To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Catherine Penharris, Chairman of the CCA in Cullompton referring to Item 6 (Housing Infrastructure Fund) on the agenda stated that she had read the very interesting report by the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration; highlighted within the Risk Assessment section she outlined the views of the Inspector for the Local Plan Review in that he would wish to be assured that the Plan was sound and provided deliverable housing sites in the early years of the Plan and that he had concern about housing trajectory in the early years before the Relief Road was complete and concerns with regard to the five year land supply for deliverable sites if the Town Centre Relief Road was delayed. She asked whether the Cabinet could make an informed decision if all the information was not available.
Mr Emmett referring to Item 6 (Housing Infrastructure Fund) on the agenda stated that the Leader had highlighted in his speech to Council on 22 May, the need to put the people of Mid Devon first. He felt that it was important to put people first in Cullompton by improving the air quality issues, for children to be able to walk to school and not have to breathe in fumes and be threatened by heavy traffic passing them. The relief road would alleviate the queuing back onto the motorway. The relief road would provide a suitable route for farm vehicles to bypass the town. The historic buildings were at risk because of vibration from heavy lorries and pollutants. He mentioned the outcome of a recent poll social media which highlighted that 85% of those taking part in the poll were in favour of the town centre having less traffic and 88% in support of a relief road.
Cllr Guest from Cullompton Town Council referring Item 5 (Culm Garden Village) on the agenda asked the following questions:
1. The Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan has extensive evidence supporting a wide range of development in the parish of Cullompton which included the principle support for the Garden Village (Policy SD06). Will MDDC take note of this support for the Garden Village and so inform the Neighbourhood Plan?
2. In April 2019, Cullompton Town Council voted by a large majority to include positive statements relating to the large scale housing development planning for Cullompton, including the principles of support for the Cullompton Garden Village (Policy SD06). Will MDDC pay attention to and take note of the positive view of Cullompton Town Council in relation to the development of the Garden Village and so inform Cullompton Town Council.
3. In the various Garden Village workshops run by the Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan and separate workshops run by MDDC, a key concern has been to keep as much of the Garden Village within the parish of Cullompton as possible. Maps have been produced showing the Garden Village reaching down towards Mutterton and making use of the local road network. Will MDDC continue to explore the Mutterton option and keep the Town Council up to date and informed?
Referring to Item 6 on the agenda (HIF) he asked the following questions:
1. The Cullompton Neighbourhood plan has extensive evidence supporting a wide range of development in the parish of Cullompton, including the urgent need for a town centre relief road, most likely through the CCA fields (Policy WL02), will MDDC take note of the views and evidence of the Neighbourhood Plan which support a relief road?
2. In April 2019, Cullompton Town Council voted by a large majority to include positive statements in the Neighbourhood Plan relating to the relief road through the CCA fields, will MDDC pay attention to and take note of the views of Cullompton Town Council in relation to the relief road?
3. MDDC has secured the opportunity for a 10 million pound loan from Central Government to partially fund the Cullompton Relief Road. This is a significant amount of money, will MDDC assure Cullompton Town Council that they will progress the relief road as fast as possible so as not to lose that £10 million of funding.
Honorary Alderman Mrs Campbell referring to Item 6 (HIF) on the agenda addressed the Cabinet stating that traffic congestion in Cullompton was not a new thing; traffic had always been an issue from Willand Road through to Cockpit Hill and in Station Road before the motorway was built. Once the motorway opened people realised just how much traffic still went through the centre of Cullompton either side of the motorway junction. Due to incidents with lorries in Higher Street a weight restriction was put on the road from Willand to Cullompton. However no weight restriction could be put on the High Street as it acts as an alternative route in the event of motorway closure. This had an impact on the life of people in Cullompton, the pavements are narrow, vehicles are large and children in buggies are at the level of the vehicle fumes. The people of Cullompton cannot live a relaxed life; there can be no road closures for events, little or no encouragement to invest in the town because of traffic issues. Devon County Council first consulted on traffic issues in the town in 1989 which included a road route through the CCA fields and there have been numerous consultations since. Continuous consultation without actions leads to apathy in the town. The cricket and football clubs recognise that there is a need for change and time is of the essence. Please do not delay your decision, we will lose the funding and we will lose the relief road, it is important to people.
Mrs Berry referring again to item 6 on the agenda, stated that the lack of a relief road impacts on the rural surroundings of Cullompton, do not under estimate how vital a relief road would be to the future of Cullompton, for the town, its residents and for future economic development and air quality, Cullompton has been waiting for this for 20/30 years, there should be no delay, do not waste the investments already made. She referred to school children walking to school and that people would be unforgiving if the funding was lost and she therefore requested that the chance of funding be approved.
Mr Qayam referring again to item 6 on the agenda stated that he was a property guardian and owned 3 historic buildings in the town. He outlined the history of the town, the heritage issues and the need to preserve the historic buildings. The vibration and fumes from large vehicles in the town had an impact on the historic buildings and that the town deserved better. He asked the Cabinet to consider the children and air quality issues and the message any rejection of the funding would have on private investors in the town.
Mr Dominy referring to Item 5 (Culm Garden Village) on the agenda read a letter from Mr Allan which stated that he had read through the paper on the Garden Village consultation being presented at the meeting. I would like to highlight presentational oddities which it seems to me is genuinely misleading. Paragraph 3.18 makes summary of the responses in respect of the proposed green buffer zone with Kentisbeare. It claims that a higher proportion of respondents want to see sports facilities included within the buffer zone. If one looks at the detail of the responses on Page 99 sport and formal recreation was supported in the buffer zone by 99 people, but the 3 categories below (non/farmland, woodland etc and bridleways etc) all represent a broadly similar desire for no meaningful development of any sort in the buffer zone a total 132 responses. I think it is quite clear that that is the most popular response.
Similarly on Page 98 the most cited location for the buffer zone is Dead Lane (with 55 responses) but each of the Kentisbeare and Cullompton boundaries and Horn Road are within a field of each other and significantly to the west of Dead Lane. The combined total of those is 64, which is more popular than Dead Lane. I would urge you to look at the substance of the responses, as they deliver different conclusions than the one which you might be led to at first sight.
Mr Dominy then added that he was waiting for a response to his question as to why MDDC were not releasing the responses to the consultation as they had with other consultations and why were the results being withheld?