Whitestone Parish Council
DRAFT Minutes of Virtual Meeting of Whitestone Parish Council held at 7.30pm on Thursday 12th November 2020 to be ratified on 10th December 2020.
Attendance:- Chair – Councillor T Miles.
Councillors M Belt, V Bryant, L Dyer, A Evans, L Fairley, C Galton, D Jones, P Lee, S Llewelyn,
County Councillor A Connett (left at 7.45pm)
District Councillor A Swain (left at 8.15pm)
Mrs P Vaughan – Clerk to the Council
Mr M Harris, Mr G Fielding.
Prior to the Parish Council meeting the Councillors had discussion with Mr Rob Murdock of RMA Environmental regarding the application DCC/4101/2018 for Lower Hare Farm. Importation of 350,000m3 of inert soils and topsoils for the land raising of previously disturbed land that is not capable of sustaining commercial agriculture.
- Declaration of Interests
Cllr Evans to declare an interest in the planning application for Hackworthy, Trillow Hill and took no part in the discussions.
- Minutes of the virtual Council Meeting held on Thursday 8th October 2020.
46.1 County Councillor Connett requested that he may submit his comments as he wished to leave the meeting early. He advised that although he could not comment on the Lower Hare Farm application because he remained neutral and was involved in the decision making he advised that residents and the Council should submit their representations as early as possible in order to meet the deadline of 24th November and also to send their comments directly to the members of the Devon Management Committee. He confirmed that a site meeting had taken place and he had attended.
46.2 He stated that Devon County Council had launched the Holiday Hunger Scheme which had been allocated £2.1million to provide school meals to children during the period of Christmas and Easter 2021 and encouraged people in need to apply.
46.3 Mr Guy Fielding asked a question on behalf of the STAWL opposition group regarding timings, and a response and was given by Councillor Connett in regard to the Devon View planning application and he indicated that this is now being decided by an Appeal and would be discussed further by Councillor Swain
Councillor Connett then left the meeting at 7.45pm.
47.1 District Councillor Swain requested to continue to report regarding the Devon View application as he also would like to leave the meeting and spoke regarding the recent events and procedures. The Teignbridge planning officer had now indicated that she would be presenting a delegated refusal which would be sent to the planning inspectorate and the application would be given a new Appeal reference. Cllr Miles confirmed that she had also spoken to the planning officer and had been advised the new reference of 20/00056/NONDET.
47.2 Further discussion took place regarding the planning application DCC/4101/2018 - Lower Hare Farm. Cllr Miles stated that the Parish Council have again consulted Mr Murdock of RMA Environmental to review the technical details against the Regulation 25 request and he has suggested further substantive points which were then added to through discussion in the meeting which can be put forward to further oppose the application and he will conclude his report within the week which he will get back to the Council for submission to Devon Counnty Council.
Councillor Swain left the meeting at 8.15pm
48.1 20/01798/FUL Demolition and replacement of an existing single storey studio annexe and outbuildings with a new single storey studio annexe, storage sheds and workshop at Hackworthy, Trillow Hill.
Response made:- This application which is broadly supported. The proposed buildings will be approximately on the same footprint as the previous construction. The proposal is sympathetic to EN12 (woodlands, trees and hedge rows), and to EN2A (landscape protection and enhancement). Materials to be used look in keeping with the environment. It is unlikely that there would be any major visual impact on neighbours or the landscape. There would be no extra traffic issues, once building has finished (although we would like to suggest that construction deliveries come from Heath Cross and then down to Hackworthy from Waddlesdown and not from the Nadderwater end, where there is considerable risk of environmental damage). We would however request that a condition be set that the new constructions are reserved for the private use of the applicants only, and not for any commercial or rental purposes .
