The timeline of how the decisions were taken make VERY, VERY interesting reading – in documents accompanying the Scrutiny Committee agenda for
18 February 2016, 6.00pm
particularly page 13 onwards:
“Councillor B Buxton asked for inclusion of Dunkeswell on the BUAB list, on grounds of size of settlements, 160 firms many on industrial site and felt that the village met most of the criteria. In response, the committee were informed there was no school- Cllr Buxton responded that a school was expected as consultation was underway with the County Council and a site had been designated.
Recommendation from DMC to add Dunkeswell to the list with build up area boundary.
What evidence supported that statement by Cllr Buxton?
Follow up by officers and Clerk of Dunkeswell confirmed that no plans by Devon County Council for a school. Clerk also checked if a ny plans for a free school, again no plans. When produced the sustainability assessment was undertaken (which determines which villages should retain BUABs) DCC confirmed no plans for a school.”
Council 26 March 2015
David Mortimer (public) spoke to as k to add Chardstock to list of sustainable villages on the Local Plan having build up boundary, in light of DMC recommendation to include Dunkeswell. He stated that he agreed
with the DMC recommendation to add Dunkeswell;
transport as a measure of sustain ability is too simplistic. Why not add other villages with similar; in terms of Chardstock, stated that it had an undersubscribed new primary school with 66% of pupils coming from
outside the parish village school, and a number of other facilities and services available in the village.
Councillor Andrew Moulding proposed to add Chardstock; Including stating reasons of school of 150 pupils in place, community services and transport available at one end of location which could be reached by the community. The proposal was debated with councillors speaking both for and against inclusion; in response on request of the Chairman, the CX reminded the Council of the officer advice that the village did not meet the criteria but there were clearly opposing views an d the proposal should be voted on.
Carried on vote to include Chardstock in the BUAB list. DMC recommendations agreed, therefore also including Dunkeswell.
Email from Cllr Giles to Chief Executive
27 March 2015
“I am writing to express my great unease about the way a decision was made about Chardstock at yesterday`s Extra Ordinary meeting of EDDC to make submissions to the Local Plan Inspector. I was unaware, and I suspect the vast majority of councillors were unaware, that a decision about the status of Chardstock was to be made at the meeting. Certainly there was no specific documentation supplied for the meeting to suggest this.
At the beginning of the meeting, under the public speaking arrangements, a Mr David Mortimer spoke in support of Chardstock being a sustainable community and seeking its designation to be changed. As I recall Mr Mortimer gave no details of himself, of where he lived, of whether he was a landowner in Chardstock, or whether he was acting for a landowner in Chardstock. Of course if he fitted into either of the last two categories that ould not have stopped him speaking – but it would have been relevant to know.
There was no further mention of Chardstock until much later in the meeting when the Council Deputy Leader, Council lor Andrew Moulding (who is not the ward member) spoke in favour of Chardstock`s status being changed because it is a sustainable location. As I recall (but I apologise if I am wrong), Councillor Moulding said that Mr Mortimer was speaking on behalf of Chardstock Parish Council. There seemed to be considerable doubt about whether Mr Mortimer was actually speaking on behalf of Chardstock Parish Council. My recollection is that he did not say he was.
My particular concerns are that a decision was taken without any information to justify it, in spite of the Inspector making very clear that he wanted an evidence-based Local Plan submission from EDDC.
Specific questions that I would like answered please are:
What is the Chardstock Parish Council view on the redesignation of Chardstock, as far as we are aware?
Did Chardstock Parish Council make a recent submission to EDDC relevant to the Extra Ordinary meeting of yesterday?
When and what was the nature of the most recent Chardstock PC submission to EDDC about its situation in the EDLP?
What evidence does EDDC have of consultation exercises undertaken within the Parish of Chardstock about the EDLP? If EDDC has such evidence, what does it show of the view of Chardstock residents?
What discussions specifically about Chardstock took place at or following the EDDC LDF/LP Panel hearings?
I look forward to early answers to the above questions.
Meanwhile I am greatly concerned that a fundamental change of policy was agreed at a meeting yesterday without any supporting documentation, purely on the basis of arguments made at the meeting by just two people–one a councillor and the other a member of the public, on a matter that (unlike the Sidford 5ha of employment land) had not previously been discussed, and on which the view of the Parish Council was uncertain.”
1 April 2015
Approved 15/0217/FUL in YARTY ward (Chardstock) for five dwellings against officer advice on unsustainable location.
17 June 2015
Representation from one Chardstock Parish Councillor that decision taken by Council was not evidence based.
25 June 2015
Representations from two Chardstock Parish Councillors that the decision taken by Council to include Chardstock was not evidence based.
4 July 2015
South View, Chardstock decision was refused:
“Whilst in other respects the application is considered to be acceptable and despite the site’s location within the village and the builtup area boundary, defined under the Adopted East Devon Local Plan, this is not considered to be a sustainable site to accommodate new development. Chardstock has only a limited range of services and access to a wider range of services and employment opportunities, necessary for day to day living, is only available via private transport due to the lack of public transport service to the village. Despite the site being included with the draft New Local Plan Strategy 27 as a sustainable village, this policy can only be afforded limited weight as the Strategy has been out to public consultation and has not been endorsed by the Local Plan Inspector and as such the application falls to be considered on the basis of its sustainability. As such, the limited social and economic benefits that would arise from the delivery of a single dwelling are considered to be outweighed by the environmental impact of the development resulting from its unsustainable location served by a limited range of services and lack of public transport.
The application is therefore recommended for refusal on this basis.
Inspector report on Local PlanParagraph 31–
“Chardstock and Dunkeswell have limited facilities and do not benefit from access to public transport. Their addition to Strategy 27 is not supported by the Council’s Small Towns and Villages Development
Suitability Assessment 2014 and I have removed them from Strategy 27”.