The final decision will be taken by councillors on the Development Management Committee, on Tuesday 6 December.

The reasons for refusal centre largely around the application contravening district and county council countryside protection policies.

As well as:

– damage to local distinctiveness to a rural village
– loss of a large tract of grade two agricultural land
– National Planning Policy Framework carries little weight as it is still in draft form and subject to change
– insufficient capacity for sewage arrangements
– no firm plans for an affordable housing element
– Cranbrook being in the process of development should take pressure off surrounding villages

An appeal at West Hill (see earlier blog) features in the justification for refusal because the developers, Strategic Land Partnerships are arguing that Feniton is at the ‘principal urban area’.  This was the focus of an appeal against a refusal to build 50 houses at West Hill. 

The planning inspector’s decision last week made it clear that West Hill was NOT at the principal urban area (PUA).  In which case, Feniton, which is further east, could be even less likely to be described as at the PUA.

The flooding situation, which many Feniton residents are concerned about is not listed as a reason for refusal.  Instead EDDC planning officers consider that the mitigation measures put in place by the developer could aid the flooding problems in the village, not make them worse.  This is likely to surprise many people.

The Local Plan, out for an eight week consultation next week, is described as carrying ‘extremely limited weight’ so cannot be a material planning consideration.

The report goes on to state that to depart from the existing Local Plan would undermine sustainable objectives and result in unplanned and speculative development in the countryside.

The final decision will be made by councillors on the Development Management Committee on Tuesday 6 December at EDDC offices, Knowle, Sidmouth, starting at 2pm.

It is vital that many residents attend the meeting and speak.  Representations can be made for up to three minutes each.

I will be attending and speaking, as ward member for part of the village.