Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee
Monday 29th July 2019 5.30 pm

Venue: Rennes Room, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter

Contact: Howard Bassett, Democratic Services Officer (Committees)  01392 265107 or email

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2019.





The minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2019 were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chair as correct.



Declarations of Interest

Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item. Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.



No declarations of interest were made by Members.



Planning Application No. 19/0543/OUT - Land north of Newcourt Road, Topsham pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider the report of the Service Lead City Development.


Additional documents:


The Service Lead City Development presented the outline application for the construction of up to 23 residential dwellings (including market, affordable and age-restricted dwellings), provision of access off Newcourt Road, open space and associated works (outline application with details of access only for approval with scale, layout, appearance and landscaping all reserved for future consideration)


The Service Lead City Development advised that condition 4 relating to the carriageway width of Newcourt Road would be removed from the schedule of conditions and also reported a letter on the relocation of dormice, advising that the applicant was aware of the need to obtain a licence from Natural England.


Andy Graham-Cumming spoke against the application. He raised the following points:-


  • site located within the Topsham Gap, an area protected under Policy LS1/CP16 to maintain the setting of the Town and to avoid coalescence with Exeter. The Topsham Society has previously strenuously objected to applications that impinge on the Gap;
  • applicant acknowledges the application site is outside a designated urban boundary and within an area protected by landscape setting policy;
  • the Society understands the policy position under the National Planning Policy Framework and the Clyst Road Inspector’s interpretation and does not understand why the City Council does not put in place effective planning policy to defend landscape fringe locations;
  • a key consideration at the Clyst Road PIanning Appeal was the issue of CP16 and “valued landscape”. The Society believe the application site is a valued landscape and that the setting of the site, a field behind a well-established hedgerow, creates a highly valued rural setting to this edge of the town location;
  • Newcourt Road does not have a footpath and is used extensively as a pedestrian and cycle route. It is of restricted width, with a very constricted section abutting its access to Denver Road which, at its junction with Newcourt Road, needs improvement;
  • Newcourt Road currently serves approximately 60 dwellings. The addition of 30 additional units constitutes a 50% increase in dwellings. The road and/or the accepted unsafe junction, does not have capacity to accommodate this collective increase. This application would have an unacceptable impact on traffic, pedestrian and cycle safety;
  • the site has no immediate access to foul or surface water mains drainage and has unacceptably poor ground percolation;
  • it represents unplanned and uncoordinated piecemeal development of the land around Newcourt Road. Each small development proposal in this area will introduce a small increment in traffic and a small increase in the need for surface water drainage and sewerage; and
  • since 2013, the Greater Topsham area has been subject to planning approvals for over 5,000 dwellings/11,000 people placing the Town’s services under severe strain.


Nick Yeo spoke in support of the application. He raised the following points:-


·         Blue Cedar Homes is based locally at Exeter Science Park focusing on providing high quality retirement housing with a flexible layout with communal areas maintained by a management company;

·         the need to provide housing for older people is recognised. Whilst a need to deliver  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Planning Application No. 19/0315/OUT - Exeter College of Further Education, Hele Road Campus, Exeter pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To consider the report of the Service Lead City Development.



Additional documents:


The Principal Project Manager (Development) (MD) presented the outline application for the redevelopment of the Exeter College Hele Road Campus (including demolition of some existing buildings) to deliver upgraded, purpose-built educational facilities, together with the provision of associated landscaping, pedestrian access improvements and associated infrastructure (with all matters reserved) (Exeter College Masterplan).


The proposal was to redevelop the site for continued educational use with a 20-year masterplan for the Exeter College Hele Road Campus providing additional teaching accommodation to meet projected student growth. Planning permission was sought for an extended time period of 15 years to submit reserved matters applications in phases as and when funding becomes available. The purpose of the masterplan and supporting documents was to ensure that this development comes forward in a coordinated, well-designed way. The planning permission would provide investment certainty for the College, as well as a degree of flexibility to enable the College to refine individual proposals to meet specific needs in the future.


Responding to Members, the Principal Project Manager (Development) (MD) advised that:-


·         the initial upgrade in teaching facilities would be an Information Technology facility as part of a national information and digital technology initiative;

·         the illustrative access off the junction of St Davids Hill and Howell Road would be subject to reserved matters application with view to be given to the provision of wheelchair access; and

·         the clock tower was a listed building but not an Ancient Monument.


Jo Davis spoke in support of the application. She raised the following points:-


·         the important role Exeter College plays within the city, and the important benefit the College’s city centre location brings to the success of the College;

·         positive pre-application process with the County Council since September 2018, engaging with numerous departments within the City Council - Planning, Conservation, Placemaking, Environmental Health as well as County Council Highways and Drainage sections, Historic England and the South West Design Review Panel;

·         positive discussions continued throughout the application stage seeking to ensure that the scheme proposals meet the high quality design that is required for this important site, but also provides the College with the flexibility to develop the site effectively over a 15-20 year period; and

·         seeking to secure public realm and highway safety improvements surrounding the site, whilst ensuring they are fair and proportionate to the development proposed.  A series of highway mitigation measures are proposed including works to Hele Road and Howell Road and a package of Section 106 contributions to improve the existing Hele Road pedestrian crossing and the Clock Tower Roundabout.


She responded as follows to Members queries:-


·         the proposal is in response to the assessment of local demographics which predict a 35% increase in student numbers in the next 20 years, the demand to be met through a phased development;

·         the major rationale in the site development is sustainability as the College can continue to serve the city as well as the wider Devon hinterland; and

·         will look to provide data on projected car usage in future  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Planning Application No. 18/1610/FUL - St Andrews Yard, Willeys Avenue, Exeter pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To consider the report of the Service Lead City Development.


