Agenda item

Public speaking

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Mr Dan Rogers from Bell Cornwell Planning Consultants spoke on minute 64 on behalf of Cranbrook LVA, the owners of the Farlands Site which sits in the expansion area of Cranbrook.  He referred to a planning application that Cranbrook LVA had submitted that proposed 260 homes, a small neighbourhood centre and a junior sports pitch and raised concerns that the delays in the examination process of the Cranbrook Plan DPD and the delays in the proposed phasing of education (M11) could put this delivery at risk.  Mr Rogers suggested two interim solutions that could help move the new housing development forward which was to use temporary classrooms at existing schools and referred to Broadclyst Community Primary as an example or use existing capacity from other local primary schools advising this flexibility would help the council’s five year land supply to allow small development sites to be delivered without being beholden on the delivery of key infrastructure.


In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised Members that officers had been working closely with Devon County Council as education authority to find ways of unlocking school places to support the delivery of Cranbrook but ultimately delivery of a new school in the town was the only solution and that is what Cranbrook Plan DPD required.  If an alternative solution could be found then Planning Committee could always allow a departure from that policy but it was important to maintain a strong and robust policy position to ensure that homes are not coming forward ahead of the required school places.


Mr Alan Kennard spoke on minute 65 and referred to the anticipated Government’s review of the planning legislation which would determine East Devon’s housing targets and hoped the housing figure would be less than currently required to achieve. He asked Members to take into consideration the already approved outline planning applications from developers regardless of whether little or no building had commenced.  He also referred to the Triple Axe Action Plan published in April 2021 detailing the need to reduce the effluent of phosphates and other chemicals into our rivers and urged Members to include a policy that required all significant planning applications to address the consequences of run off and be subject to regular monitoring.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management acknowledged Mr Kennard’s concerns about the water courses and advised about the Axe Nutrient Management Plan which was in place for the River Axe.  He was pleased to advise that the new Ecologist had started last week who would address these issues.


Councillor Bruce also spoke on minute 65 and read out a statement on behalf of Gittisham Parish Council which read as follows:


In recent years there has been a significant westward extension of Honiton within the parish of Gittisham, of both residential and allocated commercial land.  As part of the Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment further land has been identified as being available which would encroach further towards the conservation village of Gittisham.  In fact to within 400m of the village and visible from the village (see Gitti_01 and Gitti_05).


The land suitability ranking shown on the maps in the supporting Supplementary Site Identfiicatio Report gives for this land a Grade 2 ranking (page 188/189) however, the accompanying Site Assessment text at page 22 gives a Grade 3 ranking.  Whilst both these rankings suggest that the land is not suitable for consideration at this stage there is a caveat in the report to the effect that should numbers not be met elsewhere that other land might need to be brought forward.  The ranking is likely to be an important consideration should that search become necessary and given the parish council’s concerns about possible future inappropriate encroachment of development impacting on the setting of the village, it is important that clarification is given.  To assist, Gittisham Parish Council would suggest, that a clear distinction be made between land north, which is an employment allocation in the current local plan and south of the railway lin and in relation to land south of the railway line, consideration be given to the ranking being revised to level 1, recognising that there are many sound planning reasons, as indeed identified by your officers, to include that this land is not delivered.


In response to all the speakers the Chair advised that the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management would provide written responses where required.


So in summary Gittisham Parish Council strongly objects to any further encroachment of residential development to the west of the Hayne Farm development (land reference numbers Gitti_01 and Gitti_05).