February 2019

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5. Teignbridge refuses Wolborough planning application

Today, Tuesday 12 February, Teignbridge’s Planning Committee unanimously refused planning permission for land at Wolborough Barton (ref 18/01276/MAJ).

The plans were for 1,210 homes, a primary school, 12,650sq m of employment space, care homes, community facilities, open space, transport links and change of use for agricultural buildings into a hotel, restaurant and an access road.

The applicant was seeking outline planning permission regarding the principle of development.

A report to the Planning Committee recommended approval, subject to a range of conditions being agreed including biodiversity assessments and financial contributions for affordable homes, employment land, open space and travel contributions.

Following debate, members of the committee refused the application. The reasons given were:

  1. There is insufficient information available at present to conclude beyond reasonable scientific doubt that the proposals will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the South Hams Special Area of Conservation as required under the 2017 Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations.  The proposals are therefore contrary to policy NA3, EN9 and EN10 of the Teignbridge Local Plan 2013- 2033, National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG).
  2. The proposals, as submitted, do not provide for delivery of a road that connects the site from east to west at a point in time that allows for a sustainable community to be established. The provision of this link at an early stage in the development of the allocation is considered to be vital for mitigating the impact of traffic across the wider local area, managing air quality, place-making and access to public transport, community facilities and services. The proposals are therefore contrary to policy NA3, and S5 of the Teignbridge Local Plan 2013- 2033, the NPPF and the NPPG.
  3. No adequate mechanism for securing necessary S106 Obligations has been made, contrary to Policy NA3 and S5 of the Teignbridge Local Plan 2013- 2033 the NPPF and the NPPG.
  4. Insufficient detail relating to the monitoring of impacts on the Wolborough Fen SSSI has been provided to ensure that unacceptable harm would not occur. The proposals are therefore contrary to policy NA3 and EN9 of the Teignbridge Local Plan 2013- 2033, the NPPF and the NPPG.

Chairman of Teignbridge Planning Committee, Cllr Dennis Smith, said:

“Thank you to all elected Members who took part in the robust debate and put forward their considerations before reaching their decision.

“Thanks should also go to all the people who provided comments on the planning application and to those people who came along to the meeting today.”

The applicant has a right to appeal against this decision to the Planning Inspectorate. This needs to happen within six months of the date the decision notice is issued. This may then mean an appeal hearing is held with a decision being made by a Planning Inspector.

A Planning Inquiry is scheduled for March in relation to a similar planning application for Wolborough after an appeal was lodged on grounds of non-determination. It is due to be heard at appeal in late March. The dates will be publicised in early March.

Teignbridge Full Council approved the preparation of a Development Plan Document (DPD) for Wolborough on 14 January. When the DPD was approved, it was noted that planning application decisions cannot be held up by the DPD process. National guidance expects planning authorities to consider and determine development proposals as soon as possible.

Read more and stay up to date on Teignbridge's website.