Daisymount McDonalds plans set for approval again at virtual DMC on Monday

At last EDDC are holding their first virtual meeting of the all important Development Management Committee (DMC) via Zoom on Monday. Owl welcomes this re-opening of democratic scrutiny. The controversial Daisymount application is on the agenda (item 11). There are a number of site images on the honiton nub site below.

The virtual DMC will have public participation and the details can be found here:

https://eastdevon.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/have-your-say-at-meetings/development-management-committee-virtual-meeting/

Agenda here:

https://democracy.eastdevon.gov.uk//documents/g1415/Agenda%20frontsheet%2018th-May-2020%2010.00%20Development%20Management%20Committee.pdf?T=0

Full committee paper here with the detailed report on Daisymount page 156 :

https://democracy.eastdevon.gov.uk//documents/g1415/Public%20reports%20pack%2018th-May-2020%2010.00%20Development%20Management%20Committee.pdf?T=10

Daniel Clark – Local Democracy Reporter honiton.nub.news 

Plans for a new drive-thru McDonalds as part of a massive new service station right next to the A30 are once again set for approval – despite planning officers slamming the proposed design.

The fast food giant hopes to open as part of a scheme that would also see a roadside service and petrol station built for the site at Straightway Head Junction, next to the Daisymount roundabout, just outside Ottery St Mary.

The scheme includes:

  • A petrol filling station with five pumps
  • A forecourt shop/sales building measuring 500 sqm located in the centre of the site comprising a sales area, a hot food and coffee outlet.
  • A total of 103 car parking spaces, including 81 light vehicle spaces, • 4 disabled spaces, 10 motorcycle spaces, 8 HGV/coach spaces and two electric vehicle charging points
  • A two-storey building with accompanying drive-thru and associated outdoor play area.

The applicant has stated that McDonalds is the intended operator

Councillors back in December 2019 agreed to defer a decision until a future meeting over concerns they had about the proposed design of the scheme and to allow for CGI images to be produced.

Such images have since been submitted, but East Devon District Council’s Landscape Architect has said ‘they are very disappointing and misleading’.

The report to next Monday’s development management committee meeting, which is to be held by Zoom and will be the first virtual meeting that East Devon has conducted, added: “It is disappointing that the montages produced are not of a form or accuracy which can support officers in determining the impact that the proposal will have.

“Officers cannot be sure that the CGI’s are 100 per cent accurate and as such do not recommend that Members given them full weight when determining the application.”

Planning permission for a much larger service station that also included a hotel had previously been granted and implemented due to the construction of the vehicular access to the site, planning officers said, saying that the principle of a service station in the area has already been agreed.

As a result, the report says that planning officers are left in the same place they were in December, and again recommend that the proposal would be acceptable in terms of its visual impact on the landscape, albeit recognising that from close range the proposal will be highly visible, and thus are again recommending approval.

The report adds: “Notwithstanding the localised impact, it is considered that the proposed roadside services scheme has been sited, designed and landscaped to minimise its impact on the character and appearance of the wider landscape.

“In addition, the proposal would meet an established need and perform an important road safety function by providing opportunities for the travelling public to stop and take a break by closing the existing gap in the provision of roadside facilities along this section of the A30.

“The benefit from the additional roadside service facility and associated road safety function, when weighed alongside other benefits such as job creation during construction, longer term employment opportunities within the petrol filling station, shop and the drive-thru building, and the contribution to the local economy that would be derived from this scheme, are considered to be significant social and economic benefits that outweigh the limited and localised visual impact and landscape harm.”

But local councillors are in opposition to the scheme and have said that their preliminary view is that it should be refused.

Cllr Kathy McLauchlan, who represents the Whimple ward, said: “The CGI images that were requested by the Development Management Committee are misleading and not representative of how the service station would appear on the landscape.

“I am still of the opinion that the plans as they stand would cause significant harm to the countryside and I have driven the length of the A30 from Ilminster to Daisymount and still feel that this service station is neither desired nor required at this point on the A30.”

Cllr Vicky Johns, who represents the Ottery St Mary ward added: “I also have concerns that the shop is quite large and not a farm shop, as I believe it should be within the policy on retail within the open countryside.”

Cllr Jess Bailey, who represents the West Hill and Aylesbeare ward, said: “It is a highly sensitive and prominent site and I believe that the very urbanising appearance of the two storey McDonalds and service station will be severely detrimental.

“The retail element is likely to cause significant harm to existing retailers in surrounding towns and villages and approval of this application would directly contradict the climate change emergency declared by EDDC.”

The application will be discussed by councillors on Monday morning with officers recommending approval.

When the committee debating the scheme in December, votes for approval and a site visit were lost, while councillors struggled to put forward a reason for refusal, before deferring to allow CGI images to be produced.