Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Planning decisions in East Devon: failures to comply with planning conditions... more retirement flats rather than affordable housing... inconsistencies in the planning process

What seems to be happening across East Devon is indeed what was predicted recently:
Futures Forum: Identifying housing 'need' in East Devon: "Floodgates are open for developers"
Futures Forum: 106 payments and the NPPF... the repercussions for East Devon

In Feniton, developers seem to be overreaching themselves:

Developer must install tanks to stop flood water in Feniton

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 15, 2014

An inquiry was held at Exeter airport this year after developers targeted the area with plans to increase the built size of the village by 40%. Three out of four appeals were dismissed after the ten-day hearing.
A developer has been ordered to install tanks to catch surface water in a Devon village beset by flooding. East Devon District Council has served an enforcement notice on Wainhomes for failing to comply with a planning condition for its 50-home scheme in Feniton, which was approved on appeal in 2012.
District councillor Susie Bond said the condition was “critical” and capturing run-off would make for a 10% improvement. “In other words, the tanks would mitigate the effects of concreting over a greenfield site and give a marginal improvement on the amount of surface water which comes down from the development into the rest of the village,” she added.

Developer must install tanks to stop flood water in Feniton | Western Morning News
East Devon District Council responds to Wainhomes | Susie Bond
Wain Homes, Feniton: when does “50 houses” become 55? When it’s in Rockbeare – whoops! | East Devon Alliance
Some links that Wainhomes would probably prefer you not to click on! | East Devon Alliance

And meanwhile, in Seaton, promises to build affordable housing are being reneged on:

Tesco says it will sell Seaton ‘hotel site’ for flats

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: October 28, 2014

In May, developer McCarthy & Stone held an exhibition in the town of plans for 43 retirement homes on the regeneration site in Harbour Road owned by Tesco. No plans have as yet been submitted.
TESCO has confirmed that is has an agreement with a developer that if it secures planning permission for retirement flats on its land in Seaton it will sell them the land.
But a petition with 900 names has recently been presented to East Devon District Council by Seaton residents against potential plans for retirement flats. The signatories of the petition believe a hotel is much needed in the town, which is the subject of extensive regeneration, instead.
The prospect of flats is a second blow connected to the regeneration site – last August Tesco first reduced its offer of 40 per cent affordable housing at the site to 25 per cent, then withdrew it completely.

Tesco says it will sell Seaton ‘hotel site’ for flats | Exeter Express and Echo
Tesco selling Seaton hotel site to retirement developer McCarthy & Stone | East Devon Alliance

And in Newton Poppleford, things look very confusing:


October 29, 2014

Yes, most of us have realised that. Why was it ok for one developer and not for another?

Of course, a re-convening of the EDDC wokring group that was supposed to look into the relationship between the council and the East Devon Business Forum might well have answered such questions ….. yet another reason why it remains in the long grass …

Newton Poppleford planning decisions “contradictory” | East Devon Alliance

East Devon planning decisions ‘contradictory’

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: October 29, 2014

AN East Devon heritage society has written to a Government committee raising concerns that East Devon District Council has used Government guidelines to approve one development in a rural village but oppose another in a “contradictory” approach.

The Otter Valley Association, Natural England, the East Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the parish council have all objected to plans for 26 homes at land off Orchard Close in Newton Poppleford.

The plans are a resubmission of a scheme for 46 homes at the same site described as land off Badger Close. The development management committee rejected these original plans and a planning inspector subsequently rejected an appeal of the committee’s decision on appeal in June.

In the council’s emerging Local Plan, the village, which lies within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has been allocated 40 homes. This quota has already been fulfilled as a 40-home development on land off King Alfred Way was approved last year.

The OVA is concerned that the “inconsistencies” in the planning department’s approach towards the two previous schemes, highlighted by the inspector at the Badger Close appeal hearing, may be repeated when considering of the Orchard Close scheme. In a written submission to the council opposing the development, the OVA has accused planning officers in interpreting the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework, which has a presumption in favour of sustainable development and which must be adhered to in the absence of a Local Plan, in different ways when dealing with the previous two applications for the village.

In his evidence regarding the Badger Close development, the Government inspector said that whereas the council has recognised that the village should only accommodate a limited scale of development in line with NPPF guidelines, the council’s stance appeared to be “at odds” with its recent decision to approve the King Alfred Way development where the council had argued differently. The inspector concluded that the council could not demonstrate that the village was in an unsustainable location for development, however concluded that the appeal site did not represent a sustainable location for the proposed development due to its poor access to the village centre.

The inspector confirmed that the NPPF states that “great weight” should be given to conserving landscapes in AONBs and concluded that the Badger Close scheme would adversely impact on its location within the AONB. But he noted that the council had taken a different view on the impact on the AONB for the King Alfred Way development in that it would not impact on the AONB.

The group say the Orchard Close plans are very similar and questioned the integrity of the planning process. Nicola Daniel, OVA member, said: “For people to have confidence in the planning system, there needs to be a consistent approach.”

Natural England has requested that a Habitats Regulations Assessment is completed due to its close proximity to several protected areas which the development could have “significant effects” on.

A council spokesperson, said: “Each application is considered on its merits, in line with current planning policy. The OVA viewpoint will be taken into consideration along with any other comments made as a result of the consultation.”

East Devon planning decisions ‘contradictory’ | Exeter Express and Echo

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