Councillors vote against policy to let Kings Nympton family build new home

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A Kings Nympton family are ‘delighted’ after being granted permission to build the first affordable house in the village.

Angela Hickey, who has lived in Kings Nympton for 38 years, and her husband Matt Evans and two children will be able to remain in the village after North Devon Council’s planning committee voted to make an exception to its usual planning policy and allow them to build an affordable house at Moor Close.

The planning officer’s recommendation had been to refuse the application as Kings Nympton is not seen as a small enough village to allow ‘local needs’ housing, and the site was considered too far from the centre of the village.

But the committee decided that given the nature of the plans – to replace an existing shed with a modestly sized house – and the Parish council’s unanimous backing of the plans that they could make an exception.

The planning committee voted nine in favour and none against to approve the building of a new home.

Ms Hickey spoke during the meeting, telling committee members that she wanted her children to be settled in the village she had lived in for most of her life.

Parish representative Mr Kenyon also spoke, saying the council ‘saw a real opportunity to support a well-known and active young family’.

The Parish council had voted unanimously to approve the plans.

“Small communities like this need to be sustained,” said Cllr Richard Edgell. “They will wither and die if they don’t have the support to continue.

“These are the sort of sensitive matters which this committee needs to take on board.”

Cllr David Worden also echoed these sentiments.

“It is vital for this family and will be good for the community,” he said.

“We’re delighted,” an emotional Ms Hickey said after the decision. “I feel the right decision has been made to house a family in need.

“I’m actively a member of the community and really just delighted that we’ve had a unanimous vote, too. We can’t believe it really.

“We just didn’t know how it was going to go. We’ve had 100% support and would like to say thank you to everyone for that.”

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