• My objections to 120 houses in Feniton …

    10th January 2013 | News | Claire
  • This application is in my ward and my preliminary view, is that it application should be REFUSED, for the following reasons.

    – Feniton is allocated 35 dwellings in the EDDC Local Plan until 2026 and this allocation has already been met (and more) by the Wainhomes appeal decision

    – The clear views of Feniton residents and of Feniton Parish Council, is that the Wainhomes development should be regarded as the allocation for Feniton in EDDC’s Local Plan until 2026.

    –  Not only is the application outside Feniton’s built up area boundary but is on the opposite side of the road, which currently provides a natural boundary. 

    – the countryside surrounding Feniton, is not AONB, but nevertheless is beautiful and contributes to Feniton’s natural distinctive character as an East Devon village, set in lovely rolling countryside.  Any move to develop land on the west of Ottery Road would spoil this distinctive character.

    – If approved, the application could open up a whole new area for development in Feniton.  Therefore, the principle of development here is not acceptable, which accordingly also means that I object to the 59 dwellings proposed.

    – NPPF par 17 – under core planning principles it states that the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside is recognised.  This application is therefore, contrary to paragraph 17 of the NPPF.

    – the application is on high quality (grade 2) agricultural land.  Grade 2 agricultural land has already been given permission next to Louvigny Close on appeal.  NPPF par 112 states that planning authorities should take into account the benefits of best and most versatile agricultural land.  The land in question is regularly used for growing crops and as the application does not meet an identified need for housing, the application is contrary to NPPF 12.

    -Affordable housing – the Wainhomes appeal decision has already met this need.

    – Infrastructure:
    – Local schools, including Feniton Primary School, which takes children from other villages also, and Kings School, are already OVER capacity – and there are HUNDREDS of houses already allocated in the Local Plan for the Kings School catchment.  For Feniton Primary School to be able to expand to the level it would require to accommodate this, it would require hundreds of houses to be built in Feniton – because there is no public funding for the expansion of the school.  This would be totally inappropriate and would result in a never ending game of catch up.  We should not play games with our children’s education.

    – King’s School is an academy and under huge pressure from development proposed in the Local Plan.  It has expressed a wish not to expand beyond its current boundaries – there is no room in any case.  This could mean that children at Feniton would be refused a place at King’s School.

    – Local health services – Coleridge Medical Centre is struggling to meet the demand they currently have.  Local GP, Tim Cox, said at a Feniton Parish Council meeting in December, that GPs were really worried about being able to cope with more patients, that the surgery has already expanded four times and cannot expand any more.

    – Feniton has inadequate drainage.  We do not know how much funding is required to bring the drainage system up to modern standards.  Two studies by SWW are being carried out but we do not know the results of these yet.

    – Sewers – The current sewage system is at capacity with sewage being pumped into people’s gardens and rising up into their toilets.  More houses will only exacerbate an already deeply unpleasant situation.

    – 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 and I am concerned, despite the view of the Highways dept, that this road is not designed for such a large increase in traffic.

    – Sustainability
    The planning inspector dealing with the Wainhomes appeal, agreed that residents of Feniton are likely to be reliant on the private car.  Despite its railway station the inspector agreed that Feniton’s station ran a declining service.  He added that it was ‘towards the bottom of the hierarchy in the development plan’ meaning that it should not be targeted for significant development.  Consequently, now that the Wainhomes site has been allowed, no more development should take place in Feniton until 2026.