Whitestone Road sign

Whitestone Parish Council

Council Meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 14th September 2023 to be verified and signed at Parish Council meeting on 12th October 2023.

Attendance:- Chair – Councillor L Fairley.

Councillors T Baird, V Bryant, A Evans, B Moody.

County Cllr A Connett – left at 8.45pm,

District Cllr K Lake,

District Cllr J Parrott

Miss N Partridge

Mrs P Vaughan – Clerk to the Council

Apologies:- Councillors M Belt, C Galton

Cllr Fairley opened the meeting and the minutes of the Council meeting held on Thursday, 13th July 2023 having been circulated were taken as read and signed by the Chair. 

Co-option of Parish Councillor

Miss Naomi Partridge was in attendance and it was resolved by the meeting that she should be elected as a Parish Councillor and she duly signed her declaration of office.


County Cllr Connett reported that the landfill sites are not progressing at the present time.

District Councillor Parrott reported a delay in Local Planning

District Councillor Lake said he would be investigating the Lower Brenton Farm landfill and explained that that fly tipping needed to be reported to Teignbridge District Council

PLANNING - 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 on Teignbridge District Council Planning site.

23/01566/FUL Siting of two glamping pods/shepherds huts for holiday use at Southlands, Nadderwater.

Whitestone Parish Council have discussed this application that is seeking planning permission for two glamping pods/shepherd huts for holiday use. Firstly, we are pleased that the applicant is seeking permission for such a proposal through the Teignbridge District Council planning process and it appears that this site at Southlands is large enough to accommodate two pods/shepherd huts on a relatively secluded site. The utilities appear to be more or less in place {particularly drainage} and there should be adequate parking space for additional vehicles. However, we do believe the nearby property known as “Barnhayes” is a separate dwelling and the occupants may not be closely associated with the applicant and therefore consideration needs to be taken into account regarding their privacy if this application were to be successful. It also needs to be noted that in the Nadderwater area alone there are already 3 campsites {Bryndir campsite, Exeter View Stables and The Rainbow Retreat} as well as holiday accommodation at Nadderhaven situated in the lane behind Southlands. Great care needs to be taken when entering and leaving this site as this access point is just where traffic travelling to Exeter from Whitestone gathers momentum as vehicles travel down the hill. Southlands is situated in an AGLV and in open countryside. If Teignbridge District Council are minded to approve this application, we would like the following conditions applied:

  1. To allow ONLY two pods/shepherd huts on this site so that traffic increase is kept to a minimum, to ensure privacy for other properties around, to ensure noise and light pollution is kept to a minimum.
  2. To produce a detailed plan agreed with Teignbridge District Council on the best energy saving materials and eco initiatives to use when installing these pods. Teignbridge District Council and Whitestone Parish Council have declared a climate emergency.
  3. This is a dark skies area so lighting should be kept to a minimum both internally and externally. Downward and low level lighting should be installed to protect biodiversity and potential light pollution. This would include lighting that might be used along paths to and from the pods to the car park.
  4. To ensure all indigenous hedging and trees remain and perhaps increased if required to insure privacy, to help to obscure and absorb light spillage and potential noise pollution.
  5. Strict usage of open fires, pit fires etc due to the close proximity of other properties likely to be affected by smoke that tends to linger under the tree canopies. Much of Nadderwater is down in a dip with a lot of tree cover.

23/01258/VAR Variation of condition 2 on planning permission 19/01872/FUL (Office building and associated work) to amend design of office at Cross Park Farm, Heath Cross.

