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18/1464/FUL | Demolition of existing barn and construction of a single dwelling | The Pound Lower Budleigh East Budleigh
  • Total Consulted: 22
  • Comments Received: 20
  • Objections: 19
  • Supporting: 0

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Mr Ed Parr Ferris (Neutral)

Comment submitted date: Tue 30 Apr 2019

Since our previous comments on this case (dated 4th September 2018), a Lux Plan was submitted on the 18th December 2018, prepared by Hoare Lea. This states that light spill onto the proposed new bat barn will not exceed 1.0 Lux, with maximum Lux figures at the barn of 0.92 Lux.

We would draw attention to the most recent guidance on bats and artificial lighting published online by the Bat Conservation Trust and the Institute of Lighting Professionals on 12th September 2018, which supersedes previous guidance. Section 3 of the guidance (see excerpt below in Appendix 1) clearly states that roosts for all bat species should receive no artificial lighting. This also applies to associated flightpaths and foraging areas. For rare and highly light averse species, including grey long-eared and horseshoe bats, foraging and commuting habitat should also not receive any artificial lighting.

In noting the Encompass Ecology review of ecological data on behalf of EDDC (submitted 27th October 2018), they suggest that 'no lighting' is achieved when Lux levels are measured as 0.5 to 1.0Lux. This is not stated in the BCT/ILP guidance and indeed agreeing Lux levels is only discussed in Section 4 'where bat habitats and features are considered to be of lower importance or sensitivity to illumination' - clearly not relevant for roosts or very rare and light averse species. We would dispute the Lux levels proposed - the guidance clearly demands no artificial lighting.

In order to achieve this, we would like to reiterate our first two comments from our September response:

o Light spill from the proposed house needs to be reduced to a level compatible with bat usage of the replacement barn (now considered to be no artificial lighting). We suggest that permanent physical barriers (in the form of hedgerows or large shrub planting) are likely to be more effective than a lighting strategy (which may be difficult to enforce).

o Disturbance of the proposed bat barn needs to be prevented by making it a no-go area for residents of the house and their visitors. Dual use of the proposed bat barn is likely to result in lighting being added by future residents. We suggest that this barn and access to it, should be placed under the ownership and management of the applicant. The hedgerow, suggested above, might form a clear dividing line between the house and the bat barn. The area around the barn can then also be suitably managed for the bats.


Yours sincerely


Ed Parr Ferris
Conservation Manager
Devon Wildlife Trust

Comment submitted date: Wed 05 Sep 2018

We note that the planning application at this location has the potential to adversely affect the bats that presently use the existing barn as a day/night and feeding roost and that the proposed replacement barn is intended to mitigate this problem.

However, whilst we appreciate the efforts made in this direction, it should be recognised that there is no guarantee that the opportunities for roosting provided by the replacement barn will be taken up by the bats using the existing barn. We suggest the following additional measures, to maximise success.

o Light spill from the proposed house needs to be reduced to a level compatible with bat usage of the replacement barn. We suggest that permanent physical barriers (in the form of hedgerows or large shrub planting) are likely to be more effective than a lighting strategy (which may be difficult to enforce).

o Disturbance of the proposed bat barn needs to be prevented by making it a no-go area for residents of the house and their visitors. We suggest that this barn and access to it, should be placed under the ownership and management of the applicant. The hedgerow, suggested above, might form a clear dividing line between the house and the bat barn. The area around the barn can then also be suitably managed for the bats.

o Connections need to be made between the bat barn and suitable foraging and commuting habitat. Ideally, large unlit hedges with trees would run from the barn to connect with hedgerows, species rich grassland, cattle-grazed pasture, orchards, woodland and wetland. Thought could be given as to whether some of the applicant's surrounding landholding might be enhanced to create such bat-friendly habitat.

As the bat barn will only be effective as a mitigation measure if it is actually used/occupied by the bats, we believe that these matters need to be addressed before any decision is made on this planning application.


Yours sincerely


Ed Parr Ferris
Conservation Manager

K Alexander-clarke, Secretary (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 15 Apr 2019

Further letter rec'd 10.04.2019 Scanned under Contributors.

Comment submitted date: Wed 10 Apr 2019

Please see scanned letter dated 10th April under the documents tab.

