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.
Cllr Mrs Binks referring to Item 9 on the agenda (Major Applications) and identifying 65 dwellings at Higher Road, Crediton and 257 dwellings at Creedy Bridge stated that the records still show that Simon Trafford is the lead officer, could this be updated? She requested a brief written update on both applications as she had to report to the Parish Council. She also asked if consideration could be given to whether the Ward Members could be consulted with regard to the S106 agreements when the time came for further discussions.
Mr Milverton referring to Item 1 on the Plans List (Cleave Barton) asked the following questions:
1. Where there is a flood issue, applicants have to submit both a Flood Risk. Assessment identifying the risks, and a Flood Warning and Emergency Plan to address those risks. The EA repeatedly say that it is their role to point out the risks, but not to assess the mitigation in the Flood Warning and Emergency Plan, that being the role of the Local Planning Authority. This being the case, what weight should be given to an objection from the Environment Agency to a proposed development which has not taken into account the contents of the Flood Warding and Emergency Plan?
2. In the instance of Cleave Barton, the Environment Agency state that it is not their role to assess the FWEP but within the report the planning officer says MDDC does not have the expertise to do so either. How can the Local Planning Authority arrive at an assessment of the application where a FWEP has been submitted?
3. If the Environment Agency advise that they have evidence which directly affects an application and which they rely on to justify an objection, is it not fair and reasonable for that evidence to be put in the public realm so it can be seen by all and responded to by applicants and their agents? At Cleave Barton, the Environment Agency have advised that they have evidence that Cleave Barton could not be evacuated in advance of less than 1 in a 100 year frequency and that waters on the edge of the flood plain would not be tranquil. This directly affects the assessment of the application - what is that evidence and why cannot it be produced.
4. The MDDC website states that all objections will be put in the public realm and my understanding is that it is actually a legal requirement to do so. With respect to Cleave Barton, both the Environment Agency and MDDC received material from the objector which has been treated as confidential and neither party would reveal to the applicant that material and neither the applicant, their agents or the ward member have seen it. Can officers advise what material submitted by the objector has been treated as confidential; why officers accepted it could be treated as confidential and have committee members been made aware that there is confidential material on the planning file and have they been given the opportunity to view it?
5. With regards Cleave Barton, can it be made clear that the key issue is whether the proposals within the Flood Warning and Emergency Plan reduce the risk of the use of the holiday let to a manageable level and that if the Committee decide that is the case, that they can legitimately approve the application, as they approved a flat at Bickleigh Mill in 2012?