Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday, 13th January 2022.
Attendance:- Chair – Councillor T Miles.
Councillors Cllrs M Belt, V Bryant, A Evans, L Fairley, P Lee, S Llewelyn District Councillor A Swain
Mrs P Vaughan – Clerk to the Council
Mr P Mingo
Apologies: Cllr T Baird, Cllr C Galton.
REPORT FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
Cllr Swain left the meeting at 7.45pm
3.1 21/02273/HOU Raising of roof to form additional accommodation, extensions to front and side and new garage with annex over at High View, Nadderwater.
Summary of Response:- Whitestone Parish Council have considered this planning application, which is to provide additional domestic accommodation at High View, Nadderwater, by raising the roof of an existing dwelling and by extending to the front, rear and side. The ground floor extension will be single storey. A new detached garage with an annexe over is also proposed.
Main concerns:- Set in an AGLV – the site should be able to accommodate the additional development without it having an adverse impact on the character of the local area or on the residential amenity of neighbouring properties. This proposed development will add substantially to the mass of the existing building although it will probably represent an aesthetic improvement.
The applicants state that materials proposed for the new additions will match the existing materials and will be sympathetic to the existing building. However, the addition of a balcony to the south does raise the possibility of overlooking of the neighbouring property. Nevertheless increased light spill is likely from both the extensions and the new garage plus annexe which may need lighting to and from the main building.
The applicants state that the extension and garage will have reduced energy consumption by using at least a proportion of low energy light fittings. Unfortunately however there are no other details or proposals to reduce carbon consumption.
Whitestone Parish Council are broadly in support of this application but would like to suggest the following recommendations, if TDC is minded to approve the application:-1. The garage/annexe should not be occupied at any time other than for purposes ancillary to the residential use of the host dwelling “High View, Nadderwater” and shall not be used, let, leased or otherwise disposed of for any other purpose as a separate unit of accommodation. This is in accordance with the application submission and in the interests of residential and local amenity.
3.2 21/02726/CLDE Certificate of Lawfulness for existing use of land and chalet for leisure purposes at building at Ngr 288561 93846, Rowhorne Road.
Summary of Response:- This application supersedes the application 20/00843/CLDE, seeking a Certificate of lawfulness for existing residential use. The application was refused. The current application 21/02726/CLDE is for a Certificate of Lawfulness for existing use of land and chalet for leisure purposes. WPC objects to this proposal for the reasons stated below:
1) The site in question is classified as an agricultural field, and there has never been planning permission granted for change of use of this site.
2) The wording of this proposal for a Certificate of Lawfulness for existing use of land and chalet for leisure purposes is, in the opinion of WPC, to try and gain permission for residential use, as before. Nothing has changed. The land is classified agricultural and the applicant is keeping goats and chickens, therefore in keeping with the current class use.
3) WPC have already determined that the shed called a chalet replaced a chicken shed. The previous owner used this shed as ancillary to his adjacent property, not for residence. There are no grounds for a Certificate of Lawfulness as WPC do not want to legalise any “development”, especially as we strongly believe that the applicant has been living there illegally.
4) WPC do not know of a reason for a Certificate of Lawfulness for leisure purposes since the activities indicated as existing are lawful within the current classification. Further clarification is needed for the term ‘leisure use’.
5) From the photographs supplied, the presence of a pop-up greenhouse, and the fact that goats and chickens are being kept there, would suggest the need regular tending. The applicant has not given a fixed address close enough for this to be possible. The only address given is c/o in Dorset, which suggests the applicant does not live in Dorset. This supports the view by WPC that the applicant is indeed living on the site.
6) This land does not have a recognised name or registered postal address and has no services for leisure activities apart from farming or horticultural. Neither of the two different postcodes (one used by the applicant and one by the agent) are correct for this site.
WPC is attaching their response to the previous (refused) application (20/00843/CLDE), as the material considerations remain the same. If TDC are minded to approve, WPC request it be conditioned as follows:
1) No further development or permitted development rights are allowed without an application for full planning permission.
