About the topicReference:Address:Secmaton Farm, Secmaton Lane, Dawlish, Devon, EX7 0LWDescription:Erection of 201 dwellings, open space, landscaping, allotments and associated infrastructureOur Objection:Procedural Comments Requiring a Response
The Scoping Report in 2016 was in relation to a proposed development of no more than 180 dwellings on this site and the current application is for 201 = 11% increase in residential units. Should the scope of matters to be considered be reviewed as a result of this increase? Especially considering the close proximity to the Exe Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA) and Dawlish Warren Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
The representation from Devon County Council at time of drafting our response was unreadable – inhibiting a full appraisal of the current application in terms of considering the response from a statutory consultee. This has inhibited the ability of CPRE Devon and others, to offer particular insights or detailed information which could be relevant to the consideration of the current application. What measures do the Council have in place to ensure material made available to the public is actually readable/useable, to ensure transparency?
Responses/objections to the proposed scheme
The Local Plan states:
“it is essential that DA2 is planned as a whole. It is acknowledged that developments will be brought forward in smaller parcels. However, it is essential that key infrastructure for roads, wildlife and community facilities are properly planned for and safeguarded. The masterplan will include consideration of urban design appropriate for the Dawlish area. Developments in prominent locations adjacent to the A379 Exeter Road will need to be designed to a high quality and act as landmark buildings with appropriate landscaping to frame, not hide, the structures.”
The Planning Statement (and Design and Access Statement) refers to the planning history for Areas 1, 2, 4 and 5, but makes very little reference to the detail of schemes approved and how the proposed scheme demonstrates an understanding of the allocation as a whole, in terms of scale/density and design? Does the proposed scheme satisfy the Council’s intention, to provide/contribute towards delivering a high quality development for the allocation DA2 as a whole? And are the Council satisfied with the contribution this site makes towards delivering infrastructure for DA2 as a whole e.g. linking the individual parcels together including the main avenue, cyclepaths etc
The overall site allocation is very large and permissions have come forward over a period of 5 years. Have the Council reviewed the affordable housing target for this phase? An intention, which is referred to in the Local Plan. The Planning Statement indicates 21% of the housing falls into the category of affordable housing and age restricted properties. There are discrepancies within the Planning Statement para 7.2.3 referring to 5% affordable housing, yet para 7.3.3 refers to 10%. These figures fall significantly short of the Policy requirements of the Local Plan – 25% and do not take into account any review of the housing target that the Council have or have not carried out.
The Planning statement indicates that public consultation highlighted the desire for more bungalows, but were the community made aware that this option would contribute towards a reduced number of affordable dwellings?
Furthermore, the proposed scheme extends beyond the settlement boundary for Dawlish, breaching the open countryside and allowing for the quantum of development to increase, yet the proposed scheme is unable to meet the affordable housing targets. As a result, the proposed development is not delivering an appropriate level of affordable housing and is failing to deliver upon the social and environmental roles of planning and sustainability.
The proposed development is failing to make adequate provision for community benefits and compromising community facilities: failure to deliver a MUGA or alternative, the cycle path has been moved to a new position – adjacent to a watercourse and away from the intended main avenue. These compromises exacerbate the negative contributions to the sustainability of the scheme, in terms of delivering social and environmental benefits. The proposed scheme does not accord with the Local Plan and the Council’s overall objectives for this allocation.
Flood risk is still a significant issue, are the Council satisfied that the scheme if approved (be it with conditions to provide additional information) will mitigate for possible impacts upon the surrounding area and the Exe Estuary SPA from pollution/flow changes?
Has the proposed scheme fully addressed the elements identified within the screening, in terms of providing for a landscaping scheme that respects and protects trees covered by Tree Preservation Orders, providing for green spaces that not only help to assimilate this development into the wider landscape but will play an important role in surface water management? It is noted that the Planning Statement refers to just ‘moderately positive’ impacts, surely the Council is aiming for higher standards and if not why not?
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