Monday, August 19, 2013
CHANGES to plans for 15 new homes in Tipton St John have been branded ‘planning by the back-door’ by the village residents sssociation.
The site at Barton Orchard originally included provision for 1.75 acres of public open space, but this was reduced to 0.5 acres after East Devon District Council (EDDC) approved the changes at a private meeting last week.
Bill Bolt, treasurer of the Tipton Residents’ Association, said the news had not been well received in the village. He said: “This is planning by the back door - we’re up in arms about it.
“EDDC have said it’s a legal issue not a planning one but as far as we’re concerned they have changed the application without any public consultation.”
“A lot of people are worried they’re fencing off the land because they plan to build more houses there in the future. Why else would they be doing it?”
The original application received a number of complaints from Tipton residents who were unhappy that the development was taking place on such a prominent hill and on land designated an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’.
Councillor John Harding, who lives close to the site, said: “Tipton was allocated 10 houses in the local plan which runs until 2026 – we’re already 50 per cent over this.
“EDDC say this change isn’t a major material issue, but it certainly is for the residents of the village who are worried this is the first step ahead of an application for more houses.”
“If we had legal assurance from the developer that there would be no more houses people wouldn’t be so concerned; but of course we’ve not been given that assurance.”
A spokesman for EDDC said that the change to the application is limited to the fencing off of existing agricultural land and that the remaining open space was still adequate for a development of that scale.
He added: “Any potential threat of additional housing on the excluded land would be subject to a new planning application which would be considered on its merits and against the provisions of the upcoming Village Plan.”