The parish council unanimously rejected the application, based on the many concerns expressed by local people at the meeting and via EDDC’s website.

Myself and Roger Giles were in attendance, along with parish councillors.  I spoke of my own concerns about the application, as did Roger. 

The application will now be determined by East Devon District Council.

Below is my submission in full, to EDDC:
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This application is in my ward and my preliminary view, based on the information presently available, is that this application should be REFUSED

I have many concerns about this application, which is partly in the Ottery Rural ward and partly in the Feniton ward. 

They are as follows:

–  The application is outside Feniton’s built up area boundary and if approved could give other developers (many of whom appear to be interested in developing at Feniton) grounds to argue for their own schemes to be approved

–  Under the EDDC Local Development Framework Core Strategy Preferred Approach of October 2010, Feniton was classified as a hub village, and was set to have 50 dwellings.  Under the LDF of October 2011 it is set to have a five per cent increase in its housing stock – around 35 dwellings.  The dwellings proposed in this planning application considerably exceed both of these numbers.

– There is a very real and longstanding flooding problem in Feniton .The two properties (Metcombe Cottage and Sweethams Cottage) to the south of the site have been flooded on frequent occasions.  Ottery Road to the east of the site has been flooded on frequent occasions.

– The application states that the proposed development would not worsen the flooding risk.  I find this hard to believe, particularly as the field is on an incline towards the village.

– The application states that it will connect to mains sewage. Feniton has an inadequate sewage system, much of which has not been adopted

– The proposed development could cause an increase in traffic of around 840 vehicle movements per day.  The road is only a slightly wider than an average country lane.  I am concerned that this road is not designed for such a large increase in traffic.

–  The land is grade 2 agricultural land.  There is little or no grade 1 agricultural land in East Devon and not very much grade 2.  Developing on high quality food growing farmland conflicts with both Government guidance and EDDC planning policy.  It also conflicts with common sense in a time of growing scarcity of food.

– I don’t believe that that a need has been established for the 400 sq m of commercial units proposed.  This could draw people away from the centre of the village if the proposal goes ahead as it is.  Or empty units would remain (in common with over 400 others in the district) and blight the area, which could then prompt conversion of the empty units into even more dwellings.

– The design and access statement talks of affordable housing being provided but the application form itself appears to indicate that all the dwellings are market value housing

– The planning application is contrary to the Feniton Parish Plan of February 2007 which clearly established that over 70% of the population were opposed to further development in Feniton, which is reflected in substantial public opposition to this planning application

– The wildlife survey seems to imply that very little wildlife exists in the field currently.  Oddly, it appears to suggest that wildlife would benefit from the proposed development.  The information provided appears inadequate.

– The designated schools for Feniton are Feniton Church of England Primary School and The Kings School, Ottery St Mary.  Both schools are at capacity.

This is my preliminary view and I will reserve my position in the event that this application comes to committee.