SHDC Planning reference: 0550/19/FUL
Creek House, Island Street, Salcombe
LETTER OF REPRESENTATION FROM THE SOUTH HAMS SOCIETY

The South Hams Society interest
1. For the last 50 years, the South Hams Society has been stimulating public interest and care for the beauty, history and character of the South Hams. We encourage high standards of planning and architecture that respect the character of the area. We aim to secure the protection and improvement of the landscape, features of historic interest and public amenity, and to promote the conservation of the South Hams as a living, working environment. We take the protection of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty very seriously and work hard to increase people’s knowledge and appreciation of our precious environment. We support the right development – in the right places – and strenuously oppose inappropriate development, as we believe to be the case with this application.
SUMMARY
2. In the opinion of our society and its members, this application has little merit and we therefore lodge this letter as a formal objection to the application for the reason set out in more detail below.

High Standards of Planning and Architecture
3. As this is clearly a retrospective planning application, it would obviously fail our test as to whether the highest standards of planning have been followed. This application is clearly much more than a retrospective application to correct a minor technical planning issue.
4. Accordingly, based on the planning history of this site, it is difficult to draw any other conclusion than that the applicant should have been fully aware of the planning sensitivity of the site.
5. Any professional advisor should certainly have been aware of such sensitivity especially when the applicant’s advisors appear to be based in the offices directly under the premises to which the application refers.
6. We would draw attention to the previously withdrawn application on the same property in May 2017 which seems to be very similar in nature to the current application. This withdrawn application was obviously made in advance of the conversion works on the property being undertaken.
7. As such any development undertaken prior to an appropriate planning application being made would seem to indicate an element of pre meditation to it, suggesting a hope that the works would not be noticed and therefore the development gain approval by the backdoor.
8. Without a planning application being made, the buildings would appear to have been built on what would be classified as a night watchman’s flat/part office without any of the normal surveys, environmental checks or building control visits being carried out.
9. As it is set in the Maritime quarter of the town and within a conservation area, we believe this has a detrimental visual impact on the area and would appear to breach the councils own planning policy.
10. South Hams Development Policy DP2 (Landscape Character) states that proposals “will need to demonstrate how they conserve and / or enhance the South Hams Landscape Character“. We believe that the application fails this test.
11. Policy DP1 echoes Strategy Policy CS7 in that all development “should display high quality design which, in particular, respects and responds to the South Hams Character in terms of its settlements and landscape. Once again we would suggest that this application fails in this regard
12. DCC Planning Policy states that “Local Authorities have a duty to ensure that any new development does not encroach into these historic landscapes or views to and from them
13. In our view the proposed development presents an unacceptable level of harm to the distinctive characteristics of the Estuary creek.
14. We believe the application fails to meet with the newly approved Joint Local Plan or the developed Salcombe Town Plan (which we understand is now at the Consultation stage).
PROTECTION OF THE AONB
15. Our society has campaigned for many years to ensure that the South Devon AONB and Heritage Coast is nationally protected for the benefit of all present and future generations
16. We believe that he interests of the wider Community are not best served by what we believe to be a speculative property development without the appropriate advance permissions in what we consider to be sensitive location.
17. We believe that the arguments relating to the sensitivity of the site and the area have been well documented in previous applications. There have been similar applications in the same street which have already been refused and we believe a similar approach should be adopted to this application

For the reasons stated above, we would ask for this retrospective application to be rejected.

Although not necessarily part of this application, if the application is rejected as we would suggest is the appropriate decision to be made in these specific circumstances, that the planning department draw the matter to the attention of their colleagues in the enforcement department.

For and On behalf of the South Hams Society

RAYMOND LONG
Chair

11 April 2019

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