Agenda and minutes

Virtual - Reconvened meeting after adjournment on 7 Septemer 2020, Planning Committee - Thursday 17th 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

No. Item


Appointment of Chair for the Meeting


In the absence of Councillor Williams, the Deputy Chair, Councillor Morse was appointed Chair for this meeting.



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. 20/0293/FUL - 89 Mount Pleasant Road, Exeter pdf icon PDF 324 KB

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


Additional documents:


The Assistant Service Lead City Development (RC) presented the application for the change of use from dwelling (Class C3) to House of Multiple Occupation (Class C4).


The proposal related to a two storey three-bedroom mid-terrace dwelling located within a zone where the Council had applied an Article 4 Direction in 2011 to restrict changes of use from Class C3 (dwelling) to Class C4 (House in Multiple Occupation, or HMO). The objective had been to ensure the maintenance of balanced communities and to prevent streets being dominated by short stay student residents, which leaves properties vacant for significant periods outside of the academic terms. 


This property was in student HMO use prior to 2013 when the applicant bought the property and, through Permitted Development, converted it back to a Class C3 dwelling. After a period of six years, the applicant has concluded that the dwelling was not suitable for normal family life and therefore wished to move. He sought planning permission for a change of use back to a Class C4 HMO.


Mrs Partridge spoke in support of the application.


·         the house has been on the market for over a year. Since June, there had been a lot of interest, but no offers received;

·         although consideration had been given to further reducing the price, two estate agents had suggested that the property should be listed at a higher price so the asking price had not been reduced;

·         lockdown has been particularly difficult with increased time in close proximity to neighbours in the Salvation Army house with more anti-social behaviour issues such as loud music. The Salvation Army management had been supportive, trying to remedy the situation, but the issue remains;

·         the exceptional circumstances in the planning policy is as if it had been written about the house. C4 restrictions in part recognise how difficult it is for home owners to be surrounded by HMO’s and are designed to protect them. In this situation it is too late for the policy to make a difference to the immediate area; and

·         the feedback is the same - people do not want to buy a house which is surrounded by HMO’s. It is not felt that the home is safe for the children to play in the garden and where there is little opportunity for long term relationships to be built with neighbours. 

The recommendation was for approval, subject to the conditions as set out in the report and was supported by Members.


The recommendation was moved and seconded.


RESOLVED that planning permission for the change of use from dwelling (Class C3) to House of Multiple Occupation (Class C4) be approved, subject to the following conditions:-


1)         The development to which this permission relates must be begun not later than the expiration of three years beginning with the date on which this permission is granted.

Reason: To ensure compliance with sections 91 and 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


2)         The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out otherwise than  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.


Planning Application No. 20/0437/FUL - Land to the North East of Newcourt Road, Topsham, Exeter pdf icon PDF 417 KB

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


Additional documents:


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

residential development of 27 dwellings (including 35% affordable housing), access from Newcourt Road, public open space and associated works.


The Principal Project Manager (Development) referred to the key issues of design and layout, sustainable construction, economic benefits, flood risk and impact on local highways, heritage assets and trees and biodiversity and highlighted:-


·         absence of a five year land supply;

·         same access off Newcourt Road as agreed in the earlier planning approval;

·         the location was considered to be sustainable and the proposal was acceptable in its design and general visual impact;

·         the proposal was not considered to be of any significant harm to neighbouring residential amenity; and

·         provision of both affordable and open market homes.


The Principal Project Manager (Development) responded as follows to Members’ queries:-


·         materials for the highways were of the necessary standards to cope with refuse vehicles

·         play equipment was not proposed for the area of open space as this was not merited because of the size of the development;

·         the developer would be encouraged to provide hedgerows early in the development;

·         no access was proposed through Yeomans Gardens where the developer did not own the necessary land.

·         the developer had brought forward another development in Exeter.


Stella McLarin spoke against the application. She raised the following points:-


·         speaking on behalf of many neighbours;

·         the development, plus the adjacent one of seven houses; will increase the population of Newcourt Road by about 50%, spoil its country feel and set a precedent for other developments;

·         a 19% reduction in CO2 emissions is inadequate;

·         there has been a material change in the use of Newcourt Road as a result of Covid-19 with significantly higher cycle and pedestrian use, so the traffic surveys of 2018 and 2019 are out of date. Traffic will increase by 40% as a result of this development;

·         the increased number of houses incorporates overt provision for an access to be put through to Yeomans Gardens which will leave dormice colonies potentially isolated and a new biodiversity report is required;

·         no account of the requirement to erect an acoustic fence along the boundary with the railway line which is an increasingly important wildlife corridor;

·         all objections were referred to in GESP publications;

·         hedges may not be retained in the future;

·         lorry deliveries should all be outside peak hours as schoolchildren cycle along the road and people walk on the road, not the pavement;

·         lack of clarity as to where the two metre wide footpath will be provided;

·         covenants are required on the houses to maintain hedgerows in the future;

·         clarification required on the provision of a new sewer along most of Newcourt Road as many properties are on septic tanks; and

·         the four areas of objection are Traffic, Wildlife/Environment, Sustainability and Infrastructure and the development constitutes significant harm to neighbouring amenities.


Catherine Knee spoke in support of the application. She raised the following points:-


·         Strongvox Homes is an award-winning private housing developer building and selling on a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.


List of Decisions Made and Withdrawn Applications pdf icon PDF 16 KB

To consider the report of the Director (BA)


Additional documents:


The report of the Director City Development, Housing and Supporting People was submitted.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.



Appeals Report pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To consider the report of the Director (BA).


The schedule of appeal decisions and appeals lodged was submitted.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.