Landkey homes plan would ‘overload’ village, residents fear
17:23 10 February 2014
Devonshire Homes proposals for up to 250 new homes greeted with concern by many local people.
LANDKEY residents have been having their say on proposals for 250 new homes in the village.
A large number of villagers turned out today (Monday) at a consultation hosted by developer Devonshire Homes to view the plans for 200 to 250 houses on fields next to Birch Road and Acland Road.
Many people the North Devon Gazette spoke to at the Old School Room said they felt Landkey would no longer be a village if the scheme went ahead.
“An increase of 250 houses in an already full village is too much,” said Landkey resident Margaret Massie.
“They are slightly out on the edge, but they will be using the facilities of a small village which is incredibly overloaded.”
She said she feared the increase in traffic and people would be too much for existing services to bear.
Fellow resident Sylvia Shaddick said: “I think it’s disgusting, we don’t need it and it won’t sell. We won’t be a village any more, so why would anyone want to come and buy these? I think this is going to change the whole ethos of the place.”
Doris Sambidge added: “They won’t be happy until they’ve filled it all in as far as Barnstaple.
“It’s on a sloping and wet site – all that water is going to drain down into the stream and it will only push more water down towards Bishops Tawton.”
After reviewing consultation feedback Devonshire Homes hopes to lodge an application in March. If permission is granted, it proposes to build the new estate in six phases over about 12 years, with 40 homes built every two years.
It had similar ideas for the site in 2010, but no planning application was submitted.
This time, it aims to lodge plans for housing, including 35 per cent affordable, plus employment space for business, community space ‘suitable for a new village hall or café’, a country park, allotments and orchards, an enhanced Tarka Trail and pedestrian routes.
Landkey resident Mark Stowell said he felt the latest proposals were ‘a sweetener’ to try and win over residents: “If you look at Roundswell, Whiddon Valley and other developments in North Devon, there has always been an underlying promise to deliver services and they are never fulfilled,” he said.
“We are not objecting to progress but the facilities are not there, the drainage, buses and schools are not there.
“It’s a softer approach, but once they get a foot in the door the locals will be obliterated.”
Steve Russell, managing director of Devonshire Homes, said the proposed community facilities would be based on what residents said they wanted and secured via a legally binding ‘section 106’ agreement, where a developer agrees to provide finance or facilities as part of the terms of planning permission.
“That’s why we are talking to the community because there is no point us giving them community facilities nobody wants,” he said.
In response to flooding and sewage fears, he said the development would be appraised by South West Water and if the infrastructure needed upgrading then Devonshire Homes would have to pay for it.
“I think there are about 600-700 properties in Landkey as it is. It’s quite a big village and to keep those facilities it has got now there needs to be a certain growth,” he added.
“We’re not proposing the development be done overnight - with 20 to 25 units a year it would be an organic growth that facilities could grow with.”