Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Plans for new Route 39 school at Steart Farm refused

PUBLISHED: 16:29 04 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:41 04 September 2014

Protesters outside of the meeting at Bideford Town Hall today (Thursday).

Protesters outside of the meeting at Bideford Town Hall today (Thursday).

Archant

Permanent home for North Devon’s first free school was refused by Torridge District Council this afternoon (Thursday).

A PLANNING committee has refused permission for North Devon’s first free school – saying they support the idea but not the location.

Dangerous highways, sewerage and protecting the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) were the reasons given for refusing the Route 39 site at Steart Farm on the A39.

Torridge District Councillors tried to soften the blow this afternoon (Thursday) by saying they fully supported the ethos of the school but voted eight for refusing the planning application.

Councillor Chris Leather, the only councillor to vote in support of the plans, apologised to the parents and pupils for ‘delivering a real slap in the face’.

The proposals, recommended by planning officers for approval, included a school building for more than 700 pupils, which councillors were worried would also be unsustainable for the other schools in the area.

‘Location, location, location,’ was the overriding message with councillors feeling building in the AONB could set a dangerous precedent for other developers.

“I fully support this free school but I don’t see how you can educate children to protect this wonderful environment when they’re desecrating it,” said Cllr Howard Ratledge.

Cllr Jane Whittaker agreed and said it was ‘with regret’ that she would also have to refuse the application.

“Torridge never really got any big bucks for anything,” she said.

“Now we’ve got the offer of a free school and the investment that comes with it, but for me it is totally the wrong location.”

Councillor Mervyn Langmead raised concerns over the proposed crossing, saying that stretch of road was where cars usually overtook slow vehicles they were stuck behind.

“I think it’s an accident waiting to happen and I for one will not be putting my name to where there is a possibility of an accident.”

1 comment

  • Sigh - councillors should really stop referring to R39 as a 'free' school. It is anything but. I believe this was the right decision, but not necessarily for the right reasons. There is something FAR more fundamental to consider here; the original 'justification' for the school. From the laughably cynical method of gauging initial 'demand' for the school, to the squirming & twisting & distortions that followed, to the ever-changing declared 'ethos' that now tries to insist it HAS to be located in this spot... What are we teaching our children? How to distort the truth and manipulate others to gain what YOU want? That'll be an A* for R39.

    Report this comment

    Chippy

    Friday, September 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 14:00

Nature’s Nutrition in Bideford has re-opened as a community-run shop and launched a share offer scheme, after successfully crowdfunding £10,000

Read more
Yesterday, 13:55

UPDATED: The North Devon Link Road is currently closed and both drivers have been airlifted to hospital after being cut from van and lorry by fire fighters.

Read more

Aldi, Costa and Marston’s are the national chains hoping to set up home at Roundswell as part of the St John’s development

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

SOHS hustings on the NHS at Barnstaple St Peter’s Church, Tuesday, May 30

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

What is life like when you’re the warden of Lundy Island? We took a trip on MS Oldenburg to meet Dean Woofdin Jones and find out.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:12

The A361 between Braunton and Ilfracombe was closed after two vehicles ‘t-boned’ and driver was airlifted to hospital.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:03

People in North Devon and Torridge have until midnight tonight (Monday, May 22) to register if they want to vote in the June 8 General Election

Read more
Yesterday, 09:29

The band of women walked down the Tarka Trail on Saturday night to raise money for North Devon Hospice.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:03

Watch as North Devon’s Conservative candidate Peter Heaton-Jones chats about the forthcoming general election and why he is standing

Read more
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Watch as Nick Harvey says the region is facing cuts, threats from developers and to RMB Chivenor, so Brexit isn’t the only thing voters should be worried about

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications