Members of the Larkbeare Action Group believe the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan will be damaging for both districts.

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A pressure group is claiming the new North Devon and Torridge Local Plan is bad news for the region.

The Larkbeare Action Group (LAG) says the extra 16,000 new homes proposed in the plan, intended as a blueprint for both districts for the next 20 years, is a ‘development time bomb’.

Members claim it will lead to traffic chaos, lack of employment and schools places, loss of Greenfield sites and inadequate healthcare.

The group of some 270-280 residents from around Barnstaple was set up to oppose plans for 820 on land at Larkbeare on the outskirts of town, between Petroc and Lake.

But chairman Don Pratt said they felt the plan did not serve the best interests of North Devon as whole: “It is creating a high concentration of development along the ‘Barnstaple to Bideford corridor’ to the deficit of the rest of North Devon.

“It is sucking in all the resources while the rest of the area is struggling for social infrastructure. This is missing opportunities to improve the quality of life for all the people of North Devon.”

In a statement, the group called the plan ‘a totally unrealistic wish list’ and urged individuals, parish councils and local groups to make their views known before the March 15 consultation deadline.

“It is a complex document and we are not convinced the people of North Devon are grasping the full implications of it,” added Mr Pratt.

“We are trying to get some awareness out there that this will be moving forward for adoption.”

The Local Plan can be viewed and comments submitted online via www.northdevon.gov.uk or www.torridge.gov.uk. Alternatively it can be viewed at local council offices and comments can be made by emailing localplan@northdevon.gov.uk or localplan@torridge.gov.uk, by post to: Planning Policy Team, Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford, EX39 2QG or Planning Policy Team, North Devon Council, Civic Centre, Barnstaple, EX39 1EA.

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