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Planning Committee Meeting Minutes 11 November 2015

Written by Richard Coombes. Posted in Planning Committee Minutes


Minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting - 11 November 2015



North Ward:   

Councillor P Christie (Chairman)
Councillor P Pester (Town Mayor)
Councillor D Bushby

South Ward:

Councillor R Wootton

South Ward (Outer):

Councillor D Howell

East Ward   

Councillor M Langmead


Mr R Coombes – Deputy Town Clerk




The Chairman declared a Committee wide non-pecuniary interest in Item 6.f. (Applicant fellow Town Councillor).


A resident of Lime Grove referred to item 6.h. Amendments to road layout (Lime Grove / Belvoir Road).  He expressed concerns over the access into the Site.  He stated that the land in front of the Terraced Houses: 106 – 112 is not owned by the developer (or Council).  Referring to his deeds (for 106) he declared that the land belonged to the Terraced Houses and restricted access over the land.  He added that the Developers had no right of access and further, the Owners of the Terrace do not give authority for them (the Developers) to cross the Land.

He also feared the volume of traffic that would be created during and following the development.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 October 2015 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)


Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED:  That the order of business be changed to allow agenda item 6.h. to be addressed before item 5.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)


h.   Application No: 1/0918/2015/FUL:  Amendments to road layout (already approved as part of 1/0016/2013/FUL.  Kingsley School, Northdown Road, Bideford.  Applicant:  Mr A Stevenson (same address).  Agent:  RGP Architects Ltd, Barnstaple.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED:  Against the application based on the ownership of the road / land which has been challenged by the owners of the Terraced Houses: 106 – 112, who have provided a set of deeds that confirm their tenure of the land and declaration that access will be refused.

General access remains a concern, the Council would like traffic calming measures in the form of pinch points and a one way system to be considered in view of more development in the area, with the suggestion that the traffic flows from Pitt Lane to Abbotsham Road.

The drainage into Westcombe and the possible knock on effect with the Kenwith Dam also remains a concern.

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


Councillor Christie advised Members that the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan had to be re-evaluated under four headings:

•    Gypsies and Travellers
•    Starter Homes Exception Sites
•    Affordable Housing on Development Sites
•    Wind Energy Development.

Gypsies and Travellers:  No documentation had been provided by Torridge District Council.  Councillor Christie noted that there were no sites in Torridge.

Starter Homes Exception Sites:  It was noted that the North Devon / Torridge District Council draft policy, constrained by national guidance includes:

•    Starter Homes will be available only to first time buyers no older than forty at the time of purchase at a minimum of twenty per cent discount below their open market value;
•    The open market value will be no more than £250,000 with the applied discount.

While there was general support for Exception Sites draft proposal, Councillor Christie felt that point 7.38G was contentious where,

“it is recognised that the delivery of some sites may need to be supported by cross-subsidy from market housing.  Where the provision of 100% starter Homes is not viable, a small proportion of open market housing may be considered acceptable…”

Although  the statement continued,

Development proposals which included a significant element of open market housing will not be supported.”

he expressed concern at what figure defined, “a small proportion”.

Affordable Housing on Development Sites:  Councillor Christie advised that following a legal challenge (that the Government lost) the provision of affordable housing would be equal to thirty per cent of all dwellings on-site.

Wind Energy Development:  Members agreed that the Policy did not directly impact upon Bideford.  Consideration was given to current officer / councillor staffing of applications and the Policy that demands that sites are identified anywhere in Torridge.

Given the policy options members supported Policy Option 1 – Unconstrained Approach where no areas within North Devon and Torridge would be considered inherently unsuitable for wind energy development or constrained in any way.

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That while Members were broadly content with the Starter Homes Exception Sites policy, they had no comment upon the Affordable Housing Development Sites policy but supported the Wind Energy Development Unconstrained Approach Policy (Option 1).

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)


a.   Application No: 1/1104/2015/ADV:     New external signage to accompany new shop fit-out, The Famous Little Store, 79 High Street, Bideford. Applicant: Mr P Litchfield, Vision Express, Ruddington Farm Business Park, Mere Way, Ruddington, Nottingham NG11 6NZ. Agent: Child Graddon Lewis, London. (Date received: 28 Oct 15).

