Controversial plans for Barnstaple homes given approval
09:57 09 January 2014
51 new houses to be built off Goodleigh Road after NDC Planning Committee vote
Controversial plan for 51 new homes in Barnstaple have been given approval by North Devon Council’s planning committee.
Plans for the sight off Goodleigh Road were rejected and an appeal dismissed earlier this year when applicant Wainhomes proposed 182 houses across a larger area near the Grade II listed Gorwell House and Tollgate Cottage.
Another application was submitted in July for 62 homes, and following consultation 51 houses will now be built, including 18 affordable homes.
Several issues were debated by councillors and speakers alike, with the main sticking point proving to be whether the fact the proposed site lay outside of the development boundary and would be visible from across Barnstaple was sufficient to move refusal.
Other issues raised revolved around traffic problems, potential flooding, the impact on the listed buildings and the land being classed as grade 3a, considered the ‘best and most versatile’ agricultural land.
Several objections were received and eight people spoke against the plans.
Jan Larson, who lives close to the site at Crookmans Corner, said she was ‘very disappointed that Wainhomes are still determined on the site despite public disapproval’.
“Why are local people not being listed to?” she asked.
Other local residents, including Mrs Jarrett, suggested that the original reasons for refusal had not been properly addressed.
“We are amazed to see another application when nothing has changed,” she said. “The road will still not be able to cope with the extra traffic and pedestrians will be in danger.”
But Cllr Jasmine Chesters said the applicants had ‘done as much as they can’ to protect the listed buildings.
“We may not like it but it is something we’ve got to live with,” she added.
Cllr Joe Tucker said: “I share the concerns of many of the objectors, but there are guns being held to one’s head all the time.”
The vote carried with 11 councillors voting in favour of the plans.
Vanessa Marston, who has lived at the adjacent Gorwell House for 37 years, said she was not disappointed by the committee’s decision.
“I’ve never been against the development,” she said. “Obviously no one welcomes it but I have been please with the planners as they seem to be consulting a lot more.
“I thought we were going to get 182 houses so I’m just pleased they are listening and making adjustments because of course we need houses.”