EACH week, hundreds of planning applications come before Cornwall Council’s planning department, seeking to win approval for various plans right across the Duchy, with some concerning Holsworthy handled by Torridge District Council.

These plans can comprise of a number of different reasonings– ranging from permission to replace windows or listed building consent ranging up to large house building developments or changing of use of a building, for instance, from an office to a café, or flats.

Within this large and often complex system, there are a number of formats from which planning advice and approval can be sought.

These range from full applications where all the details which comprise a proposed development or work to a building are submitted, to outline applications, where further details are yet to be confirmed, for example, an outline application with reserved matters for appearance may not confirm the final proposed development but rather seek permission in principle.

An example of this is one for an outline permission for 20 dwellings on land with reserved matters for appearance and scale; the reserved matters would require further permission later for their inclusion.

Other types of applications include pre-application advice requests, where would-be developers submit often outline proposals to a local authority to ascertain whether it is likely to gain support or not prior to submitting a planning application.

The vast majority of applications are decided by planning officers employed by a local authority under ‘delegated powers’, meaning they do so on behalf of their employer, however, some applications are ‘called in’ by local councillors to be discussed at an area’s strategic planning committee meeting, meaning the final decision rests with a committee of councillors.

Eco project given approval despite opposition

PLANS for an eco-smallholding have been given the go-ahead in the face of strong local opposition, writes Kerenza Moore.

The planning approval for land at Higher Metherell includes permission for a new pond, a polytunnel, and the creation of an area of hardstanding for parking.

In her statement to Cornwall Council, applicant Dr Gudrun Taresch explains how her family intends to turn a meadow that had been used for grazing horses into a forest garden.

“A Forest Garden will support biodiversity, provide food in a way that nurtures the soil and create a sustainable space,” she said.

“We plan to create a small pond, a small wetland and willow area, a polytunnel, poultry pen, bee hive and plenty of trees and other perennial plants of edible, medical or other uses.”

Swales will be created to collect and use rainwater more efficiently and work has already taken place to improve the ground so as to retain more water.

The successful planning application follows a refusal by Cornwall Council last year for change of use of the land to create an art and healing centre – refused on the grounds of unsuitable access.

Objectors have pointed out that the 150 square metre hardstanding currently granted is the same size as in the previous scheme.

Along with 31 members of the public who commented on Cornwall Council’s website, all in objection, Calstock Parish Council voted unanimously to recommend the project be refused.

Council members cited grounds of unsuitable access, especially for emergency vehicles, the generation of more traffic on the lane, and road safety.

One local person said that the lane was 2.4m wide at its narrowest point and another said: “I strongly object on the grounds of the proposed access which is via an unadopted farm track. This track was only ever designed to cope with horse and cart, pedestrians and livestock.”

In his report, planning officer George Shirley said: “Objections have focussed on the previously refused plans and suggest the art and healing centre remains the applicant's long-term aspiration. Nonetheless, this application does not seek consent for a change of use of the land and simply seeks consent for structures and operations which would help to achieve the management of the site as a smallholding. The provision of the pond, polytunnel and hard standing would all be considered reasonable and appropriate.

“This proposal would not result in any notable increases in traffic over and above what would be likely to arise from its existing use.

“It is well established that consent cannot be refused on hypothetical situations or the long-term intentions of the applicant - rather the application can and must only be considered on its current merits.”

Plans for extended communications pole can go ahead

Prior approval is not required for the replacement of a communications pole, with its replacement likely to be taller.

It is part of plans for the introduction of 5G across the country. In this application, a 21 metre monopole communications mast comprising of four antennas, one transmission dish and ancilliaries would be replaced with a 22.5 metre high monopole, supporting three antennas on an open headframe with one relocated transmission dish, one equipment cabinet and ancilliary units including six remote radio units at the communications mast located on Stibb Road, Bude.

Responding to the application, Cornwall Council told the applicant: “Part 16, Schedule 2 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

“Removal of 21 metre high monopole, four antennas, one transmission dish and ancillary thereto development including remote radio units and replacement with 22.5m high monopole supporting three antennas on an open headframe, one re-located transmission dish, one equipment cabinet and ancillary thereto development including six remote radio units at Communications Mast Stibb Road Bude Cornwall EX23 9HJ.

“I refer to your application for a determination as to whether the prior approval of the Council will be required for the siting and appearance of the above development. I write to confirm that the Council as local planning authority has decided that prior approval is not required.”

Proposed removal of chimney approved

Proposals for the removal of a chimney in Bude has been approved by Cornwall Council.

The Blanchminster Trust applied for permission to remove the chimney at the property known as the Blanchminster building, 38 Landsdown Road, Bude.

The trust told Cornwall Council: “Blanchminster Building is historically relatively modern, believed to have been constructed between 1908 and 1932 (likely closer to 1932) after the construction of the main properties which form Lansdown Road and King Street to the south west of the site which includes listed buildings in the majority.

“The established buildings of Lansdown Road and King Street can be seen on historical mapping 1906-1908 where the site of Blanchminster Building is clearly vacant.

“Blanchminster Building is not adjacent to a Listed Building and also has a road frontage with Broadclose Hill to the east which is a residential road outside the Conservation area.

“The chimney comprises a double flue with rendered masonry and is not considered to be of any heritage significance. 4.07 Following the removal of the chimney and making good of the roof, the remainder of the building will remain unaltered.

Historic Environment Planning responded to the application stating: “Thank you for consulting the Historic Environment (Planning) Team on this application for proposed removal of chimney.

“The property is not listed but is an attractive early 20th century building. It is on the very edge of the Conservation Area.

“Whilst the loss of the chimney will undoubtedly alter the external appearance of the building, in this instance its removal is considered acceptable.

“It is assumed the internally no changes will be made.”

Bude-Stratton Town Council had no objections to the proposals.

The proposals were granted conditional approval by Cornwall Council, subject to conditions stating that it must begin within three years from the date that permission was granted and in accordance with approved plans.

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