Whitestone Road sign

Whitestone Parish Council

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday, 10th March 2022 to be ratified on 14th April 2022

Attendance:- Chair – Councillor T Miles.
Councillors Cllrs V Bryant, A Evans, L Fairley, P Lee, S Llewelyn, B Moody
District Councillor A Swain arrived at 8.10pm
Mrs P Vaughan – Clerk to the Council

Apologies: Councillors T Baird, M Belt, C Galton

  1. Cllr Miles opened the meeting and the minutes of the Council meeting held on Thursday 10th February 2022 having been circulated were taken as read and signed as a true copy by the Chair.

  1. PLANNING - These applications can be viewed on line by going into the public access system at Teignbridge Planning following the directions giving the application reference. The following applications having been received from Teignbridge District Council with a request for comments were examined and responses were sent which can be viewed in full on Teignbridge District Council Planning site:-

16.1   22/00147/FUL Deconstruction and relocation of agricultural barn at Friars Ball Farm, Rowhorne Road.

Summary of full response:

This application is for the Deconstruction and relocation of an agricultural barn. This same barn, known as Barn 2, however, has already been the subject of 5 previous planning applications as stated in the planning statement and was last approved for full demolition and disposal.

Whitestone Parish Council do not support this application after a thorough review of the 6th application relating to this same barn. It is considered that the narrative appears to change depending on what the applicant wants and has claimed Class Q status for an obviously adequate and functional barn and has in fact been described in this application as “clear demonstrable need”. The applicant is now seeking to relocate the demolished barn structure to another position in open landscape away from the cluster of buildings making it more vulnerable to theft not less.

The new location is set apart from the existing built environment on the farmstead and it is proposed to erect this, as previously described, large and unattractive barn, now to be orientated towards the south, completely on its own on an elevated protected landscape, currently open ridge. This setting would logically be more vulnerable to crime than its current position. Development in this location is strictly controlled and we are fearful for future development in this location if this is allowed.

The proposed landscape setting has high landscape character sensitivity.

It is considered that the applicant has everything they need, a converted barn (Barn 1) to a dwelling for them to live on the farmstead and a fully functional barn for safe and secure storage of the farm equipment, (Barn 2 still functional as existing).

It is perceived In this case that Class Q has been used as a tool to circumvent Planning Policy. This barn already has extant planning permission for demolition under 21/00985/FUL therefore it is felt that the entire demolition of the subject building would result in the complete loss of permitted development rights, which can only subsist in respect of an extant building. If the building ceases to exist then all existing use rights are lost, as is any other permitted development right that might otherwise have been attached to that building.

It is therefore suggested that if TDC are minded to approve the reuse and relocation of the demolished structure the following conditions are imposed:

1. The use of this building shall be for the purposes of agriculture only with change of use class not allowed. Where the use of the relocated building for the purposes of agriculture ceases the building must be removed from the land and the land must, so far as it is practicable, be restored to its condition before the development took place, or to such a condition as agreed in writing between the local planning authority and the land owner. Permitted development rights to be expressly excluded.

Reason: In the interests of protecting the landscape from future undesirable development due to the location of this proposal being in an area of high landscape character sensitivity.

2. Strict conditions to lighting as the proposed location is in an area of dark skies and bat activity.

Reason: In the interests of protecting nocturnal wildlife and minimising light pollution.

3. All waste is minimised and reused on site in line with DCC Waste Policy.

The recommendations for biodiversity enhancement are strictly adhered to.

16.2   22/00065/FUL Partial demolition of barn and erection of new dwelling with associated drainage works and use of retained section of barn for garaging at Poole Farm, Tedburn S Mary.

This application follows a successful application in May 2021 (21/00967/NPA) for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class Q (a) and (b) and paragraph W of the GDPO change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling. At that time Whitestone Parish Council felt that most of the criteria required to satisfy Class Q planning to convert the barn into a 2-bedroom dwelling had been met. The current application is proposed as a ‘betterment’ of the previous proposal. However, Whitestone Parish Council does not support the application on the grounds that this is in reality an application for planning consent for a new 2-bedroom single storey dwelling in a new location, based on a previous Class Q application for a barn conversion in a different area, and a repurposing of part of the old barn as a garage. The application relies on the ‘fallback position’ which in this instance is not credible, since it is requesting a new development in a different location, which is not the intention of the fallback loophole, and in addition proposes to continue to use the existing barn, albeit partially demolished, as a garage. The current application does not comply with the Teignbridge Local Plan 2013-2033 Strategy Policies; S22 Countryside, EC3 Rural Employment, WE9 Rural Workers’ Dwellings or EN2A Landscape Protection. The proposed build would be located outside any defined Settlement Limits as defined within policy S21A and must therefore be considered as development in the open countryside where provisions of policy S22 apply. There is no existing agricultural building or class Q permission on the land where the new build is proposed. There are a number of additional points:-

