DRAFT Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday, 8th September 2022 to be ratified on 13th October 2022.
Chair – Councillor T Miles.
Councillors Cllrs T Baird, V Bryant, L Fairley, B Moody.
District Councillor A Swain,
Mrs P Vaughan – Clerk to the Council
Mr P Mingo
Apologies: Councillors M Belt, A Evans, C Galton, P Lee, S Llewelyn
Cllr Miles opened the meeting and expressed extreme regret on behalf of the Parish Council on the news which had just been broadcast of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral in Scotland and our deepest condolences go to the Royal Family at this sad time.
Mr Mingo expressed thanks for the change of position of the speed sign which he is sure will be of great benefit in controlling the pace of cars through the parish. Cllr Miles gave some details concerning complaints regarding the route alteration of the School bus Pick-Up Point which had been changed causing considerable safety concern for parents. Evidence was provided from the VAS Signage to support the resident’s appeal regarding traffic and speeding and consequently Devon County Council reviewed the decision and confirmed that the route would be returned to that previously employed. Cllr Miles also noted that some Planning Applications had disappeared from view on the new TDC Planning Portal and Cllr Swain would investigate.
REPORTS FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
55.1 21/02901/HOU Replacement garage/outbuilding to include ancillary first floor accommodation at Alphin Springs, Whitestone.
Response:- Whitestone Parish Council have discussed this application, which is to construct a replacement garage / outbuilding, to include a new first floor plus balcony, ancillary to the existing dwelling. The area on the ground of the proposed building would be slightly smaller than at present, with a reduction in area of 15m.sq. The proposed two storey design would however have an increased internal floor area over both floors of 152m². The elevation would also be greater, although it appears to be screened from the neighbouring property by a bank of trees which we understand to be leylandii, any overlooking must be minimised to prevent intrusion of privacy. The replacement building would represent an improved and more coherent design than the current building, but would also be more visible from the south. Few details are provided about the large windows to be constructed for the upper floor, which is of concern given the probability of light spill in an area which has a tradition of dark skies. Likewise the proposed balcony and French doors would likely encourage increased light spill, which together with noise from the hobby room might have impact on the amenity of the neighbouring property. It is important to note the application incorrectly included the address as 'Lane to Alphin Springs'. We are advised that this access is a right of way only over the driveway of the neighbouring property. Although the Council is pleased to note that the proposed construction may not have a major impact on the highway or on existing hedges or trees, we do have concerns about impact on local wildlife and birds. We also note that the proposed four spaces for cars does not fit well with TDC policies to reduce car usage. Having recently declared a climate emergency, Whitestone Parish Council is concerned about the impact of this new larger construction on the local amenity and on wildlife, especially taking into account that the location is set within an AGLV.
In summary. Whitestone Parish Council has a number of concerns about this application as it risks overdevelopment of the site in an AGLV, and some impact on local amenity. If TDC is however minded to approve the application, we would like to propose some conditions:
55.2 22/00192/HOU Raising of roof to form additional accommodation, dormer window to front, single storey rear extension and creation of first floor rear terrace at Little Springs, Nadderwater
Response:- Whitestone Parish Council (WPC) have reviewed the documents provided and discussed the above application. The documentation does not include a design/build statement or access statement and thus there is limited information on many important aspects of the build, including: energy efficiency; water usage efficiency; light pollution; response to council climate emergency declared in the area; ecological impact (implementation and response to significant matters raised in the ecological report provided); disability access. The aforementioned statements would typically provide important clarity in building design, purpose and detail on overlooking and any impact on residential and local amenity
The planning application form submitted for this proposal describes the work as: Remodelling and partial demolishin(sic) works and extensions but there is no detail on the extent of what is being demolished and how the materials are to be utilised or cleared etc. It is not clear from the drawings provided how this is to proceed and what is being salvaged. Originally the property was built as an agricultural bungalow for a farm worker in 1966. Subsequently the agricultural tying was removed in 1986 and a two-storey side extension was built in 2013. It is noted that in the ecological report it is suggested that all of the existing dwelling is to be demolished, which would be the original agricultural bungalow and a replacement two storey building constructed in its place, considerably increasing the size and mass from the original. The ecological impact of this proposal is quite significant.
