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Special Newsletter on Village Planning
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Chillaton Village - Planning

Potential development sites in Chillaton

 West Devon Borough Council has just released the results of a request it made last year, for landowners to identify sites that they were prepared to see developed for housing or for employment.  The Leader of the Council, Cllr Philip Saunders says that “The biggest challenge for our Borough is enabling growth and providing much needed homes and jobs, whilst at the same time, protecting the beautiful place that is West Devon.  We want to see development happen in the right way and in the right places with minimal impact on the environment and maximum opportunities for the well-being of our communities.”
 
The sites put forward have now been reviewed by a group of technical officers from various agencies and those in Chillaton are shown on the plan below;

Views of the Technical Officers Group
 
The Group noted that because of the lack of facilities in Chillaton, any development is likely to result in an increase in traffic and therefore further assessment would be needed to determine whether the area in general is a suitable location for development.
 
The Group’s comments on the three sites identified in Chillaton are summarised below.  The reference numbers alongside each site relate to the map and to documents published by West Devon Borough Council and these can be accessed at www.westdevon.gov.uk/siteassessment or viewed in print at the Council offices or on-line at Tavistock Library. The Borough Council want to hear what you think about these sites and your views should be sent to them by 15th August.
 
Land west of 1 Springfield Cottages [Ref: WD 42 07 08/13]  The technical officer group considered that access is via a narrow lane and the site is not well related to the village centre.  The technical officer group concluded that due to the significant constraints relating to location and access, the site is not considered to have development potential at this time.
 
Land east of Marlow Crescent [Ref: WD 42 08 13]  The technical officer group considered that highway access is achievable, subject to agreement with a third party, and the site is reasonably well related to the village centre.  Any development would have to be behind the houses in Marlow  Crescent and Stonecroft.  This would affect the amenities of those properties and create development that is uncharacteristic of the village.  The technical officer group concluded that because of the impact on nearby residents and on the character of the village, the site is not considered to have development potential at this time.
 
Land between Sunwaye and Marlow Crescent [Ref: WD 42 09 13]  The technical officer group considered that highway access is achievable, the site is reasonably well related to the village centre and any development along the road frontage could blend in with existing dwellings.  The technical officer group concluded that the whole of the site is not suitable for development, because of the impact on landscape character and a lack of school places, but there could be potential for about 10 dwellings along the frontage of the site.
 
Initial views of Chillaton Parish Councillors
 
Some general points:
 
(i) These sites have been considered simply because the landowners concerned put them forward.  They are not the outcome of a rational review of the need for more housing in Chillaton or of potential development sites in the village. The sites on the list should not therefore be regarded as the only areas that may be developed in the future.  The current site of Chillaton garage is one example where, if it is relocated, the existing area will be re-developed.
 
(ii) As the technical officer group noted, the question of whether or not Chillaton is capable of further development, because of its lack of facilities and the impact that has on private car usage, has not been determined. That study should be done before any application to develop a particular site is considered.
 
(iii) Chillaton already has a good mix of housing stock, including lower-cost homes that are either for rent or purchase.  Generally, there are always houses for sale or rent in the village.  However, new development should not be discouraged if it makes a contribution to the viability of the village.  By that we mean, for example, housing that enables younger families to remain in the village, or that allows older residents to move to more easily managed properties.  We need to try to encourage a balanced, mixed village community in Chillaton.
 
(iv) We should resist West Devon Borough Council’s enthusiasm for ‘affordable homes’ above all else, unless there is a genuine local need for them.  We therefore need to have a better understanding of the future housing needs of our residents.  It is essential that a Housing Needs Survey designed to identify a wide range of requirements is carried out in the parish, before any new housing developments are considered.
 
(v) The Parish Council needs to begin the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish without further delay.  A Neighbourhood Plan would reflect what local residents want for Chillaton and once approved, would have to be taken into account by West Devon Borough Council when determining planning applications.  It is an essential tool with which to control local development for the benefit of the village.
 
Comments on the specific sites:
 
Land west of 1 Springfield Cottages [Ref: WD 42 07 08/13]  Although the point about additional traffic on a narrow lane is understood, its impact depends on the scale of the development proposed.  At this time, the views of the technical officers group are endorsed, but it might be that some small scale development here and at other sites would be more acceptable than a concentration of housing on one large site.
 
Land east of Marlow Crescent [Ref: WD 42 08 13]  The views of the technical officers group are endorsed, with the additional comment that if this site and the adjoining one [see below] were developed, there would be a significant increase in the village’s housing stock, far in excess of that required for any local needs.
 
Land between Sunwaye and Marlow Crescent [Ref: WD 42 09 13]  This would represent a major extension of the village boundary, because it would create a ribbon of development from the new garage site to the village centre.  The site is described by the technical officer’s group as flat but unsuitable for wholesale development, because of its impact on the character of the landscape.  In fact, the site is not flat; it descends considerably from road level, which makes it difficult to see how the technical officers group’s idea of a development along the frontage of the site could be achieved.  So, in accordance with the latest Government policy, the existing Chillaton garage site – a ‘brownfield’ site - should be redeveloped for housing, before any consideration is given to the need to develop in this location.
 
These are the initial thoughts of your parish councillors.  They would welcome the opportunity to discuss them with you and hear your views.  This issue will be considered at the Parish Council meeting to be held at  Milton Abbot Village Hall on Wednesday 2nd July at 7.30pm and you are very welcome to attend.
 
The Parish Council will also decide whether or not to proceed with a Neighbourhood Plan at this time.  Without a Neighbourhood Plan, we cannot hope to have any real influence over what development takes place in Chillaton.  But a Neighbourhood Plan cannot be produced by the Parish Council alone; it must have the active support of local residents.  If you are interested, why not come along to the Parish Council meeting and find out more?
 
Chillaton Parish Councillors:
 
Howard Asbridge
Ray Brewer
Amanda Westcott
 
Acting Parish Clerk: Howard Asbridge 01822 860378
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