Report on the 22nd February Extraordinary Meeting

Extraordinary Meeting to consider Potters planning application

Meeting with lots of peopleThe Parish Council held an Extraordinary Meeting on Thursday 22nd February to give residents an opportunity to share their views on planning application 24/0044/FUL to redevelop Potters Country Market (currently trading as a Morrisons Daily).


At the meeting, large-scale drawings of the siteplan and elevations were displayed, and leaflets were provided to ensure residents knew how to submit their comments online, by email or by post to East Devon District Council. Some residents had also organised a petition.


Over 140 residents came along. Two representatives from Avalon Planning & Heritage attended, as well as two representatives from Morrisons regional management team, and Ward Member Cllr Jess Bailey. In the audience was East Devon MP Simon Jupp.


The public session, extended by the Chairman to accommodate the many speakers, lasted an hour and was a lively and spirited session throughout. The Chairman intervened more than once to ask agitated residents to settle down, but thankfully did not need to resort to “clearing the room” as she threatened to do at one point! It was very clear that the public were unanimous in their strong opposition to the proposed scheme.


Key concerns voiced by residents included (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • The high-density layout, mass and scale of the proposal is not in keeping with the surroundings and character of the woodland village and would be a blight on such a prominent site in the village centre;

  • The drastic reduction (two-thirds) in retail space would make the shop no longer viable for Morrisons as a convenience store, resulting in the loss of the shop and also the Post Office;

  • Many elderly residents rely on the facility in the heart of the village as they are unable to drive;

  • The drastic reduction in car parking space would lead to increased parking and congestion in surrounding streets, particularly during busy school drop-off and pick-up times;

  • Landscaping is inadequate;

  • Infrastructure in West Hill is already under pressure eg the Primary School is oversubscribed;

  • Not enough thought has been given to the needs of disabled residents eg access from West Hill Road is via steps.

The representatives from Avalon Planning said they had heard plenty of feedback to pass on to their client, a property company based in Manchester which currently owns the site.


Following the public speaking session, Councillors proceeded to debate the application and resolved to strongly object to it. Click here to view the draft Minutes of the meeting.


The Parish Council would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting in person, or submitted comments to EDDC either via the planning portal, by email or by post.


The deadline for responses is Sunday 25th February, unless EDDC grant an extension.


Gallery - click to view the larger image