This planning application is seeking approval for a variation of condition 2 on planning permission 19/01872/FUL. Whitestone Parish Council have discussed and considered this application and conclude that, similar to application 23/01273/FUL, the lack of any planning statement and details as to what amendments the applicant actually wants and the justification for why changes are required as well as how they are to be implemented, raises more questions than it answers. We believe that this application is also a retrospective one, seeking office layout changes that had already been changed in the application 22/02218/FUL {retrospective} and was refused permission. As yet we are unsure whether the office layout originally approved in application 19/01872/FUL was ever completed in line with the plans submitted. Since the approved application 19/01872/FUL the applicant has submitted several additional applications seeking permission for changes to the internal layout of office space, access changes and change of use which have all been refused. The application 22/02218/FUL {retrospective} revealed that a swimming pool and director’s gym had been built on the lower ground floor which were not part of the approved 19/01872/FUL application. In relation to this latest application 23/01258/VAR we note that the lower ground floor plan now shows that the swimming pool and gym are replaced by office 3. We would appreciate it if Teignbridge District Council could visit the site to verify that the swimming pool and gym have indeed been fully removed. The planning officer for the application 19/01872/FUL provided a detailed list of requirements in his report under condition 2 that not only included the office layout plans but included a comprehensive landscaping scheme and authorised one access point on to the highway. As condition 2 in application 19/01872/FUL was never fully implemented we therefore believe the list of policies that don’t comply with the Teignbridge Local Plan 2013 – 2033 identified by the planning officer in his report for application 22/02218/FUL still stand. These include EC3 {Rural Employment} as the office and presence of two separate access points results in a standalone building with no physical link to the existing business at Cross Park Farm, S1 {Sustainable development criteria}, S2 {Quality development}, EN2A {Landscape, protection and enhancement} and EN5 {Heritage assets} due to its proximity to a listed building namely Chants Cottage. This week the nature of the business has also changed with the addition of the site now being advertised as a vehicle test centre with signage to this affect clearly displayed on the front verge.

Whitestone Parish Council still find it hard to justify the need for so much office space. In 2019 we were told that there were 5 employed staff that were office based and 14 employees in total {19/01872/FUL} and then in a later application the applicant claimed that the pandemic had shrunk his business and that he for security reasons needed the premises to be residential. Comparing the various applications submitted by the applicant we find them to be inconsistent in their detail and claims. The location plan submitted does not show the office building which is already operational and we question the need for two plant rooms given that there is a new retrospective application 23/01273/FUL seeking approval for an external one.

In conclusion Whitestone Parish Council object to this application and would like to see ALL of the criteria detailed in the planning officers report for the application 19/01872/FUL under condition 2 to be fully implemented as approved as soon as possible. Given that previous applications have been retrospective it is unclear what has actually been completed. If Teignbridge District Council are minded to approve this application, we would like to be assured that there is no longer a swimming pool or gym and that all the conditions the planning officer states do actually get completed within a restricted timeframe.

23/01299/CLDE Certificate of Lawfulness for existing use of two static caravans as two independent dwellings (Use Class C3) at Chapel Cottage.

Whitestone Parish Council have discussed and considered this planning application in terms of the criteria that apply to such applications namely that decisions are based purely on evidence and law. Councillors and parishioners have only recently observed the presence of at least one of the very large static caravans on the land situated just behind the property known as Chapel Cottage which previously was not visible from the highway. A relatively new gate has been installed replacing the previous large, high solid industrial style gate which made visibility of what might lie behind impossible for anyone to see from the highway. It is believed that previous screening that may have been there alongside the industrial style gate has also recently been removed resulting in a very open view of at least one of these large static caravans. It is not surprising that these static caravans, if indeed they have been on the site for 10 years or more, were not observed before as they were hidden from public view. The site location plan provided shows that one caravan is sited behind Chapel Cottage whilst the other caravan is actually behind the neighbours’ property called The Old Chapel. The Planning Statement prepared by Base Planning Consultants in addition to the glaring mistake in paragraph 2.1.4 that says the “applicant has occupied Chants Cottage for 19 years” [a totally different property situated at the other end of the parish] states that these large static caravans appeared on site in January 2013. However, on the Statutory Declaration the applicant and his two sons have signed states that caravan A was bought onto the site on May 2nd 2013 and caravan B on 10th June 2013. Google aerial photographs have been provided as evidence that the caravans have been on the site for 10 years or more although the photograph in 2013 was taken on 4th June and doesn’t show caravan B which apparently arrived on the site 6 days later. The photograph taken in 2016 does show both caravans on the site but this doesn’t provide evidence that they were both used as dwellings nor that they were being lived in on a full time basis. Whitestone Parish Council have looked through previous Council minutes around 10 years ago and have found no mention in reports from councillors or from members of the public of any static caravans suddenly appearing on this site at Chapel Cottage. If such a situation had occurred 10 years ago the Parish Council at that time would certainly have reported to Enforcement and it would consequently have been reported in their minutes. The letter submitted from Teignbridge District Council gives details of the visits made to this property by the Enforcement Team beginning in 2006 and again between 2008 and 2014. No planning application was ever submitted for the change of use from Day use/ancillary accommodation to two permanent dwellings as a result of the Enforcement team’s visit in 2012 and it is only now over 10 years later that the applicant is seeking permission to use Class 3 to change the use of these caravans [a considerably larger version of what they were in 2012] to two separate dwellings. Whitestone Parish Council are aware that parishioners have over the years been concerned about some of the activities that have occurred at Chapel Cottage regarding the accumulation of vehicles stored behind the property, big fires that have

