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General Discussion

23 Apr 2016 11:07
Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor
24 Apr 2016 08:21

Thank you Lynne.


This application is suffixed 'SO' (Scoping Opinion) which seeks to establish a/ if development would be appropriate (it is part of DA2 so that answer would in all probability be yes) and b/ if so, what level of information would be required in order for the Local Planning Authority to make a considered decision. 


The input from Natural England of 14th March runs to 8 pages but is well is worth a read. Covering: Biodiversity; Geology; Internationally and Nationally Designated Sites (of protection, conservation and scientific importance); Protected Species (such as bats and cirl buntings) and their Habitats; Landscape and Visual Impacts; and Access and Rights of Way - there is much to consider alongside advice on SANGS and the area Masterplan.


Bearing in mind that this parcel of land is central within DA2 and therefore crucial to the delivery of any link road, this application is not before time. Given however that in the opinion of the consultees so much is to be considered, any plans that come forward must not be unduly rushed or compromised. 

24 Apr 2016 11:39

Gary you are correct these things cannot be rushed and mitigation needs to be provided for wildlife, which is a problem at Gatehouse with the Cirl Buntings.  RSPB are still not happy with what is proposed and so that has to be addressed before the site can progress regardless of the residents et al objecting to the new highways proposals which led to the Development Framework being deferred.


The reports I have been told can take months to do, especially the bat survey, since you have to observe them is it spring, summer and autumn.  So it could be the end of the year at earliest before it could go to committee and that is if all goes well and there are no issues that arise from the investigations.  The two sites next to this area have shown to have bats (Secmaton 10 and Hill Drive) so there is good reason to suspect at least part of the site where it is tree lined (as per google map) will show bat activity and therefore be constrained as to how close housing can be built and what lighting can be used to keep the dark corridors intact.


This no doubt will put Gatehouse in a position of not wanting to wait and could lead to going to appeal, which could be quicker than waiting for Area 3 to organise themselves.  At this moment Area 3 are in a position to hold to Area 2 to ransom if they cannot use Sandy Lane/Elm Grove Drive.  As far as I can see if they did go to appeal DCC Highways had no objection to the change in road usage, it was only the residents etc, so this would not be an issue in legal terms to not approve.  So if they can get over the RSPB and viability then TDC would have a no case and I could see a positive outcome for Gatehouse, but not for Dawlish.  Therefore, unless DTC can with TDC councillors change DCC Highways views and show them they are wrong, then Dawlish is in a place we do not want to be.  


Gary can you confirm this is the legal position in relation to planning law, since you have more knowledge on this one?

24 Apr 2016 11:57

and if  Gatehouse were to go to Appeal and win then so much for the wishes of  the community having any sway!

It would be a matter of 'up yours' to Dawlish residents courtesy of the Gatehouse applicants' Appeal being upheld via the Planning Inspectorate.


So....up to the Gatehouse family then.

Anyone know who they are? wink


Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor
24 Apr 2016 18:22

I'm no lawyer @Barbarawils68 - and when it comes to major planning decisions my crystal ball is probably as cloudy as the next person's. What I can say is that it would be a brave (read foolhardy) elected district or county representative who would chose to ignore the wishes of the almost 1000 Dawlish residents who have already added their names to the petition: 'Humans Before Houses, Build the Link Road First'.

Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor
25 Apr 2016 11:14

To put my post above into context @Barbarawils68, for an appeal at Gatehouse to stand a better chance of approval (and for that matter at Hill Drive) fresh proposals for the deferred NW Secmaton Lane (DA2) Development Framework will need to come forward containing acceptable access arrangements and a revised link road delivery schedule.


We have already heard Humphrey Clemens (Teignbridge District Councillor for SW Dawlish and TDC Executive for Planning and Housing) say that the decision to delay approval of the Development Framework (allowing alternative access and delivery proposals to be considered) was 'probably the right decision for Dawlish'.


We have also since heard from John Clatworthy (Devon County Councillor for Dawlish and a member of DCC's Highways Committee), who has now said (referring to the proposal by Devon County Highways to use Sandy Lane and Elm Grove Drive for construction traffic) that his officers 'will not have my support'.


But it is the outcry from the Dawlish public that has led to this Damascene moment.





It was clear last September from the DCC Highways report issued at the NW Secmaton Lane DF consultation event (ironically, held at the Leisure Centre in Sandy Lane) that the Elm Grove Road / Exeter Road junction was already at full capacity. What the public did not know at that point was that the signalisation of this junction to yield additional capacity was about to be scuppered by the building of the new cycle path by DCC Highways.


After the consultation, at the Dawlish Town Council meeting of 7th October, members heard the breaking news from County Councillor Clatworthy that the new cycle path would prevent traffic signals from being employed at this junction. Members then went on to consider a later agenda item: - 14/ Consultation Response - and (with the exception of Humphrey Clemens, Rosalind Prowse and Graham Price who had each declared an interest due to their positions at TDC) RESOLVED:


‘Dawlish Town Council responds as follows:


1                      the infrastructure, particularly the link road, needs to be constructed before the houses are built; 

2                      Secmaton Lane must not be used for any construction traffic or any access to new houses;

3                      objects to the extension for employment land to the North West of Development Area 4;

4                      considers the development plan consultation was insufficient so an amended plan needs to be circulated for further consultation.’


As we now know, Teignbridge District Council spurned this advice - and with the support of Devon County Council Highways officers went on to complete and publish the Framework Document that was so roundly rejected by TDC Planning Committee members on 5th April, thanks in large part to representations from the public and the Link Road petition.




 The battle continues for what is in the best interests of our town - and for the safety and wellbeing its residents. Our senior elected representives have been made to go back to the drawing board; local developers should now consider doing the same. 


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