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Planning Committee 30 May 2012

Written by Heather Blackburn. Posted in Planning Committee Minutes

Planning Committee 30 May 2012

Minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting

held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on

Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 6.00 pm

North Ward: 

Councillor P S Christie (Chairman)
Councillor D C Fulford (Deputy Mayor)
Councillor Mrs Brenton

South Ward: 

Councillor P Pester
Councillor R I Wootton

East Ward:   

Councillor M C Langmead


Mrs Claire Scott (Assistant to the Town Clerk)
5 x members of the public


Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillor Christie is the chairman of the Committee for the 2012/2013 year.

Unanimously agreed by the Councillors.


Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Councillor Pester is the vice chairman for the Committee for the 2012/2013 year.

Unanimously agreed by the Councillors.



Councillor Langmead declared that as both a Town and District Councillor that he will reconsider the applications at District level, taking into account all the relevant evidence and representations at the District tier.
Councillors Christie & Pester declared a personal interest in agenda item 8.b. as the next door property is owned by the Bridge Trust (Bridge Trust trustees).




Mrs Maria Bailey, planning consultant from GM Planning, introduced the proposals by explaining that the area has been earmarked for development for several years, and has been mentioned in a number of strategic plans. They have had two pre-application meetings with Torridge District Council already, and have considered landscaping, biodiversity and Highways issues carefully.  The long term plan is to mitigate the development’s effects. Devon Wildlife Trust is keen to take on part of the land to manage it for the future. There are two applications – one by Whitbread and one by McDonald’s.

The Whitbread application is for a restaurant and hotel. They plan to upgrade the junction, with a Brewer’s Fayre restaurant next to the road with planting in front and a 70 bed Premier Inn with 120 spaces for car parking. The hotel will be a ‘green hotel’ and the restaurant will be low carbon. They will use rain water harvesting and grey water recycling to save 20% of the total water usage of hotel. High efficiency thermal insulation, low flow shower heads, heat recovery shower systems, automated lights, solar shading and timber frame construction will all be used to maximise efficiency. The design for the pub could be faced in stone to blend in and give a traditional feel and will have 55 new jobs including part time staff, as well as outside contractors.

The McDonald’s application is for a single storey outlet on the other side of the junction with 80 seats and a drive through. The company has a target of 50% renewable energy and intends to offset part of the consumption with wind farms and other sources of renewable energy. It will install solar panels and waterless urinals. The building will be a contemporary design, using sustainable and recyclable materials. In other areas they have used local stone.  In total 65 people will be employed there.

Simon Coles, the WYG planning agent for the applications, explained that they want to reflect the comments and queries raised by the Councillors and thanked the Councillors for listening to their presentation.

The Chairman asked why the plan provided was marked ‘phase one’ and the extent of involvement by Devon Wildlife Trust.  It was explained that the whole area is allocated as development, so potentially there will be a phase two.  Devon Wildlife Trust will be involved but they will not manage the development area.  Should development come forward then the Trust would manage green corridors and areas to link green spaces for wildlife.  The Chairman then asked all the Councillors in turn for their opinions or questions on the development.

Councillor Brenton asked the overall size of the site and if McDonald’s would be using the big ‘M’ sign as it would be unsightly and conflict with the look of the restaurant. Mr Carpenter of McDonald’s explained they do not know the exact design yet but the site is two acres approximately.

Councillor Brenton asked why conservation trusts are involved in this project as the woodland is much prized by residents. Mr Coles explained that the woodland is largely poor quality spruce and larch, which are crop trees, originally planted in the sixties, with some trees used as wind breaks. They plan to remove the cherry laurel, spruce and larch and introduce natural species.

Councillor Brenton highlighted the need to get firm undertakings for landscaping which has been promised before by other developers. Mr Coles stated both companies would follow all planning conditions carefully, not wishing to damage their reputation with the public.  McDonald’s policy is to comply as it saves them time and that landscaping is integral to the design and usually completed before the building.

Councillor Langmead highlighted the change to the existing junction and queried the numbers of staff employed in the McDonald’s outlet. It was explained that up to 35 staff can be in the kitchens at busy times.

Councillor Fulford asked how far the development would eventually go, speculating that it will eventually go out as far as Abbotsham Cross.  Mrs Bailey stressed the need to look at the proposals as a single item and that Whitbread has been looking for a location in Bideford for some time and that they will try and publicise Bideford as a destination to the Premier Inn guests via noticeboards.  Councillor Fulford agreed that there is a need for hotels and has no objections to it in principle.

Councillor Pester queried what was shown at the top of the proposal plan behind the hotel. It was explained that this is a flood attenuation pond which will have a dual role to help biodiversity and will be a permanent feature.

Councillor Christie raised the issue of signage from the Atlantic Highway and the need for Section 106 money and was told that montages would be made for the planning application and no 106 section had been finalised.

The proposals are scheduled to be shown to the public in two consultations in June and Maria Bailey emphasised that all Councillors’ comments would be welcome and could be forwarded on to her via the Town Clerk’s office.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 May 2012 were approved and signed as a correct record.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, and seconded

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)


a.Application No 1/0288/2012/FUL: Extension and alterations to garages to form 1 no. residential unit.  Garages at Westcombe Lane, Bideford EX39 3JQ.  – Applicant: Mr. B Martin, 64A Hanson Park, Northam EX39 3SB.  Agent: John Stromski & Associates.  (Date received: 15 May 12)

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is refused due to over development, and proximity to the neighbouring property.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

b.Application No 1/0383/2012/LBC:  Proposed repairs to front elevation.  6 Bridgeland Street, Bideford EX39 2PZ – Applicant: Jane Thornton, C/o Abercorn Surveyors, Silver Street, Barnstaple EX32 8HR.  Agent:  Steve Clements.  (Date received: 15 May 12)

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

c.Application No 1/0397/2012/FUL:  Single storey extension to side and rear.  18 North Avenue, Bideford EX39 4RD – Applicant: Mr Jason Brace (same address).  Agent:  Mr David Godfrey.  (Date received: 16 May 12)

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

d.Application No 1/0375/2012/FUL:  Drop five kerb stones to create vehicular access.  9 Fulford Close, Bideford EX39 4DX – Applicant: Mr Mark Searle (same address).  (Date received:  17 May 12)

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)


The Committee noted the content of those Planning Applications which had been granted/refused by Planning Authorities since the last meeting.

The business of the Meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the Members for their attendance and the Meeting concluded at 7.25pm.

Signature of Town Mayor: ……………………………….     Date: …………………

Signature of Chairman: ………………………………….    Date: …………………………

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