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Ottery St Mary Town Council rejects 19 houses for Tipton

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 4 Comments by Claire

An application to build 19 houses in a field designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Tipton St John has been rejected by Ottery St Mary Town Council.

The vast majority of councillors voted against the application, with two abstentions.

As a member of Ottery St Mary Town Council, as well as the ward member I also spoke against the proposal.  Below is a copy of my submission to EDDC’s planning department:

This application is in my ward and my preliminary view, based on the information presently available, is that it should be REFUSED.

My concerns are as follows:

- the application is outside the village development boundary and if approved could cause other developers and landowners to argue for their own schemes to be approved

- Tipton St John is due to receive around 10 houses between 2006 and 2026.  19 houses contained in one application clearly exceeds this allocation by some way.

- it is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and while the developer has made efforts to blend the scheme into the landscape, it is on a prominent piece of land - a very steep hill in fact, which is seen from many places in the village. 

- the land is grade three agricultural land.  The best quality in the Ottery Rural ward is grade two, so this is clearly high quality agricultural land which is currently protected under EDDC’s Local Plan, as well as in national planning policy.

- SWW is clearly not in a position to connect this scheme to its sewage works, unless the developer pays for the work.  This is likely to be beyond the cost of the average developer, which then means a temporary sewage disposal scheme, which on a hill, could be highly damaging if it failed.

- due to the steep incline of the field, I am concerned about properties possibly overlooking and being overbearing to houses in Barton Orchard.

- Barton Orchard has many cars parked up and down its road, which hampers driving.  A further 19 dwellings will create around 130 extra car movements per day on a small residential road which I would not describe as suitable for such a traffic increase. 

- the junctions of Barton Orchard with the main Tipton St John road are close together and not well designed.  An additional 130 cars per day using these junctions will increase the likelihood of accidents.

- I note that Devon County Council is recommending refusal on the grounds that the field in question is remote from facilities so is not sustainable from a transport perspective.

- there appears to be protected wildlife present in the field with Barton Orchard residents reporting sightings of grass snakes, dormice and slow worms in their gardens.

-I have copies of appeal dismissal paperwork dating back to 1984 and beyond.  An application for 10 dwellings (and previous applications also) was then refused because of surface water run off problems, the road junction being unsuitable for additional traffic and the sewage works being inadequate.  Not much appears to have changed!  Also, ‘development on the land would adversely affect the amenity and privacy of occupants of the south side of the cul de sac to an unacceptable degree.’

In the event that the application comes to Committee I would reserve my position until I am in full possession of all the relevant facts and arguments for and against.


1. At 07:15 am on 03th Nov Carol Crossman wrote:

I emailed led the planning people yesterday as follows:I live in the village of Tipton St John, so not strictly speaking a close neighbour to this proposed development. Tipton St John is a rural village, with a large mix of traffic already using the narrow roads that surround us; cars, horses, tractors, bicycles (we have a designated cycle route)buses, removal containers for our local firm, as well as general traffic en route to surrounding towns. The pedestrians, both local and visiting, (we have excellent footpaths) are in constant danger from the existing heavy traffic, travelling too fast.
Our sewage treatment works at Fluxton are already at full capacity, with no further expansion budgeted for by SWWA.
Caroline Spellman, (environment minister)when interviewed on Radio 4 emphasised that any proposed developments must be compatible with the existing infrastructure. I would like to draw attention to the fact that our exiting infrastructure is just adequate, but has no room for any proposed extra development.
Not as specific as yours, but I hope helpful! Carol

2. At 11:55 am on 04th Nov Peter Gradon wrote:

Hi Clare

I would like to make the following comments on the proposed development.

It is outside the village boundary, within an A.O.N.B and does not comply with the Village Design Statement.

This is a quote from a letter I received from our MP.
“Having contacted the Department for Communities and Local Government, I am assured they are committed to protecting our natural and historic environment. The new planning guidance safeguards valued, Areas of outstanding beauty, Nation Parks and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.”

It is in a most prominent position and can be seen from many parts of the village and surrounding area.

The development is not sustainable due to the lack of jobs in the area and bad transport links.

The increased risk of flooding in the centre of the village due to water run off during
heavy rain is very high as the development will be on a steep slope.

The road access to the site is very dangerous

Some of the properties in the North West corner of site would overlook my bungalow (Greensleeves) and would look directly into my windows. The rest of the houses would be in an unacceptable dominant position above Barton Orchard.

The proposed tree planting around my property due to their close proximity to my bungalow would block out the light from the South and West due to the site being two metres above my property (see plan D3). The trees to the West would also be within 3 Metres of my Sun Room footings and would also block out sunlight and my view of the Otter Valley. (The Sun Room has conveniently been omitted from plans).

The proposed screening by tree planting raises the following points.
The developers have put trees in any free space regardless of any practical consideration (see Landscape Master Plan) as some are in the gardens of the proposed houses and the rest are very close to them. What safeguards are in place to ensure that they are not chopped down before they reach maturity, will this be the responsibility of the local council (or say a residents association?). In either case I don’t think that the majority of the trees shown will still be there in ten years’ time and the view from Mallocks Close will be very different from that shown on the plans.

The play areas are not near the more expensive houses but behind the existing bungalows. I presume this is because if you are going to pay in excess of half a million pounds for a house you don’t want a play area outside your door, but we (the existing residents) just have to put up with it..

If this plan is passed it will set a precedence for further development within A.O.N.B and outside village boundaries and the environment we love will be lost to the developers.

Peter Gradon (Greensleeves, Barton Orchard).

3. At 02:54 pm on 04th Nov Bill Bolt wrote:

Hi Claire, I think your submission to E.D.D.C. is excellent. Thankyou for your efforts,and let me know if I can help.  Kind regards Bill

4. At 05:23 pm on 04th Nov peter Taylor wrote:

Hi Claire Everyone seems to be agianst this and the other main house building scheme in Tipton St John for a multitude of siginificant reasons. If democracy counts at all these days that should be enough. If there was a local referendum it would surely reject both these proposals.  It makes one wonder why it takes such a battle to defend the opinions of the vast majority in a country that holds democracy so dear.
Unless of course the profit motive has outmanouvred the majority opinion!

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