2) No residency allowed outside of the 28 days per year rule for agricultural land.
3.3 21/02758/NPA and 21/02759/NPA Applications for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class Q (a) and (b) and paragraph W of the GDPO for change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling at Devon View.
Summary of Response:- Each application is for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class Q (a) and (b) and paragraph W of the GDPO for the change of use of agricultural buildings into residential dwellings. The agent has requested that the 2 applications are assessed concurrently.
Whitestone Parish Council has discussed these applications and strongly object as these proposals are not in accordance with Class Q (b), Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended).
We substantiate our findings as follows: These barns are situated on a site in an isolated location outside of any defined settlement limits as set out in the Teignbridge Local Plan 2013-2033 and designated as an Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). This site and the barns have recently been acquired by this applicant and it is unknown whether it is registered with an agricultural holding number as required for Class Q development. The barns are stated as redundant by the applicant as they are not farmers and it is important to document that there is local interest in this parcel of land and the barns for agricultural purposes and local farming as per its current classification. Under Class Q a determination as to whether the Council’s prior approval is required in respect of the following:
a) transport and highways impacts; see notes further in report.
b) noise impacts; see notes further in report.
c) contamination risks on the site, - This planning application proposes a use that will be particularly vulnerable to the presence of land contamination should it be present. Contamination has not been ruled out. The report submitted by Advance Consulting Engineers page 11 point 4.8 Recommendations and Further Works suggests:
4.8.1 In order to confirm the initial conceptual model, an initial intrusive investigation using Trial pitting and boreholes is recommended across the site. In addition, laboratory testing comprising geotechnical classification and geochemical properties particularly metals and hydrocarbons should be undertaken. It may also be necessary to undertake infiltration testing for design of soakaways along with groundwater level monitoring, if required by the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA).
d) flooding risks on the site, - see above.
e) whether the location or siting of the building makes it impractical or undesirable for the building to be converted from agricultural to residential use; or
f) the design or external appearance of the building - the installation of large areas of glazing will cause light pollution in a rural area with dark skies.
The above criteria is in addition to the main requirement that the primary structure should be of sound construction and capable of conversion without the need for re-building beyond the scope of acceptability under the provisions of Class Q; (for the purposes of Class Q, the primary structure is considered to include supporting walls and columns, steel/timber frames, roof trusses/girders and foundations).
A previous Planning Application reference 17/02645/NPA was submitted by Mr Varker of Rowhorne Farm, (previous owner), for exactly the same proposal to convert these 2 barns to residential dwellings. It was appropriately refused by senior Planning Case Officer Anna Mooney of Teignbridge on the basis that the proposal constituted a rebuild and did not accord with Class Q. These new proposals refer to exactly the same barns with a further 4+ years of deterioration, however Avalon Planning & Heritage (Agents) state that the previous planning objection has now been overcome – We question - HOW EXACTLY?
A thorough review of the structural report submitted by Andrew Oliver has been critically compared to the initial structural report submitted by Nicholls Basker Partners in 2017 which has been undertaken by a senior Structural Engineer and questions are included which indicate the failings of the report submitted by Andrew Oliver which is particularly vague and evasive.
This site was the subject of a very controversial application by this applicant in 2020 who wanted to move an established industrial business, South West Refrigeration from Marsh Barton and this application 20/00230/FUL was ultimately refused by Teignbridge and properly dismissed by the planning inspectorate as unsuitable. In conclusion Whitestone Parish Council confirm our objection and agree with the previous decision by Teignbridge District Council that the development of East Barn and West Barn at a site named Devon View would consist of a range of building operations that appear to stretch the definition of conversions beyond acceptable and would more properly constitute re-built dwellings. The likely introduction of new walls, existing frame stanchion strengthening, additional roof support/strengthening and likely underpinning etc. all combine to suggest the proposals clearly do not accord with Class Q (b), Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as
amended). These findings combined with the other areas of concern and numerous questions requiring clarification all indicate non-compliance. There is absolutely no further evidence that the previous planning objection decision in application reference 17/02645/NPA has now been overcome and we respectfully request the Council to confirm that the scheme does not benefit from permitted development 9 under Class Q and to refuse both planning applications 21/02758/NPA and 21/02759/NPA.
