Minutes of a meeting of the WEST DEVON DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT & LICENSING COMMITTEE held on TUESDAY the27th day of February 2024 at 10.00am in the COUNCIL CHAMBER, KILWORTHY PARK



Present         Cllr R Cheadle – Chairman

                      Cllr T Southcott – Vice-Chairman  



Cllr A Cunningham               Cllr J Moody

                              Cllr M Ewings                       Cllr C Mott

Cllr P Kimber                        Cllr S Wakeham


Head of Development Management (JH)

                      Senior Planning Officer (BH)     

Principal Planning Officer (PW)

Assistant Director – Planning (AW)

Senior Democratic Services Officer (KH)  

                      Principal Highways Development Management Officer (PT)




                     Apologies were received from Cllr T Leech, Cllr S Guthrie and U Mann.  It was noted that Cllr M Ewings substituted for Cllr U Mann.




                      There were no declarations of interests.




                      There was no urgent business brought forward to this meeting.




The Minutes from the Development Management and Licencing Committee meeting held on 12 December 2023 were agreed as a true and correct record. The minutes from the Licensing Sub Committee meeting held on 6 February 2024 were agreed as a true and correct record.




                     The Committee proceeded to consider the reports and presentations that had been prepared by the relevant Planning Officer on the following applications and also considered the comments of the Parish Councils together with other representations received, which were listed within the presented agenda report and summarised below:


                     (a) Application No.   2215/22/FUL             Ward: Bere Ferrers


Site Address: Land North of B3257, Bere Alston, Yelverton


                           Development: Readvertisement (revised plans & documents)

                           Erection of community convenience retail store (Co-op)

                           access, vehicle parking & landscaping.


                           The Principal Planning Officer gave a presentation to the

                           Members. He had clarification that the proposed opening times

                           were 7am to10pm, not 6am to 11pm as stated in the report.

                           An amended lighting plan had been supplied showing the impact

                           of hedging to the site boundaries. This indicated that light would

                           not spill into Highfield’s garden and impact upon residential

                           amenity in this way. The reason for refusal was thus amended to

                           delete the reference to light impact.

                           He referred to SPT6(3) in the Joint local Plan (JLP) which sets out


                           For the Thriving Towns and Villages Policy Area:

i.                    The town centres of the Main Towns – primarily main food/convenience shopping and other retail and services as appropriate to the role of the centre.

ii.                  Retail and community centres of the smaller towns and larger villages – primarily to top-up food shopping and local services

Reference was also made to DEV16(3) which sets out that any proposal which would have a significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of an existing centre would not be permitted.



                           Policy Dev16 (in the JLP) states that any development outside the

                           settlement area that has a significant adverse impact on the

                           investment and vitality on and investment in an existing centre

                           would not be acceptable.

                            Any permission granted would be for a convenience store and not

                           specific to a Co-op store. The council’s retail consultant stated that

                           no evidence has been shown that there is sufficient local

                           expenditure to support both a larger Co-op store and the

                           remaining stores in the centre. The proposed store was

                           significantly smaller than those in the nearby town of Tavistock

                           and that questioned whether shoppers would change their

                           shopping patterns and no longer rely on shopping outside the

                           catchment should the application be approved.



                           Recommendation: Refusal



                           Key issues for Committee consideration:

                           Principle of development/sustainability, Retail considerations:

                           sequential test and retail impact, impact upon natural

                           environment, highways/access, sustainable location,

                           neighbour amenity, impact upon historic environment, land

                           contamination, biodiversity, drainage, low carbon

                           development, crime and anti-social behaviour



                          The Principal Planner said in his view the edge of the settlement

                           boundary would be the houses to the west of the proposed site. A

                           Member questioned if policy SPT1 and SPT2 could be met on this

                           application by virtue of business growth and enabling a

                           sustainable local community with a mix of local services along with

                           a vibrant mixed-use centre. The Principal Planner responded by

                           stating his concern was on the overall impact of the proposal on

                           the centre of the village and the more specific retail shops in the

                           centre such as the butchers.


