Dairy Crest Public Inquiry Moves a Step Closer

A public inquiry is to be held at Follaton House in Totnes on Tuesday 5 December 2023 with the Planning Inspectorate.Fastglobe (Mastics) Limited appealed the decisions by South Hams District Council to refuse two applications to re-develop the former Dairy Crest Site in Totnes.

As part of the planning for the appeal hearings, the Council has been in dialogue with Fastglobe’s representatives. After robust discussions agreement was reached that Fastglobe will withdraw their appeal against the Council’s refusal of planning permission for a mixed-use development that would have included 20 holiday lodges and a spa/concierge building. 

During the appeal process, Fastglobe have also provided noise and ecological information that they had previously refused to provide, in support of their second planning application for a mixed-use development that included about 80 houses. 

The failure to provide the information was the main reasons for the Council’s refusal of planning permission. The Council’s specialist advisors have following detailed assessment confirmed they are satisfied with the information that has now been provided. Therefore, the second appeal will now focus on the detail of the section 106 planning agreement. The Appeal will focus on how 30% affordable housing will be delivered and other financial contributions can be secured.

The agreement between the Council and Fastglobe has been recorded in a ‘Statement of Common Ground’ which has been sent to the Planning Inspectorate today. This agreement does not however stop Totnes Community Development Society from presenting its case to the inspector at the inquiry.

A South Hams District Council spokesperson said: “The Council is pleased Fastglobe has decided to withdraw the first of their appeals. The Council has always been convinced of the strength of its case. 

“The provision of holiday lodges does not align with planning policy, nor does it reflect the Council’s hopes for the site or importantly, those of the local community. Nevertheless, the withdrawal of that appeal removes any risk of holiday lodges being found by the inspector to be acceptable and planning permission being granted.

“The Council is pleased that Fastglobe has finally provided the information that they have been requesting for over 12 months. This means the planning inspector can now focus on the real issues, namely the provision of 30% affordable housing and getting the financial contributions that are needed. Our residents can be confident that the Council will be putting forward strong arguments on both of these issues.

“The withdrawal of the first appeal and narrowing the issues on the second appeal at this stage, will allow Totnes Community Development Society more time for preparing its case. They can concentrate wholeheartedly on the matter at hand, without the distraction of having to prepare unnecessary information for the first appeal.”