smelt of burning rubber and the possibility of tyres having been buried on the site. We are unable to provide statements from parishioners that the two static caravans were definitely on site 10 years ago and have been lived in continuously since this time. We understand that it is not possible to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness if enforcement action is in progress but we are unsure whether this applies in this particular case as it is not clear whether the visits made by the Enforcement team to this site, especially in 2014, resulted in any action. In conclusion Whitestone Parish Council cannot say with any conviction or evidence that these two static caravans have been present on this site at Chapel Cottage for 10 years or more nor that they have both been lived in continuously throughout that Period.

23/01273/FUL Plant room and wall (retrospective) at Cross Park Farm, Heath Cross.

This new application at Cross Park Farm is seeking permission for a Plant room and wall (retrospective). This is one of two new planning applications from this applicant which relates to the office building of this Crane hiring business at Heath Cross that was granted planning permission under application 19/01872/FUL. Since 2019 there have been numerous planning applications submitted to Teignbridge District Council, all of which have been refused and most having been retrospective. We believe this latest application has come about as a result of 21/00321/ENF. This application raises more questions that it answers. No planning statement has been submitted so we are unclear what the reasoning or justification are for why the applicant now wants the Plant Room to be external nor any details as to the work required and how this is to be carried out. What exactly is the Plant Room going to store? It is also unclear what wall the applicant is referring to in the applicant description but we assume it is the exterior wall of the proposed Plant room that extends further than the proposed room itself shown on the “Proposed plant room drawing”. If this is indeed the wall the applicant is referring to then the question arises as to what that wall needs to extend out longer than the proposed plant room. What is the additional space behind the Plant room going to be used for? This creates a standalone situation whereby the office and its pant room are separated from the yard. This is a business site and not a residential one. A previous planning officer raised this concern when planning application 22/02218/FUL was refused saying “introduction of standalone store/plant room to service office space is not acceptable”.

Application 23/01273/FUL shows a new additional plant room built outside the east face of the office yet the plans still show the first plant room inside the office near the stairwell/lift which was applied for in application 20/02318/FUL and subsequently refused. Is this original plant room still there? Does a building need two plant rooms? The proposed plant room drawing submitted shows the SSE elevation having double glazed doors reminiscent of French windows or patio doors. Our understanding of a plant room is that is provides storage space for equipment needed to supply the building services which might include electrics, water, air conditioning etc. The application does not justify why this plant room now needs to be outside. The proposed site for the Plant room is in fact where the external stairs were positioned in application 19/01872/FUL which was approved. The new siting of the plant room changes the footprint of the whole area set aside for this development that had approval under application 19/01872/FUL. The position of the new external plant room also results in narrowing the gap between the office area and warehouse/machine store thus potentially making movement of any large vehicles more difficult. Whitestone Parish Council note the Location Plan scale 12:1000 submitted doesn’t even include the newly built office but more importantly the plant room still appears on the ground floor plan submitted in the applicant’s other application 23/01258/VAR yet retrospectively planning has been sought for an external plant room here in this application 23/01273/FUL. This application is full of inconsistencies and lacks detail. We fail to see what benefit this retrospective application brings and once again it is another application from this particular applicant that fails to address any previous concerns and issues raised in planning officer’s reports and those highlighted by Whitestone Councillors. Whitestone Parish Council object to this application.