3.4 21/02812/FUL Replacement dwelling at Nadderbrook House, Rebecca Springs, Nadderwater EX4 2JH
Summary of response:- Whitestone Parish Council response – Objection.
This application at Nadderbrook House, Rebecca Springs, Nadderwater EX4 2JH for a replacement dwelling has been discussed and considered by Whitestone Parish Council.
Prior to this present application 21/02812/FUL, there has been quite a history of planning activity at Rebecca Springs and the following relate to this property now known as “Nadderbrook House “.
1. Application 15/00111/CLDE - Application for Certificate of Lawfulness to seek confirmation of lawful use as Business (Class B1) and Storage and Distribution (Class B8) Approved.
This unit was purchased leasehold and an application submitted by Mr Mills to convert the property from B8 to C3 in 2017.2. Application 17/01938/NPA - Application for Prior Approval under Schedule 2, Part 3 Class P of the GPDO for change of use of a storage or distribution building (Class B8) to a dwelling – Approved.
Nadderbrook House is situated in an AGLV and is one of a cluster of dwellings at the site collectively known as Rebecca Springs which was once a farmhouse with associated farm buildings.
Development within AGLV’s primary objective is conservation and enhancement of the landscape quality and individual character. This application proposes the demolition and rebuild within this traditional farmstead with an extremely contemporary modern designed dwelling which is considered to be completely out of character and represents a particularly suburban design and it is not believed that it would blend well at all. The design lacks agricultural reference and is not in keeping with the surrounding rural landscape especially with the south elevation consisting almost entirely of large glass panelled windows. Whitestone Parish Council do not believe that this design preserves the agricultural vista as claimed. The proposal is therefore considered to be contrary to policy EN2A.
The applicant may own the land but the cartilage size was strictly controlled and specifically explicit in the decision notice for conversion under the Class P permitted development. The cartilage restriction does not seem to have been adhered to and from the original conversion as these proposals are suggesting a huge increased curtilage in use. The applicant was fully aware of the restrictions of converting under Class P (undertaken by the same applicant) and who now classifies that application as being extremely dated despite being only a few years ago. Whitestone Parish Council are unsure whether you are allowed to demolish a property if it is leasehold although the application has been submitted under Certificate A to suggest the applicant is the sole owner.
The Rebecca Springs complex, once a traditional farmstead with a cluster of barns and outbuildings, were separated off by a former owner. Nadderbrook House is in fact Unit 3 as denoted on the original plan and a few of the other units have also successfully been converted under permitted development.
An example has been suggested as precedent for Unit 2 Rebecca Springs which has planning permission allowed under appeal, it must be noted that the inspector agreed with the conversion of that disused B8 business unit to a residential dwelling and suggested that the works would repair the building and lead to an improvement to its appearance and enhancement to its immediate setting. Also the requirement to use the materials stated on the applicant form to protect the character and appearance of the areas was conditioned.
Additionally Unit 2 Rebecca Springs had a floor space of 300 square metres so therefore the current building in Unit 3 at only 127.30 square metres is subservient to Unit 2 increasing the scale, size and massing of Unit 3 (Nadderbrook House) would not be in keeping with the existing layout plan. To the north of Unit 3 is Unit 5 which is only a 90 square metre property.
What is important though is that the Planning Inspector specifically stated in the decision statement “The Parish Council are also concerned that a precedent could be set for proposals at other buildings but, like the previous appeal at Rebecca Springs site each case must be assessed on its own merits with regard to the particular proposals and circumstances at play”. Therefore the Planning Inspectorate clearly confirmed that no precedent had been set.
