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.
1. Mr Elstone referring to number 1 on the agenda stated:
The MDDC Adopted Masterplan SPD Document Section 1.7 Design Process
“MDDC will expect landowners and developers to follow the prescribed design process which is adopted as an integral part of this SPD”.
The words, stipulate, command, impose are all synonyms of the word prescribed, I am therefore at a total loss to understand why anyone could not understand then follow this very clear requirement.
Can it be fully explained why Redrow Homes were allowed to ignore the prescribed requirement at the UD &AP stage. This to consult with the Public and Stakeholders and hold a workshop in order to formulate the UD&AP proposals before progressing to the Reserved Matters Stage.
Can it be fully explained why Redrow Homes were allowed to ignore the prescribed requirement at the UD &AP stage to engage with the Design Review Panel this to discuss and formulate the UD&AP proposals before progressing to the Reserved Matters Stage.
Why were Redrow Homes allowed to arbitrarily create 6 new character areas without any form of consultation this with stakeholders or even Ward Councillors. In creating these artificial areas, they have totally destroyed the full intent and key principles of the Tiverton EUE Masterplan SPD Design Guide.
They have placed the highest density housing areas where it should be amongst if not the lowest in this phase of the development. They have placed the lowest density housing their show homes against the Spur Road which should be the highest. They have defeated the Centre to Edge, Key and Guiding Principle.
What efforts did the MDDC Officers make to have Redrow Homes comply with the prescribed Planning Design Process. I understand that MDDC Officers attempted to get Redrow Homes to engage with the Design Review Panel before submitting the Reserved Matters Application, but they would not comply. Can this be confirmed.
Why have the Planning Officers never flagged up to Planning Committee Members how critical the Design Review Panel were of being introduced late (too late) into the Design Process.
Also, how the Review Panel felt constrained in making recommendations as a result.
Why were Redrow Homes allowed to fail to comply with their own UD&AP submission that said they would engage with the Design Review Panel before they submitted their Reserved Matters Application.
Why did Redrow Homes fail totally to follow their own Community Engagement Policies as defined in Redrow 8 Placement Key Principles Document, Principle 1 Listen to Learn -Community Engagement.
2. Mr Langford referring to number 4 on the plans list stated:
The lengthy report has been produced when the officer and department are under pressure to clear applications. Perhaps as a result, there are basic errors of fact presented to you. They are of fundamental importance to your decision making today.
I have the following question, in three parts, on one aspect - the need for 24 hour attendance on site, for you to put to the planning officer:
· Why was the Economic Development officers’ input, which was one of balance with stated doubts on the need for 24 hour attendance on site ( “I am doubtful”), edited to an endorsement of the applications Functional Need statement? Why was the claim by the applicant of poor 4G connections preventing remote sensing not checked with the governments’ OfCOM on-line site? It shows there are 4 different providers of good 4G services available. Interestingly the even more reliable option; the Ultrafast Fibre Optic cable connection in the lane running past the field gate was not in the application. There are therefore 5 different communication services for the remote sensing of all the hatching equipment, cameras for animal welfare as well as site security. Most neighbours use these services quite adequately. Why was no check made on the claim by the applicants that there were no available rented properties nearby? As at 1 November at least 7 three bedroomed houses within 4 miles, or 10 minutes travel; and over 10 similar houses at about 8 miles distance, or 20 minutes travel are advertised. These are available for the applicant, or the supposedly required agricultural worker, without incurring further permanent environmental and ecological construction damage to the open landscape of the AONB – a key consideration, especially in the week of COP26.
3. Patricia Parsons referring to number 2 on the plans list stated:
I have worked with the elderly over 40 years, prior to retirement we owned and managed a care home registered mainly for dementia suffers, so I am aware of the problems of running a care home. Looking through the points on the report I notice the following:
Highways state that many parked cars on the highway leading to this area does cause concern and maybe restricting the width of the carriageway to a point an emergency vehicle would struggle to negotiate, also this is far short on MDDCs Policy DM5 and suggested prior more extensions there is a need to provide adequate parking for the existing use.
Health and safety made no recommendations but surely anyone using the mews is at risk due to the parking problems, no path between the homes means residents in wheelchairs using the road, which often has a parked car on the side making the carer and the wheelchair walk in the road, surely not an ideal situation for staff or residents.
99% of all highways parking in the mews is by staff and visitors, residents of the mews park either in garages, on allocated parking areas or outside our garages.
Policy DM8 applies a minimum of 1.7 parking spaces per dwelling. Ashdowne has 2, Pinnex Moore 0, this is to allow 60 residents and their visitors, 48 staff and numerous workmen etc. Although we do not expect them to provide anything like the amount recommended surely the mews should not be a car park for the care homes.