23/01355/NPA Application for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class Q (a) and (b) paragraph W of the GPDO change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling at The Store, Three Corners

Brief summary of the full response made by Whitestone Parish Council when considering this application. (Please note that the full response is on the TDC planning portal for full public viewing)

This current application is all but identical to application 23/00445/NPA made in March 2023 which was refused by TDC on five main points. None of the five points raised by the case officer at the time have been adequately addressed in the new application and thus still apply. In summary, the points were:

  1. It cannot be concluded that the proposal would constitute Permitted Development through compliance with Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q.1(a), (c), (d), (g), (i) and Class Q.2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended), relating to the use of the land and building solely for agricultural use as part of an agricultural unit.
  2. The submitted plans indicate drainage runs to an unspecified treatment plant, but no further details or clarifications are provided, including whether or not the treatment plant would be within the red line of the application site. It therefore cannot be concluded that the proposal would constitute Permitted Development through compliance with Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q.1(i)(i)(bb) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).
  3. The application red line does not demonstrate a connection to the public highway. Furthermore, even if the existing access were to be used, it would be unsafe for residential use. The proposal therefore fails to comply with Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q.2(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) and prior approval should be refused.
  4. The site is at risk of surface water flooding, but the application does not demonstrate that it would be acceptable from a flood risk perspective by providing a suitable drainage arrangement. The proposal therefore fails to comply with Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q.2(1)(d) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) and prior approval should be refused.
  5. The sole outlook for the proposed bedroom would have a north-facing aspect towards dense planting in very close proximity. It is therefore likely that this habitable room would not benefit from adequate natural light. The proposal therefore fails to comply with Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q.2(1)(g) and W(2A) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) and prior approval should be refused. The full response goes on to highlight and expand on the points raised and the history of the plot and the building, what structures are present and what use was made of the field and structures. It is noted that the workshop was constructed under a light engineering license pre-1990s (expired) and the stables were constructed in the early 1990s. Also, there is no record of planning permission for the land and no evidence of an agricultural barn or for any agricultural activity. (The site does not have and has never had an Agricultural Holding Number). Further issues are raised in the PC’s response relating to the structural integrity of the present building and its suitability for a dwelling – the Structural Report put forward is vague, with limitations on information provided and lacks the detail necessary to reach any safe conclusion. Other areas of concern which impact on the application are covered under the following headings within the full response and include comments made by the previous Planning Officer and Highway Development Management Officer. These headings are:
  1. Impact on Ecology
  2. Sustainability
  3. Drainage and Water
  4. Flood Risks
  5. Transport and Highways

The conclusion which Whitestone Parish Council comes to is that this application fails to accord with Class Q on multiple levels and that this application should not be supported and submits an objection.

23/01306/HOU Replacement of existing walls with concrete block walls. Front extensions and conversion of garage with living accommodation including raising of roof at north and south side for use as living accommodation, addition of dormer and two balconies and associated alterations at Acorns, Whitestone.

This application is for a large extension to the present property. 

  1. Extension to front elevation of existing property at the south end, comprising a kitchen/lounge/dinner ground floor and master bedroom with en suite on the 1st
  2. Replace existing garage at the north end with new extension, comprising of a gym on the ground floor and a master bedroom and en suite on the 1st
  3. Replace existing non-standard concrete walls to bungalow with new block walls. New walls to be constructed on current building regulations.
  4. Replace all roof tiles with new tiles to match extensions.
  5. Replace window to rear of property with sliding doors.

Whitestone Parish Council has considered this application which has the potential for improvement to the existing property, in particular with the change to roof tiles and block walls replacing the existing concrete.

The ecology report is welcomed. There are, however, a few points of concern.

Whitestone Parish Council are minded to approve this application with some conditioning:-

  1. Acorns is now used for holiday lets.
  2. Recommendations in the ecology report concerning external lighting and light spill from within are followed. Also, recommendations concerning provision of bar boxes, wildlife connectivity and tree planting are followed.
  3. Existing trees and hedges are retained.
  4. Should the proposed balconies be considered overlooking neighbouring properties they be removed from the planning application.

