COUNCIL MINUTES - November 2022
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday, 10th November 2022
Attendance:- Chair – Councillor T Miles.
Councillors Cllrs T Baird, M Belt, V Bryant, A Evans, L Fairley, C Galton, P Lee, S Llewelyn.
Mrs P Vaughan – Clerk to the Council
Mr T Cull, Mr and Mrs Gillard
Apologies: Councillors C Galton, B Moody, District Councillor A Swain
County Councillor A Connett,
Mr Cull and Mr and Mrs Gillard were in attendance regarding a Planning Application 2/01826/FUL for Land opposite the barn Ngr 284596 93959 at Heath Lane, Whitestone - change of use of land from agricultural to Class Eg. They have grave concerns regarding the use to which this would be employed as this has not been disclosed. This application had been dealt with by Tedburn St Mary Parish Council and we were informed that no objections had been raised at their meeting. The Chair said that she had briefly examined documentation regarding the application and explained that in this instance Teignbridge District Council had not approached the Whitestone Parish Council for any comments as seemingly the land concerned came under the jurisdiction of Tedburn St Mary Parish even though this parcel of land is actually sandwiched between two properties within Whitestone Parish. The parishioners were advised to comment on the application themselves and Whitestone Parish Council would also raise concerns on their behalf with TDC and also Tedburn St Mary Parish.
68.1 District Councillor Swain had sent a report to the meeting as follows:- “The Task and finish group which I chaired, looking for ways to improve enforcement in Teignbridge will make it’s final report to Overview and Scrutiny next week. I will be happy to circulate the report to parishes if it is approved. I would like to thank all the parishes for responding to the investigation. Unfortunately the backlog continues to be a problem”.
68.2 County Councillor Connett had also sent apologies for non-attendance and gave assurance that he would be pleased to follow up on any county or highways issues arising from the meeting.
69.1 22/01732/FUL Provision of agricultural building at Oak Tree Farm
Report: Whitestone Parish Council have considered and discussed this application 22/01732/FUL for the provision of an agricultural building at Oak Tree Farm, Whitestone EX4 2JU. The applicant proposes to use the new agricultural building for lambing and as a storage unit for hay, feedstuffs and machinery etc. It is also stated that there is no other suitable or alternative building on the farm to use. Oak Tree Farm is situated in an Area of Great Landscape Value located along a private track off Church Lane. The proposed barn is to be sited in close proximity to existing buildings on the farm and close to existing hedging and mature trees. As stated in the Design Statement the proposed agricultural building appears to be compliant with the Teignbridge planning policies S2, S22 and EC3. In addition to the nearby listed properties, Whitestone House and Church Bridge Cottage that are referred to in the Design Statement; there are also three other listed properties in relatively close proximity that are at the top of Church Lane and look down the valley towards Oak Tree Farm. These are Old Farm Barton, Glebe House and St. Catherine's Church. The applicant has informed the Parish Council that the roof of the proposed building will be green in colour to minimise its visual impact and this is welcomed and along with the natural screening of the existing hedging and trees should result in a less visible building from the north and eastern elevations. No additional traffic should result from this application after the initial building stage. All associated vehicles transporting building materials should approach Oak Tree Farm from the “village” end of Church Lane as access from the church end is not suitable.
If Teignbridge District Council are minded to approve this application Whitestone Parish Council would like the following conditions to be applied:
69.2 22/01455/HOU Single storey front extension and porch at Barn Meadow, Heath Lane
Report:- Whitestone Parish Council has considered and in principle supports this application which proposes the addition of a single storey extension and porch at Barn Meadow, Heath Lane, Whitestone. The existing building is a small bungalow with two bedrooms situated in a garden plot with space around it. Currently it has little architectural merit and it is likely that the extension to the living space and porch will be a betterment. The proposed extension should not lead to significant overlooking. There will be no impact on traffic or highways. Although the proposed increase in size of the property is not great, there will be two new large windows, hence increasing the risk of light spill. There is no information about energy saving in the proposal, but this would be a good opportunity to install measures to reduce heat loss and increase energy efficiency in the property. The ecology report also suggests that although harm caused to local wildlife should be minimal, there would be a potential increase in artificial lighting. The proposed construction will be located within an AGLV, and care needs to be taken to minimize impact on biodiversity, particularly via light pollution. Whitestone Parish Council has declared a climate emergency, and any construction should include measures to reduce carbon consumption. Should Teignbridge District Council be minded to approve the application, measures to enhance energy efficiency, biodiversity and reduce any light pollution should be implemented
69.3 22/01645/FUL Use of land for glamping comprising four tent pitches at Chants Cottage, Heath Cross. This application is for a permanent tented camping site which would require change of use. It is a redesigned application following an earlier rejection for a ‘Glamping site’, REF: 21/00694/FUL. The applicants are proposing 4 pitches with anticipated spring -summer use only. The tents would occupy a grassed field of around 2 acres. Whitestone Parish Council have reviewed this application and are pleased to note it is a considerably scaled-down version of the earlier proposal mentioned (‘Glamping site’, REF: 21/00694/FUL) and welcome a reduction in carbon pollution and proposed reduction to harm to local visual amenity. That said, because many of the supporting documents are being reused from the March 2021 application, there are details which are not clear or fully explained as listed below:These are some issues WPC would like clarification on:
1) What type of tent is proposed for the pitches?