Please remember all the residents of the homes are either physically or mentally frail, can you imagine the problems encountered by the emergency services during an emergency, trying to evacuate 60 frail residents, with numerous demented residents, not understanding what was happening and fighting those trying to help, imagine the panic, getting frail people downstairs. In the event of an emergency vehicles and their backups, the mews is often blocked by parked cars, where will all these vehicles park with the turning bay full of staff and visitor cars.
Temporary permission for siting of a portacabin for an office was granted in 1997 and again in 2002, as far as we can see there seems to be no more permission asked for. Is this portacabin now a permanent structure, could you withdraw permission, re-installing 4 parking bays increasing the number of bays from 12 not as the report states to 16.
My question is why are thousands of pounds spent on Local Plans if planning is not being guided by them, please sort out the parking before you allow anymore extensions to what is an over developed area.
4. C D Roberts referring to number 2 on the plans list stated:
I note the recommendation is to grant this application subject to various conditions. Although I have read the proposed conditions, I am not a planner so please could you explain exactly what conditions mean?
In particular, why can the Construction Environmental Management Plan not be agreed before approval, given that it will have a significant effect on residential amenity, public safety and highways safety? By having this condition exercised after planning is granted it removes the oversight of this committee and the public.
5. Valerie Day again referring to no 2 on the plans list stated:
The proposed development will overbear the adjacent properties, providing visibility directly into their bedroom windows, save for the hedge between them. The hedge has been assessed as 'low quality. Why is it considered "low quality'? What contingency plans does the applicant have should the hedge die, or the quality deteriorates? This is particularly important given the likelihood of root disturbance during construction even with pile foundations and protection.
Orkney Mews used to be a quiet cul-de-sac.
I accept that the home provides a vital service, but in the middle of an overdeveloped residential estate that is largely restricted to retired people, who are home all the time, is unfortunately not the right place to grow one.
This area is already totally overdeveloped
If the hedge dies or deteriorates a 6-foot-high fence will not suffice, will the planning committee ensure a like for like replacement will be guaranteed?
6. R B Clarke referring to number 2 on the plans list stated:
The surrounding area already cannot cope with the volume of traffic that the care home attracts. We the residents of the Mews are worried about safety for themselves and the children who use it as a cut through from the high school to the estate. Notwithstanding the reducing effect that Covid-19 restrictions have had on visitors, some residents are placing traffic cones on their own property to prevent vehicles from crossing onto it and causing damage.
A visitor on a mobility scooter to one of the residents was forced into the road due to visitors of the home parked on the pavement, there are numerous people who live locally and who use mobility scooters, surely, they should not be put at risk in this way.
If the application is approved, what restrictions or actions can the committee or the applicant take to ensure, measurably, that the access and safety of the Mews residents is not made any worse than it currently is.
7. K L Parry referring to number 2 on the plans list stated:
The home currently has 12 available parking spaces for staff and visitors, and not 15 as stated in the parking plan. It appears that the applicant is counting 2 parking spaces on the turning head itself, which is unacceptable and a public highway others are underneath a temporary portacabin that has outstayed its agreed planning conditions by about 20 years, and a fenced area used for bin storage.
Can the applicant please explain how they arrived at this figure of 15 spaces?
The applicant has revised their plans to remove new planned bedrooms.
Although it should be noted that it would be possible to create additional bedrooms elsewhere within the property once extended, I do understand that you cannot use that alone as a grounds for refusal. However, they have used this as a justification to state that car parking is not a consideration under this new application as there is no increase in bed space. I would like to ask the planning committee to remember that more beds need more staff and more deliveries. The issue with the severe lack of parking has never been due to the care home residents themselves, rather visitors, staff and service vehicles combined
In addition to my earlier question about the number of spaces presently available being overstated, has the applicant considered removing the temporary portacabin office and fenced storage bin storage area from the carpark to restore some of the originally planned parking bays. Will the committee consider the overall increase in parking demand from staff, residents' families and friends and service vehicles?
8. B A Leach referring to number 2 on the plans list stated:
In the event that planning permission should be granted what/will restrictions be put in place to lessen the impact on the ageing local community in respect of their privacy and the access to their properties/parking?
9. C A Wood referring to number 2 on the plans list stated:
Staff already park in the road because there is limited space on the site. Visitors often park in the entrance itself, in the turning head (sometimes double parked) and on the pavement of the surrounding roads blocking access for large vehicles. I note that when Councillors and officers have visited the site for this application, they have parked in the turning head because there is nowhere else available, which forces the large trucks servicing the home to turn and drive over the pavement.
