Greendale Business Park lose legal case for Planning Approval

Press release from Councillor Geoff Jung, East Devon Alliance Independent, Raleigh Ward:

”In a recent Planning Application, the owners of Greendale Business Park claimed that because an agricultural field has been used for open industrial storage for more than ten years they were entitled to continue that use under a little used clause in the Town and Country Planning Act, known as a “Certificate of Lawfulness”.

However, the Act stipulates it is not the length of use, but the length of a “breach in planning control”. As Laing Utilities occupied this area in association with the laying of the gas pipeline between 2006 and July 2009 and Utility companies are permitted to occupy and use locations as depots for the construction of pipelines or cables the use up to July 2009 could not be claimed to be a breach in planning control.

East Devon District Council as the (LPA) Local Planning Authority had to take legal advice and concluded that the company had not been able to demonstrate that there has been a “Breach of Planning Control for 10 years” and therefore the Application 17/2441/CPE has been refused.
Company can Appeal

The applicant however is entitled to appeal to the Secretary of State within six months of the notification of the refusal.

Enforcement Notice

The Report by East Devon District Council recommends that an Enforcement Notice is served requiring the owners to:

1. Permanently cease the use of the area shown on the plan for the storage of items not connected with agriculture and remove any such items
2. Permanently remove the perimeter and internal fencing and all hardstanding
3. Permanently remove the concrete, hardcore and drainage used to construct the
4. Permanently remove all debris and paraphernalia from the area outlined in Red and return this site to an agricultural field clear of such items.

Location of are to be returned to agricultural use outlined in red above.

Greendale Extension East

This Planning Refusal comes only a month after another case at Greendale Business Park had an Enforcement Appeal upheld by the Secretary of State. This was after a Planning Appeal Inspector agreed with the Local Authority and again required the site to be removed of all industrial activities and returned to agricultural use. (Planning Application 15/2592/MOUT).

The Owners of Greendale have now appealed to the High Court for a Judicial Review on this Enforcement Appeal.

Retrospective Planning Applications.

Both cases were the result of the owners of Greendale constructing concrete roads and yards together with security fencing, drainage, lighting and industrial buildings prior to planning permission being obtained. This is known as Retrospective Planning Permission

Village Plan

The Woodbury Salterton Residents Association, a group of residents in the small rural village next to the business park have campaigned for more clarity and a clear understanding on a defined area where Industrial use and employment is permitted and what is classed as “open countryside.”

For 5 years the team of local people have worked tirelessly, working with local Parish Councils, District Councillors and the Planning Authorities to put a halt on the unplanned unlawful development at the Business Park.

The Local Development Plan approved in January 2016 gave some guidance and clarity and the recent unsuccessful application on Hogsbrook Hill and the extension East of the main Business Park are the result of following the guidance and principles laid down in the Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.

However, the local plan stated that a further planning document will follow on from the Local Plan known as the “Villages Plan” giving further guidance and clarity to the 14 largest villages in East Devon and the business parks of Greendale and Hill Barton.

This document is very nearly to the stage of adoption, with 2 public consultations and a public hearing by the Planning Inspectorate.

The final draft was submitted in December for a final public consultation with the final date for people to have a say the 2nd February.

East Devon Alliance Independent Councillor Geoff Jung, who is the Councillor for Raleigh Ward which includes the village of Woodbury Salterton and Greendale Business Park says:

“I have worked with the Planning Policy Department officers and all other Councillors at East Devon District Council and attended every Council meeting when the Village Plan has been debated and attended the public hearings. This has been to ensure that the Village Plan and especially the guidance and controls on these 2 Business Parks went through correctly and democratically.

The Planning Inspector’s proposals for the Business Parks will provide the owners of the business parks, residents and the planning authority absolute certainty of where development will be permitted and where planning will be refused.

However, at the very last Council meeting in December an amendment to remove all mention of the business parks in the Villages Plan was proposed – this was rejected but is still supported by some District Councillors. Any changes to the Inspector’s recommendation would add ambiguity and loopholes to the planning process. I would encourage all interested parties to contact the local planning with their views by the 2nd Feb.

These views will be sent on to the inspector.

The following Hyperlink takes you to the EDDC Villages Plan Page
EDDC Villages Plan Consultation:

I would like to thank the Planning Inspector Mrs Beverley Doward BSc BTP MRTPI and the East Devon team in the Planning Policy Department for a Villages Plan that will help many communities in East Devon.”