Agenda and minutes

Virtual, Planning Committee - Monday 7th September 2020 5.30 pm

Venue: Legislation has been passed that allows Council's to conduct Committee meetings remotely

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

Note: The deadline speaking at Planning Committee is 10am on Thursday 3 September 2020 


No. Item




Councillor Ruth Williams, the Deputy Chair, chaired the meeting.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 375 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2020.




The minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2020 were taken as read, approved and signed by the Deputy 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 disclosable pecuniary interests were made.




Petition referred from Council on 21 July 2020 - Save Our Historic Exeter pdf icon PDF 330 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Manager, Democratic and Civic Support.


Additional documents:


The Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support presented the report on the petition titled, “Save Our Historic Exeter” which the Council, at its meeting on 21 July 2020, had referred to this Committee in line with the Council’s Petition Scheme. At the Council meeting, the Lord Mayor had ruled that any debate of the issue could be considered as pre-determination of a proposed development in the city and it had therefore been deemed appropriate for the matters raised in the petition to be considered by this Committee.


The report detailed the contents of the petition and the policy framework, both nationally and within the City Council itself through the Exeter Local Plan and supporting documents, which set out the existing processes the Council followed in planning matters and in determining planning applications.


Councillor D. Moore, having given notice under Standing Order No. 44, spoke on the item. She raised the following points:-


·         congratulate residents on a significant petition of 4,000 signatures with over 2,000 by Exeter residents;

·         the essence of the petition relates not to a specific planning application but to planning policy, as residents believe that, notwithstanding the Local Plan and supplementary planning documents, there are gaps in the city’s planning policy. The Local Plan does not meet the city’s current or future needs;

·         although the Local Plan describes Exeter as low rise there are many high rise buildings which fail to respect historic Exeter and these developments benefit only investors. Exeter is one of five historic city centres recognised by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979;

·         residents feel that the Council lacks sufficient resources to scrutinise planning applications, many of which impact adversely on their properties especially when these are listed buildings and require mitigation measures;

·         developer proposals are overwhelmingly about profit and there is little regard for protecting Exeter’s heritage or its long term vision and creating thriving and coherent communities;

·         petitioners seek the right to influence their environment and to encourage developments of flair and imagination with world class architecture and visionary thinking worthy of a historically important city and addressing the challenges of the city becoming zero carbon. People want to engage constructively in the future of the city;

·         the absence of a Council policy on co-living on which there are two planning applications pending. Petitioners are asking the Council to put these on hold as there is inadequate evidence or information about whether these developments are needed or are in keeping with the Local Plan; and

·         residents need to know how communities will be fully involved on the updating of the Local Plan and wish to contribute their local knowledge and to ensure the Council becomes a real advocate for local people


Members expressed the following views:-


·         impressed with the petition and the thoughtfulness that went into it and agree with many aspects. The Council does seek to support sustainable and environmentally responsible developments but is constrained by its limited resources and national policies;

·         accept growing local concern about the lack of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


Planning Application No. 20/0581/TEL - St Thomas Centre, Cowick Street, Exeter pdf icon PDF 512 KB

To consider the report of the Assistant Service Lead City Development.



Additional documents:


The Assistant Service Lead City Development presented the application for prior approval for the installation of a 15 metre high 5G telecommunication monopole with cabinet at base and associated ancillary works. He explained the following different types of telecommunication developments:-


·         permitted development, for example, alterations to an existing mast;

·         permitted development - prior approval notification, for example, a new mast up to 20 metres; and

·         planning application, for example, a new mast over 20 metres; and


set out the following relevant statutory requirements:-


For all Telecommunication developments:-


·         National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 116: and

·         Local planning authorities must determine applications on planning grounds only. They should not seek to prevent competition between different operators, question the need for an electronic communications system, or set health safeguards different from the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection guidelines for public exposure.


Prior Approval Notifications:-


·         General Permitted Development Order Part 16: The developer must apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether the prior approval of the authority will be required as to the siting and appearance of the development; and

·         56 days from receipt to determine and to approve/refuse siting and design.