I have seen ambulances parking back on the street because they could not get into the site, which can delay vital care. I have seen vehicles loaded and unloaded in the middle of the public highway, as parked cars stop lorry drivers packing close to the homes. I pray they never need a fire appliance because at busy times they simply will not get close.
The highways authority states in their consultation that the number of spaces is not sufficient for the size of the care home. The current provision also falls far short of Mid Devon's own local policy plan DM5 which required 60 spaces.
What provision is the applicant making to ensure that emergency and delivery vehicles can access the home? What justification would create some limited additional parking space?
Would it be possible for a condition to be added that the temporary building in the carpark is removed as a condition of approval, as this would create some limited additional parking space?
10.John Dunlea referring to number 2 on the plans list stated:
If building works go ahead, where will all the building materials, equipment and working area be sited, and where will the construction plant and vehicles park? Will the normal staff and visitors be required to park away from the site to allow access, and if so, where will this be given the lack of parking space in the area? I am concerned that the Construction Environmental Management Plan requested by the conditions will be acceptable on paper but not actually be workable. There has been past building works at the care home, and this caused significant access issues to neighbouring properties despite past mitigations.
11.Mary Seaton referring to number 1 on the plans list stated:
1. Why are Redrow non- compliant with the procedures of a planning application? The design was not seen by the design committee until too far along the design process, the design recommendations were for a Centre to Edge plan and the long row of houses affecting existing residents was meant to be highest density along the green boulevard at right angles to the existing plan.
2. Why are Redrow not indicating any Green policies in this development?
There is no sign of solar panels, space for heat pumps or indeed much in the way of electrical points for cars. Given that there will be an average of 1.5 cars per household the roads indicated are not wide enough to allow parking
3. Why are there no cycle paths?
4. Why should Redrow be allowed to use the farm gate entrance to the north side of Blundell’s Road. They could access their sites via the new roundabout. They should likewise not vandalise the existing hedge along the road to access the self- build homes which should open onto a service road to the north of them.
12.Jo Blackmore referring to number 4 on the plans list stated:
Could the committee ask the planning officer why the evidence provided by professionals such as the AONB and Economic Development officer have been discounted? The AONB objections concerning the siting of the dwelling, and damage to the area, have been disregarded and the Economic Development officer, whilst unable to come to a definite opinion, did not say there was an essential need for a worker to be on site as required by DM8?
13.Garth Whisker again referring to number 4 on the plans listed stated:
I wish to ask the following questions.
What is the committees view on the recent sighting of a mobile home, 3 weeks prior to today’s meeting?
Does this demonstrate a complete disregard for any decision that the planning officer and committee might make today and would this constitute a flagrant breach of planning rules?
Could the committee ask the planning officer why in the case of such small wet land acreage with only 4 horses and a handful of chicken, in a sensitive landscape area, would there be any immediate need for a large 3 bedroom farm workers dwelling applied for on a 3 year temporary basis during which time an agricultural occupancy would need to be proven.
A small mobile caravan, adjacent to the already established workers rest room would seem more than adequate for this temporary purpose.
14.Freddie Parker referring to number 4 on the plans list stated:
Could the committee ask the planning officer if, without revealing detailed financial information provided by the applicant, he could give an indication of the percentages for income generation expected from horse rehabilitation, horse owner “treatment” and horse livery, in comparison to the chicken activity and hay production? i.e. the percentage of agriculture vs equine. Also does the applicant have planning permissions to run a human therapy business from the site or has the business model changed from that on her website and social media?
15.Julian Day referring to number 4 on the plans list stated:
Could the committee ask how the proposed dwelling is to be occupied, Condition 4 recommended by the Planning Officer stipulates that “the dwelling hereby approved shall be occupied only by a person solely working in relation to the agricultural use at Poacher’s Rest and to any associated family members”. As in para 11.5 the statement is made that the dwelling will be “for the applicant and her family” and therefore not for the agricultural worker. The applicant is a psychotherapist running a business called Integrated Trauma Solutions and does not nor ever has worked in agriculture.
16. Hannah Kearns referring to number 1 on the plans list stated:
My first question follows sight of an email from Redrow Homes Senior Planning Manager to the MDDC Tiverton EUE Area Planning Officer dated 12th October 2021. In this email Redrow’s Senior Planning Manager says the following:
“Whilst I appreciate it could be termed an “easy win” we are already going above and beyond by a reasonable quantum the requirements and as such have we not already met the request of Cllr Knowles. In theory we can provide more charging points but all these have significant viability for two reasons”
“The fact that to provide the electric charging points requires the electricity network to be enhanced with an oversized substation and increased forecast electricity demand to cater for the request”.
