The Public Inquiry opened at 10 am on 24 November in the Newcourt Community Centre. More than 100 members of the public were present.
The Inspector, Mr Bore, observed that he had been appointed at short notice because it was recognised that the Inspector originally appointed might have been prejudiced by a previous case. On examining the case papers before the Inquiry he had realised that Topsham Rugby Club was not a neutral venue, as required by legislation, because the Rugby Club had objected to the planning application. He thanked Exeter City Council (ECC) for having found a new location at such short notice. Although the legislation allowed the Secretary of State to change the venue in this way, Mr Bore recognised that the late change may have been prejudicial to members of the public wishing to attend. He also considered the premises to be inadequate given the numbers present.
He decided that he should adjourn the Inquiry and proposed to reconvene on 8 February 2016. The appellant and ECC both stated that this date was acceptable. Given that several members of the public wished to give evidence, he said that the reconvened Inquiry should be planned to extend over four days, not the three days originally proposed. It is for ECC to identify a venue. The details will be publicised in due course.
The Inspector has decided that it is inappropriate to hold the Inquiry in the Rugby Club. It will now be held in the new community centre on the Newcourt Housing Estate.
Please note that the Inquiry is expected to last for three days.
Exeter City Council refused to decide an application for planning permission to build a care home, assisted living apartments and dwellings on land to the north of Exeter Road. (Application 14/2066/01). The Planning Committee deferred a decision because the facts relevant to the Home Farm site appeal were also relevant to the Topsham Gap proposal.
The developers’ appeal against the Planning Committee’s action is due to be heard by the Planning Inspector at a public inquiry starting at 10 am on 24 November. The inquiry will be held at Topsham Rugby Club. The inquiry is open to attendance by members of the public.
The Society has previously objected to this development and intends to make a further representation to the Inspector.
The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 12 November 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org) within 21 days of the listing date.
62, 63 & 64 High Street, Topsham. Change of use from takeaway/restaurant (in part) to residential accommodation comprising conversion to 2 flats at 1st and 2nd floor, creation of a four person house to rear and alterations to the frontage. 15/1187/03
1A Tresillian Gardens, Topsham. Erection of a garage. 15/1208/03
Middleten, 13 Station Road. Fell 1 tree. 15/1214/06
The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 22 October 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to email@example.com) within 21 days of the listing date.
4 Sunhill Avenue, Topsham. Proposed wraparound extension, loft conversion including dormer on North East side, off road parking and internal alterations (revised proposals further to 15/0747/03). 15/1127/03
Bowhill, Riverside Road, Topsham. Demolition of existing rear conservatory and erection of single storey extension to rear elevation. 15/1114/03
The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 8 and 15 October 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org) within 21 days of the listing date.
21 Elm Grove Road. Replacement garage. 15/1055/03
65 Exeter Road, Topsham. Proposed single storey rear extension, two storey rear extension, single storey front extension, loft conversion and rear roof extension. 15/1051/03
Elmfield, Newcourt Road, Topsham. Retention of timber shed. 15/1058/03
2 Tresillian Gardens, Topsham. Prune 1 tree. 15/1079/06
86 Fore Street, Topsham. Fell 1 tree. 15/1080/06
14 Fore Street, Topsham. Conversion of part-rear of premises to dwelling. 15/1062/03
8 Tresillian Gardens, Topsham. Prune 2 trees. 15/1099/06
The Oboussier Lecture is put on jointly each year by Topsham Museum Society and Topsham Society. This year’s speaker is Jeremy Pearson and the topic is “Forced into Exile? Three Devon estates 150 years ago”. If you had visited Killerton, Arlington Court or Saltram in the 1860s you would probably not have found the families at home. This lecture explores the three very different reasons for their absences, and gives an insight into life in Devon in Victorian times.
Jeremy Pearson was the Senior Curator for the National Trust in the South West for many years leading a team that looked after 42 Accredited Museums. In the early 1980s he worked at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter and helped to negotiate the creation of Topsham Museum as we now know it.
The Lecture is free to members of Topsham Society and Topsham Museum Society. Cost to non-members is £2 payable at the door. A licensed bar will be available from 7.00 pm for wine and soft drinks.
The 2016 Topsham Calendar is now available. The price, with envelope, remains at £5. You can order copies on line by using our Contact Us page. The calendar is also on sale at the Post Office, The Topsham Bookshop, Topsham News and Mortimore’s. There will also be the opportunity to buy a copy as you enter the Matthews Hall Market on a Saturday morning.
Goat Walk Land Update
The 4 society nominated trustees (Chris Buckingham, John Bradley, Frances Nieduszynska and Jeremy Rawlings) recently met. The meeting was convened as the first Trustees Meeting to discuss the interest shown by those people from the community who responded to the request for applications to serve as the 3 community trustees and/or on the management committee. Three further trustees have now been appointed all of whom have specific skills and experience to help fill roles, they are Peter Gray, Kirsty Semple and Mark Dent. In addition people have been approached to serve on the management committee. As with the new trustees, those people all have very specific experience or skills which are useful when managing a piece of land such as this. It is not too late to register an interest in helping in some way, please email Jeremy on email@example.com.
Land Management for the Winter months
The majority of the trustees met with a local grounds maintenance man at the land last week. He has recommended various works need to be carried out as good land management sooner rather than later. The fields will be flailed, cutting off the plant growth a short distance above the ground, and the cuttings will be allowed to rot in over the winter. Doing the work at this time of year will have minimum impact on the wildlife in the fields, and does not preclude any future plans for the land. If the land is left as it is now over the winter, without flailing, options for the next stage of management in the spring would be restricted.
At the same time the hedges will be cut. This needs to be done both to stop them growing out over the road and also restricting access to the edges of the fields. In the longer term a decision could be made to let some parts of the hedges grow outwards, but in the short term full access to the land will be required to begin implementation of whatever plan of long term management is agreed upon.
This work will leave the fields looking somewhat bare over the winter and we would ask you to bear with us while the plans for the longer term are developed, agreed upon and implemented. News of the planned community consultation will hopefully be available later in the Autumn and is expected to take place in the New Year.
There is now a facebook page for the land please follow the link below and ‘like’ the page – GWLT Facebook page
The Goat Walk Land Trustees
The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 17 September 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org) within 21 days of the listing date.
59 Victoria Road, Topsham. Loft conversion to create a bedroom with en-suite shower room. 15/0941/03
Redrock House, Elm Grove Road, Topsham. Extension of the existing dwelling, demolition of an existing barn and the construction of two new habitable barns at Redrock House to provide additional and higher quality living accommodation. 15/0851/03
Land Off Exeter Road, Topsham. Six no. residential flats, car parking and associated facilities. 15/0907/03
Land Off Exeter Road, Topsham. Reserved Matters Application (Pursuant to Outline Planning Permission granted on 27th July 2015, ref 14/1605/01) for the approval of the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of 22 dwellings on part of outline site. 15/0909/03
6 Elm Grove Road. Fell 2 trees. 15/0987/06
The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 27 August and 3 September 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to email@example.com) within 21 days of the listing date.
27 August 2015
Grove House, Fore Street, Topsham. Repairs to boundary wall involving rendering and repointing. 15/0924/07
3 September 2015
40 Monmouth Street, Topsham. Greenhouse in rear garden. 15/0928/03
91 Fore Street, Topsham. Fell 2 trees. 15/0943/06