The Assistant Service Lead City Development set out the following factors which can be considered in relation to appearance as part of the prior approval process including:-


·         design, form, shape and dimensions;

·         colour and materials; and

·         whether there are more suitable sites for the proposed works; and


also set out the factors which can be considered concerning siting including:-


·         height of the site in relation to surrounding ground;

·         existing topographical features and natural vegetation;

·         the effect on the skyline or horizon;

·         the site when observed from any side;

·         the site in relation to areas designated for scenic value;

·         the site in relation to existing masts;

·         the site in relation to residential properties


The Assistant Service Lead City Development, through a series of photo montages provided by the applicant, showed from a range of views the location and potential visual impact the mast would have on the street scene within the Cowick Street Conservation Area. He advised that a number of sites in St. Thomas had been considered but rejected for technical reasons and the current site proposed was the only suitable one to achieve the necessary cell radius. Due to operational reasons the mast needed to be located in the St. Thomas area and a location outside of the city was unlikely to provide sufficient coverage. The proposal was required due to acute capacity issues and would facilitate significantly improved 5G coverage in areas that had started to gain this service.


The Assistant Service Lead City Development advised that 12 representations in support had been received, seven from St. Thomas, one from Torquay and four from elsewhere. 342 objections had been received, 50 from St. Thomas. It was noted that, in the interests of highway safety, the site of the mast has been moved away from the bus shelter and pavement.


The Assistant Service Lead City  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Planning Application No. 20/0809/TEL - Land at Sidmouth Road, Exeter pdf icon PDF 441 KB

To consider the report of the Assistant Service Lead City Development.


Additional documents:


The Deputy Chair reported that the application had been removed from the agenda as the applicant had requested an extension of time in respect of their application.





Planning Application No. 19/0699/FUL - Land at Hill Barton, Adjacent to the Boundary of the Met Office, Exeter pdf icon PDF 508 KB

To consider the report of the Assistant Service Lead City Development.


Additional documents:


The Principal Project Manager (Development) (PJ) presented the application for

residential development of 47 dwellings including all other associated infrastructure works and road access to the site served off Hill Barton roundabout. He highlighted:-


·         site situated within the Monkerton and Hill Barton Strategic Residential Allocation as designated in the Core Strategy and was previously granted outline consent for residential development in 2013;

·         the scheme would provide 13 open market homes and 16 affordable houses, the latter being a policy compliant level of such provision for the overall number of dwellings proposed;

·         concerns raised by local residents in respect of highway matters can be suitably addressed through planning conditions and/or the Section 106 Agreement;

·         access from Heritage Road, Mytlebury Way and a new section of highway;

·         the open space for the scheme would be provided at the picturesque ridge line park proposed within the Hill Barton and Monkerton Master Plan; and

·         Section 106 contributions are proposed towards transport and education requirements.


The Principal Project Manager (Development) and the Assistant Highways Development Management Officer (Exeter) gave the following responses to Members’ queries:-


·         the proposal for the Monkerton Rail Halt was a significant infrastructure development and there was no timescale at present for its provision. The land for the Halt would be safeguarded by the Section 106 Agreement;

·         the footway/cycle way provision at the eastern boundary was adjacent to the Met Office and would feed into the overall footway and cycle way network for the area;

·         detailed discussions had been held with the respective developers to develop the picturesque ridgeline park which, it was hoped, would be brought forward within a relatively short timescale as part of an outline planning application for the remainder of the Hill Barton site; and

·         the Police Designing Out Crime Officer had provided detailed comments on the layout and were generally satisfied that appropriate surveillance would be provided for the benefit of households, that rear gardens would not be exposed and effective parking allocation identified. A condition would be included to ensure that all rear service alleyways would be gated.


Councillor Oliver, having given notice under Standing Order No. 44, spoke on the item. She raised the following points:-


·         welcome provision of 16 affordable homes for the people of Exeter;

·         the Council is constrained by existing legal frameworks and, given the support of the highway authority, there are no legal reasons to refuse;

·         the Government White Paper on planning is likely to ease existing restrictions on developments;

·         it is a misapprehension amongst some residents that the proposed Hill Barton Park is to be built on as part of this planning application;

·         although open space will be provided in the ridgeline park, local play spaces are also necessary closer to homes. The provision of a green corridor through the site is welcome; and

·         residents are concerned that there is no clear timeline for the provision of the Rail Halt.

The Chair read out a statement from Mr Tal Donahue on behalf of the Hill Barton Residents’ Association, who opposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.




The meeting was adjourned for the following items to be considered at a re-convened meeting of this Committee to be held on Thursday 17 September 2020 at 5.30pm.


Planning Application No 20/0293/FUL - 89 Mount Pleasant Road, Exeter;

Planning Application No 20/0437/FUL - Land to the North East of Newcourt Road;

List of Decisions Made and Withdrawn Applications; and

Appeals Report.