Whitestone Parish Council object to this application as we do not consider that it accords with Local Plan Policies as mentioned above and we are concerned with the proposed suburban style design in this traditional farmstead setting.
If, however, Teignbridge District Council are minded to approve we would recommend the following conditions:-
4.1 Application for post of Parish Councillor
Mr Bruce Moody had sent in an application but as he did not attend the meeting it was proposed that he be approached and invited to attend the meeting in February to discuss his application.
4.2 School Houses
There was nothing to report
4.3 Cross Park Farm Enforcement
Cllr Miles reported that the application for appeal with the planning inspectorate was still in progress.
4.4 Toilet facilities for Crossway Park
As Cllr Baird was not in attendance and as she had been dealing with this matter it was deferred for the February meeting. The Council were advised that the Parish Hall Committee wanted a new electrical circuit installed back to the consumer unit with a secondary meter for the proposed electricity to the outside toilet.
4.5 Progress on parking at Crossway
There was nothing to report on this issue as Teign Housing and the residents were to liaise together.
4.6 Vehicle Activated Speed Signs
It was reported that the VAS sign at Nadderwater was not working and Cllr Evans reported that this was operated by a battery and he would look into its replacement. (Due to the trees at this location a solar panel was not suitable)
4.7 Social Media Policy adoption
The revised document, having been distributed, was discussed and it was resolved that the Policy should be adopted. Specific attention was drawn to the point that in order to preserve confidentiality if you are using a computer or device which is shared with other users you must use your own unique email address when conducting Council business.
4.8 Teignbridge Local Plan Phase 3
Cllr Miles requested that Councillors send any comments regarding this issue as a response is required as soon as possible.
Cllr Miles reported that following the attendance of Mr and Mrs Gillard at the December meeting she had made enquiries regarding their enquiry regarding a planning application off of Heath Lane and on receiving a response had passed on the relevant information obtained from Teignbridge District Council. No further action was necessary.
6.1 Draft Budget for 2022-2023
Lengthy discussion took place regarding the proposed budget and Cllr Evans will circulate the proposals document.
6.2 1 School Houses rental to 14th January £775.00 - £93.00 (includes £15.50 VAT) = £682.00
6.3 2 School Houses rental to £825.00 to 1st February - £109.20 (includes £18.20 VAT) = £715.80
6.4 Mr L Blades £270.00
6.5 Clerks quarterly salary and expenses £435.64
6.6 Whitestone Parish Hall £45 hire of hall for meetings + £94.25 for outside toilet at Hall = £139.25
6.7 Mr G Dicker £1,094.94
7.1 Cllr Bryant reported that Mrs Lesley Hickman has volunteered to maintain the planter at the village coming from Exeter but needs some topsoil to fill the planters and Cllr Belt will ask Mr Blades if he is able to obtain this. Cllr Bryant had also had a volunteer willing to undertake the maintenance of the Community Garden but she does feel that they will need to be reimbursed for this task and the Council are extremely grateful to these volunteers.
7.2 Cllr Belt reported that the 30mph sign is missing from the roadside just above the Royal Oak.
7.3 Cllr Bryant requested that a “No Through Road” sign be erected at Tomshead Cross, Oldridge to prevent vehicles from driving along the track and then onto the Bridleway 27 further along. This track is purely for farm vehicles accessing the fields. This came about as a delivery driver trekked across the site following his SatNav.
7.4 Cllr Belt asked if there were any plans to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to be held from 2nd to 5th June 2022 as on previous royal occasions medals were given to children within the parish. This is under review.
7.5 Cllr Fairley reported that she still has some trees for planting within the Parish.
Mr Mingo commented how interesting it was to hear the views expressed at the meeting.
The meeting closed at 10pm.
The next Parish Council meeting will take place in the Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 10th February 2022.