(a) No 1 on the Plans List (18/00874/FULL – Conversion of artist studios to 2 holiday lets - Cleave Barton, Bickleigh)
The Area Team Leader addressed the meeting highlighting the contents of the update sheet which contained additional comments by the agent and the removal of the second reason for refusal as the issue had been addressed.
She outlined the contents of the report by way of presentation highlighting the location of the application site, the position of the leat and the low lying land, the proximity of the buildings to one another, the distance from the site to the River Exe, the existing and proposed plans, floor plans and the escape route back to Cleave Barton House. Members also viewed photographs from various aspects of the site including the public footpath and an information sheet which provided evidence of previous flood damage (provided by the Environment Agency).
The Flood and Coastal Risk Engineer representing the Environment Agency was invited to address the meeting. He outlined the guidance within the National Planning Policy Framework and the strict tests that should be applied, he emphasised that the development could not be made safe from flooding and should not be permitted. He outlined the flood issues in the area and the magnitude of previous floods. He outlined the modelling that had taken place and the depth of water calculated which could be fatal. He addressed the flood mitigation for Cleave Barton House, the evacuation plan and whether the house would be able to withstand an extreme event even though it was tanked and whether visitors to the site would be able to react effectively to an extreme event.
The Area Team Leader then addressed the questions posed at public question time and provided the following answers:
· The Environment Agency was a statutory consultant and it helped identify matters to be addressed and reviewed the Flood Risk Assessment. An objection from the Environment Agency together with information and guidance within the NPPF and planning practice guides had led to the recommendation of refusal.
· With regard to question 2, the application was before the committee for determination.
· With regard to the evidence to justify an objection, the evidence was the flood risk.
· With regard to objections in the public domain, she stated that the objections to the application were in the public domain, however she had been sent some photographs from the objector who had requested that they remain confidential, the photographs had remained confidential and were therefore not mentioned in the officer report.
· Members had all the information to assess the case.
Consideration was given to:
· The National Planning Policy Framework
· The size of the floodplain
· Recent flooding events and climate change
· The change of use of the building from a gallery to overnight accommodation
· The views of the objector with regard to having observed the flooding of Cleave Barton site that had occurred on numerous occasions and the fact that the issue of flooding should not be underestimated, the proposed development at Cleave Barton would be a risk to visitors and the emergency services and if the applicants did experience a flood event they would realise that there was enough to do without having to supervise their guests as there was unlikely to be a safe haven, she urged the committee to consider a duty of care.
· The views of the applicant with regard to the Flood Risk Assessment and the Flood Warning and Emergency Plan which would manage the risk and act on any warning. She stated that Bickleigh Cottage received 2 hours notice of a flood warning, the Exe did not have flash floods and that the house was reinforced, there was already a commercial use for the building and that there were systems in place.
· The views of the Ward Member which was read by the Chairman: the application for holiday cottages would be acceptable in planning terms save the question of flooding, the objectors and near neighbours had experience of flooding events; the fact that flood warnings were issued, the evacuation plan and whether the approval of the application was a risk to life.
· Whether flood risk warnings were sufficient to put in place an action plan.
· The advice of the Environment Agency and whether that should be ignored.
RESOLVED that: planning permission be refused for the following reason: the application site is in flood zone 3 and it is at risk of flooding. The application proposes the conversion of the buildings into two units of holiday accommodation which is a ‘more vulnerable’ use as set out in the ‘Flood risk and coastal change’ planning practice published by the MHCL 6th March 2014. The local planning authority consider that it has not been demonstrated that the development would be flood resistant, that any risk associated with flooding could be safely managed for the lifetime of the development or that safe access and escape routes can be provided. It has not been demonstrated that the risk of flooding of the development would not present a risk to life. The proposal is therefore considered to be contrary to paragraph 163 NPPF, planning practice guidance “Flood and coastal change” and policies COR1 and COR11 Mid Devon Core Strategy as recommended by the Head of Planning Economy and Regeneration.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
i) Cllrs Mrs F J Colthorpe, Mrs C A Collis, Mrs G Doe, P J Heal, Mrs B M Hull, D J Knowles, F W Letch, R F Radford, J D Squire and R L Stanley made declarations in accordance with the Protocol of Good Practice for Councillors dealing with Planning Matters as had all received correspondence from the applicant;
ii) Cllr Mrs F J Colthorpe declared a personal interest as a Member of the Fire Authority and she had visited the former gallery to view material exhibited by friends;
iii) Cllr Mrs G Doe declared a personal interest as she had exhibited material at the Red Barn;
iv) Mrs Ashworth (objector) spoke;
v) Mrs Wright (Applicant) spoke;
vi) The Chairman read a letter from Cllr R M Deed, the Ward Member;
vii) Cllr Mrs C A Collis requested that her vote against the decision be recorded;
viii) The following late information was reported:
1. Additional comments have been submitted by the Agent. These have been emailed directly to members of the planning committee and a printed version is attached to the update sheet.
2. Change to the recommendation. The report includes two reasons for refusal. Following the receipt of further survey reports relating to protected species, it is considered that any impacts that the development would have on protected species (bats) can be mitigated by the provision of a specific bat loft in one of the other buildings at Cleave Barton. Full details of the bat loft would be required to be submitted with a European Protected Species Licence application. As a result of receiving the further protected species surveys the second reason for refusal has been removed.