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

b.   Application No: 1/1105/2015/FUL: Variation of condition 1 and 4 of 1/1166/2014/FUL (window changes) Condition Number(s): 1 and 4 Conditions(s) Removal: Condition One - Slight change to the original plan.  Condition 4 - Details of the windows to the rear elevation.  Conditions do not need to be changed.   5 - 7 Silver Street, Bideford EX39 2DY. Applicant: Mrs L Bromell, Fulmar Cottage, 105 Chanters Road, Bideford EX39 2QU.  Agent: EMA, Bideford. (Date received: 28 Oct 15).

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

c.   Application No: 1/1085/2015/FUL: 3 Canopies to link to the main building.  West Croft School, Coronation Road, Bideford.  Applicant: Mr D Ford (same address).  Agent:  Maria Bailey Planning, Bideford. (Date received: 28 Oct 15).

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.

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

d.   Application No: 1/1045/2015/FUL: Change of use of outbuilding and extension to form additional living accommodation.  65 Meddon Street, Bideford EX39 2EQ. Applicant: Mr P Heuze (same address).  Agent: Wilson Architecture & Planning, Bideford. (Date received: 28 Oct 15).

Proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is refused given the potential use as a separate dwelling increased car numbers, noise, possible overlooking and access concerns.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

e.   Application No: 1/1058/2015/FUL: Domestic extension. 10 Gate Field Road, Bideford EX39 3QX. Applicant: Mr C Beer (same address). Agent: John Blaney Ltd, Parkham.  (Date received: 2 Nov 15).

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

f.   Application No: 1/0926/2015/REM: Reserved matters pursuant to 1/0606/2012/EXT (1/0527/2009/OUT applies).  Resubmission of withdrawn application 1/0582/2015/REM, The House, Torridge Hill, Bideford. Applicant:  Mr & Mrs Brenton (same address).  Agent: Maria Bailey Planning, Bideford. (Date received 3 Nov 15).

Proposed by Councillor Wootton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)


g.   Application: No 1/1109/2015/FULM. Demolition of existing building and construction of a Block of 12 apartments with associated car parking and landscaping.  Building at NGR 244693 126666, Belvoir Road, Bideford. Applicant:  Newland Homes Ltd, Brighouse Court,     Barnett Way, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3ER.  Agent:  Maria Bailey Planning, Bideford. (Date received 6 Nov 15).

Proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the application is approved.  However, Members expressed concern at the shortage of car parking provision given the current dire situation in Belvoir Road.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)


Members received the decisions from Torridge District Council since the last

It was noted that Application Number: 1/0899/2015/CPE had been granted although it referred to 2 Eton Close, Bideford where it should have referred to 4, South View Terrace – Confirmation of use of property as three flats. 

Concern was also expressed over the granted application 1/1162/2014/FULM, former School Geneva Place conversion to fourteen apartments, where the Council had resolved against the Application, in January 2015.  Councillor Brenton had subsequently called it in citing: severe overlooking, additional traffic problems and waste of a brownfield site yet the Committee response was not made until 22 October 2015 with the Decision made on 5 November 2015.  The Members wondered why, notwithstanding the eleven months from their advice being registered and that of the Decision being made, they were not updated (on the result of the calling in process) prior to the Decision being made.

Members had been advised of an appeal that had been lodged with the Department of Communities and Local Government against the refusal of planning permission for: 1/0863/2014/OUTM – Demolition of dwelling, erection of up to 200 dwellings at Heywood Road Roundabout.

Members confirmed that they would reiterate their previous comments and stress that they do not agree with the Devon Highways’ view that the access onto and away from the proposed development is acceptable. 

Neither do they agree with the Environment Agency view that the flood risk in the Kenwith Valley from this development can be safely mitigated. 

Their reasoning is based on the cumulative aspect of the many new developments coming forward around this area.  They stressed that looking at sites in isolation is not good planning.

The business of the Meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the Members for their attendance and the Meeting concluded at 7.15 pm.


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