Minutes of a meeting of the WEST DEVON DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT & LICENSING COMMITTEE held on TUESDAY the31st day of October 2023 at 10.00am in the COUNCIL CHAMBER, KILWORTHY PARK



Present         Cllr R Cheadle – Chairman

                      Cllr T Southcott – Vice-Chairman  



Cllr A Cunningham                Cllr N Jory

                              Cllr M Ewings                        Cllr U Mann

Cllr S Guthrie                         Cllr J Moody

Cllr P Kimber                         Cllr S Wakeham



Head of Development Management (JH)

Senior Planning Officer (PW)

Monitoring Officer and Head of Legal Services (DF) (Via MS Teams)

Senior Democratic Services Officer (KH)  




                      Apologies were received from Cllr C Mott for who Cllr P Kimber substituted and Cllr T Leech for who Cllr M Ewings substituted.




                      There were no declarations of interests.




                      There was no urgent business brought forward to this meeting.




The minutes from the Committee meeting held on 3 October 2023 were approved as a true and correct record.




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


                     (a) Application No. 0466/23/FUL           Ward: Exbourne


Site Address: Westacre, Sampford Courtenay EX20 2SE


                           Development: Erection of farm shop with on site parking and



                           Recommendation: Refusal



                           Key issues for Committee consideration:

·         Principle of development/sustainability

·         Design/landscape

·         Biodiversity

·         Neighbour amenity

·         Highways/access

·         Drainage

·         Low carbon development




                     The Planning Officer reiterated that it was the suitability of the

                     location that needed to be addressed first before looking at policy

                     DEV 15 which addressed supporting business start-up in rural areas.

                     The Head of Development Management stated that had an

                     application been presented whereby the building was clustered with the

                     other farm buildings it may have been more favourable with regard to

                     any impact on the local environment and landscape.


                     Speakers included the applicant, and two statements from the two

                     Ward Members, Cllrs Casbolt and Watts.


                      The applicant stated that she and her husband ran a dairy farm and

                      currently employ several local people within their dairy production

                      business, which included milk and ice-cream production and delivery.

                      Currently there was an honesty box shed on their driveway at Westacre

                      Where the Applicant sold their milk in reusable glass bottles. They also

                      sold  grass fed beef and pork along with logs and kindling wood which

                      are all produced on their farm.

                      In pre-application talks the Applicant said that they were advised to

                      move the proposed shop away from the junction where the current

                      farm shed was. The access point was on a bus route and popular

                      cycle route. Solar panels would be used for energy and the building

                      clad with wood from their farm. She stated there would be tables for

                      use by those using the shop, but food was not being served and

                      therefore no toilet facilities would be provided. The Applicant explained

                      that they have around 65 stockists for their products in the area and

                      they deliver to them.

                      In the statement from Cllr Casbolt,he stated that he felt the application

                      would be a great asset for the local economy. He felt it would reduce

                      carbon emissions for those not travelling to the nearby town of


                      In Cllr Watts comments she felt Members should support local

                      farming communities and supported the comments Cllr Casbolt had



                      In debate Members wrestled with Policy DEV 15 whereby support is

                      given to supporting local businesses in rural areas and why the

                      site was described as isolated in the officer report. One

                      Member felt DEV15 had several objective requirements but the

                      overriding caveat seemed to be whether the site was suitable and

                      sustainable. They made the comment that the Council had

                      secured funding from the UK Prosperity Fund to help businesses and

                      farms to diversify. Government Policy was about stewardship and

                      diversification of farms. He felt Dev 15 should not stand in the way of

                      this type of diversification. Another Member said they felt this

                      application for a farm shop would help to put people back in contact

                      with their food.

                      Another Member commented on the positives of a farming family

                      coming forward in a regenerative way along with showing families

                      around the farm in an educational way.

                      Drainage issues were raised and it was suggested that conditions

                      should be imposed if the recommendation was to grant the application.


                      The Head of Development Management reminded Members that

                      they needed to consider the development against the planning

                      polices in the Development Plan.

                      The application was contrary to those polices and therefore Members

                      would need to give reasons why they disagreed if they felt they would

                      support the application. She also reminded Members that the starting

                      point in the JLP are the SPT polices -when deciding an application. A

                      Member pointed out that SPT 1 states a sustainable economy where

                      opportunity for business growth and a low carbon economy is

                      encouraged and supported. Sustainable societies whereby

                      communities have a mix of local services to meet the needs of local

                      people. Another Member commented that the business had an

                      excellent reputation. They also felt cycling to the shop from Hatherleigh

                      on the lanes was safe. A Member stated that part of bringing the JLP

                      together was to help the farming community diversify. He said if they

                      don’t do that then it sends out mixed messages.

                      The Head of Legal reminded Members to have a regard to the

                      planning polices when making a decision and gave advice about how

                      the Committee should approach the interpretation of the relevant



                      One Member felt the applicant had done all they could to comply with

                      the JLP and quoted from the JLP saying it would help a circular

                      regenerative economy. Another commented that they would not expect

                      a sustainable location policy to be linked with a farm shop. Another

                      said people would have a reason to use their bicycle to do a short

                      journey to the farm shop from one of the local villages, hence

                      increasing the sustainability.


                      In summing up, the Committee felt that the application met policies

                      SPT 1 and Dev 15.



                                     Committee Decision:  Conditional Consent. The Head of

                                     Development Management be authorised to grant

                                     approval subject to conditions to be determined in

                                     consultation with the Chairman and Vice-

                                     Chairman of the Development Management and

                                     Licensing Committee, such conditions to include a

                                     condition on drainage.



                      (b) Application No. 1318/23/FUL         Ward: Tavistock North      


                            Site Address: The Kiosk, Bus Station, 20 Plymouth Road,

                            Tavistock PL19 8AY


                            Development: Conversion of existing offices into three flats

                            with associated courtyard area and soft landscaping to front



                                  Recommendation: Conditional approval subject to

                            completion of Unilateral Undertaking to secure Tamar EMS



                     The Head of Development explained that the application had come

                     back to Committee for Members to reconfirm their decision made at its

                     last meeting (Min DM&L19 refer). After

                     the last Committee meeting it was noticed that the address of the

                     proposed development was incorrect. It referred to both The kiosk,

                     Bus Station and 20 Plymouth Road. It has now been corrected to 20

                     Plymouth Road by the applicant. The application had then been

                     re-advertised in the local  press.

                     It has then been also noticed that the proposed Flat 2 was not fully

                     included within the red line on the plans. This was corrected and was

                     Re-advertised in the local press. Also, following an error in the

                     description of the Applicant on the application form, the Applicant had

                     written formally to correct it.


                     The Head of Development Management confirmed that nothing had

                     changed in items of the material considerations of the application.




                            Committee decision: The Committee confirmed its decision

                            to grant conditional approval as set out at Min DM&L 19




                      The Head of Development Management took Members through two

                      Appeal decisions. 1047/22/FUL, construction of a 3-to-4-bedroom house at Station Road, Bere Alston. The application was refused. The

                      Inspector noted and agreed with the reasons for refusal, however he

                      did not consider the cottage to be a non-designated heritage asset and felt the Council had not given enough information to demonstrate that it was. She said she would be looking at whether a list of non-designated heritage assets should be drawn up moving forward. The second appeal was 3072/22/HHO, a householder application for a storage enclosure in the back garden. The back garden was located over the West Devon World Heritage Site. The application was refused for this reason and the Inspector agreed with the decision.



                        There were no questions on this item.


(The Meeting ended at 11.20am)