48.2 20/01803/FUL Provision of new access and parking area at Styles Barton Meadow
Response made:- The Parish Council do not support this application for the following reasons:
This application as submitted appeared fairly simple but following careful consideration we realised that the application had failed to mention the recent planning application for the conversion of an adjacent agricultural barn under Class Q into two dwellings, which was granted prior approval earlier this year under application 20/00074/NPA. The Parish Council had stated concerns regarding the overdevelopment of this site but being Class Q we had little involvement. This planning history is highly significant and relevant in being able to appropriately assess this application. The previous application was for an adjacent barn conversion into two dwellings, a large 5 bedroomed dwelling being allocated 3 parking spaces and a smaller 3 bedromed dwelling being allocated 2 parking spaces. The main property also has existing parking at the rear through its original large tarmacked driveway and stated in this application as 2 existing spaces. This application proposes to remove a 43 metre section of the existing well established hedgerow along the roadside and replace with close boarded fencing with a finished driveway opening of 6.2 metres between wooden posts. There are several points which we feel need to be considered:-
- The positioning of this new driveway is slightly offset to the driveway on the opposite side of the road at Hurston Cottage who currently had to cautiously exit their entrance onto this stretch of road which is fairly narrow and even though it is set in the 30mph speed limit it is just short of the change-over to 60mph. We feel an additional entrance onto this stretch of road could be hazardous. The previous application stated that the existing access has adequate visibility onto the highway and there will be space for vehicles to have on-site parking.
- The removal of such a large section of hedge and replacing it with even more close boarded fencing is not in keeping with the rural scene and would produce an adverse visual impact which would contravene Policy EN2A. The replacement of a veteran hedgerow with a fence does nothing to enhance landscape character and also consider that it would be contrary to TDC’s Climate Emergency Plan to reduce carbon emissions.
- There are a number of entrances already along this stretch where hedging has been replaced with fencing. Even though it is not a wildlife corridor there would be a significant loss to ecology and biodiversity, Policy EN8. We could not help but note the photo of the very severely flailed hedgerow included by the ecologist which was very much different to the Google image taken previously by a very much healthier looking hedge which was of concern.
- The other main point noted was the proposed physical location of this new parking area in respect to the previously approved conversion which was submitted by this same applicant, it is positioned right outside the master bedroom of the 5 bedroomed dwelling, with windows on this elevation and doors opening to the front,. This would cause, privacy issues, noise nuisance, exhaust fumes and light nuisance and would not be acceptable as would affect the amenity of this dwelling. (Whether built or not, there is a 3 year window in which to commence works and therefore has to be included as if built – cumulative effects).
- This application is proposing the creation of an additional 2 parking spaces to make a total of 4 for the main property but it is noted that there was also another 5 designated parking spaces set aside by the owner for the conversion which would make a total of 9 car parking places for this site. We do not feel this is necessary and is “over development of the site”. The Google image of the main property shows a very large existing driveway at the rear.
48.3 20/00230/FUL – Devon View. Change of use of agricultural land and conversion of existing buildings to commercial use (Use Classes B1, B2 & B8) including widening of existing access
It was reported that this is now being decided by an Appeal.
48.4 DCC/4101/2018 - Lower Hare Farm. Importation of 350,000m3 of inert soils and topsoils for the land raising of previously disturbed land that is not capable of sustaining commercial agriculture.
This item was discussed further in regard to the review of latest Regulation 25 information and the following key points were presented by Councillor Jones:-
- The information provided by the applicants has been reviewed by RMA Environmental. It concludes that the submitted Environmental Statement does not comply with the EIA Regulations and does not prove compliance with Policies W1, W5, W7, W14 or W28 of the Devon Waste Plan. It recommends that the application should be refused on the grounds of non-compliance with EIA Regulations and with key planning policies.
- The DCC Landscape Officer has said that the proposed site location is considered unsuitable for an inert waste landfill operation as the site lies in an area of great landscape value which provides an important part of the landscape setting of the City of Exeter.
- If Natural England’s advice is followed then the estimated duration of the land raising would have to be extended from 10 years to at least 25 years, adding heavier weight to the Landscape Officers’ conclusions.