  1. The siting of the proposed garage within the farmyard means this new property would only have right of way to use this farmyard for access, which might cause difficulties when and if Poole Farm changes hands in the future.
  2. As the farm Is apparently intended to remain in agricultural use, a barn or equivalent would still be needed for storage for farming purposes, which contradicts the claim of converting a redundant barn.
  3. There is a strong suggestion in the Ecology report that some harm may be done to local bird populations (swallows and sparrows) by partial destruction of the barn (although we are pleased to note the potential acceptance of the mitigations proposed). The partial demolition would also have some adverse impacts on other species, and hence on biodiversity. As noted in the ecology report, lighting impacts on wildlife would need to be assessed.
  4. A new build would provide an opportunity to be more carbon neutral, but there was no evidence that this had been explored in this application.
  5. Parking plans for the new build are contradictory. The application form states an intention to increase parking spaces from 2 to 4 (despite this being only a 2-bedded property), and the Design Statement indicates there will be 2/3 vehicles, while simultaneously pointing to the proximity on foot to Pathfinder Village plus availability of public transport with the suggestion that this would reduce the use of vehicles by the occupants.
  6. Any new build needs to have agricultural reference in its design, and this is not clear in the current proposal.

It is recognised that the dwelling would not be in an isolated location, that existing utility services are accessible and it could be easily accessed from the highway. The splay is not problematic and local transport links are also acceptable. These also appear to be low risks regarding contamination or flooding on the site. The Council also commend the proposal to add native hedging and is pleased to note that the proposed new build would take into account the needs of disabled people (although improved access could probably also be incorporated into the already approved design).

In conclusion however, having reviewed the application Whitestone Parish Council does not support the applicant wants to amend the previous application to a garage building instead of a residence then a different application needs to be submitted, but it does not allow for a new build elsewhere.

16.3   22/00286/NPA Application 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 Higher Hare.

The Structural Report appears to be light on detail and the statements made in the report do not conclusively confirm the main requirement that the primary structure is of sound construction and capable of conversion without the need for re-building beyond the scope of acceptability under the provisions of Class Q.

There are no details relating to the proposed materials to be used for the roof and walls, no calculations have been submitted to show that the existing steel frame is adequate to support a dwelling nor has any investigation been carried out in relation to the suitability of the existing concrete base foundations to support this proposed conversion. It is considered that this conversion would not be sustainable and would increase the carbon footprint considerably. As there is no other farm building shown on this holding and this building is still in use today it can not be considered to be a redundant or disused barn as required to qualify under Class Q.

Also missing from this application is an Ecology Report, details on the curtilage proposed and parking provision. We do have concerns in relation to access to and from the proposed dwelling. Folley Lane is narrow with high banks on either side which form rich habitats for both wildlife and plants. Any large construction and delivery vehicles travelling up and down this lane will undoubtedly damage the banks. Access from Folley Lane onto the highway by Higher Hare Farmhouse is not only a steep incline but has poor visibility. The speed limit at this point is 60mph. (Our full response includes photographs of the access and a copy of a letter written previously by Devon County Highways concerning the visibility here).

Whitestone Parish Council do not support this application

16.4   21/0052/REF Appeal Chants Cottage Development Glamping site 3284048


16.5   21/02886/VAR Removal of condition (f) on planning permission 5/5/2655/47/1 relating to agricultural occupancy at Furze Park, Tedburn St Mary.


16.6   Cross Park Farm, Heath Cross. Appeal dismissed 3rd February 2022


16.7   22/00039/AGR Agricultural building at Pound Farm.


District Councillor Swain arrived at 8.10pm but said he had nothing to report.


18.1 Cllr Miles reported that a complaint in regard to land at Hen House, West Town Farm has been reported to Enforcement where a large blue mobile home has been sited hidden behind fencing at this property. A response from Enforcement has been received requesting additional information and Cllr Miles will respond accordingly.