Comment submitted date: Wed 02 Jan 2019

See letter under document tab on our website

Comment submitted date: Tue 06 Nov 2018

See letter under document tab on our website

A William (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 31 Jan 2019

Please see scanned letter dated 31/01/2019 under the documents tab.

Ms Sally Rogers (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 10 Jan 2019

As the website for planning comments was not working, here are the comments on 18/1464/FUL, you have agreed to post for me. I am concerned that I cannot view previous comments. Please would you let me know by email, when the website is working again.

I am strongly opposed to planning permission for this development.

1. I agree with the concerns raised by Karen Alexander-Clarke in her letter of 23 December 2018, re the adverse impact of light levels from the proposed development on the bats roosting at The Pound, East Budleigh.

2. I believe there are wider concerns regarding bat disturbance from the proposed development. I would like to know what position Natural England has taken regarding the threat to legally protected bat species.

3. The Pound is a small but characterful community asset which should be protected as a link for future generations to understand and value their local heritage.

As a general point, East Devon's economy is very dependent on visitors who come to enjoy natural and rural heritage, often extending the main tourist season. It would be very disappointing if our Local Authority does not support the conservation of these assets.

Yours sincerely,

Dr N Daniel (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 09 Jan 2019

After reading and studying the additional information submitted for planning application 18/1464/FUL the Otter Valley Association (OVA) continues to strongly object to this planning application.

The OVA considers that the incomparable nature of this site and its environs with regard to the exceptional number of bat species it supports is not fully appreciated. The evidence points towards this site being one of the rarest in Devon, if not in England. Indeed, the OVA regards this as of greater significance than Beer Caves. Following the completion of the East Devon AONB project taking place in Beer the follow-up study must be the Pound in East Budleigh.

If there is the slightest doubt that any development would harm the bio-diversity of this site the planning application must be refused.

The OVA strongly endorses the comment submitted on January 7th 2019 by the East Budleigh Parish Wildlife Protection and Conservation Group following their detailed work on the problems of light spillage and the flight paths of greater horseshoe and grey long-eared bats.
This significant harm should be refused under NPPF para.175.

The people of East Budleigh and the parish and district councils should celebrate that such a range of these rare mammals are living in their area and do all in their power to protect and encourage the welfare and habitat of these bats.

Comment submitted date: Mon 30 Jul 2018

The Otter Valley Association objects to planning application 18/1464.
The revised NPPF now in force puts great emphasis on Neighbourhood Plan policies taking precedence over existing non-strategic policies in a local plan covering the neighbourhood area.para.30.
This application is contrary to the East Budleigh Neighbourhood Plan policies
POLICY N2 Protection of Local Green Spaces
Policy B2 General design principles
Policy N1 Protecting and enhancing the landscape, biodiversity and local countryside character
POLICY N2: LOCAL GREEN SPACE
The Pound is a Local Green Space designated in the East Budleigh Neighbourhood Plan. It has been designated because of the value of the space to the community due to its beauty and visual significance, its historic significance and heritage value.
As National Planning Practice Guidance states in Para. 11 b this protected area "provides a strong reason for restricting the overall scale, type or distribution of development" (designation of local green space is included in footnote 6)
HARM TO LOCAL GREEN SPACE
1 Laying down an aggregate driveway with frequent domestic use.
The designated Pound is now traversed by an inconspicuous, grassed, agricultural lane which is used very infrequently.
The proposed 2.8 m. wide driveway will be made up of angular stones or aggregate held in a cellweb mesh.( It has been recommended by Major Trees Ltd. that the driveway be covered by Cellweb, a product designed to protect tree roots from heavy traffic.) Hence the inconspicuous grassy lane will stand out as an aggregate driveway.
The OVA does not accept that the new arrangement for the driveway at the side of the Pound would improve the appearance at the back of the Pound, not least having no unsightly farm machinery there in future. The aggregate surface will stand out like a sore thumb, where ever its position.
This driveway would service a 3-bedroomed house with possibly 2 cars and the present infrequent, agricultural use will be replaced by that of the daily domestic access to a dwelling with a double garage and several carparking spaces.
The character of the Pound will be destroyed and the area developed contrary to Para.11 of the NPPF.
2 Crownraising, ongoing pruning, service trench digging and the effect of heavy machinery will severely affect the health of the protected trees.
The Pound's visual charm is due to the large number of trees. This has been acknowledged with 6 TPOs.
POLICY B2 GENERAL DESIGN PRINCIPLES
1 Adverse impact on neighbouring property: 50 years old Pound House has enjoyed a delightful southerly garden. The proposed dwelling will be approximately 10.5 feet higher than Pound house, impacting on the light in the house and garden. (The OVA is disturbed that the site visit by the East Budleigh Parish Council did not include the residents of the adjoining property)
2 Adverse impact on the Pound: This large dwelling would visually dominate the rural character of the Pound.
POLICY N1 IMPACT ON PROTECTED SPECIES
Rare bats are found around the Pound and roost in the barn. The existing trees are used as navigation tools. The OVA cannot accept that building a bat barn will solve this problem. It will be sited behind the house and the trees used for navigation.
Construction works will interfere with the bats in the area.
East Budleigh is an important location for many species of bats and all should be done to encourage them.
The OVA questions who would look after the bat barn? What if the home owners decided to remove it?
Otter Valley Association
Dr. N.Daniel