Grant of Request for Prior Approval

23/01001/NPA Application for Prior Approval under Part 3 Class G (a) and (b) paragraph W of the GPDO change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling house at Hill Farm Barn, Hill Lane

Grant of Conditional Planning Permission

23/00300/HOU Single storey rear extensions at Cherry Trees

Enforcement updates

Happy Hounds Dog Walking reported as there are two caravans instead of one reported.


CCTV for carpark and play area

No further progress has been made

Police Surgery

A Police Surgery has been arranged for Saturday 23rd September from 10.30am to 12 noon and this has been advertised throughout the Parish.

Vehicle Activated Speed Signs

Cllr Evans reported that he has now received the speed signs which he will be installing at Nadderwater this weekend.

STAWL updates

Cllr Fairley read from a report which she has received from Guy Fielding.

“ In summary what we know at the moment is

  1. some kind of application has been made which probably relates to Lower Hare Farm
  2. We have very little idea about the timeline involved in the EAs processing of the application but our best guess is that if it is “duly made” it will be made public in 2023 or early 2024
  3. We know nothing about the mature and details of the application itself. Of course, when we do, we will let people know and you can be confident that a robust objection will be submitted”

NAT West Bank Signatory

The Clerk confirmed arrangements will be put into place for Cllr Fairley to be added as a signatory and Cllr Baird countersigned the necessary paperwork.

DALC AGM on 27th September at Exeter Racecourse

Cllr Fairley confirmed that she and Councillor Belt will be attending.

County Councillor Evans left the meeting


An application had been received requesting the Parish Council to contribute towards the cost of an Archaeological Report that is being prepared to record the history of the 13th century roof found at St Catherine’s Church during recent re-roofing. This was discussed but Cllr Fairley had ascertained that it would not legally be possible for the Parish Council to contribute towards this from Parish Council funds.

Cllr Baird raised the question of the wall at the water pump at Nadderwater which is in need of repair and it was resolved that Nick Thom be requested to repair and tidy up the area.


Bank balances at Nat West Bank as at 5th September 2023

Current Account


Business Reserve Account 1


Business Reserve Account 2



Conclusion of Annual Audit

Notices regarding the satisfactory conclusion of the Annual Audit by external auditors PKF Littlejohn together with comment raised will be displayed on Parish noticeboards and the Whitestone website and can be viewed on application to the Parish Clerk.


2 School Houses rental to 1st August £740.00 - £111.00 (includes £13.50 VAT) = £629.00

1 School Houses rental to 2nd September £925.00 - £111.00 (includes £18.50 VAT) = £814.00

1 School Houses rental to 2nd October £925.00 - £111.00 (includes £128.50 VAT = £814.00


The following expenditure was proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour and the cheques were signed by Councillor Baird and Mrs Vaughan as Responsible Financial Officer.

Mr L Blades £854.00 (July - Lengthsman £272.70 + Grass cutting £160.00: August – Lengthsman £291.30 + Grass cutting £130.00) Cheque 702

Clerk’s salary and expenses 1st July to 30th September £459.69 Cheque 703

HM Revenue and Customs £96.60 (Clerk’s income tax on salary) Cheque 704

PKF Littlejohn £252.00 (includes £42.00 VAT) Cheque 705

Teignbridge District Council – charge for 2023 Elections £305.80 Cheque 706

Fry & Son £7.66 (includes £1.31 VAT) Cheque 707


The Clerk reported receiving correspondence from Winkworth requesting proposing of renewal of the fixed term contract for School Houses and this was granted.


Cllr Baird reported that the bus service is still not keeping good time.

Cllr Moody reported that parishioners had complaints about the bus service regarding school children and he was advised that parishioners should report this to Devon County Council. Also reported was that following the repair work which had taken place at the footpath running behind the playground there had been complaints regarding the hedges at Crossways which are in need of cutting .and the Clerk was requested to write to Teign Housing regarding this. 

The meeting closed at 9.20pm