Minutes of Virtual Meeting of Whitestone Parish Council held at 7.30pm on Thursday 11th February 2021.
Attendance:- Chair – Councillor T Miles.
Councillors V Bryant, L Dyer, A Evans, L Fairley, P Lee, S Llewelyn, M Smith.
District Councillor A Swain
Mrs P Vaughan – Clerk to the Council
Mr G Fielding, Mr L Joyce.
Apologies Cllr M Belt, Cllr C Galton .
Cllr Miles opened the meeting and welcomed new Councillor Mrs M Smith who is joining the meeting tonight. Unfortunately Cllr Smith was having technical difficulties in joining via Zoom and although able to hear had to rely on telephone communication at one stage of the meeting.
Mr Luke Joyce was in attendance in order to comment on the response sent to Teignbridge District Council in regard to his planning application for Unit 2 at Rebecca Springs and Cllr Miles invited him to address the meeting. Mr Joyce explained he was anxious to resolve some of the concerns which the Parish Council seemed to have and he explained that he wished to enhance the building and bring it into use as a family home and to this purpose he went through some of the issues which had been raised. Cllr Miles thanked him for coming to the meeting and explained that although the Whitestone Parish Council were asked to comment on the planning it was for Teignbridge District Council Planning Department to make the final decision.
District Councillor Swain reported that the Teignbridge budget was still going through and also informed the meeting that the Dunchideock Parish Council had resigned and was no longer in existence.
11.1 20/02344/FUL Conversion of disused business unit to a dwelling at Unit 2, Rebecca Springs..
Response sent to Teignbridge District Council Planning Department:- The application at Unit 2, Rebecca Springs, Nadderwater, Devon EX4 2JH has been discussed and considered by Whitestone Parish Council. The proposed application is for the conversion of a disused business unit to a dwelling. There appear to be numerous inconsistencies and incorrect statements within this application which are cause for concern as well as the important omission that this site is located in an Area of Great Landscape Value.
i) Confusion regarding bedroom numbers. The Supplementary Statement from the Agent is for 3 bedrooms (one with en suite) and a family bathroom but the elevation plan clearly shows 4 bedrooms each with a full en suite bathroom and no family bathroom. We have concerns that this application looks more like accommodation for 4 people (multiple occupancy) rather than a family home. If this is the case then an increase in vehicles accessing this site is likely which negates the Agent's traffic argument.
ii) There is no justification or reasoning for the need of the large workshop shown on the elevation plan. If the applicant plans to run a business then again this is likely to involve an increase in traffic accessing this site.
iii) 2.6 in the Agent's statement states that “internally the accommodation is all on one level” but the elevation plan clearly shows 3 steps at either end of the hallway and would therefore not provide disabled access to any bedroom. Disabled access should be included on any new build or conversion of this type.
iv) Describing Nadderwater as a “vibrant village” to support the applicant's sustainable credentials is rather an exaggeration given that Nadderwater is an area within the parish of Whitestone (which itself is not classed as a village but is considered to be “open countryside”). The nearest shops and amenities are in the Redhills area of Exeter or at the bottom of Exwick estate which negates this sustainable argument.
v) 6 in the Supplementary Statement mentions the bus to support its sustainable credentials. This site is not a designated bus stop but the bus can be flagged down if required.
vi) The statement regarding South West Refrigeration is false. They definitely have not got planning permission and there was a refusal decision submitted by Teignbridge District Council which we hope will be upheld by the planning inspectorate. The traffic argument put forward here by the Agent is therefore not relevant.
vii) The Agent's report seems to focus specifically on the NPPF paragraph 79 that concerns isolated redundant buildings being converted to high quality buildings. Merely converting this basic constructed farm building with the suggestion of wildflower planting is not sufficient to cite NPPF paragraph 79 and we are concerned that it might set a precedent for other disused buildings. The Whitestone Parish Council do acknowledge that previous planning permission was granted in 2016 under Prior Approval Part P to convert from Class B8 to a C3 Class dwelling which has now lapsed and some external changes were approved in 2019. We do have concerns over the site being over developed and we do not wish to see additional applications for the remaining B8 buildings at Rebecca Springs.
Whitestone Parish Council does not support this application mainly due to over development of the site and the previously mentioned traffic concerns. If Teignbridge District Council is minded to approve please consider these proposed conditions:-
Grant of Conditional Planning Permission
11.2 20/00475/FUL Retention of slurry lagoon and area for turning at Copperwalls Farm.
11.3 20/02107/FUL Demolition of barn and construction of two dwellings validated on 10th November 2020 at Styles Barton Farm.
Mr Joyce left the meeting at 8pm
12.1 Review of DCC Lower Hare Farm – Judicial Review and consider progress and agree finances to pay.
Cllr Miles reported that there has been no progress by Devon County Council and a decision is still pending.
12.2 Inspection of Footpaths/Bridleways
Cllr Bryant reported that she has been completing the necessary returns regarding the 8 footpaths and 5 bridleways throughout the Parish for Devon County P3 Scheme and has passed 6 and failed 7. Ros Davies has been contacted with some concerns and a tree on Bridleway 16 has already been dealt with and Cllr Bryant would be compiling a report for the Parish magazine. Cllr Miles thanked Cllr Bryant for all her hard work in completing this work.
