Agenda item

Planning Application No. 22/1223/FUL - 58 Main Road, Pinhoe, Exeter

To consider the report of the Director City Development.


The Assistant Service Lead - City Development (HSS) presented the application for replacement of existing garage, forecourt and retail units with a mixed-use development including residential and commercial (revised plans).


She reminded Members of the planning history for the scheme and provided the following information:-


·         The proposal included ground floor commercial use and would provide residential development in close proximity to local amenities such as shops and schools;

·         The proposal was for a two-and-a-half-storey development consisting of 1 no 4-bedroom dwellinghouse, 4 no. 2-bedroom flats and 4 no. 1-bedroom flats, 447.82sqm of commercial development and associated landscaping and parking for the commercial use;

·         The site was situated within an eight-minute walking distance of Pinhoe railway station and within a fourteen-minute walking distance of a large supermarket.


Members received a presentation which included detailed location and existing site photographs, floor plans, back to back distances, proposed sections, street views and aerial views, elevations, landscaping as well as neighbour consultation. The presentation concluded with a summary of the proposed uses for the various components of the development.


The application was recommended for approval, subject to the conditions set out in the report.


In response to queries from Members, the Assistant Service Lead - City Development (HSS) clarified that:-

·         the house had parking facilities;

·         the proposal had originally been presented to a Delegation Briefing but referred to the Planning Committee because of concerns from Devon County Council Highways;

·         the mature ash tree would be removed after a tree officer had assessed that it suffered from ash dieback;

·         the landscape conditions could be negotiated;

·         there were no plans to set the buildings back as the proposal had already been revised; and

·         there would be 10 cycle parking spaces for eight dwellings.


Speaking under Standing Order 44, Councillor Duncan Wood made the following points:-

·         the site was prominent in Pinhoe and was currently unattractive;

·         as a brownfield site, the location was suitable for development;

·         condition #13 in the recommendation failed to mention the approved business hours for the commercial properties;

·         some of the current businesses on the site caused heavy car use;

·         it was not strictly true that this was a zero-car development;

·         parking was currently at a premium in Pinhoe and the proposed development could make the situation even more difficult;

·         two driveways in the proposed development led to a tight curved road, which was concerning;

·         the house inset instead of aligned with the other properties in the development;

·         the food kiosk was not a walk-past facility and customers required parking.


The Assistant Service Lead - City Development (HSS) explained that there was a layby and that the new proposal would make parking in the tight curved road more difficult.


Cllr Wood responded as follows to queries from Members:-

·         although this was the best proposal he had seen for this site, illegal parking would increase as a result;

·         there was a private car park nearby, where people could park for one hour for free;

·         the concept of the proposal was good but required better public transport options; and

·         there was no guarantee that people moving into the development wouldn’t want to use the car. 


Mr Collar, speaking in support of the application, made the following points:-

·         as a Pinhoe resident himself, he felt strongly about the unattractive mature of the site in its current state;

·         the boundaries of the existing site were particularly poor;

·         the back-to-back distances were acceptable as the angle of the properties backing onto each other was 45 degrees;

·         the house was set back slightly so as to create some defensible space against the main road; and

·         the proposal would make the site an example of a sustainable location.


He responded as follows to queries from Members:-

·         he would consider moving the house if its location was a ground for refusal;

·         the site seemed like an ideal location for car-free living; and

·         he was unsure whether there would be a communal back passage.


During debate, Members expressed the following views:-

·         there was no reason not to approve the scheme;

·         the supporter had given solid answers to probing questions;

·         some concerns remained about the Langaton Rd entrance;

·         the scheme would deliver much needed flats in the area; and

·         other options were available in Pinhoe for people who were determined to drive.


The Chair moved the recommendation for approval which was seconded, voted upon and CARRIED.


RESOLVED that the application for replacement of existing garage, forecourt and retail units with a mixed-use development including residential and commercial (revised plans) be APPROVED, subject to the conditions as set out in the report.

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