Cullompton residents to have their say on changing local planning controls

Posted on: 6 November 2014

The Council is seeking local people’s views on plans to relax the current rules on what alterations house owners in the Cullompton Conservation Area can carry out without needing to apply for planning permission.

In 2009 additional planning controls over what house owners could do to their properties were introduced in Cullompton Conservation Area with an “Article 4 Direction”. The additional controls mean that planning permission must be gained before various alterations can be done. These include installing rooflights on front roof slopes, putting up porches or replacing windows and doors on elevations facing a highway including any footpath, waterway or open space, removing chimneys or boundary walls.

The additional controls were part of a package of measures in the Conservation Area Management Plan to regenerate the town centre and improve the appearance of the wider conservation area. The deteriorating quality of the conservation area was recognised in the Heritage at Risk Register published by English Heritage. While the town remains a Conservation Area at Risk the deterioration has been halted.

The proposed changes

After five years and following issues with enforcement of the additional controls Mid Devon District Council commissioned a review of the Article 4 Direction by an independent consultant. As a result a number of changes are proposed. These would result in significantly fewer properties requiring planning permission for replacing windows and doors, demolishing boundary walls or constructing porches. Most dwellings would still need planning permission for installing rooflights on front roof slopes or for demolition of chimneys. In addition it is proposed that most dwellings would need to have planning permission for installation of solar panels.

Councillor Nikki Woollatt, who represents Cullompton North ward, said “Having assisted so many residents who fell foul of the Article 4 Direction I am delighted that the recommendation resulting from the review is for a more focused and targeted approach. I have campaigned for a long time that the Article 4 Direction was inappropriate in areas where a high proportion of properties had already lost their historical and architectural features and I am pleased that the consultant who carried out the review shared a similar view. The more focused approach proposed will be a more efficient use of the Council’s resources as it will be easier to manage and monitor. It will also alleviate the sense of unfairness and injustice that has been felt by some residents who have not been permitted to carry out certain works to their properties despite many of the neighbouring properties having already done so.”

Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration Councillor Richard Chesterton said “I am delighted that there is an opportunity for local residents and others with an interest in Cullompton conservation area to have their say on the proposed changes and urge everyone to look at the proposals and give their opinion.”

How to view and comment on the proposed changes

The proposals together with the consultant’s report can be viewed online at www.middevon.gov.uk/article4review or paper copies at:

Cullompton Community CentreMonday –Friday 9am – 5pm
Cullompton Town HallMonday –Friday 9.30am -1.30pm
Hayridge Library, CullomptonMonday, Wednesday, Friday 9am – 6pm Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 9am-1pm

Mid Devon District Council

Phoenix House, Tiverton

Monday -Thursday 8.30am – 5pm

Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm

In addition there will be an exhibition of the proposals at the Hayridge from 10 November to 20 December. Planning and conservation staff will be available to answer questions on the proposed changes on Friday 5 December 2pm – 5.30pm and on Saturday 6 December 10am -12.30pm. All properties within the Cullompton Conservation Area will receive a letter inviting views on the proposed changes.

All responses to the consultation should be made in writing by 22 December 2014 to Planning Services (Conservation), Phoenix House, Phoenix Lane, Tiverton EX16 6PP or by emailing planningconsultations@middevon.gov.uk

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