Although the proposed build is for a substantially larger accommodation the number of bedrooms remains the same, the main use of the additional size is to enhance and enlarge the ground floor living areas and storage space. Garage space remains the same and it is hoped that the development will not impact on vehicle numbers. The new elevations are increased in size and impact with the additional first floor but the overall appearance could well be an improvement on the building as it stands now. It is, however, in an agricultural area which is also an AGLV. The surface materials described on the drawings are similar to those on the present building bar for the addition of some timbered surfaces on the first floor, south and east elevations; a portion of natural stone facia on the ground floor east elevation; and a large proportion of standing seam metal roof, particularly on the south elevation. This latter change contrasts with the tiled roof adjoining it but it is to be colour matched with the tiles and might be considered an enhancement for the architecture of the property, along with the other changes described. It is also on the south facing aspect of the house which is not closely overlooked. The west elevation is overlooked from adjacent properties in Rebecca Springs but remains unchanged and so there should be no difference to the present situation. As previously alluded to, the main concerns WPC has with the proposal are derived from the lack of detailed information on the project as well as the points raised in the ecological report. In summary, the areas of concern are:
55.3 22/01361/FUL Construct a 3.8m square reinforced concrete foundation block and erect a 9m galvanized steel monopole at BT Whitestone Radio Station, Rowhorne Road
Response:- The Planning application has been discussed and considered by Whitestone Parish Council. This is an application to construct a 3.8 metre square reinforced concrete foundation block and to erect a 9 metre galvanised steel monopole. It is generally felt that the new monopole to be used for training purposes will not have a great impact being only 9 metres tall in relation to the existing lattice steel tower on the site that is 43 metres high. The Design and Access Statement mentions there being no immediate neighbours but it should be noted that the existing tower is very visible as it is seen from East Devon, Exeter, from the M5, from the train when travelling from Tiverton to Exeter, from Crediton and from Mid Devon. The new pole would be visible from all directions but not so far reaching as the existing tower. The Radio Station is situated in an AGLV high up at Waddlesdown and is not an attractive site with the wire fencing enclosing it and the white cabins. The Design and Access Statement states that no trees or hedges will be removed but in light of Teignbridge District Council and Whitestone Parish Council having declared a climate emergency this would be an ideal opportunity for the applicant to plant additional natural screening to lessen the visual impact of the site as a whole which would be welcomed. Over the past 20 years the site has had few visits so we do feel if a monopole is erected for training purposes then there will be an increase (even if minimal) in traffic using the lanes to and from the site. The application does not state how regularly this pole will be used for training. If Teignbridge District Council is minded to approve this application then Whitestone Parish Council would like consideration to be made to the size of vehicles to be used when transporting construction materials to the site as the access from any direction has narrow stretches with overhead hanging branches. Whitestone Parish Council support this application in principle.
55.4 22/01219/FUL Proposed demolition of agricultural building, proposed dwelling and vehicular access at Poole Farm, Tedburn St Mary.
Summary Response: 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 which was then followed by another application (22/00065/FUL) for partial demolition of the barn and erection of new dwelling with associated drainage works and use of a retained section of barn for garaging, this application was withdrawn. This third application is for the proposed demolition of the agricultural building with class Q permission, construction of a new dwelling and a new vehicular access and parking.
The current application relies on the ‘fallback position’ which although arguably is representing a similar design to the existing layout and height, albeit re-orientated is not credible in as much as it is requesting a new development in a different location on the site which is not the intention of the fallback loophole or the Class Q criteria. It is also proposed to be marginally larger, as while the existing building has a footprint of 132m2, the proposals are for a dwelling of 155m2. It is not clear from this current application if there is an intention to construct a garage as no details has been given to enable consideration therefore it is based on two parking spaces only.
The proposed build would be located outside of 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 to be sited. On the positive side, it is recognised that the proposed dwelling would not be in an isolated location, that existing utility services are accessible, and that it could be easily accessed from the highway. The splay is not problematic and local transport links are also acceptable. There also appear to be few risks regarding contamination or flooding on the site. The Council also commends the proposal to add native hedging, and is pleased to note that the proposed new build would take into account the accessibility needs of disabled people. If approved, the construction of a new vehicular access route specifically for this new build and closing off of the original access raises the question of access to the original dwelling as it was assumed to be a shared driveway as no other clarification has been provided. It is also stated that there is an intention to implement a number of ecological mitigation measures in order to limit negative impacts on biodiversity which would be welcomed.
As noted in the ecology report however, lighting impacts on wildlife would need to be assessed, including potential light spill from the new dwelling. With reference to the declared climate emergency it is expected that any new build would provide clear details of energy efficiency measures and sustainability during the construction and use of the dwelling. No evidence has been provided to demonstrate that this would be a carbon neutral dwelling or that this had been explored in this application. In conclusion however, although there are positive elements to this revised application, on balance Whitestone Parish Council does not fully support the application primarily due to the relocation of the prospective new build which it feels could set a very concerning precedent.
55.5 22/01451/FUL Partial demolition of barn to create new dwelling at Higher Hare, Whitestone – This had been withdrawn from the website
55.6 22/01473/VAR Variation of condition 2 on planning permission 19/01872/FUL (office building and associated works) to amend approved office building at Cross Park Farm, Heath Cross.