                           Another Member commented that development was taking place

                           in Bere Alston primarily for younger people and the allocated sites

                           on the opposite side on the B3257 and they could walk

                           to the store or call in on their way to work and asked if the bus

                           route was altered would it make it a more viable site. The Planning

                           Officer indicated that the site was further away from the houses on

                           the western side of the village and the concerns of the retail

                           consultant was that the site on the eastern edge of the village

                           would draw trade from the centre of the village, to the centres’

                           detriment and potentially increase car use. The Head of

                           Development Management pointed out that although the two

                           residential development sites mentioned were allocated in the

                           Neighbourhood Plan they had yet to be approved. Therefore,

                           Members needed to focus of the application before them.

                           The Principal Planner stated if Members were minded to grant

                           Permission, then delivery times and opening times could be





                           Speakers included the agent, Parish Councillor and Ward



                           The applicant stated that he had lived in the area and was

                           passionate about what was best for the village. The proposal


                           significantly reduce the need to travel to the nearest store located

                           in Tavistock and would enhance the sustainability of Bere Alston.

                           The current Co-op store was not fit for purpose and delivery lorries

                           block the main street. The proposed site immediately abuts the

                           current settlement boundary and cannot be seen from anywhere

                           without seeing the existing adjacent buildings. He stated the

                           Council’s retail consultant based in Glamorgan had clearly not

                           been to Bere Alston.

                           In response to a question from the committee he stated staff would

                           catch the bus or walk to work at the proposed site. He commented

                           on the poor disabled access at the current store in the village.


                            The Parish Councillor stated the proposal was well supported

                            when it was presented at the Parish Council meeting.

                            He said there was a regular bus service currently passing the site

                            and that Stagecoach had confirmed that buses could drive into

                            the site.

                            He said the proposal from Devon Highways to move the 30

                            mph speed limit to Quarry Corner was welcomed. He voiced

                            concern for the visibility of the pedestrian crossing, especially at


                            The Principal Planning Officer in reply to a Member questions

                            confirmed the retail study for the council was a desk top study.


                            The Ward Member said the proposal would give people job

                            opportunities. It is a growing village and adequate services need

                            to be in place. She stated an average family would save an

                            average of £5.64 per week with not travelling to Tavistock to do

                            their weekly shop.

                            It would ease congestion and promote walking. The new bus

                            stop that would be put in would help people visiting family and

                            friends at the other end of the village. A hand delivered survey of

                            the village revealed 66% wanted the new Co-op.


                           In debate a Member commented that Highways would look for a

                           sum of £5k for investigation of the moving of the speed limit further

                           out along the B3257, however this was subject to the approval of

                           the County Councils democratic process. Therefore, there was no

                           guarantee should the application be approved, that the speed limit

                           would be moved. The Principal Planning Officer stated the

                           current footway was in line with guidance for the current speed


                           The Highways Officer said should the 30mph speed limit be

                           extended it would come with street lighting along the road.

                           However, the store would have overspill of lighting should the

                           speed limit not be moved.

                           A member said they were balancing policy whilst being mindful

                           that the Bere peninsula was an isolated area. Another Member

                           said that  when voting the committee needed to reflect on how

                           there could be potential damage to the core of the village if the life

                           of the village is drawn away. The Head of Planning reminded the

                           Committee it was a balanced decision that wouldn’t be easy and to

                           bear in mind the JLP policies that were relevant. If smaller shops

                           in the village were to close because of the creation of a store on

                           the proposed site then that would be contrary to planning policies.


                           After the debate, Members were asked to vote on the Planning

                           Officer’s recommendation.


                           The vote went against the recommendation of refusal and the

                           Head of Planning asked the Committee to make another proposal.

                           A Member made the recommendation to approve the application

                           subject to a suitable LVIA Assessment. The Head of Planning

                           stated that an LVIA had already been submitted, which was why

                           there was a reason for refusal based on the impact of the

                           development proposal on the National Landscape (Tamar Valley



                           The Head of Planning made a recommendation to the

                           Committee that they defer the decision as there would need to be

                           consideration of a S106 agreement which could look to secure

                           obligations on the use and goods in relation to the proposed store

                           and to secure restrictions on the use of the existing store within the

                           centre of the village. In addition, the conditions needed further

                           consideration and discussion with the applicant.