2) A compost toilet and portable solar/gas shower is mentioned. without a Design Statement included it is not clear exactly what this means. These should not be sited in a brick building but in a wooden structure. The planning officer who wrote the response when application 21/00694/FUL was refused and Alison Fish who wrote the response when it went to Appeal referred to the proposed utility buildings being detrimental to the rural area. Is one compost toilet enough?
3) No mention is made of a kitchen/utility or cooking area (as was on the previous application)
4) We welcome the applicants’ desire to support sustainable tourism but there are still obstacles to this. There is very limited public transport; the nearest shops are small and not within walking distance and then only on unlit narrow lanes; promoting cycling is welcomed but the hills make this unviable without battery assist.
5) In the light of the above point, there is likely to be an increase in traffic as amenities will in reality only be accessible by car.
6) While maintaining a listed building such as Chants Cottage is important and expensive, that should not serve as grounds for creating a business on site. This is irrelevant to the planning application.
7) WPC note the heritage reservations about the close proximity of this proposal to a listed heritage building.
8) It is noted that the camping areas are on a slope some distance from the road and parking area, on a southward-facing slope. This will be widely visible as the Appeal decision report for 21/00694/FUL pointed out. In addition, some form of lighting will be needed both in the tents and on access. If TDC allow this application then the recommendations in this Assessment for light pollution and ecological enhancements should be adhered to and included.
9) Landscaping and gravel pathways and parking area are already created without planning permission – see attached photos. There also appears to be some structure in place in the main (east) pitch.
10) As this is a change of use of a field, any structure that goes on it should be considered temporary.
Should TDC be minded to approve this application WPC would like to see the following conditions:
1) All structures in this application should be of a temporary nature and removed and the site returned to its natural state should the Glamping business cease.
2) A restriction on the number of pitches should imposed for the future to protect the rural environment and to prevent overdevelopment as per the planning inspectorate’s concerns.
3) Roadside signage for the business should be discreet and in keeping with the rural environment in which it is situated. The current large sign board could be obtrusive and should be reduced in size. See image below.
4) Controls in place relating to possible noise pollution and nuisance to protect local residents, in particular music.
5) Strict control on lighting to prevent light pollution as this is an area of dark skies and light spill will be visible from a wide area. The points in the Ecological Impact Assessment should be adhered to.
6) Recommendations in the ecology report to be adopted to promote biodiversity and reduce ecological impact.
7) A policy put in place to deal with litter, and a proactive policy for the site to be promoting recycling and reducing landfill waste.
8) No log burners - this was one of the points on which TDC refusal of application 21/00694/FUL was based.
69.4 22/01686/FUL Alterations to access and site layout (retrospective) at Cross Park Farm, Heath Cross – Summary Report: This planning application is requesting consideration for Retrospective Alterations to the access and site layout of the commercial site known as J & F Supercranes at Cross Park Farm which is contrary to the approved planning permission on application 19/01872/FUL. The original application and subsequent approval was subject to a considerable amount of scrutiny by the Landscape Officer and there was originally a Landscape objection. Changes were made and agreed to the satisfaction of the officer and a subsequent proposed design was approved on the basis that it would introduce positive landscape characteristics and overall the scheme would have a much less adverse impact on the landscape. He was also concerned about the remaining large boulders placed on the grass verge and it was agreed for them to be removed and conditioned on the decision notice leaving the grass verge remaining. On that particular application the Parish Council were satisfied that there would be minimal impact to the landscape as specifically agreed with the landscape officer.
The frontage to the highway now consists of concrete walls, solid gates and a roller shutter door. In this planning statement it states at 3.1.3 – The submitted, approved and conditioned landscaping scheme is proposed to be retained and implemented, albeit to enclose an amended parking area with amended site frontage and access. Basically that is untrue and completely unachievable as the conditions on the approved permission are very clear. This retrospective planning application has come about due to Enforcement action and an attempt to regularise the current unapproved access and site layout.
In conclusion, Whitestone Parish Council do not consider that this scheme is suitable and therefore object to this application. The unapproved works need to be removed and reinstated as per the approved scheme on 19/01872/FUL. It is not accepted that increase in costs is an excuse or a factor to have effected such a contrasting design which is not in keeping with the rural landscape characteristics of the area as specifically mentioned as important by the planning inspectorate in application 20/02318/FUL.