Summary Response:- This application has been reviewed and discussed and although the planning statement advises that this section 73 application is only seeking a minor material amendment for a revised design on the previously conditionally approved application 19/01872/FUL however there are discrepancies and unexplained differences. At 4.4.2 the planning statement states that the applicant fully intends to implement the approved landscaping scheme, the site boundaries and is seeking a concurrent variation to the access and layout. – Firstly it has to be stated that the landscaping scheme eventually accepted by the TDC landscape officer on 19/01872/FUL has to date been ignored and an alternative jungle of tall concrete walls has been implemented by the applicant which is completely contrary to the original design which indicated one entrance gateway only and included low stone faced hedgebanks within the site and fronting the grass verge and highway. It is fair to say that we would be entirely sceptical regarding the implementation of the agreed original low walls and planting scheme until the concrete walls have been removed and also the roller shutter door opening onto the highway and another entrance onto the highway. All of which is in breach of the planning approval of 19/01872/FUL. Additionally, there is NO current application for the variation to the access and layout for consideration therefore this statement does not apply and can only be assessed on its own. There are strict conditions imposed on the previous planning permission most specifically regarding The use being only for office use (Use Class B1(a)) and for no other purpose including any other purpose in Class B1 of the Schedule to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended). The building hereby approved shall not be used as a separate business. In addition, all of the stone boulders on the highway verge (to the north of the site) shall be removed and the highway verge shall thereafter be permanently retained in that condition.
Prior to the first occupation of the development, the landscaping scheme shall be completed in full and thereafter be maintained for a period of 5 years to include watering, weeding, pruning, mulching, and fencing/guards as appropriate. In the event of failure of any trees/plants, planted in accordance with the approved scheme. Previously it was stated that :- The building is proposed to be located in the bottom south west corner of the site so that visitors to the site can easily identify the location of the office and to provide visibility over the entrance by the reception staff. The meeting room is proposed to be located at ground floor level so that visitors do not have to enter the remainder of the building. The training room is a purpose-built space with maximum natural light on the lower ground floor where regular Health and Safety training and legislation updates can be held with on-site and off-site staff can be held. The reason for this was specifically stated as:- The construction of the new office building creates the ability for staff to easily see who is coming and going from the site at various times during the day.
We are in agreement with fewer windows as artificial light spill is a concern but it seems to argue against the original proposal which stated that the windows would not create harm and also the previous application stated that the flat roof was intended to be a green roof anyway so there is no mention of a green roof in this variation which is a worse outcome rather than better. It has not been clearly explained why there is now a functional necessity for a separate plant storeroom as there are several areas in the approved plan designated for storage within the original design and of course the existing office building was also to be designated as storage in the approved plan. No size has been indicated of this proposed additional building.
Class B1(a) is for a basic office building only with no other activity permitted particularly of a light industrial use/recreational use or residential use at all so it is unclear what a separate stand-alone plant room would be required for within the permitted range. Any residential use has also been ruled out previously by the planning inspectorate. As the original permission was stated as specifically for Category B1(a) only an additional plant room would be questioned in so much as it was previously stated that the activities of the business have been scaled back as noted in a recent application leaving ample spare capacity and space within the build, it is also not exactly clear where the utilities have currently been installed.
In conclusion, Whitestone Parish Council are unable to support the variation due to the fact that there are a number of
discrepancies and unexplained differences in the application and most importantly that the original conditions have been significantly breached with respect to the access and layout of the site and most specifically contrary to the landscaping agreement which appears to be fundamentally different to that which was approved. It has been suggested that a site visit to the building is necessary to view the underground layout and need for separate plant room.
The earlier permitted application had stated that the original building was carefully designed to ensure that not only did it visually improve the existing site but was supposed to enhance the site within the wider countryside views. It is also noted that the original flat roof design was to incorporate a grass roof which does not appear to have been included in the new design.
55.7 22/01454/AGR Proposed agricultural storage building at Oak Tree Farm (please see refused 23rd August 2022)
The application is for the erection of a new agricultural building for the sole purpose of additional necessary storage for the sheep farm.
Agricultural justification has been provided by the applicant, due to the increasing size of the enterprise to enable the business to continue to operate effectively, additional storage is required on their own land in order to provide sufficient storage for feedstuff and farm machinery.
As we are a rural parish with agriculture at our heart, we are keen to support genuine agricultural initiatives to help enhance and protect the business.
The new building is to be sited close to existing building. Considering its size and scale, we request that care is taken to
effectively assimilate it into its surroundings in order to minimise the impact on the landscape especially taking into account the location is set in an AGLV. It should be noted that its position makes it visible from two listed buildings: Glebe House and Old Farm Barton. It would also be visible from the Waddlesdown area of Rowhorne. It is assumed that lighting would be minimal but may be needed for access in the dark evenings. We would request that any such lighting is dark sky compliant so at to avoid unnecessary light pollution.
