Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council's Planning/ Licensing Committee held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Wednesday 14 th November 2007


PRESENT: Chairman - Cllr C K Langton

Members - Cllrs Mrs P Biggs, Mrs A J Boyle, Mrs S G Collins, Mrs M Cox, A Eastman, B M Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, R H Osborne, S Robinson, R M M Tisdale together with 5 parishioners

1. The Chairman welcomed Mr Steve Briggs and Mr Lewis Andrews, the District Council's Planning Officers to the meeting. Mr Steve Briggs advised that the approach taken by the District Council in relation to planning was changing. Work was underway to make the procedures more open with explanations of how decisions have come about. The District Council values the responses given by Parish Councils which are made very early in the life of the process when the Parish Council has no knowledge of responses from other bodies e.g. the Highway Authority, South West Water. Pre-application work with developers is now extensive. He advised that under the new delegation scheme the Chief Planning Officer had power to decide all applications. However, there are various checks and balances and it is possible for District Councillors to call in applications so long as the reasons given are on planning grounds. The Chief Officer also uses his discretion and if applications arise with difficult issues or previously caused concern then he would put these to the Committee. In percentage terms about 90% are decided by delegated powers.

Cllr Mrs Biggs arrived at this juncture.

Members asked various questions in relation to the processing of planning applications and there was an invitation for Councillors to go to Riverbank House and be shown how the system operates. It was recognised that the Planning staff were working to capacity. On the question of enforcement this was not a statutory function. However, the District Council did have one Enforcement Officer and the Planning Officers also shared the work. Complaints will be followed up but a decision will be made on whether it is expedient to pursue all breaches of the planning system.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of the Town Council's Planning/Licensing Committee held 17 th October 2007 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Councillors Mrs Cox and Robinson made the following statement:-

“As both a Town and District Councillor I wish to make it clear that I will reconsider the matter(s) at the District level, taking into account all relevant evidence and representations at the District Council's Plans committee”.

3. Planning applications

0693/07 Land to the west of 1 Tomouth Road, Appledore – Amended plans for the construction of 5 dwellings with access.

RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal for the following reasons:

(1) Over intensive use of the site;

(2) Serious overlooking of nearby properties;

(3) Out of keeping on the edge of a conservation area;

(4) Is intrusive;

(5) Changes the character on the edge of a conservation area;

(6) Spoils the outlook from and into a conservation area;

(7) Would result in the destruction of mature trees;

(8) Concerned about the drainage on a steep site, both new drainage to take the hard landscaping and roof drainage etc and also natural underground drainage which may be affected.

(Vote: Unanimous)

1134/07 Proposed garage and workshop - Mount Raleigh, Mount Raleigh Drive – RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal – Insufficient information on the workshop uses. Proposal seems over-large for domestic use. Need to establish what the workshop will be. If the District Council is mindful to approve then specific conditions would be required to ensure that a business did not become established and perhaps limitations on size would be necessary.

(Vote: Unanimous)

1235/07 Proposed Attached single garage to side elevation 29 Benson Drive, Burrough Farm – RESOLVED - No objection

(Vote: Unanimous)

Cllr Mrs Biggs left the meeting at this juncture.

1237/07 Proposed conversion of lower ground void to bedrooms and erection of conservatory - 51 Goodwood Park Road, Northam – RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal – concerned about the close proximity of the proposal to the neighbour's property.

(Vote: Unanimous)

1239/07 Proposed 30 new residential units distributed between 11 buildings - Roslyn Gardens Caravan Park, Merley Road, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal for the reasons given by the District Council in their refusal of the previous application. The changes on this new application seem to be largely cosmetic and the developer has not addressed the issues raised by the District Council's Plans Committee when considering the previous application. Important that any developer is required to comply with and meet the requirements of the designation of the area in relation to coastal preservation, nature conservation, important wildlife corridor and AONB. Policies ENV5, ENV6, ENV9 of the TDC Local Plan would seem to apply as would policies CO4 and CO5 of the Devon Structure Plan.

(Vote: Unanimous)

1250/07 Proposed conservatory and bedroom extension. 30 Clevelands Park, Northam – RESOLVED - Recommend approval

(Vote: Unanimous)

1251/07 Proposed extension - 8 Skern Way, Northam – RESOLVED - Recommend approval

(Vote: Unanimous)

1252/07 Proposed construction of 2 apartments, garages and associated site works - Land on junction of Sandy Lane and Atlantic Way – RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal – Concerned about traffic both on the site and the increase on the road system and additional flows to the sewerage system which it is known to be overloaded.

(Vote: Unanimous)

1253/07 Proposed lean to conservatory - 506 Kingsley Park, Westward Ho! –

RESOLVED – Recommend approval if it will fit.

(Vote: Unanimous)

1261/07 Proposed dwelling, access and parking for new dwelling and Culloden House Land adjoining Culloden House, Atlantic Way, Westward Ho! –

RESOLVED – Recommend Refusal – Concerned about increased traffic and increased sewerage flows to a system that is known to be overloaded.

(Vote: Unanimous)

1272/07 Proposed rear conservatory - 18 Lundy View, Northam – RESOLVED –

Recommend approval.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Strongvox regarding Middle Dock

Members considered a suggestion that the developer of Middle Dock be allowed to address the Planning meeting about the proposals for the site. It was RESOLVED to advise Strongvox that the Council was of the view that it would be better if he were to call a Public Meeting in Appledore in order that his proposals may be put to the whole community.

(Vote: Unanimous)