Grant of Request for Prior Approval
69.5 22/01506/NPA Application for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class Q (a) and (b) and paragraph W of the GPDO for change of use of an agricultural building from agricultural use to a dwelling at Attwells Farm, Rowhorne Road
Grant of Conditional Planning Permission
70.1 Remembrance Day – 13th November
Cllr Miles reported that she will be attending the Remembrance Day Service at St Catherine’s Church on 13th November and it was resolved that a donation of £50 was sent to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Cheque 663.
70.2 DCC4293/2022 – Lower Hare Farm Landfill
At a standstill at the moment with no Environment Agency application being submitted contrary to what was advised at the DCC Planning meeting.
70.3 Enforcement matters
No update at the present time.
70.4 Crossway Play Area
Cllr Fairley reported that she has been given the date of 21st November for the installation of the playground equipment and the area will be closed off to the public during the fitting.
70.5 Outside Toilet
Cllr Baird reported that the work had now been carried out.
70.6 CCTV for carpark and play area
Cllr Belt reported that the Parish Hall committee had not yet been approached regarding a possible sharing of costs and the Chair agreed that this would be put in place so that it could be discussed by them in December.
70.7 Telephone Boxes
It was agreed that the installation of shelving in the box by the bus stop had proved very positive and is being used by residents. Thanks were given to all concerned who had participated in this venture. The purpose is to avoid food waste and everyone is encouraged to join in and use the produce and swap for a canned goods item.
70.8 Vehicle Activated Speed Signs
Cllr Evans confirmed that he is in touch with Mr Mingo regarding the VAS data.
70.9 Climate Action
Cllr Llewelyn reported that there was nothing to report at the present time.
70.10 Parish Pals
It was reported that this venture is proving very popular and Cllr Baird will provide details of any expenditure for refreshments which had been provided. The hire of the Parish Hall for the event will be covered by the Council as previously agreed. Thanks were expressed to Cllr Baird and everyone taking part for arranging the get-together’s and were enjoyed by all attendees.
70.11 Cllr Miles raised the question of possibly providing gifts/help for the needy within the parish during the Christmas period and it was agreed to ask DALC for advice in this regard to ensure compliance with regulations. Cllr Belt said that this was already covered by a Charity with which she was involved.
71.1 Cllr Miles reported that she had been in touch with the tree surgeon regarding trimming of the walnut tree in No 1 School House and hopefully will be contacting Cllr Belt to arrange a date for the work to be completed.
71.2 Cllr Miles also reported on the need for any persons who have birds to be aware of the new DEFRA Avian bird flu regulations from the 7th November that all birds; domestic and commercial have to be housed indoors with stringent biosecurity measures to obviate any spread of infection.
72.1 Bank balances at Nat West Bank as at 1st November 2022
Business Reserve Account 1
Business Reserve Account 2
72.2 1 School Houses rental to 2nd November £925.00 - £328.80 (includes £54.80 VAT) = £596.20
72.3 Community Infrastructure Levy £449.34
72.4 1 School Houses rental to 2nd December £925.00 - £88.80 (includes £14.80 VAT) = £836.20.
The following expenditure was proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour and the cheques were signed by Councillor Miles and Councillor Belt
72.5 Mr L Blades £447.50 (Lengthsman works £337.50/Grass cutting £110.00) Cheque 660
72.6 Devon Association of Local Councils £84.00 (includes £14 VAT) Cheque 661
72.7 Mr G Dicker £243.32 Cheque 662
72.8 A & E Chimney Sweep £55.00 (paid through Winkworth)
Mr Nierop wrote to the Council to bring notice of the poor state of road drainage in Whitestone and requested that some attention be given to clearing them with reference to previous surveying and a request for a repeat survey. He also mentioned the erosion of the road at Pound Down.
This prompted further discussion about inadequate gullies and flooding in Nadderwater. A GPS location or “What3Words” was required to report the location to Highways.
74.1 Cllr Bryant and Cllr Galton had attended the Parish Online Course and found it very interesting.
74.2 Cllr Galton had received complaints regarding a flooding issue on Bridleway 16 resulting in the movement of a considerable amount of gravel. The Footpath Warden attended.
74.3 Cllr Belt mentioned the road closures which were affecting traffic in the parish and it had been suggested that Hill Lane and Pound Lane could be made one way during the closures. The pending closure on Tedburn Road was mentioned as a potential issue as this corresponded with a closure on the Whitestone road which had been given as the diversionary route, also at the same time there were restricted lanes on the A30 for surfacing work resulting in a diversion given along Tedburn Road.
Cllr Belt and Cllr Evans left the meeting at 9.20pm
74.4 It was noted that sections of the C50 road will be closed from the 21st to 25th November.
74.5 Cllr Fairley reported that the Remembrance Poppy Stones will be laid out in the Community Garden on the 13th November between 2 – 2:30pm for a memorial service.
The meeting closed at 9.30pm.
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 8th December.