- No assessment has been provided of the amount and quality of in-situ soil resources available for re-use, contrary to the Regulation 25 request and paragraph 4 of the Schedule 4 of the Environmental Impact Regulations (2017).
- No assessment of the impact on soil quality after the proposed land raising has been provided, contrary to the Regulation 25 request and paragraph 4 of Schedule 4 of the Environmental Impact Regulations (2017).
- The likely sources of soils to be imported have not been identified, as required by the second Regulation 25 request. Without this information it is not possible to consider reasonable alternative locations for the disposal of soils which might result in greater benefit anr/or less environmental damage.
- It also means that it is not possible to prove compliance with Waste Plan Policies W7 (Waste Disposal) and W27 (Transportation and Access), both of which seek to minimise the distance that waste is transported. Also because of the absence of information on likely soil sources the adverse impact on climate change cannot be determined contrary to one of the key objectives in the Devon Waste Plan.
- The revised biodiversity metric has shown that the proposed development will result in a net loss in on-site biodiversity of such magnitude that it can only be compensated by off-site mitigation. The limitations and uncertainties contained within the air quality and noise assessments have not been adequately described, although required by the Regulation 25 request and paragraph 6 of Schedule 4 of the Environmental Impact Regulations (2017)
- Assumptions and methodologies have been chosen to ensure that adverse effects are significantly and wrongly underestimated.
- No assessment of cumulative environmental impact on landscape, ecology, biodiversity, air quality, or climate change have been provided or considered. This is contrary to the Regulation 25 request and paragraph 5 of the Schedule 4 of the Environmental Impact regulations (2017).
- Access to the operational areas is now to be via a section of track that was constructed contrary to the planning permission granted for a farm access track in 2016. This is dismissed by the applicants as a “minor amendment” demonstrating a worrying disregard for both planning law and the environment.
- Historic satellite imagery does show that the proposed catchment ponds for run-off are to be sited on land that was used for the unregulated landfill abandoned in 2006. As no contaminated land report has been provided, other than a Phase 1 desktop review, there will be a risk that any contamination from buried hazardous or infectious waste material would be carried into the Alphinbrook via the catchment ponds.
Cllr Miles then asked Councillors to vote upon this issue that the application be strongly objected to and that the same approach as previous, i.e. submitting two separate reports to Devon County Council, one from Whitestone Parish Council and one with the RMA Technical Consultant’s Report submitted from the Parish Council Chair should be applied. The vote was taken and this was unanimously agreed.
48.5 20/01752/HOU Two storey extension at 6 Church Lane.
Response:- The proposed application is for a two-storey side extension on the south side of the property to provide increased accommodation for the applicant’s family. This proposed extension is felt to be quite large being double the width of the present conservatory and extending the full length of the south side of the property. However, 6 Church Lane sits in a spacious plot with space between the existing property and its neighbour so probably would be able to support this proposed sized extension. The neighbours, we understand, are not unduly concerned by this planning application as there will be no windows facing towards their property and therefore they won’t be overlooked. At the time of writing our response to this planning application no Ecology Report had been submitted to establish whether bat activity is present which might be an important factor to be considered when the existing roof is disturbed when joining to the new extension roof. It is understood that no trees or hedging will need to be removed and no increased traffic is envisaged once building work is completed. This application is therefore supported.
48.6 20/01572/FUL Alterations to disabled exit ramp by increasing the width and decreasing the slope at Whitestone Parish Hall.
48.7 20/01016/HOU Two storey side extension, single storey front extension, conversion of outbuildings to habitable accommodation and hipped roof over outbuildings at 2 Barton Cottages.
48.8 Appeal Decision by the Planning Inspectorate
20/00018/REF Appeal against the refusal of planning permission for 19/01413/FUL – change of use of agricultural land to rear to self-storage business (Use Class B8) and associated works. It has been reported that the Appeal is dismissed.
- MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
49.1 Latest Covid 19 Lockdown
It was reported that there are no constraints for the playpark this time. It was reported that signs have been posted reminding users of the need for sanitising equipment and social distancing and although some sanitising had been done previously it was felt that this should be a parental responsibility. It was reported that there had been a socially distanced gathering to mark Remembrance on the 11th November.
