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.
Ms Stannard referring to Item 1 (School Lane, Thorverton) on the Plans List stated that as has been said many times, the applicant cannot demonstrate any genuine agricultural justification for widening this access. He has other points of entry to his fields. The proposed entrance is on an industrial scale both in terms of size and construction. Planting nine blackthorn and whitethorn shrubs along the entryway as shown in the latest drawing of June 12th is just “putting lipstick on a pig”. My question is: “How can this application be approved when Mid-Devon’s own report “Thorverton Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan of 2015” singles out School Lane as a ‘character area’”?
Maps 6 and 7 show School Lane up to and including the proposed access as part of the historic core of Thorverton and one of several important open spaces and views in and out of the village. Map 8 names School Lane as one of five Thorverton character areas. School Lane is described (and I quote) as an early, narrow route to Brampford Speke...this part of the conservation area has a rural, tranquil character. The following quote from the Local Plan Part 3 (2014) Policy DM27 sums up an observation made by many Thorverton residents: “The historic environment is an asset of great cultural, social, economic and environmental value. It contributes significantly to our quality of life and the character of the district, representing a non-renewable resource that once lost is gone forever”.
Mr Trump again referring to Item 1 (School Lane, Thorverton) on the Plans List stated that I live at The Lodge in the Conservation Area , opposite the proposed new field entrance. I am very worried by this scheme.
Firstly I am not at all convinced of the agricultural need for this new entrance, as the applicant has managed, perfectly satisfactorily for the last five years with the existing entrance.
The latest proposal to do away with the Devon bank and substitute it with a wide tarmac drive and splay is completely out of character with the existing environment in the lane. This is a narrow Devon country lane - not an urban road or an industrial site. The planting of a few blackthorn and white thorn bushes where the bank has been cut away is not going offset the dreadful appearance of the tarmac. I understand that the Conservation Officer's preferred scheme is from the original plan but that had all the problems with eliminating the passing place for large vehicles and a kerb build -out into the lane for the splay, reducing the width even more.
In my letter to him, I drew Mr Devereaux's attention to the fact that the plan has conveniently ignored the bend in the lane, which must affect the visibility aspect. I hope Members, in their preparation for this meeting have looked at the photo attached to Mrs Gillian Bathe's objection letter which clearly shows the bend and the narrowness of the lane, which also gives rise to the safety worries expressed by many objectors.
In my letter I also referred to the Mid Devon Plan which stated that Thorverton is regarded as a Village of “Particular Environmental Quality” and as such policy ENV 22 applies. One of the points of this states, “that design and layout respects the character and appearance of the locality”. This latest plan most certainly does not do that. This is immediately adjacent to Thorverton's Conservation area. This part of School Lane has been designated worthy of conservation by your own Council Officers and I would ask you please, to maintain it's beauty.
You will be aware from the response on the Mid Devon site, of the tremendous opposition to this application - from the Parish Council, the local school and so many Villagers for reasons of appearance and safety, and I'm sure you will consider carefully, the various points raised.
I do most earnestly ask you all - please reject this application .
The Mid Devon motto , as I am reminded every time I use my brown bin, is “Where people matter”.
I and the people of Thorverton will be waiting anxiously to see just how much the people of Thorverton really matter to our Council, when you make your decision.
Mr Greed referring to Item 1 (School Lane, Thorverton) on the Plans List asked why the Planning Officer and Devon County Council, Highway Authority were recommending approval of the application, the plans were misleading and there is no agricultural justification, this is an industrial entrance into the field and the Devon bank is proposed to be removed in the Conservation Area. He stated that the amenity value of the area would be destroyed, there is a narrow land with no pavements, 100 children and 150 residents use the walkway which cuts through from the Glebe and exits onto the narrow lane by the proposed entrance. The newly approved application at Broadlands would also use this access. He added that the token landscaping proposals would not mitigate the situation; there was already a track to the field. He referred to an application for an agricultural building at Yellowford which had never been built. He requested that the application be refused because of the loss of visual amenity and that the proposal would be a severe road safety hazard.
The Chairman indicated that answers would be provided during the debate on the application.