                           There may be more carbon reductions measures that

                           could be put forward. A Member asked that consideration was

                           also given to the National Landscape and to the lighting. Another

                           Member suggested native, semi-mature specimens for


                           The Assistant Director for Planning suggested that the application

                           is brought back to Committee as a refusal but with measures in

                           place that were appropriate should the application be approved.



                           Committee Decision: Deferred  – the

                           application to be brought back to committee as a refusal but

                           with conditions in place should the Committee wish to




                     (b) Application No. 3349/23/FUL                Ward : Bere Ferrers


                           Site Address: Five Acres, Woolacombe Road, Bere Alston



                           Development: Demolition of two agricultural outbuildings &

                           erection of new dwelling


                           Recommendation: Refusal


                           Key issues: Location, principle of development, housing

                           need, design, scale and massing, drainage, highways,

                           biodiversity, low carbon


                           The Senior Planning Officer gave a presentation to the

                           Committee. The poor pedestrian connectivity to the village centre

                           was seen as an issue. As was the current over provision of

                           3-bedroom property in Bere Alston.

                           The applicant had not submitted enough evidence to comply with

                           planning policy DEV32 with regard to low carbon. A Member

                           asked why an application with insufficient detail was brought to

                           Committee. The Senior Planner responded by saying it is difficult

                           to invalidate an application if the applicant has submitted the

                           required information. It could be seen as partly determining the

                           application at the validation stage. As the application was being

                           recommended for refusal for other reasons, it would not have been

                           fair to the applicant to seek further information on carbon

                           measures, when the outcome would have been a recommendation

                           for refusal.

                           The application was called in by a Ward Member for

                           issues of scale and siting. The application did go through      

                           pre application planning advice and unfortunately the applicant

                           was misdirected to apply a policy that wasn’t relevant to this




                            Speakers included the agent, Parish Councillor and Ward



                            The agent stated that the applicants lived on the site in a

                            two-bedroomed bungalow with their father and two children

                            In pre-application it was stated that it may be plausible to propose

                            a modest single dwelling in or part of the same footprint as the

                            existing agricultural buildings and to use the existing access onto

                            the road. One of the reasons for refusal was that the site was not

                            well connected to the village, although in the Neighbourhood Plan

                            the proposed site was adjacent to and opposite two allocated

                            sites at Woolacombe Road providing for a proposed  20 and 30




                            The Parish Councillor outlined the proposed development sites in

                            the Neighbourhood Plan on a slide so that the Committee could

                            see how close they were to the application site. He stated

                            that Woolacombe Road was one of the quietest roads in the

                            village. He stated that recently there were 60 applications for the

                            two 3-bedroom properties advertised in the village, which

                            outlined the need for 3-bedroom properties.


                            The Ward Member stated the application would be for an

                            infill between two bungalows. It would be on a brown field site.


                           The Senior Planning Officer stated the proposal was for an

                            independent 3-bedroom open market dwelling. When considering

                            policy DEV8 the Senior Planner Officer stated smaller properties

                            are required.





                            Committee Decision: Refusal





                      The Head of Planning took Members through the appeal on Collaven Manor, Sourton for an oak framed gym and annex outbuilding within the setting of a Listed Building. It was refused for being a harm on the setting of a Listed Building. The appeal was dismissed.

                      A householder application for the Old Rectory at Bratton Clovelly for a garage and loft to a 2-storey assisted dwelling went to appeal due to non-determination. The Officer wrote a report which recommended refusal. The appeal was dismissed. The Old Mill site, Okehampton, had  an application to demolish some derelict buildings on the site. The chimney is listed and the buildings were within the curtilage of the listed chimney. Within the application the buildings were described as A,B,C & D. The inspector concluded a spilt decision. The Inspector allowed for demolition of building D but not for buildings A,B & C. He felt that building D was in a bad structural state.




                      The Chairman stated that the application on Hazledon was due to come to that Committee meeting, however the applicant wanted to provide more information so asked for more time.



(The Meeting ended at 12.50pm)