Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council to consider planning applications and allied matters held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on

Wednesday 14th April 2004


PRESENT:     Chairman   -     Town Mayor - Cllr A Barnes

Members - Cllrs Mrs M M Cox, Mrs S A Mounce,

J A Bell, R D Bradford MBE, E J Davies,

A Eastman, L Ford, K A Lane, T J Williams

together with 2 Parishioners                             


Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllr A Eastwood OBE, Dr P Tamplin, and P Waters,


1.         Mrs Carol Knight – CEFFAC – Centre for Families and Children


Mrs Carol Knight of CEFFAC outlined the problems being experienced in continuing with the Centre for Families and Children.  It was not possible at this time for the Council to offer any assistance and Mrs Knight undertook to come back at a later date when the various issues were clarified.  Cllr Williams undertook to work with Mrs Knight as it was seen as essential that this facility should continue to be provided in Northam.


2.         Minutes


The minutes of the meeting of the Town Council to consider planning applications and allied matters held 17th March 2004 were approved and signed.


            (Vote: all in favour)


3.         Torridge District Local Plan – Proposed modifications


Members considered the report of Councillors with regard to the Torridge District Local Plan and it was RESOLVED to respond as follows: -


(1)        Modification No 005    Strategic Centres – Proposal to include Westward Ho! within the principal centre i.e. no longer a local centre.  Unhappy with the Inspector’s recommendation to include Westward Ho! within a principal centre.  Cannot see how the Inspector’s policy 004.4.2 (which concerns green field development) affects Westward Ho! 


It is a village in its own right clearly separated from Northam, Appledore and Bideford.  This smacks of retrospective change to accommodate the high-rise development which has been approved, which would be contrary to current policy and TDC’s convenient interpretation of 004.4.2 and 005.4.1.  Would ask for Westward Ho! to be retained (and Appledore) as a local centre.  Also to ask TDC to recognise our requests concerning future development in Westward Ho! i.e. the Working Group report. 


(2)        Land to the east of Pebbleridge Road. (092,093,094) Land has been excluded from development boundary and deleted as a tourism and recreation site.  The land identified here is not a true green field site.  It is surrounded by housing and it could become an attractive public garden or even, with negotiation with owners, a potential site for affordable village style homes.  It is only the land value which creates the high cost of current housing.  If the owner knew that this was the only option then perhaps it could be negotiated.  Neither use should be restricted by the plan – redefine it for leisure or housing, subject to agreement.   You could possibly strengthen housing aspects by keeping as a green field site but consider 50% of land being made available for low cost homes. 


(3)        Middle Dock, Appledore.  This amendment allows for the redevelopment of the site for mixed use scheme.  Public access to the river must be strongly worded and affordable housing on the land must be emphasised to say 50% of the area allocated for housing.


(4)        089 – Northam Cemetery site.  Accept the deletion but future use should be identified.  The Westward Ho! Working Group have recommended low cost housing. It is important that the Plan identifies a suitable site within Northam for use as a cemetery.  Reliance on the Bideford provision would not be acceptable to the Northam people.


(5)        Old Orchard, Orchard Hill – Originally intended to be Open Space, the

Inspector recommended residential development.  TDC intend to reject the Inspector’s recommendation and therefore the land will simply be a green field.  It is suggested that the Old Orchard could be bought by the community, if they are interested and if the owner is willing to sell, and made into a community area.  Replant the Old Orchard, have a garden, add onto the woodland, consultation needed with the residents of Hanson Park.


(6)        General Statement – In general it seems very sad that the Local Plans Officer does not take the plan to each Parish or Town Council and go through it.  So much seems to be done in an ad hoc mechanistic manner and does not make use of the Officer’s grasp of planning and the locals’ knowledge of the area.  The impact of some of the decisions is not being adequately considered.  Perhaps four meetings – Northam, Bideford, Torrington, Holsworthy with the adjacent parishes involved would suffice.  The Planning Officers should be at each meeting.  Consider a vote of No Confidence in Torridge District Council  if a more positive approach to consultation does not materialise. 


The Plan is full of positive sounding generalisations about sustainable development but there is no evidence of it being put into practice


4.         Planning applications


0517/04           Proposed variation of conditions to allow twelve months occupancy - 

5 Lenwood Country Club – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention)


            0526/04           Proposed conversion of garage to domestic use - Garage adjoining

Foxhole Lane, Northam – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention)


0527/04           Proposed erection of 2 no 3/4 bedroomed houses with gardens and

detached garages Land adjacent to Westbrook House, Torridge Road, Appledore – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


(Vote: 5 For, 4 Against, 1 Abstention)






0530/04           Proposed application for consent to display projecting sign and a wall sign advertising a gallery Docton Court, 2 Myrtle Street and end wall of 3 Myrtle Street, Appledore – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention )


            0533/04           Proposed demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 8 no

detached dwellings - Sunnyside, Heywood Road, Northam – RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal.  Members concerned about trees and traffic.  Suggest that the combined development with St Helens should be limited to five dwellings with the layout arranged to accommodate the existing trees.


                                    (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention)


            0546/04           Proposed retrospective application for retention of a wooden

implement shed -  Agricultural field, rear of 6 Daddon Hill, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention)


            0553/04           Proposed change of use from workroom to coffee shop - The Secret

Garden, Cross Street, Northam – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention)


0586/04           Proposed retrospective application for construction of decking

to support future summer house - Briarlea, Hilltop Road – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention)


            0591/04           Listed building application for proposed internal alterations to include

exposing original fireplace Flat 4, 4 Kipling Terrace, Westward Ho! –

RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention)


0606/04           Proposed pitch and putt short golf course.  Pimpley Ground 1 and 2

adjoining RNDGC, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.

                                    (Vote: 9 For, 1 Abstention)


5.         Street Naming of new development off J H Taylor Drive


It was   RESOLVED to nominate the name of Kimberley Park.


(Vote: All in Favour)