At the Planning Committee meeting on 17th December2019, Members advised that they were minded to refuse the above application and invited an implications report for further consideration.
At the Planning Committee meeting on 17th December 2019, Members advised that they were minded to refuse the above application and invited an implications report for further consideration. The Committee therefore had before it an *implications report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration setting out the implications of refusal.
The Principal Planning Officer explained the implications report highlighting the reasons for refusal that members had identified at the previous meeting:
1. The impact of the proposal on the historic hedge/wall
2. The impact of the proposal on the historic location
3. The impact of the proposal on the setting of the Grade I listed church
4. The lack of pavements in the area and the narrowness of the roads.
He explained that the first two reasons for refusal could be combined as they dealt with the same. He explained this would leave 3 reasons for refusal:
1. The impact of the proposal on the historic hedge/wall & The impact of the proposal on the historic location
2. The impact of the proposal on the setting of the Grade I listed church
3. The lack of pavements in the area and the narrowness of the roads.
He further explained that reason 1 could be considered as a reason for refusal as this was a revised application but he would go into more details about this later on in his presentation. He explained that reason 2 could be considered as a reason for refusal and the Conservation Officer would give further details but reason 3 was not supported by Highways and therefore was unlikely to succeed.
He explained that a further reason for refusal could be considered as the application site was now deemed to be outside of the settlement limit as confirmed in the published Mid Devon Local Plan review which carried substantial weight for a reasons for refusal.
The officer then went on to address the questions raised at public question time:
· Under section 6 of the Hedgerow Regulations planning applications were exempt from needing to be being considered so carrying out planning applications is deemed to be accepted and does fall to be considered under that regulation
· An Ecology assessment was submitted with the previous application it identified the potential for the hedge to be an important roadside hedge. Natural England were consulted on the application at every stage and the LPA should be reasonable in their requests for additional information from applicants, not putting them to any additional expense unless absolutely necessary. Given that the application was being refused and therefore there would be no need for the roadside hedge to be removed it was not considered proportionate to request additional survey work be undertaken. Where protected species are likely to be removed a licence is required from Natural England before works can progress. This is a requirement outside of the planning system.
· The issue of the loss of the hedge in the current application was addressed in the officer report to committee in December 2019 and also addressed in the implications report before Members today and your officers are stating that could be a defendable position but highlighted the possibility of costs being awarded due to this not being raised in the original reasons for refusal. There is clearly a lot of local feeling towards the hedge and Members may wish to include this as a reason for refusal if they are so minded.
· Hedgerow regulations fall outside of the the consideration of planning applications
· The revised scheme was dealing with original reasons for refusal and we are unable to introduce new reasons into a revised scheme
· Documented historic background has not been discounted and is included within the officers report however members could utilise the loss of the hedge as an additional reason
· Councillors are aware of the starting point with regard to harm to heritage assets and settings and members have been advised of section 66 of the Act and their statutory duty
· There is public benefit as two houses towards the housing need in the district and employment would be provided during the construction phase
· It was considered that the additional works were not substantial for the alterations made. Yes they were going to be digging more into the hillside however the initial application did show a very large wall in which we said we weren’t keen with and that was replaced with a canopy which would then be covered with the earth to mimic the rest of the hill leaving a chamber underneath for the cars to turn around in. There are conditions with this in that there will be no lighting underneath and to be kept for a turning area only.
· The amended scheme limits the impact of the proposal with regard to the church is not a huge change and the appearance appears to be appropriate although main appearance and size and scale will be dealt with at reserved matters
· Complied with COR2 and DM2 and dealt with on December 2019 report
· Parking for the proposal does meet the planning policies under DM8and the revised Local review Plan . There is no parking restrictions on this part of the road and not aware of anything we can control on that via planning legislation. The farm shop has the same issues.
· The Leylandii trees are not something the planning service can deal with and they would be the responsibility of the owner if minded to refuse
· The latest Historic England advice has been provided to members
The Conservation Officer then provided Members by way of a presentation views to and from the Church and historic monuments. He provided further details of Section 66 of the listed building act and that heritage assets and conservation was enforced by DM27 and repeated in DM25. He explained that in his balanced view the development did not cause harm to the Grade 1 Church but members may have an alternative view.
Consideration was given to:
· The hedge not being an original reason for refusal
· The original highways reason for refusal
· The possibility of costs being awarded against Council if the hedge was now introduced as a reason for refusal
· The significant weight of the Local Plan Review and that the Local Plan was due to be adopted prior to any appeal being received
It was therefore:
RESOLVED that that application be refused for the following reasons:
1. The proposal is within the setting of a Grade I listed Church with associated Grade 2 structures and monuments. The significance of the Church relates to views to and from the Church principally, in relation to this application, towards the east from the unnamed road to the west of the site, and from the Church and Church Yard out to the West. The Council considers that the introduction of two dwellings as per the submission, would alter these views by creating two dwellings that would result in an unjustified distraction and intrusion into these important historic views from the public highway and be harmful to the local experience of this Grade 1 listed building contrary to the statutory duty under section 66 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and contrary to Policy DM27 of the current Adopted Local Plan, Policy DM25 of the Mid Devon Local Plan review 2013- 2033:Pre Adoption Draft and the National Planning Policy Framework 2019
2. National and local planning policy states that local planning authorities should avoid new homes in the countryside unless there are special circumstances to justify an approval. A case has been submitted for the provision of two dwellings in this rural location; however this justification is not considered to amount to special circumstances and considered to carry insufficient weight so as to override local and national policy. The proposed residential development would be in an unsustainable location and is considered to be in conflict with policies S1, and S14 of the Mid Devon Local Plan Review 2013-2033: Pre Adoption Draft and the National Planning Policy Framework 2019
(Proposed by Cllr B G J Warren and seconded by Cllr F W Letch)
i.) Cllr Mrs F J Colthorpe, Cllr E J Berry, Cllr S J Clist, Cllr L J Cruwys, Cllr Mrs C P Daw. Cllr D J Knowles, Cllr F W Letch, Cllr R F Radford, Cllr S J Penny and Cllr B G J Warren made declarations in accordance with the Protocol of Good Practice for Councillors dealing with planning matters as they had received contact from the applicant and objectors.
ii.) Cllrs S J Clist and R F Radford declared a personal interest for personal reasons and left the meeting during the discussion thereon
iii.) * implications report previously circulated and attached to the minutes