At the previous meeting Members were minded to refuse the application and requested a report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration setting out the implications of such a refusal.
The Committee had before it an * implications report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration regarding the above application; Members at the meeting on 13th June 2018, were minded to refuse planning permission but a final decision was deferred pending consideration of this implications report.
The Principal Planning Officer provided a response to the questions posed in public question time. He stated that issues in relation to highway safety had been considered in the previous report as had the issue of the accuracy of the plans. The plans, which were metric in scale, had been checked and in the officers’ opinion were accurate. Reference was made to paragraph 187 in the NPPF which stated that solutions should try to be found to allow development rather than the identification of problems.
Consideration was given to:
· An opening further down the site in question which the applicant was already using. It was explained however, that the visibility requirements were worse at this exiting point than what was being recommended in the proposal.
· Concerns regarding inaccurate comments made by the Agent towards some of the Committee members.
· The visual impact of an industrial entrance in a rural area.
· Concerns regarding road safety and the movement of large vehicles in and out of the proposed access.
RESOLVED that the application be refused on the following grounds:
a) The design, scale and appearance of the proposed development would, in the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, be inappropriate to this site and out of keeping with the rural character of the area to the detriment of the visual amenity of the area in general. The bank and vegetation which would be removed is considered to contribute towards the rural character of the lane and the visual amenities of the area and therefore its removal to the extent shown would be detrimental to the rural quality of the area. The proposal is therefore considered to be contrary to policies COR2 of the Mid Devon Core Strategy (Local Plan Part 1), DM2 and DM22 of the Mid Devon Local Plan part 3 (Development Management Policies) and the objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework.
b) Insufficient justification has been provided for the need of a widened access given the fact that the applicant has been able to farm the lane previously from the existing access and that there are alternative accesses available to the applicant further south along School Lane therefore negating the need for the works associated as part of this proposal. The works are not considered reasonably necessary to support the farming activity on site contrary to DM22 of the Local Plan Part 3 (Development Management Policies).
c) In the opinion of the Local Authority, the proposed widening of the access would prejudice road safety due to lack of a public footpath along School Lane and the proximity of Thorverton Primary School and associated pedestrian traffic from parents and children walking to from the school via the public footpath link from The Glebe. The proposed widening of the access will encourage increased travel along School Lane between the centre of the village and the application site with the prospect of the access also used by vehicles to turn. The generation of additional traffic movements to and from the site by the development proposed along School Lane would result in an increased risk of accidents to all road users. The development is therefore considered to be contrary to Policy COR9 of the Mid Devon Core Strategy and DM2 and DM22 of the Mid Devon Local Plan part 3 (Development Management Policies).
(Proposed by Cllr F W Letch and seconded by Cllr R L Stanley)
(i) Cllr R M Deed spoke as Ward Member.
(ii) Cllr Mrs H Bainbridge left the meeting at the commencement of this item and did not return to the meeting, thus she did not take part in the vote.
(iii) Cllrs Mrs F J Colthorpe and J D Squire requested that their vote against the decision be recorded.
(iv) * Report previously circulated; copy attached to the signed minutes.