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.
Ann Vinton, speaking in relation to item 4 on the Plans List, Red Linhay, stated that when the AD (anaerobic digestion plant) was originally granted permission we were assured that local traffic would be reduced. A great emphasis was put on the fact that 2,929,430L of digestate would be pumped onto Hartnoll land thus resulting in no road transport being used. Now the applicant intends taking the digestate to the new plots necessitating 286 road trips. Can your officers please tell us how this does not represent an increase in traffic movements?
Tony White, also speaking in relation to Red Linhay stated that the applicant claims that more land is needed in order to follow ‘good practice’ i.e. crop rotation. However, in the original plans they assured us that they had enough land to supply a 500kw digester and to take the resultant digestate. Have officers asked the applicant to explain why, suddenly, that land is not sufficient for the running of a 500kw AD?
Condition 9 was put in place by the Committee to protect the community and local environment and ensure the applicant operated within the bounds of the permission granted. What has the applicant put forward to convince the planning officer that condition 9 is no longer necessary and the command of the Committee (by imposing condition 9) should be disregarded.
Martin Greig referring to item 2 on the Plans list – Sunnymead, Copplestone asked the following questions:
Is the Planning Officer aware that 9 out of the 10 residences in the proposed access close 87 -105 Sunnymead contain people who are elderly, sick, with mobility issues or children with special needs, and that there are 4 blue badge holders in the Close? What weight has been given to the detrimental effect on these vulnerable people as the development proceeds and then when it is in place, particularly given that the 6 bungalows are designated for elderly/disabled people?
Is the Planning Officer aware that no-one takes responsibility for the ditch behind the bungalows, and therefore it is silted up, contains rubbish, and is frequently unsuitable for the free-flow of water? How do you propose to deal with this if additional residences are built?
Why does the Planning Officer believe that building a car park area will mean that carers or family members, will in fact park there, when time constraints and human nature dictate that these people will continue to park outside the front doors of the homes they visit?
Has the Planning Officer made a site visit to inspect the gulley across the field and the ditch behind the bungalows, and spoken to residents who are affected by them?
Is the Planning Officer able to guarantee that water from the field and the proposed building site will not overflow into gardens and homes below?
Anne Greig referring to item 2 on the Plans list – Sunnymead, Copplestone asked the following questions:
Is the Planning Officer aware that cars parked in the designated turning area at the top of 87-105 Sunnymead often do not belong to the occupants or visitors to 87 – 105 and changing this turning area into a car parking area could simply exacerbate that issue?
Is the Planning Officer aware that some residents are obliged to park outside their front doors because of mobility issues so that building a car park will not help these residents or the through-flow of traffic?
Is it true that double yellow lines are proposed, outside our properties to ensure free flow for the increased traffic from the development, after it is complete?
With permission granted for a further development of forty houses in the village, and with the infrastructure already unable to cope, why does the officer feel that a further nine houses will benefit the village, when those of us who live here can only see it having a detrimental effect?
Sarah Coffin referred to item 11 on the agenda, Planning Performance, and specifically the heading ‘Equality Impact Assessment’ – where it states ‘None’. We would point out that Templeton Parish Council have raised an outstanding issue with regard to the reasons and decision made regarding the refusal of Pulsards slurry Lagoon and the potential risk of statutory nuisance to nearby citizens of Pennymoor and the unequal and non-consideration given to the present statutory nuisance to nearby residents at Crossparks Slurry pit in comparison, for the effectively the same usage.
Regarding Forward Planning – in view of the recent BBC media coverage on the dangers and nuisance of living beside a slurry lagoon and spreading of same, as well as the fact that it is now compulsory in Holland that any large Agricultural expansion is accompanied with proof of sufficient land accessibility – What specific steps/measures/provision have Mid Devon Planning made within their policy to ensure they fulfil their remit under the Environmental Act and Human Rights Act to protect their residents and local environment from agricultural pollution to air, land and water?
This question has particular relevance for the parish of Templeton in view of the ongoing present Statutory Nuisance and adverse health reactions being experienced by storage/spreading of digestate/slurry and the knowledge that digestate will be coming to our area from AD plants at 2 Sisters Willand soon. We therefore ask that the Council insist on at least a minimum requirement for all agricultural permissions granted to be subject to the following existing ‘Best Practice’. This could involve requiring listing of suitable sufficient acreage for safe disposal of all wastes/fertilisers from applicants together with permission for release of data/records held by DEFRA/EA/RPA. All farmers in accordance with ‘Best Practice’ have to supply sufficient land and have taken all possible precautions to prevent pollution to air, soil and water.
We respectfully suggest that this is the only way the Council can discharge its responsibilities to protect our environment/citizens and other businesses such as tourism etc. We also enquire if under the spirit of planning co-operation this could be a combined action with North Devon and North Somerset.
The Chairman informed Miss Coffin that a written response would be provided as her questions did not relate to an item on the agenda.
David Sutton, speaking in relation to item 4 on the plans list (Red Linhay), stated that large quantities of stinking silage destined for the AD are being stored adjacent to the site and now it seems large quantities of grain will be stored in the new farm building, again, adjacent to the site, on farm land. This may not be counted as an increase in the size of the plant but in reality that is just what it is. As the closest resident to this stinking pile I would ask that a condition be put on the site that no storage of materials destined for the AD are to be stored except within the site itself.
Questions raised (bar Miss Coffin’s) would be answered when the item was debated.