12.3 Updated guidance on Vehicle Activated Speed signs
Cllr Evans reported that he was still investigating pricing in regard to the installation of speed signs and would be preparing a spreadsheet and fact finding report for Councillors on which signs would be most advantageous for Whitestone. Cllr Smith felt that it was most necessary to have a sign in the vicinity of Nadderwater and it was agreed that this area would be one which would benefit. Following discussion it was noted by Councillors that Kenn and Shillingford had already had signs installed and advice might be sought from these Councils, also advice might be sought from Helen Frankpitt (Highways Officer). Cllr Evans promised to send in a report prior to the March meeting and he requested feedback for areas which would benefit for the siting of signs. Also discussed at this juncture was the dangerous stretch of crumbling road as you drive from Redhills towards Nadderwater and it was agreed that this should be reported separately to Devon Highways.
12.4 Progress on BT boxes
Cllr Belt had reported to the Clerk that Mr Blades was in the process of painting the interior of the box by the bus stop although the exterior painting had not taken place owing to the weather. A suggestion was made that the box at Nadderwater might contain maps and information regarding walks within the Whitestone Parish.
12.5 Action on Climate Change
Whitestone Parish Council and Climate Change - Report from Meeting held over Zoom on 9th February 2021 by Councillors Fairley, Llewelyn and Galton having been distributed to Councillors was discussed and it was agreed that further action be investigated and brought to the next Council meeting.
12.6 Standing Orders
These had been distributed to Councillors and Cllr Miles suggested that new Councillors should sign on for Councillor training which at present is taking place on Zoom.
12.7 Crossway Park – report on play equipment
Cllr Fairley reported that the new Boat Springer will be installed during the first week of March. The Playground will be closed for a day to allow clearing of the old Springer and installation of the new one. The new Springer will then be fenced off for 2 to 3 days to give the foundations time to set. It has been suggested that we name the Boat so it would be nice if we could have some suggestions from the children using the playground for names for the new equipment and this will be advertised. Suggestions can be made by commentating on Facebook or by writing it on as card addressed to the Parish Council and posted in the Parish Hall postbox. Please include the child/childrens’ names and the suggested Boat name. The name will then be chosen by the Parish Council Chairperson and Committee.
12.8 Parish Lengthsperson
It has been reported that Mr Blades is still finding a great deal of litter within the Parish and that he had to remove some mattresses which had been dumped although it was noted that if items of this nature were dumped then Teignbridge District Council should be contacted and they would arrange for them to be removed.
12.9 Face to Face Council meetings from 7th May 2021
Notification has been received from Devon Association of Local Councils that legislation permitting Councils to meet remotely will come to an end on 6th May and it was agreed that if this is necessary then the Council would have to request the large meeting room at the Hall in order that participants could distance appropriately. Legislation will constantly be reviewed.
13.1 Budget for 2021-2022
Update budget information having been distributed to Councillors it was noted that the budget of £59,783.00 for 2021/22 was adopted. The Precept for 2021/22 having been changed back to the level of 2019, i.e. £6,100 as resolved at the January meeting.
13.2 1 School Houses rent to 27th February 2021 £750.00 - £102.00 (includes £17.00 VAT) = £648.00.
13.3 2 School Houses rent to 1st March 2021 £825.00 - £109.20 (includes £18.20 VAT) = £715.80.
It was noted that this now includes the insurance cover arranged through Carter Geering.
The following expenditure was proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour and the cheques to be signed by Councillors Belt and Miles.
13.4 Mr L Blades £410.70
13.5 Whitestone Parish Hall £120.00 – hire of Hall for Parish Council meetings.
13.6 Whitestone Parish Hall – Parish Hall Insurance £1,140.24
13.7 Mr Dicker – Grasscutting maintenance bus shelter/Crossway Park/P3 footpath £478.32
13.8 QuickPrint SW Ltd £178.68 (includes £29.78 VAT)
Letter of thanks from Mary Colson (Secretary to Parish Hall Committee) for donation of £500 towards cost of new disabled entrance at Hall.
15.1 Cllr Bryant reported that concrete has been dumped at Twiscombe corner on the road to Crediton. In addition the sign post at Heath Cross is missing two of its arms and she requested that these items be reported to the appropriate authority.
15.2 Cllr Dyer spoke on the Wild Life Wardens Group and said that she was hopeful of obtaining a grant for a wildlife camera. Contact to be made to Cllr Charles Nuttall to see if there is a grant available. Some Councillors offered photos and reports on wildlife spotted within the Parish.
15.3 Cllr Lee spoke on her hope that together with Judith Sandford they would be able to open the library which is housed in the Parish Hall for perhaps 2 hours a week (socially distanced), if the Hall Committee are in agreement, to allow parishioners to select and borrow books but not to linger and chat.
The next Parish Council meeting will be a virtual meeting on Thursday 11th MARCH 2021 at 7.30pm.
Topic: Whitestone Parish Council Meeting. Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 881 1399 8264 Passcode: 792448
The meeting closed at 9.40p.m.