Tetlow King Planning (TKP) has recently secured planning permission for an improved access for the Gittisham Care Village, owned by Retirement Villages Ltd, near Honiton, Devon.
The quality and safety of the access has been a longstanding concern for residents, due to the steep incline and tight turn in to the site.
The principal planning complications in delivering these important changes to the access were that the site has a blanket Tree Protection Order (TPO) and lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The landscape proposals submitted by AFLA, based on an arboricultural survey by the Barrell Tree Consultancy, and the engineering solution by Michael Thomas Consultancy sought to remove a number of trees but proposed to replace them with oak standards to maintain the landscaped element of the driveway.
Honiton Town Council initially objected to the proposals on the basis of the potential adverse impact on protected trees within the AONB; and advocated refusal of the permission in favour of a scheme which did not remove any trees.
A site visit was arranged for members of Honiton Town Council to properly view the trees and existing access arrangements; and to further discuss the proposals and their planning benefits.
Following various discussions with officers and consequent minor amendments, the proposals were ultimately agreed as providing sufficient mitigation and supported by the highways, tree and planning officers of Devon County Council and East Devon District Council. Delegated planning approval was granted in October 2011.
Rachel Coles, Consultant Planner, acted on this for TKP.