18.2 A complaint has been received from a parishioner regarding the planning (20/00475) granted for a slurry lagoon at Copperwalls Farm. The parishioner has reported the slurry nuisance issue to enforcement and the Environment Agency and Devon Highways and hopes that the Parish Council can also monitor this area and perhaps add their concerns regarding the road surface and hedgerows which are being damaged by the large vehicles involved in transporting the slurry to the site.

18.3 There is no update on Lower Hare Farm Landfill or Lower Brenton Farm OE Landfill

18.4 Discussion took place regarding the possibility of a weight limit on road from Redhills to Nadderwater and it was agreed that this will not be pursued at the present time and vehicles monitored.

18.5 Communication from Whitestone Parish Hall Committee had been received regarding the electrical installation for a hand dryer to be situated in the toilet facilities for Crossway Park. As this would entail the installation of a new consumer unit in the Hall the Hall Committee proposed that they would offer half the installation cost for the replacement consumer unit. As no pricing has as yet been determined the meeting were in agreement with the principle of the works being undertaken.

18.6 Cllr Evans reported that he was monitoring the Vehicle Activated speed signs and has downloaded an abundance of data and would be providing some useful statistics for the Council in order to ascertain if more stringent traffic calming strategies needed to be put in place.

18.7 Discussion took place regarding HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. It is understood that the Whitestone Sports and Social Club are organising an event, (outside of the responsibility of the Parish Council) which was suggested to be held on Saturday 4th June and this will be publicised in the Whitestone Magazine. Parishioners will be invited to bring a picnic lunch and events for the children will be planned during the afternoon with the presentation of a Commemorative souvenir being made to children under 16 years of age residing in the Parish. A request was made for funding of £750 towards this event and this was approved by the meeting. The meeting was further informed that Whitestone Hall Committee will be purchasing a fruit tree to be planted in the garden area at Crossway Park shortly and wished to obtain permission for this which was granted. A plague to mark the Jubilee celebrations will be installed by them in June.

18.8 Cllr Miles said that a response had been sent regarding the TPO for Trafalgar Way Redhills and comments need to be sent by 14th March to Exeter City Council by any other interested parties.


Annual renewal (£75 + VAT) received from Parish On line and it was verified that this was renewed for use by Councillors.



20.1 1 School Houses rental to 14th March £775.00 - £93.00 (includes £15.50 VAT) = £682.00

20.2 2 School Houses rental to £825.00 to 1st April - £109.20 (includes £18.20 VAT) = £715.80


The following expenditure was proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour and the cheques were signed by Councillor Miles and Mrs Vaughan.

20.3 Mr L Blades £277.95 (Cheque 620)

20.4 Whitestone Parish Hall £348.75 (Hire of rooms for Council meetings £54, Climate Change meeting £12, Outside toilet facilities £282.75). (Cheque 621)

20.5 Whitestone Parish Hall (Parish Hall insurance £1,172.94) (Cheque 622)

20.6 Clerks quarterly salary and expenses £397.79 (Cheque 623)

20.7 HM Revenue & Customs £81.80 (Clerk’s income tax on salary) (Cheque 624)

20.8 Parish On Line £90.00 (Includes £15.00 VAT) (Cheque 625)


Responses have been received from Devon County Neighbourhood Highways regarding reports on vehicles using track by Tomshead Cross, 30mph sign missing on roadside by Royal Oak Nadderwater and the missing Nadderwater road sign which was situated Way Farm.


22.1 Cllr Miles informed Councillors of the Parish on Line training sessions which are taking place in March and will send details to Councillors in case they should wish to attend the sessions which cost £15. per person.

22.2 Cllr Miles asked Cllr Moody if he would join the School Houses Asset Group and he agreed that he was willing to do this.

22.3 The Clerk was instructed to publicise the email address for the Parish Council which is parishcouncilwhitestone@gmail.com

22.4 Concern of possible change of use of field at Willow Copse was discussed and this will be investigated.

22.5 Following a report from Cllr Moody he was informed that potholes at Crossway should be reported to Highways directly.

22.6 Cllr Llewelyn reported that there will be a Climate Change evening from 7.30pm to 9pm on the 23rd March

The meeting closed at 10pm

The next Parish Council meeting will take place in the Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 14th April 2022.