At the Planning Committee meeting on 14th April 2021, 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 14th April 2021, 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 a *report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration setting out the implications of refusal.
The Area Team Leader outlined the contents of the report by way of a presentation highlighting site location plan, site layout, accommodation tenure, elevations and photographs of the site.
She explained the reason for the implications report and the reasons why officers felt that the application was acceptable in terms of the Local Plan and MDDC planning policies.
In response to public questions the officer responded:
· Policy DM6 applied as it was outside the settlement limit of Tiverton but was predominately affordable housing which was acceptable.
· The application would not set a precedent in terms of policies S13 and DM6 as each application would be determined on its own merits. Applications could come forward but each would be determined against MDDC Policy.
· Biodiversity improvements and conditions included a comprehensive landscaping plan and new trees to be planted which were significant reasons for officers to recommended approval of this development.
Consideration was given to:
· Members views that the LPA was on track with it’s 5 year housing plan and concerns that this application had come forward
· Members views that an adjoining disabled resident’s access would be adversely affected during construction of the site
· Members concerns that sites kept being brought forward which were not included within the Local Plan
· Members views that more weight should be attributed to objectors concerns than advice provided by their Planning Officers
· Officers advice that an application for a rural (outside of a settlement) exception site which comprised of predominately affordable housing was not included within the 5 year land supply and could be brought forward under policy DM6
· Members views that the application was contrary to policy S10 as it did not retain the open setting in the south and west of the Town
· The independent viability assessors report which confirmed that the number of affordable units proposed was acceptable
· Members concerns with the visual impact of the proposed development
· The applicant was an affordable housing provider and that with further funding it was hoped that all 22 units would be affordable
· The views of Members that the officer advice regarding the applicants stated desire to appeal if permission was refused as to potential costs award if an appeal failed was intimidating to Members. The officer response was that this was certainly not meant to be the case and that the report followed the same format as all other implication reports which sought to be honest and transparent with Members outlining the information received from applicants.
Therefore the Committee RESOLVED that: Planning permission be refused for the following reasons:
a) The proposed development of 22 dwellings is in open countryside and will not preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the countryside. It is adjacent to the settlement area of the market town of Tiverton where suitable provision for sufficient housing, on allocated sites, in excess of requirement over the plan period, is also identified in policy S10 and the proposed site does not meet the criteria of an exception site as identified in policy DM6. It is contrary to policy S14.
b) The proposed development will not retain the green setting provided by the steep open hillsides, particularly to the west and south of the town contrary to policy S10.
(Proposed by Cllr L J Cruwys and seconded by Cllr Mrs C P Daw)
Reason for the Decision: As set out in the report
i.) *Report previously circulated and attached to the minutes
ii.) Cllrs Mrs F J Colthorpe, B Holdman, E J Berry, S J Clist, L J Cruwys, Mrs C P Daw, C J Eginton, P J Heal, D J Knowles, F W Letch and B G J Warren made declarations in accordance with the Protocol of Good Practice for Councillors dealing with planning matters as they had received correspondence from objectors
iii.) Cllrs Mrs F J Colthorpe, P J Heal and E J Berry requested that their vote against the decision to recorded
iv.) Cllr F W Letch requested that his abstention from voting be recorded
v.) In the event of an appeal Cllrs L J Cruwys, Mrs C P Daw and Cllr B G J Warren would defend the decision
vi.) The following late information was provided:
1 x representation from the Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan – this objects to the development on grounds that the upcoming plan supports the Tiverton Settlement Area as set out in the Local Plan and that it is considered that the Tiverton Eastern Urban Extension will fulfil the required number of homes and as such, they do not consider the development to be appropriate.
1 x representation from Devon CPRE – in summary, they object to the development on grounds that the land is good quality farmland, that the site access is in flood zone 3; and flooding could be an issue with run off from the hills; overdevelopment of the site and that the site is not designated for development or included within the 5 year land housing supply.
Supporting statement from LIVEWEST that has been sent around to members.
Objection from Patricia and Paul Pratley with a number of questions that members will have seen.