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Mr K J Wood
28 Chestnut Drive
EX15 2SJ

Development Management,
Mid Devon District Council,
Phoenix House,
EX16 6PP.

29 October 2018

Application Number: 18/01471/FULL

Address: The Gables, Gables Road, Willand, Cullompton Devon EX15 2PL
Proposal: Conversion of existing building to Pre-School and Community rooms and erection of extension for storage area.

Dear Sir

I object to this application as the Willand Parish Council (WPC) have taken this autocratic decision to lease the Gables land and buildings to the Willand Pre-School, without any discussion, meetings or reference to the wants and needs of the residents of Willand.

In February 2018 a Feasibilty Study carried out by the Willand Health & Community Centre (WH&CC) Trustees included a questionnaire which was circulated to 1700 addresses in the Willand post code EX15 2, asking if they wanted the Willand Health & Community Centre. 94% 0f respondents voted yes, 94% voted to have a surgery and 94% voted to relocate the pharmacy to the WH&CC. The results of the questionnaire were submitted to the WPC, who chose not to discuss it, and eventually completely ignored it. So much for democracy.

The S106 clearly states that that the permitted use is for "Community use”. I would mention that the Collins dictionary term for community is ,"The community is all the people who live in a particular area or place" from this, it means all the residents of Willand are the "Community". It therefor becomes apparent, that the Pre-School application will not be using the Gables site to deliver "community use”. It will be providing an amenity, that only 30/40 families out of a total of 1700 will be able to use, which is not in line with the requirements of the S106.

The WPC made a successful planning application (Ref 14/01911/FULL) for the refurbishing of the existing Gables buildings and the construction of a new annexe to house the WH&CC Unfortunately the cost of the refurbishment was exhorbitant, and a proposal was put forward to demolish the existing buildings and erect a new bespoke building, this was supported by the WPC who went on to produce a leases between the WPC and the WH&CC. This lease was "served” on the WH&CC in 2016 and the WPC were immediately informed that the Lease was unworkable. Despite two years of discussion and debate, and the WPC being informed that three independent solicitors advised that the WH&CC Trustees should not sign the lease, the WPC remained stubborn and obstinate, allowing the planning application to expire in January 2018. The WPC then gave their immediate support to the Pre-School application without any study, consultation or discussion with the residents of Willand.

It should be remembered that the Gables site and buildings was given by Westhaven Homes, the developer of the Gables site, who requested that the land would be have the protection of an S106, to ensure that the land could only be used for "Community Use” in perpetuity. It was gifted on the basis that the land would be used for a Health & Community Centre. Westhaven Homes also made a significant financial donation to the WH&CC fund.

"The Design & Access Statement" which forms part of the Pre-School application is flawed, it makes references and statements that are either completely overstated, or totally misrepresentative. These are summarised as follows:-

Paragraph 1 States.
This Design and Access Statement has been prepared by GJR Architects Ltd for Willand Pre School to obtain planning permission for proposed alterations and extensions to former buildings of The Gables in Willand to form a new Health and Community Centre.

Comment - This statement is incorrect, the applicant will not be providing a Health & Community Centre, as there is no provision for a surgery, pharmacy of medical care.

Paragraph 3 States

A number of public consultations have taken place previously in Willand which have resulted in a positive response recognising and identifying the relevant needs of the community at large.

Comment - This is totally misleading, there has been no consultations with the general public

(Physical Content)
paragraph 5 states

Statistics show it has an above average percentage number of residents of pensionable age for the District. This is important as part of the development is to provide facilities of such an age group, whilst the other section of building is to be used for the pre-school.

Comment - The floor area allocated for community use is not sufficient to accommodate a day care centre for the elderly.

Paragraph 2 states:-

The provision of day-care and memory café facilities will help the vulnerable elderly and benefit carers with some respite. Basic exercise facilities, educational, IT, library/book swap area and heritage displays will further enhance the facilities available. Provision will be made for others, from varying age groups, to associate in conducive surroundings. The opportunities to Volunteer and to meet and communicate will provide a community hub and aid community involvement and cohesion.

Comment – The available floor area to accommodate all of these facilities is totally inadequate and understated. The area as shown on the elevation drawing is approximately 120 Sq. Meters compared to the original WH&CC plans which realistically required 400 Sq. meters.

Plans Elevations Drawing 116C-01 Rev B

The internal design layout shown on the Plan & Elevation drawing gives no indication as to how the planned services viz. "The provision of day-care and memory café facilities. Basic exercise facilities, tional, IT, library/book swap area and heritage displays” will be accommodated. There is no provision for the elderly and infirm to access the upper floors, and the floor layout indicates that they are designated as "Function Rooms” what does this mean?

Denying the aged and infirm access to the full range of activities could be considered discrimination. There is no reference to Attenuation will have to be
given consideration, as the roof area is extensive and the site has no natural

Traffic is already an issue with Gables Road being extensively used each morning and afternoon by the school run. The driving is both erratic and uncaring, with little consideration as to how they park creating a dangerous situation, which will be further exasperated by the additional traffic volume created by the drop off and
collect by parents using the Pre-School.

The planned outdoor play area is within close proximity of local housing, will this encroach on "A quiet life for the occupants”?

I strongly object to this application and would summarise as follows:-

  • The WPC have changed the direction of use for this site with total indifference and without reference or discussion with the residents of Willand.
  • This application is not within the spirit of the S106 agreement, the change of use will not be in line with MDDC planning. The application does not meet the constraints for "permitted use” clause contained in the S106
  • The growing planned growth of the population, demands that the residents of Willand and the surrounding areas be given the services that will be needed to sustain this growth.
  • The planned floor space to accommodate the facilities is grossly underestimated, and will not be sufficient to provide a suitable community service.

Yours Sincerely

K J Wood

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