned copy of the documents and it became too late. However, my question is how do Silverton Parish Council and Mid Devon District Council, who are both committed to providing affordable housing, intend to satisfy the requirement for affordable housing in Silverton which was identified by the housing needs assessment as significant and supported by 86% of the parishioners who responded to the Neighbourhood Plan request?
Mr Campbell stated in relation to item 10, Silverdale, If this proposed plan was approved it would be a major development where there is no development planned for within the adopted plan or the emerging plan. So why would it even be considered?
Mrs Campbell also referring to item 10 stated that I think you can see from the people behind me that have come from Silverton how strongly we feel about this. If members refuse the application as they were minded to do last month and the Mid Devon Local Plan is adopted between now and any potential appeal can you confirm which polices the appeal, would be determined against? It is my understanding that when the local plan is adopted that any potential appeal would be refused because the site is outside the settlement area.
Mr Berry referred to the development at Post Hill in item 9 and stated in principle I have nothing against the use and it would fit well in that location however, I am very concerned that Post Hill has a particular character and is visible for a long way heading east up Blundells Road to Post Hill with houses set well back from the road and a green corridor vista up to the tree top of Post Hill. From what I can see of the application houses 1 and 2 will stick out from a long way up Blundells Road and will be completely at odds with the local character that currently exists. I was minded to have a quick look at the design guides, specifically for this area, and I’ll quote page 27, some of the natural features that inform the design guide include:
a. Existing site boundaries
b. Vistas towards the North from the North East; and
c. A sensitive edge treatment between development landscape
Page 37, this is achieved by adhering to the structure imposed by the existing landscape considering the topographical constraints and upholding qualities and characteristics of the rich landscape setting to the east of the town.
Page 54, to this end the…… existing characteristics should be designed as a green boulevard the highest hierarchical new street typology. The buildings typology on the North side of the proposed green boulevard reflect the grandeur of a green boulevard whilst respecting the existing neighbourhood Post Hill properties. The existing mature trees are a valuable asset to the site, these are to be retained”.
Therefore my question, bearing in mind the character of that particular location and the views coming up Blundells Road, the main artery out of Tiverton I would ask why the plan has put houses 1 and 2 right out on the highway where they will be completely visible in the landscape all the way up Blundells Road towards Post Hill? My question is why can’t those houses be pushed just a little bit back further from the road so you will maintain that green vista boulevard feeling as you go up through the road? I’ve put together some slides which show the building line and which show that houses 1 and 2 are well ahead of the building line and with the visibility, you will be looking towards the top of the hill at two new houses. I’ll leave that for the consideration of the committee but my question is can the design be changed to push houses 1 and 2 further back into the development, away from the road?
Peter Dumble stated he had 5 questions in relation to agenda item 8, Sampford Peverell:
Could planning officers confirm whether any prior consultation took place with the applicant before submission of the planning application (as would be normal)?
Could planning officers explain to the committee and to members of the public why this application, which is identical, to that refused by the planning committee in July and currently subject to an appeal has been allowed, when there are powers under section 70B of the Town and Country Planning Act to refuse to accept the application in these circumstances?
Could Planning officers confirm that they took legal advice in relation to making the decision to validate the application and if so, from whom was this advice received and when? And if not, why not?
Could planning officers confirm that the decision on this application will be referred to committee?
Conservation interests are a vital consideration in this new application. An invitation to visit and view from inside 44 Higher Town (Grade ll listed farmhouse within the village conservation area) has been issued in a letter from the owners and which is available to view on-line as a comment to the planning application.
This invitation has been offered many times but it has been ignored. Equally, a properly constituted site visit has never taken place. This should involve the applicant, the parish council and a representative from objectors. It is about time this process was carried out transparently, fairly and correctly.
It really is very important that you at least see inside no 44 Higher Town to fully appreciate the harm to amenity that will be caused by the development.
Could I therefore ask Councillors to insist this invitation is taken up?
Cllr Melville from Silverton Parish Council, referring to item 10, Silverdale, stated that the views of the parish Council and our lack of support for this application are well known and rehearsed previously. Today I want to bring a specific question for you. In the last few months Devon County Council Highways we have noticed have been inconsistent in their submissions which would involve vehicles entering the A396 from the side roads along this section. On one day it is deemed safe and on another it is unsafe only 4 days ago at 6.10pm in the evening, 3 cars collided on this very stretch on the A396 Tiverton Road where vehicles from this proposed development will be emerging if it’s approved. One of the vehicles plunged 15 feet down into a field trapping the occupant, closing the road for several hours, requiring the air ambulance to be deployed, alight in Silverton and then convey the casualty who suffered head injuries. My question, will Councillors balance the advice they receive from Highways, with their own observations from their site visits, local knowledge and our live experiences as residents of Silverton because this stretch of road with its limited view junction is not suitable for a 20 property housing development.
Cllr Wright, Ward Member, addressed the committee on item 10 and stated that I could not attend the previous meeting but my views haven’t significantly changed even with the implications report. I still think as the Ward Member the views against this development outweigh it but I do have 2 particular questions:
It’s about the benefits and the tilted balance, they have to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the adverse impacts and I think we’ve heard a lot about the adverse impact of this to our community. My question is who do the Councillors on this committee feel is going to benefit from this development. We know that we have got significant housing supply in the whole of Mid Devon, there’s lots of properties for sale and quite a wide range of properties in our village so I would interested to know who the benefactors are?
The other one is a more technical one and I don’t know enough about planning law to know whether it applies. I was trying to find out where tilted balance would apply through internet research and there seems to be an awful lot of case law which talks about this 5 year supply of land. I found one case, Green Lane Chertsey Developments Ltd vs SSHCLG, this is a 2019 case and it says ‘further the court even went so far as to suggest that in light of the wording of paragraph 11 the tilted balance should have been treated as being engaged in a case unless there was positive evidence of a 5 year housing land supply so as to justify its disapplication’. So I do believe that at the end of the impact report it does talk about a 7 year housing supply? I just wondered if this case is applicable because we clearly have quite a large housing supply in Mid Devon.
Jenna Goldby also referring to item 10 on the agenda stated she wanted to ask a question regarding the 20 dwellings in Silverton. My question is regarding the traffic and the parking issues at that end of the village and I want to know what time and what day the surveys have been carried out on the traffic and the parking in that area. We have recently had some near miss accidents which I know have been reported on the Mid Devon Website and we’ve recently had an incident where a fire engine was unable to reach that end of the village. The parking issues are now actually starting to put people’s lives in danger at that end. Development of 20 more houses is going to increase the parking and the traffic significantly in this area so my question is what days have the surveys been carried out and also will further consideration be put in place since the recent issue of the fire engine.
The Chairman indicated that answers to questions would be given when the items were debated.
Mr Dumble would receive a written response.