49.2 Teignbridge Climate Emergency
To be deferred to a future meeting
The following grants were proposed and seconded and approved:-
Parochial Church Council (for inclusion of minutes in the Church Magazine) £200.00
Whitestone Gardening Club for tending the Community Garden adjoining Crossway Park £150.00
Donation to the British Legion Poppy Appeal £50.00
49.4 School Houses
Following the installation of heaters at 2 School Houses there was a request from 1 School Houses for installation of new heaters. There has been no response from the firm who were requested to assess the current heating and this is at present in obeyance.
49.5 Crossway Park
Cllr Fairley reported having obtained three estimates for the removal of the faulty Bear Springer and the installation of new equipment which would be in the form of a Boat Springer. This has been quoted as £4,800 + VAT from Trevor Parsons of Somerset. It was proposed and seconded that this equipment should be purchased. The installation of the painted pebbles and the Remembrance poppies which had been placed in the garden has been much admired and it was suggested by Cllr Belt that some shelving be placed so that the pebbles could be displayed for the future.
49.6 Parish Lengthsperson
Cllr Belt reported that Mr Blades had been busy removing litter and branches throughout the Parish and had difficulty in disposing of large items at the Recycling Centre because he had a van and although dumped items had been reported to Teignbridge they had not been removed. Cllr Belt also reported that following complaints from local parishioners the dog bin on the green has been re-sited again.
- MATTERS RAISED BY THE CHAIRMAN
50.1 Cllr Miles asked that people are aware of the Exeter City Council planning for a major development of 80 dwellings being built at Exwick Lane, Redhills which would affect the Whitestone residents and encouraged representations to be sent in.
50.2 Cllr Miles informed the three new Councillors that there are training courses available for fresh Councllors and they indicated that they would be interested in attending. In addition Cllr Evans agreed to undertake the Finance for Councillors Course and assist in bedget setting next month. Details will be investigated.
50.3 Cllr Miles reported that the tenants at 2 School Houses had requested funding towards some paint in order to make good areas where the installation of new heaters had been carried out the she had approved this as a good option not requiring a painter/decorator to be involved.
50.4 Carter Geering had advised the Council on the change in Government Policy due to Covid 19 regarding tenancy agreements and the “Right to evict” due to rental arrears and they had suggested than an insurance policy be considered to cover against this eventuality. The policy offered is £30 per month per property. After discussion it was resolved that the policies should be obtained for one year.
51.1 1 School Houses rent to 29th November 2020 £750.00 - £72.00 (includes £12.00 VAT) = £678.00.
51.2 2 School Houses rent to 1st December 2020 £825.00 - £79.20 (includes £13.20 VAT) = £745.80.
The following expenditure having been proposed and seconded for payment cheques were signed by
Cllrs Miles and Belt.
51.3 Pyne Electrical services £3,564.00 (includes £594.00 VAT) (Cheque 1535)
51.4 Whitestone Gardening Club £50.00 (Cheque 1536)
51.5 Whitestone Parochial Church Council £200.00 (Cheque 1537)
51.6 British Legion Poppy Appeal £50.00 (Cheque 1538)
51.7 Mr L Blades £358.77 (Cheque 1539)
52.1 Cllr Bryant raised the issue of Wildlife Wardens as promoted by Action on Climate in Teignbridge (ACT) and Cllr Miles indicated that she would place a note in the Parish Magazine as this is a community scheme.
52.2 Cllr Jones reported that he has sold his house and will be moving from Whitestone shortly and will therefore be resigning his position on the Parish Council and this will be his last meeting. The meeting expressed regret at losing someone who had been such a valuable member of the Council since May 2019 but wished him every success for his future.
The next meeting will be a virtual meeting on Thursday 10th December 2020 at 7.30pm.
Topic: Whitestone Parish Council Meeting
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The meeting closed at 10pm.