In addition, we request assurance that it is not positioned in a bat flight path. This would be an ideal opportunity to install bird and bat boxes to enhance wildlife provision.
In conclusion Whitestone Parish Council is happy to support this application
Granting of Conditional Planning Permission
55.8 22/00294/FUL Construction of a sand/fibre equestrian arena for private use with fencing and associated works at Oakhay, Tedburn Road.
55.9 21/02273/HOU Raising of roof to form additional accommodation, extensions to front and side and new garage with annexe over at High View, Nadderwater.
55.10 22/01173/HOU Construction of a car port with solar panels at Attwells Farm, Rowhorne Road
55.11 22/00985/HOU Creation of assisted living annexe at Valley View, Heath Cross.
Prior Approval Refused
55.12 22/01342/HPA Notification for prior approval for a single storey extension to dwelling extending 3.95 metres beyond rear wall, maximum height 2,80 metres height to eaves 2.50 metres at Cherry Trees.
Refusal of Requests for Prior Approval
55.13 2201277/NPA Application for Prior Approval under Part 2 Class MA and paragraph W of the GDPO for change of use of artists studio to one dwelling at Unit 1 Rebecca Springs.
55.14 22/01254/AGR Proposed agricultural storage building at Oak Tree Farm, Track to Oak Tree Farm
55.15 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 St Mary. (notified 01/07/22)
56.1 Toilet facilities for Crossway Park.
Request from Parish Hall Committee for increase of 2 hours work a month (£19) for cleaning of outside loo at rear of Parish Hall. This was discussed at length and the Clerk was instructed to respond that the Parish Council would be taking on board the state of the toilet and would be improving this to enable less work to be done with easy clean surfaces and requiring less maintenance in future. Cost to be investigated by Cllr Baird.
56.2 DCC4293/2022 – Lower Hare Farm Landfill. DMC granted conditional approval 27th July. No Environmental Agency permit application has been submitted for the site as of yet so no permitted dumping is allowed.
55.3 Enforcement matters
Reports had been made regarding Unit 2 Rebecca Springs removed significant amount of woodland, Crosspark Farm, Land adjacent to The Furze and Springdale Farm by other parties.
55.4 Crossway Play Area
Although constant chasing no escalation of progress has been possible on the installation of the replacement swings and this will probably take place in October.
55.5 Vehicle Activated Speed Signs
Information from the signs had been used when dealing with an appeal to DCC regarding the change of school bus route.
55.6 Climate Action – Awareness + Activities
No information available
57.1 1 School Houses rental to 14th August £775.00 - £93.00 (includes £15.50 VAT) = £682.00
57.2 2 School Houses rental to 1st September £825.00 - £79.20 (includes £13.20 VAT) = £745.80
57.3 2 School Houses rental to 1st October £825.00 - £132.20 (includes £23.20 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 P Vaughan – Clerk to the Council
57.4 Mr L Blades £483.60 (Lengthsman works £353.60/Grass cutting £130.00 for July) – cheque 651
57.5 Mr L Blades £450.75 (Lengthsman works £360.75/Grass cutting £90.00 for August) cheque 651
57.6 Amazon £34.08 (includes £5.68 VAT) cheque 652
57.7 Clerks quarterly salary and expenses £432.63 cheque 653
57.8 HM Revenue & Customs £90.00 (Clerk’s income tax on salary) cheque 654
57.9 Gas Exe Plumbing & Heating Ltd £108.00 (includes £18.00 VAT) cheque 655
57.10 A H Gilbert PAT testing £48.00 (includes £8 VAT) – paid through Carter Geering.
58.1 Cllr Bryant reported that she and Cllr Galton would be attending a Parish on Line session. The out of order gate on Footpath 22 has been reported to Ros Davies (Public Rights of Way – Parish Paths Liaison Officer).
58.2 A complaint had been received from Mr Prouse regarding barriers having been left by Open Reach on the verge by Waddlesdon/Glebe Farm leaving a potential risk to pedestrians or horses. To be reported to OpenReach and Highways.
58.3 Cllr Baird said that Cllr Belt had reported mud on the road by Way Farm to village.
58.4 Cllr Moody advised that he would get in touch with Mr Blades regarding the phone box and a discussion regarding its alternative uses took plac – a Swap Spot or Food Bank (similar to Tedburn) etc – However this would require monitoring by someone to avoid stale or mouldy food accumulating.
The meeting closed at 9.20pm
The next meeting will take place on Thursday 13th October 2022