Mrs R J Selwyn (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 08 Jan 2019

See letter under document tab on our website

Comment submitted date: Wed 05 Dec 2018

See letter under document tab on our website

Comment submitted date: Tue 14 Aug 2018

See letter under document tab on our website

Kathy Moyle (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 15 Nov 2018

Please see scanned letter dated 15th November under the documents tab.

Mr N Groom (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 24 Aug 2018

I am writing to object to planning proposal 18/1464/FUL to demolish an eighteenth-century barn in East Budleigh, on the grounds that this barn provides a unique habitat for a variety of bats, including greater and lesser horseshoe bats, brown long-eared bats, and grey long-eared bats. Grey long-eared bats are described by the Bat Conservation Trust as 'very rare ... found only in a few places in southern England'. In fact, very little is known of the ecological necessities or behaviour of grey long-eared bats at the northern edges of their extent, so the effect of habitat changes cannot be confidently predicted or mitigated. Any change is extremely risky to the survival of these creatures. As custodians of the environment I therefore feel that it is imperative that we do all we can to preserve the habitat of such scarce wildlife for future generations. Although provision is made in the planning application for an alternative place in which the bats may roost, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will take to the new roost - especially bearing in mind that they are firmly established in their current barn. The demolition of the current barn is, then, likely to be catastrophic to the survival of these bats, and I therefore object most strongly to the application.

Prof. Nick Groom, MA, DPhil, FRSA

Kathy Moyle (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 23 Aug 2018

See letter under document tab on our website

Ms K Macve (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 31 Jul 2018

Will you please add this e mail to the comments on the application 18/1464/FUL for a house at the Pound, East Budleigh.
I was saddened to see that another application has been submitted for this ecologically and historically important site.

I note that the size of the house, or at least the number of bedrooms, is now in line with the East Budleigh Development Plan, although it will probably not be a home that many local people could afford. It will also detract, to some extent, from the adjacent properties, which will lose light and amenity, contrary to policy B3/c in the Development Plan. Access to the proposed development is not, however, within the designated built up area, and seems to be in the portion of land given many years ago to the Village of East Budleigh. This site is one of the last remnants of the rural and agricultural heritage of East Budleigh and for these reasons, I would ask you to refuse this application.

The barn and its environs are home to many bats, including the greater horseshoe bat which is now rare in Britain, numbers having declined by over 90%. This has been made more evident by the careful research done by Laurel Mayne and attached to the Application. Demolishing a known bat roost could be devastating for these individuals, which are already in decline, as well as to the more common but equally important species. Policy N1/f asks that wildlife should be conserved, and whatever mitigation measures are taken to give the greater horseshoe bat and the many others alternative accommodation, these measures are considered unlikely to succeed. This species alone is too important to put at risk for the sake of one house; there are also other rare animals there. Our wildlife is important for the wellbeing of humans, in the sense of their contribution to the local ecology; my concern is not just about the enjoyment of seeing these creatures. It should be noted that it is illegal to demolish a building which contains bats.

The existing barn, although not well maintained, could be useful for agricultural purposes, and is a most valuable part of the built heritage of the village which brings in so many visitors to the area, or the whole site including the public area could be devoted to the preservation of wildlife. This would be a far more valuable and enduring legacy. It would be tragic if it were to be lost for so little benefit.

Yours faithfully
Ms K. M. Macve

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