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.
Ottery St Mary