Additional documents:


The Assistant Service Lead City Development presented the application for the demolition of existing single storey business premises and construction of a new nine dwelling residential apartment block


The Assistant Service Lead City Development referred to points of objections received from Councillor D. Moore, as set out in the update sheet, in which Councillor Moore commented on and supported the objections reported. He advised that an additional condition could be added to secure details of bin storage and that an existing proposed condition would ensure the proposal met Council policy in respect of its carbon neutral targets.


Matt Briggs spoke against the application. He raised the following points:-


·         representing residents in Willeys Avenue having lived here for 15 years;

·         not objecting to this site being developed and fully appreciate need to build a certain number of new homes.  Willeys Avenue is a historical Victorian street with an industrial heritage. Residents agree the site will benefit from development but the proposal is imposing and out of place on a Victorian terraced street;

·         scale and massing of the design is inappropriate with a huge impact on neighbours;

·         there is a stark difference with everything else in Willeys Avenue. It is an ugly building, the flat roof is unattractive and invasive and does not blend in with the existing street scene;

·         plans show three stories with the roof line above neighbouring terrace houses resulting in loss of privacy, overlooking, loss of light, increased noise, impact on wildlife and parking/traffic problems;

·         the design is of low quality and the buff brick finish is inappropriate;

·         the developer included pictures of the street from the end of Willeys Avenue that joins Alphington Road. The example of how this proposed building will fit in is apparently because of the Brewers Court development. These flats were built to match/reflect the existing old factory building and blend in well. The design of Brewers Court is sympathetic to the appearance of the existing buildings. This new build has apexe roofs which is very typical of the area, the windows and brickwork were made to look very similar and these properties do not have balconies;

·         a build of this size will impact on the quality of light for at least eight homes within the immediate vicinity of the St. Andrews Yard; and

·         object to the proposed plans on the basis of its size being overbearing, not in-keeping with the surrounding houses and the scale of the building will stop much of daylight on homes;


Graham Chilvers spoke in support of the application. He raised the following points:-


·         for the last 15 years St Andrew’s Yard has been used for the sale of low cost second hand cars;

·         Alphington is designated a high flood risk zone and any new building is required to have its ground level over 3.5 ft above the street level. This is therefore an apartment block including a wheelchair friendly lift;

·         it would be considerably lower than the industrial building on the other side of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


Planning Application No. 19/0287/FUL - Land between Hollow Lane and Harts Lane, Exeter pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To consider the report of the Service Lead City Development.


Additional documents:


The Assistant Service Lead City Development presented the application for the construction of a two storey primary school with a nursery and associated play areas, sports pitches and parking.


The Assistant Service Lead City Development advised that discussions were ongoing relating to sustainable drainage, landscaping and noise and, if Members were minded to approve the application, he requested delegated authority to do so after satisfactory resolution of these matters. He advised that the school would meet BREEAM “excellent” standards of sustainability which were the highest available and covered a range of issues including materials, renewable energy etc.


Sam Utting spoke in support of the application. He raised the following points:-


·         Primary Digital Academy, Monkerton is the second new school for the Cornerstone Academy Trust under the priority schools building programme. The Trust has run a successful school in Broadclyst and is opening a new school in Westclyst. Monkerton school is designed to support the use of interactive digital technology to enrich the national curriculum and create a culture of innovation;

·         the new school is unique and challenging with many constraints and opportunities defining how the design has been conceived with pragmatic solutions;

·         safeguarding is crucial to the position of the building on the site;

·         parking and drop-off is designed in line with best practice guidance, using data gathered from local schools to provide space for cars without impact on existing traffic movements;

·         extensive and careful landscape enhancements have been allowed, in particular the boundaries are retained and enhanced to encourage biodiversity;

·         the landscaping proposals have carefully manipulated the sloping site to maximise usable, flat play space with level access from the school building;

·         environmental sustainability measures include district heating, high levels of insulation, natural ventilation and an optimum amount of natural light;

·         the scheme will be constructed of high quality materials, the palette to include brick and metal cladding with aluminium windows with accent colours providing articulation; and

·         in summary, these proposals were developed in close collaboration with the Cornerstone Academy Trust, the Department for Education and Exeter City Council. This building is a good fit, an appropriate response to the challenges of the site, the school and the developing community in the area.


He responded as follows to Members’ queries:-


  • it is legible as a public building distinct from the surrounding domestic architecture design;
  • the school will be energy efficient although solar panels are not proposed at present; and
  • colouring is copper rather than green and multi tone grey brick and it is likely that the head teacher will seek to involve pupils in adding their own mark to the premises.


The Service Lead City Development stated that the location of the school had been selected to ensure it was at the heart of the Monkerton urban extension, and therefore within a reasonable walking distance from local developments. In 2014 a planning permission was granted for a school for up to 630 pupils that would have resulted in higher traffic movements than would be the case for one involving  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


List of Decisions Made and Withdrawn Applications pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To consider the report of the Service Lead City Development.


Additional documents:


The report of the City Development Manager was submitted.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.



Appeals Report pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider the report of the Service Lead City Development.



The schedule of appeal decisions and appeals lodged was submitted.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.





To advise that the next Site Inspection Party will be held on Tuesday 20 August 2019 at

9.30 a.m.  The Councillors attending will be Councillors Sutton, Sheldon and M Mitchell.



RESOLVED that the next Site Inspection Party will be held on Tuesday 20 August 2019 at 9.30 a.m. The Councillors attending will be Councillors M. Mitchell, Pierce and Sutton.