• My response to an application for 19 dwellings at Tipton St John

    3rd August 2013 | News | Claire
  • Firstly,sustainability.  The proposed location is distant from the centre of the village. There is no continuous footway to the centre of the village, meaning that any residents of the proposed development would be tempted to use the car when travelling to the school, pub, shop or playing fields. There is an infrequent bus service, with no direct buses travelling to Exeter and an infrequent service to Ottery, Sidmouth and Honiton. For work, the inspector concluded in the appeal of 6 December 2011, the bus service was unlikely to be suitable.  The majority shopping trips would have to be done outside the village, as the village shop is small and largely used for top-up shopping.

    Many local schools are full. King’s in particular, is tightly constrained by its site and has expanded as much as it can without compromising students access to outdoor space. Over-allocating housing to catchment villages, would place unnecessary and unacceptable pressure on the school and would potentially compromise its ability to admit all students from its catchment area.

    Residents at the appeal expressed concerns at effluent being discharged into a slow moving leat – a concern that the planning inspector shared.  Many residents are also unhappy at the proposed closure of Sunken Lane, which is regarded by many as a safer passage into the village, than Coombe Cross junction.

    Another important reason that the planning inspector dismissed the appeal for 56 dwellings in 2011, was on landscape grounds and that the field formed part of the rural backdrop of Tipton St John. The applicant states that it has now overcome this objection by having an area of public open space.  However, I remain sceptical that if this field is approved for development in outline form, it would not be long before “phase 2” was proposed and the public open space would disappear.

    Importantly, since the previous applications for 56 dwellings and 28 dwellings, there has been an approval for 15 dwellings on land next to Barton Orchard, given last summer (2012). 

    Tipton St John is allocated 10 houses in EDDC’s local plan until 2026. 

    Last autumn (2012) EDDC and Ottery St Mary Town Council carried out a consultation on which site should be drawn into Tipton’s built up area boundary for further development in the local plan.  Residents opted for the land behind Barton Orchard to be the selected site, with the caveat that the boundary is tightly drawn around the housing that is already approved.  This now forms a proposal in EDDC’s local plan villages document.

    For all these reasons, this application should be regarded as speculative, without justification and contrary to key policies relating to sustainability in the NPPF and EDDC’s adopted local plan.

    I reserve my position until all the facts are known or in the event that this application comes to committee.