Chudleigh Town Council
Chudleigh Town Hall, Market Way, Chudleigh, Devon TQ13 0HL
Email: clerk@chudleigh-tc.gov.uk / Telephone: 01626 853 140
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 - 15:00

The Taylor Wimpey application to develop land at Coway Lane and Grovelands:

The Town Council met to consider this application on 18 January. We are indebted to Taylor Wimpey and their representatives for taking the time to provide us with a presentation on the application. This gave the 43 residents in attendance the opportunity to ask searching questions about the application.

After due consideration the Planning Committee decided that they should lodge an objection to the application. That letter of objection is reproduced below:-

Application 16/02423/MAJ: Land at Colway Lane and Grovelands, Chudleigh: Development of 65 residential dwellings together with associated landscaping, open space, access and infrastructure and outline planning permission for four self-build plots.

Councillors considered this application at a meeting of the planning committee on 18 January.

Councillors noted that there are still a number of outstanding issues raised by the statutory consultees that need to be addressed. Consequently, at this point in time, the Town Council feel that they need to object to the application for the following reasons:-

1)You will be aware from the number of objections from members of the public that there are real concerns in the town that the new development will increase the flood risk for properties lining Kate Brook. This stems from a number of flood incidents in the past. The applicants drainage consultant gave an impressive presentation which suggested that the proposed SUDS drainage system would reduce the flow of rainwater into Kate Brook from a current 34 litres per second to 23 litres per second. He suggested that this, coupled with improvements to the drainage gullies at the access to Colway Lane, would not only mean that the development would not increase the current flood risk but also have a positive impact on the current level of risk. However, we are not drainage experts. At the time of writing the County Council’s Flood & Coastal Risk Management Team have yet to submit their comments on the updated application. Councillors consider it essential that they indicate their content before planning consent is considered.

2)The District Council’s Green Spaces & Active Leisure Team have lodged an objection because they consider there is a lack of a quality mix of public open space and there is no green buffer zone between the proposed play area and the SUDS. They also consider that it is potentially dangerous to situate the play area next to the SUDS as it could constitute a water hazard. Councillors would wish to see these issues addressed to the satisfaction of the Green Spaces team.

3)We note that the District Council’s Tree Officer objects to the application because he considers that the plots on the southern boundary of Grovelands to be too close to the tree and hedge boundary. We share this concern and would wish the plots to be repositioned so as to ensure that this green boundary has the best chance of surviving the development unscathed. Councillors also noted his concern about the amount of hedge to be lost to create an access onto Colway Lane.

4)When this application was originally submitted the dwellings lining Colway Lane and Exeter Road were proposed to back onto the highway. Our understanding is that the developer was asked to change the layout so that these plots fronted onto the highway, the intention being to create a similar terraced effect to other areas of the town. We would not necessarily argue with this for the houses facing Exeter Road. This forms part of the main route through the town so the visual impact is more marked in that many more people will view it. However, Colway Lane is a residential street with low levels of through traffic. It does however, along with several parts of Chudleigh, have a major on-street parking problem. The simple fact is that those living in Colway Lane have rather more vehicle than there are on-street parking spaces. There is no simple solution to this but the Council does consider that we have a duty not to exacerbate the problem. We are concerned that if the dwellings on the development front on to Colway Lane there will be a temptation for the householders to park on Colway Lane rather than in their allocated spaces within the development. Whilst we understand the reasons for asking the developer to front on to Colway Lane we think it far better to have these dwellings backing on to Colway Lane. This will, in turn, allow the Tree Officer’s concerns regarding loss of hedgerow to be addressed.

5)Councillors noted the objection posted by Housing Services regarding the lack of four bed affordable dwellings. Our understanding is that the Housing Team would be prepared to drop this objection if two of the one bed apartments were made suitable for disabled access. Councillors are supportive of that option.

6) We note the holding response for Devon County Highways. We share their concern regarding highway drainage and would wish to see them content before consent is granted. We also share their desire for there to be a pedestrian access from the development into Holly Close.