Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council's Planning/ Licensing Committee held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Wednesday 29th July 2009

PRESENT: Chairman - Cllr C K Langton

Members - Cllrs Mrs P Biggs, Mrs A Boyle, Mrs S Collins, P Hames, R H Osborne, and 3 parishioners

Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs Mrs M Cox, B Edwards, S Robinson and R Tisdale

1. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council's Planning/Licensing Committee held 15 th July 2009 as amended were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

2. Core Strategy Policies

The Chairman welcomed Mrs Dawn Burgess and Mrs Maria Bailey of the District Council who explained to the Members that prior to the production of the North Devon and Torridge Core Strategy Draft Document, which was intended to be produced in January 2010 for public consultation, the Officers were meeting with Parish Councils in order to gain how the Town Council would see Northam developing for the fifteen years leading up to 2026. The existing Plan expires in 2011. The Officers tabled plans and photographs of areas of land currently undeveloped which had been put forward by others to the District Council as possible future development sites. The Town Council was being asked to consider which areas, if any, would be most appropriate for future planned development. There would be a need for some additional sites in Northam as the whole of Torridge is required to find land for 10,700 homes over the planned period with 4,500 already being identified. The balance of just over 6,000 units would need to be accommodated throughout the district. Members expressed concern that the necessary infrastructure to support the additional population was not in place and there was no guarantee that there would be investment should the proposal go ahead.

It was generally agreed that the sites proposed needed further consideration and that the Town Council needs to firm up its view on where future housing will be best sited.

The Chairman thanked Mrs Burgess and Mrs Bailey for their attendance.

3. Planning applications

0624/09 Proposed renovating and extending property - 121/123 Irsha Street, Appledore RESOLVED - Recommend approval but concerned that work has already commenced on site. Also wish to be assured that the building will be built as approved with no increase in roof height and would question whether the balcony design is in keeping with the Conservation Area. The style of the works needs to be sympathetic to the area. Can the Conservation Officer please report?

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Mrs Boyle left the meeting at this juncture.

0628/09 Proposed 3 no windows - Beachside, Factory Ope, Appledore RESOLVED - Recommend approval subject to no overlooking.

(Vote: Unanimous)

0647/09 Proposed alterations and extensions. Change of use of store rooms and alterations to form 4 no flats. Elizabethan Club, Merley Road, Westward Ho! RESOLVED - Recommend approval and would like to see energy saving and water catchment measures included. The materials used on the external of the property need to be suitable for the exposed nature of the site.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Proposed Retirement Care Village, Raleigh Hill

Cllr Osborne reported that the applicants for this proposal had gone to appeal and that comments needed to be with the Planning Inspectorate by 11 th August. He thought it essential that the Town Council should submit further comments in opposition to the proposal stressing that the highways were not suitable, the applicant had not considered alternative sites, there were other sites available and there was no bus route. It was agreed that Cllr Osborne would compile a suitable letter which would be circulated to Members for approval prior to submission to the Planning Inspectorate.

5. Proposed waste to energy plant Seven Brethren, Barnstaple Scoping request

The Town Clerk reported that he had just received the scoping report in respect of the above proposal and that comments were required by 3 rd August. It was RESOLVED to respond to the County Council to the effect that the Town Council has not had sufficient time to consider the matter properly and suggesting that an extension of time is appropriate.

(Vote: Unanimous)