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

MPs write a joint letter airing concerns over Sustainability and Transformation Plan while Torridge MP demands evidence over Holsworthy bed closures.

Read more
07:00

Search table: Enter the name of your Devon school and see how much the latest budget changes could affect it by

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07

Artists turn out for the first ever Sunday Art on the Quay event at Bideford

Read more
Yesterday, 14:45

There will be overnight closures on the A39 in Barnstaple between Roundswell and Lake roundabouts this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:20

The new 12-sided £1 coin will enter circulation today (Tuesday) - but what does this mean for North Devon’s parking machines?

Read more
Yesterday, 09:22

A North Devon songwriter is asking people to send in their photos showing what makes them stronger, for her brand new music video.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Campaigners against health cuts aim to draw ‘red lines’ around hospitals in North, East and South Devon

Read more
Mon, 17:30

Lundy Island’s church was in desperate need of repair, but £1m funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable works to go ahead.

Read more
Mon, 13:22

Almost 200 turned out at Grosvenor Church on Monday to pay tribute to a ‘brilliant guy’

Read more
Mon, 12:54

UPDATE: The A361 Link Road has now reopened after a collision between a lorry and a car at Rackenford.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 11°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