Whitestone Road sign

Whitestone Parish Council


Minutes of Whitestone Parish Council meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall on Thursday 20th January 2011

Attendance: Chairman – Councillor Mrs M Belt 
Councillors P Hanson, D Munro, A Reed, Mrs B Netherway, R Phillips, Mrs T Taylor
District Councillor P Bromell 
Mrs P Vaughan, Clerk to the Council
25 members of the Public

The meeting was opened by the Chairman and she invited members of the public to speak regarding the planning application for Springdale Farm, Bondhouse Lane, which the Council were going to discuss as the application requires a response within a 21 days deadline. 

This application is for the use of former farmyard as a residential and transit site for gypsies comprising manager’s caravan, four residential caravans, four transit pitches, secure play area and commercial vehicle parking.

Several members of the public spoke with objections and the following points were raised:-
• The fact that this is actually a retrospective application and not a change of use because buildings have already been erected without permission and this should not have been allowed.
• One resident queried the answers which were given on the planning application form submitted by Mr Ware, which he had examined, as he felt that a number of them contained serious errors which should be investigated
• The fact that this will be a change of use for a farmyard as it constitutes development in the countryside in this rural setting of great landscape beauty.
• The site is close to a Public Bridlepath and there are concerns that people may feel intimidated when using this amenity.
• There are concerns that the farmyard is adjacent to the landfill site and there is a query as to whether some of this area is contaminated land.
• Why is further accommodation needed for the manager of the site when there is already a house at the location?
• Traffic problems were also mentioned as a concern.

A Ms Amanda Tully spoke to the meeting as a representative of the owner, Mr Ware, and read a detailed statement from him that he was a Romany gypsy and that the site was intended for members of his family only.

Questions were raised regarding sites for gypsies and the meeting was informed that it was necessary for provision to be made for such sites where suitable locations could be found.

The meeting was informed by Councillor Belt that any decision regarding the application was made by Teignbridge District Council and that the Parish Council was asked for views, based on local knowledge, and these would then be considered by Teignbridge when they were reaching a conclusion. Parishioners with objections should make these known to the Teignbridge District Council personally although the points raised at this meeting will be conveyed in the Parish Council’s report.

The meeting was then closed to the public and the Council discussed the plans submitted by Teignbridge District Council and the following comments were made:-

It was felt that there was some support for the site but if granted it must be strictly monitored to ensure compliance with any restrictions that may be placed on the permission. There were grave concerns as to the need for commercial vehicles on what Mr Ware had said would be a residential site and it was strongly felt that no business activities should be allowed to run from the site. It was also stated that no floodlights should be erected as the site is situated where it is open to views across the countryside and in particular from Whitestone village. There was also a query as to why there was a need for the four transit pitches. Mention was made as to the outfall of any sewage into a brook and the contamination which might occur. Councillors also had concerns with interference to the Public Bridleway in the area. 

An observation was made that with Whitestone already having two other gypsy sites within the Parish it was hoped that further sites would not be considered as appropriate.

In view of the comments made it was agreed that District Councillor Bromell should request the Planning Officer that the application be placed in Category B in order that it is determined by the Teignbridge Planning Committee and this procedure was explained to the members of the public. 

Members of the public then left the meeting with the exception of Mrs S Greenfield. 

Councillor Phillips declared an interest in the following item as he was aware of two of the quotations involved.

Quotations were discussed for the installation of facia boards, soffits and down pipes at School Houses as follows:-
1. £2,645.00 including 17.5% VAT (this will now be 20%)
2. £2,076.75
3. £1,475.00
4. £3,390.00 including £565.00 VAT 

It was resolved to accept the quotation 4. of £3,390.00 as after discussion regarding the details of the specifications this was considered to be best value.

The meeting closed at 8.30pm.