Given the content of the email I’d like to ask for clarification of the following:
• What future proofing have Redrow Homes considered for the electrical infrastructure given that it already seems near to capacity given this response and the likelihood of future legislation driven by the climate emergency to which MDDC has signed up for?
N.B. Currently Redrow only propose 48 out of 164 plots for car electrical chargers.
Assuming that 7.2 KW charging points are installed for all of the 164 plots going forward, this equates to a further 835 KW at peak load over the 345 KW so far provisioned.
· What is the actual power output of the electric car chargers Redrow now intend to provide? Is it 3.2 KW or 7.2 KW? It should be noted many residents will likely upgrade to 20 KW or higher as current data shows.
· Given that Redrow Homes are installing gas boilers which will very likely need to be replaced by Air Heat Pumps in a relatively short period of time, substantial extra demand will be placed on the electricity network (assuming an extra 4.5 KW per house or 738 KW). Are Redrow Homes future proofing the central heating system radiator pipework by only installing 15 mm pipe as opposed to micro bore which will not work?
Why have Redrow Homes been allowed to design and submit a housing project that is so grossly in non-compliance with the Tiverton EUE Masterplan SPD and Design Guide without any apparent substantive challenge?
17.Emma Way referring to item 1 on the agenda stated:
I feel passionately that this application as it currently stands is sub optimal and completely misses the essence of the 2016 EUE design plan which generally promised so much. Having spent my entire career in education working in the UK and abroad, a large part which has been outside I have come to recognise a fundamental truth. Buildings and their relationship with space have an immeasurable impact on the wellbeing and mental health of people. Respect and nurture the first and then hopefully the other will follow.
1. Playgrounds should be a safe, calm environment which parents should easily access and not cause undue stress and anxiety. Why this playground is situated on a very busy road and why is it not adjacent to the housing north of Blundells road and are you really happy with this?
2. Mid Devon has specifically expressed its ambition to enhance cycling opportunities. Where are the cycling lanes on the plan? They should connect all areas and reach the new employment centre.
3. A key part of the EUE plan was to fully protect West Manley Lane yet it is evident that Redrow homes keep accessing this space in order to start construction.
4. Given the current COP26 conference renewable energy should be front and centre, despite this the developer keeps talking about project viability impacts even after being asked to provide extra car charging points. Why is this development choosing to use gas and why are solar panels not being installed from the outset on all the houses. As per my objection letter C J Fry have 90 attractive new homes in Tisbury all with air source heat pumps. I have seen them.
5. The 2016 EUE Design specified the use of vernacular stone to compliment the historical tile of the town and the beautiful rural setting. Where is this stone in this development? This would at the very least distinguish it from other Redrow developments. The applicant’s plans do not in any way fulfil the MDDC DM1 Policy requirements
6. I feel really strongly about this one. The approach from the A361 looks really depressing when you look at it and imagine it on the paper. Someone exiting the link road from the new junction will be confronted by looming 3 storey buildings, their first impressions of Tiverton and how does this reference our historic market town?
7. Trees, I feel strongly about them too. New build developments nationwide have taken and are taking a massive toll on ancient priceless and treasured trees that support entire eco systems. I feel we need to be planting more particularly on the new junction on the Blundells Road. Housing density is gravely concerning as far as I can see from the current application there has been a total lack of respect of residents along the Blundells Road. Why does extreme high density housing back onto properties that were initially given to understand that there would be far fewer. Why are there only two bungalows on this current application and why are there not more fully accessible 3 bedroomed properties. The current call for houses goes way beyond bricks and mortar we’ve lived through two extraordinary years and if anything we should have learned the need to create environments for the future which foster positive mental health, protect biodiversity do you honestly feel that this proposal achieves all of the above. I sincerely hope that we will look back in 5, 10, 15 years and know that your decision today as our local representatives to Council is nothing more than doing the best thing and please return to the original EUE Master plan because it was an inspiring vision for a better future.
18. Heather Bingham/Graham Conabeare referring to number 1 on the plans list stated:
I understand that the above planning application will be discussed at the meeting on Wednesday 3 November 2021. Unfortunately we are unable to attend but would appreciate if you could please ask the Chairperson to read out the following questions from us as owners of 'Sherwood', one of the ten existing properties in Blundell's Road which will be impacted by this proposed Redrow development:
19.Amanda Keetly referring to item 5 on the agenda stated:
My question as you said is on reference to the Linscombe Farm application for 5 eco homes with lots of additions for bio diverse wildlife instead of 3 very large non eco homes with very little provision for wildlife and the second one, the 3 very large homes already has permission to be built. So my question is please can you highlight which policy would mean that this application which is reference 21 /00887/FULL, this eco-friendly nature regenerating community enhancing development is being recommended for refusal by MDDC?