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.
Mrs Campbell, a local resident, referring to No 3 & 4 on the Plans List stated:
Mr Chairman and councillors, I wish to object to the removal and all variations of the conditions put forward. Why would we agree with the proposed design of these 20 houses which are more in keeping with the suburb of a town and not a village in the countryside?
Policies DM1 of Mid Devon plans states that the designs of countryside should have a clear understanding of the characteristics of the site, its wider context and surroundings. This is clearly not the case. The site design is over-developed, which is shown on the plan because of the footpath only being on one side of the road – a danger to pedestrians. Tree planting is on private property and can be removed at a later date, not on roadside, and not complying with national planning 2021 paragraph 131.
There is no allocated parking for visitors and no green spaces. These large houses built on a hill overlooking bungalows obviously intrude on their privacy. Mid Devon policy S1 states we should have a sustainable form of transport system for the new build – we haven’t.
At the meeting on the 22nd of October our bus services have been cut considerably, thus making it necessary for people to use their cars even more. The last bus to Silverton is 5.55. Conditions 5, 6, 7 and 8 deal with drainage and ground water monitoring, also surface water drainage. These have not only been fully carried out. Ruddlesden geotechnical carried out one test only of three, and said in their report it was because of time constraints – surely not acceptable. I’m sure you’re all aware of very recent concerns in the press and the television of phosphates going into our rivers, and polluting them causing great harm. With the added volume of water disposed of, as tested by the developer of combining sewage water and runoff water in larger pipes. This could cause our sewage system harm as the added volume of water after heavy rain and surges disturbs and cancels out separation causing sewage to flow into the river.
As was said on a television programme last week, more systems that are being added to are already outdated and overused systems that cannot cope with the extra volume. Should we ask the environment agency to do a nutrient neutrality test to make sure Silverton’s sewage plant is not letting phosphates into the river, and adding to the problem with this proposed build? This is all the more reason for the long term infiltration test should not be removed. These matters need more investigation. These are the reasons why conditions 5, 6, 7 and 8 should not be removed. With regards to the apex turning to the construction site being removed, and as you stated before the 6 foot 6 width restriction then proposed that they should come from the Tiverton A396. This is a very dangerous junction. It is a site set for several accidents and buses stopped turning there years ago probably because of the dangers. It’s hard to see how construction traffic can get to site from both approaches are not viable. This is the reason condition number 9 should not be removed. Also assuming the construction site has separate planning as it’s not within the site. To conclude, wrong houses, no proof of local need, wrong place, and wrong drainage. Also this development does not comply with Mid Devon policies DM1, S1, 2, 8, 9, 13 and 14. Why would you ignore your own policies? Thank you for your time.
Paul Elstone, a local resident, referring to No 1 on the plan list stated:
I commend the MDDC Planning Officers and Solicitors for ensuring that this application comes before this committee. This for reasons of much needed openness and transparency.
Are this Committee fully aware that there are legal precedents set? This including those decided at the Supreme Court. Precedents which overturn the rights of Lawfulness of Existing Use. This if concealment or deception is involved.
One such case
This case identifies four features that take a case outside the 10 year protection of section 171B(2) of the relevant act.
– this now constitutes the four-part test generally used to establish concealment.
1. Positive deception took place in matters integral to the planning process.
2. The deception was directly intended to undermine the planning process.
3. The deception did undermine that process.
4. The wrong-doer would profit directly from the deception if the normal limitation period were to enable them to resist enforcement (‘profit’ / benefit includes the avoidance of enforcement action).
Time limits prevent me from providing more comprehensive detail.
I believe there may have been a series of concealments and deceptions. This to conceal the fact that planning conditions have been grossly violated and in order to prevent enforcement action being taken during and soon after the house and not the bunglaow was first built.
Are this committee aware that:
1. French windows installed in a bedroom constructed in what should have been the garage space have been concealed by garage doors. Garage doors which are visible from the road. Photographs available.
2. French windows installed in an office constructed in what should have been the garage space also concealed by garage doors
3. It appears that Building Control Certificates application may have been purposely delayed and misleading. That certificates may not applied for until 2021. This if the MDDC application numbering system is correctly understood.
Erection of bungalow and garage and installation of septic tank.
Please note the application is for a bungalow and not a house in any event. Therefore, it’s validity I believe requires challenge.
If these building control certificates were issued when the property was first built this leads to questions about the District Councils role and lack of enforcement at the time. Including reasons why.
4. That a MDDC Council Tax banding check shows the property has been banded as C effective 13th April 2001 i.e. This is when the house and not bungalow was first occupied.
Band C would seem appropriate for a 3-bedroom agricultural bungalow but not for a 6-bedroom 5-bathroom house that has been built and with various reception rooms. Band G being the true banding I would suggest. Saving the occupants nearly £2000 per year in Council Tax over the last 21 years.
All adding further I believe to the opinion that there was an attempt at concealment. This in order to evade any planning enforcement within the prescribed timelines
With this information will this committee give full consideration to deferring a decision in respect of this application? This to permit a comprehensive investigation to be carried out. This in order to confirm or otherwise if deception for the purposes of concealment has in fact occurred.
Mr Campbell, a local resident, referring to No 3 & 4 on the plans list stated:
Mr Chairman and planning committee, this is to do with the Silverdale site. As previously mentioned at a planning meeting, a committee member mentioned that there are a lot of people not happy about this site. I think it was with reason. It seems that the rules can be changed in favour of the developers but no notice is taken to the objections made by many residents. It is outside the planning area for the village and then it is adopted all of a sudden. No soil test or drainage test fully completed as requested by the planning inspector. The roads there not adopted as highway. The added amount of traffic coming through any of the approach roads is going to add a great deal of problems.
A proposal that surface water is allowed into local sewers by using larger pipes and combined volume should be too much for the pumping station and the sewage works. It does not look like conditions 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 have been completed as satisfactory as requested by the planning inspector. Therefore, these should not be removed. On a proposed site, only a footpath on one side of the road, not wide enough for a wheelchair, no mention of drop curbs for wheelchair access. There are many excellent and valid objections submitted, but no notice taken. In fact, 66 letters have been submitted. Mr Chairman and committee, please consider the objections of the local people, not remove the conditions and not consider full planning permission. Thankyou.
The Chairman then advised that on advice from the District Solicitor and Monitoring Officer questions submitted by a Hannah Kearns had been rejected as they were found to be:
ii) Is in his/her opinion scurrilous, improper, capricious, irrelevant or otherwise objectionable (Council procedure rule 11.2 (f) (ii)).
The Chairman advised that questions would be addressed when the applications were heard.