Greendale Business Park: Planning Inspector supports the East Devon Local Plan Rejects Greendale Business Park Appeal against an Enforcement Notice

East Devon Alliance Independent councillor Geoff Jung and local residents have fought a long and heroic battle for the residents of the area and now have the satisfaction of seeing that David can still fight Goliath and win!

Press Release:

”The Inspector concluded that the East Devon Local Plan and the emerging Villages Plan indicated that the principle of development on the appeal site was unacceptable other than in respect of one section (compound 11 that benefitted from an extant permission and therefore within the Greendale Employment Zone in the emerging Villages Plan.)

The inspector concluded that the development was contrary to Strategy 7 and Policy E7 which indicated that the principle of development in this location would harm the intentions of the local authority’s strategic plan.

The inspector also stated that the development was harmful to the character and appearance of the wider countryside.

The site to which the enforcement notice applied was open countryside in what previously would have been an undulating rural landscape extending to about 2.14 ha and located to the north-east of the Greendale Business Park.

The compounds 11, 39, 47 and 48a which are all gated and have metal security fencing and concrete surfaces. Compound 39 is a large concrete yard which has been excavated into the slope of the ground to create a level site. In the corner of the site is a recently constructed prominent green clad mono-pitched warehouse building. Next to this are concrete footings and the service ducts.

The appellants state that the site is occupied by “Actavo”, a scaffolding company having 8 employees. Compound 48A, has a portacabin office and is occupied by Data Solutions Ltd having 13 employees. Compound 47 has several portacabins and is occupied by “Flogas” with 4 employees. Compound 11 is lower down the slope and has been excavated in part to create a level compound. EBCS Leisure Ltd with 5 employees uses the compound for the storage of park homes of which about 30 were present at the time of the inspectors visit.

The Enforcement notice required:

1. Permanently remove from the land the concrete hard standing, foundations and associated drainage works from compounds 39, 48A and 47;

2. Permanently cease the use of the land as compounds and for use as storage of mobile park homes, caravans, shipping containers, Portacabin type buildings and storage of associated items;

3. Permanently remove from the land all fencing from the perimeters of and within compounds 39, 48A, 47 and 11; (compound 11 now excluded from this notice)

4. Permanently remove from the land all gates from the perimeters of and within compounds 39, 48A, 47 and 11; (compound 11 now excluded from this notice)

5. Permanently remove from the land all CCTV cameras and supporting ancillary equipment from within compounds 39, 48A, 47 and 11; (compound 11 now excluded from this notice)

6. Permanently remove from the land all light fittings and cabling from compounds 39, 48A, 47 and 11; (compound 11 now excluded from this notice)

7. Permanently remove from the land the two permanent buildings sited within compound 39 shown indicatively edged and hatched in black on plan 2;

8. Permanently remove from the land the temporary buildings including the shipping containers;

9. Permanently remove from the land the cubicle identified outlined in yellow and coloured red on plan 3;

10. Permanently remove from the land the mobile park homes caravans and associated items ( this refers to compound 11 which requires a “change of use” planning application)

11. (This condition to be replaced).

The topsoil in compounds 39, 48A and 47 to a depth of 20cm and reseed with an agricultural grass mix which shall be retained and maintained in perpetuity; 11 Inspectors new condition: Reinstate the surface of compounds 39, 48A and 47 to its condition before the breach took place.

12. Permanently remove, to an authorised place of disposal, all materials associated with compliance with steps 1, 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10. The period for compliance with the requirements will now be 6 months from the date the the inspectors report is published (05/12/2017).

The Inspector disagreed with the appellant’s (FWS Carter and Sons) contention that the Local Plan is silent on the matter of employment provision/future development at the major existing employment sites of both Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks.

He stated that although there may be no specific policies for the business parks, Strategy 7 and Policy E7 is perfectly clear in that the Plan seeks to apply a “restrictive policy approach” to accommodating further development.

The Inspector also mentioned that the unauthorised development had generated considerable opposition from residents, the Parish Council and the Woodbury Salterton Residents Association.

He noted that there is widespread support for the Council’s enforcement action against FWS Carter and Sons who the residents state has persistently failed to respect the planning process.

District Councillors Comments

District Councillor Geoff Jung said of the appeal decision.

“This is a significant decision by the Planning Inspector as it now provides further support to the local plan strategy for Greendale Business Park which is located in my ward village of Woodbury Salterton.”

“Whilst I appreciate the employment that the Business Park provides to approximately 1500 local people, the site is in the open countryside located some distance from where people live.

The Government and Local Authority strategy is to provide employment in locations close to where people live”

“Local residents, the Woodbury Salterton Residents Association and Woodbury Parish Council should be congratulated in their persistence and tenacity. It is through their continued pressure to the Local Authority over twelve years that there may at last be a sensible restriction to the growth of this Business Park which has persistently floated the planning process as noted by the planning inspector.”

“At the last Local Election, I stood as an East Devon Alliance Independent candidate against inappropriate development in the countryside, and I have always given my full support to the residents of Woodbury Salterton in their continued efforts” This decision along with the East Devon Local Plan and the Villages Plan that includes the full extent of the Authorised Employment Area at Greendale Business Park will provide the clarity and certainty that local residents have been fighting for so long.”