3. Additional condition:
The development shall be carried out in accordance with the mitigation measures set out in the report by Blackdown Environmental received by the local planning authority on the 5th March 2019. Once provided the mitigation measures shall be permanently retained.
To ensure the provision of suitable mitigation measures for protected species in accordance with policies DM2 and DM11 Local Plan Part 3 (Development Management Policies) and in accordance with the Conservation (Natural Habitats & Conservation) Regulations 1994 (Statutory Instrument No 2716) amended in 2007.
4. In the event that the application is approved the following informative is recommended:
A bat loft is to be provided within a building on site as detailed in the ecological report by Blackdown Ecological received 5th March 2019. The applicants are advised that if the provision of the bat loft would require building operations then advice should be sought regarding whether or not the required building operations require planning permission prior to the commencement of the works.
(b) No 2 on the Plans List (18/02024/FULL – variation of conditions 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 15 of planning permission 17/00711/FULL – land and buildings at NGR 301270 1112834 (Orchard House) High Street, Halberton)
The Area Planning Officer outlined the contents of the report by way of presentation, highlighting the location of the site, the site plan, the position of the wall and the vehicular access. She focussed on the main alteration to the original plans, that being the wall to the frontage of the site to be replaced in a rendered style. The other alterations were the detail of the roof tiles and the barge boards. She stated that the Conservation Officer was happy with the proposals and informed the meeting of the latest response from Halberton Parish Council and members viewed photographs from various aspects of the site. She added that the alteration to the other conditions were further details of the discharge of conditions which were considered to be acceptable.
Consideration was given to:
· The colour of the proposed rendered wall, the proposed upkeep of the wall and whether it was in keeping with the walls already in the High Street.
· The parking area for public use.
· The views of the Parish Council with regard to the appearance of the wall and whether the scheme should enhance the Conservation Area. Concerns had also been raised with regard to the surface of the parking area, although the parking area was welcomed, a management plan for that area would be appropriate
· The views of the Ward Member with regard to the control of the parking area, the rendered wall was felt to be a negative step and that a management plan was necessary to cover the maintenance of the wall and of the parking area
· The surface of the parking area
· The stone walls in the vicinity of the application site
RESOLVED that the application be deferred to allow further discussions to take place with the applicant with regard to:
· A management plan for the car park
· The surface of the car park
· The materials for the wall, to be ideally stone-faced rather than rendered brick.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
i) Cllr R L Stanley declared a personal interest as a Director of 3 Rivers Developments Ltd and chose to leave the meeting during the discussion and vote thereon;
ii) Cllr Mrs F J Colthorpe declared a personal interest as the Parish Council representative was known to her;
iii) Cllr Hugill (Halberton Parish Council) spoke;
iv) Cllr R F Radford spoke as Ward Member;
v) The following late information was reported:
A consultee response from Halberton Parish council was received on 14th February as follows:
Halberton Parish Council considered this application at their meeting on 12/2/19.
The Council's objections to the proposed change from stone wall to rendered wall remain in place. The Council's view is that a sandstone wall is more in keeping with the Conservation Area.
Typo - reference to condition 12 – this should read condition 15.
(c) No 3 on the Plans List (18/02071/FULL – retention of log store – Bradford Farm, Uplowman)
The Area Team Leader outlined the contents of the report by way of presentation highlighting the location of the proposal, the block plan of the log store, the floor plan and dimensions of the building. He provided an old aerial photograph which identified the original log store in situ and informed the meeting that he did not feel that the retention of the store had a detrimental impact on the amenity of the occupiers of neighbouring property or the character of the site and surrounding area in general. Members also viewed photographs from various aspects of the site.
Consideration was given to:
· The photographs depicted a log store and a workshop
· The views of the objector with regard to whether it was an existing building or a total creation of a new building, why was a wood burner used to heat the room, why was the application retrospective and that there was still unauthorised parking on the site.
· The views of a representative for the agent with regard to the neighbourly dispute which was ongoing, the materials were not out of keeping with the existing buildings and that the car park did not form part of the current application.
· The views of one of the Ward Member’s with regard to the intention for the log store, there was ample space within the existing buildings for a log store, the random selection of material for the log store and the fact that the woodburner would billow smoke across to the neighbours property.
· The quantity of wood already stored in the log shed
· The size of the store
· Whether the application was in accordance with Policy DM2
RESOLVED that Members were minded to refuse the application and therefore wished to defer the application for consideration of an implications report to consider the following issues:
· The proposal was not in accordance with Policy DM2
· Whether the design and materials for the log store were of an acceptable quality and appearance, taking into account the quality of the stone barns and their setting.
(Proposed by Cllr R L Stanley and seconded by Cllr D J Knowles)
i) Cllrs R B Evans, Mrs B M Hull, D J Knowles and R F Radford declared personal interests as the neighbour was known to them;
ii) Mr Blackmore spoke in objection to the application;
iii) Mr Webb spoke on behalf of the agent;
iv) Cllr C R Slade spoke as Ward Member;
v) Cllrs Mrs F J Colthorpe, P J Heal and D J Squire requested that their vote against the decision be recorded.