Agenda item

Minutes:

Questions had been submitted by Councillors Cottle-Hunkin and Ford under Procedural Rule A9.

 

In accordance with the Constitution a written answer to each of the questions had been circulated to Members.

 

Question from Councillor Cottle-Hunkin

 

We are told by a resident in Great Torrington that a proposed housing development (on land adjacent to South St car park) will overshadow his solar panels, cutting off his power over the winter months, and as a result will put his current carbon-neutral business into jeopardy.

We are told that just a small change to the design is all that is needed to allow him to keep his solar panels producing energy to the same extent as they do currently (i.e., the placing of single-storey garages next to the solar panels rather than two-storey houses as is currently proposed).

Given this information, and given that the council has declared a Climate Emergency, will TDC be seeking for the developer to make changes to the existing design? And if not, why not?

 

Answer

 

This question relates to a live Reserved Matters application (ref: 1/1086/2021/REM), outline planning permission having been granted by Plans Committee in December 2020 for the erection of 9 dwellings.

 

The only matters currently under consideration are the appearance of the dwellings and landscaping with other matters such as the layout and scale of the development having been agreed at outline. As with all planning applications, the proposal is being considered in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise in accordance with planning law.

 

A supplementary question was asked by Councillor Cottle-Hunkin where she asked for the council to commission a valid report into it using the correct data before they progress the application forward.

 

The Chair advised the information was not available at the meeting and a separate response would follow.

 

The question and response were noted.

 

 

Question from Councillor Ford

 

How much did the Jack Hegarty report cost the Council?

 

 

Answer

 

The cost to the Council of engaging Mr Jack Hegarty was £6,777.

 

For the benefit of other Councillors who may not be aware of the detail Mr Hegarty was commissioned with the help of the Local Government Association in a capacity of an independent person to investigate complaints made against Cllr Ford.

 

The cost also includes wider work necessary to produce the report as Mr Hegarty needed to interview all the complainants separately, produce and agree statements from each, liaise with Cllr Ford and then produce a report, which was presented at a hearing.

 

It was necessary to engage an external investigator as Cllr Ford had made allegations directed at TDC officers, which meant it was not possible to conduct the investigation internally as ordinarily the case in other circumstances.

 

The Chair read to Members the question submitted by Councillor Ford.

 

Following a supplementary question by Councillor Ford, asking if the independent investigator had all the evidence required, the Chair advised that a response would be given outside of the meeting.

 

The question and response were noted.

 

The Chair confirmed that Councillor Ford’s second question was not answered as it was not a matter for TDC to consider and advised Councillor Ford to progress his query with the Police.

 

Councillor Ford left the meeting at 6.49pm