South Park Braunton homes plans given the green light after appeal
PUBLISHED: 17:07 03 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 03 December 2017
Government planning inspector gives approval for 55 homes and says the effect on traffic and air pollution would be ‘highly limited’
The go ahead has been given for the controversial plan for 55 homes at South Park in Braunton.
Following two days of appeal hearings in the summer, Government planning inspector Thomas Bristow has upheld the appeal against North Devon Council by developer Chichester Homes.
The council refused the green field application in June, giving the impact on air pollution and the ‘cumulative traffic level’ as its reasons.
The Love Braunton group of residents has also campaigned strongly against the plans.
However, applications for costs against NDC by both Chichester and Love Braunton, after delays while a working public address system was found, which they allege was the reason the hearing went into a second day, were refused.
Regarding the development, in his report, Mr Bristow said although the proposal was outside the Braunton development boundary, it was not very far outside.
He said: “The proposal would inevitably result in the introduction of built development in what is presently natural land, altering its character.
“However the appeal site is a small element of the landscape character area of which it is part.
“From many vantage points, residential development here would be viewed in conjunction with nearby properties and the existing built form of Braunton.”
He said he believed the effect of traffic from the development would be ‘highly limited’ and also pointed out the Local Plan proposes a further 900-plus homes around Braunton.
He said: “For the above reasons I therefore conclude that although the proposal would inevitably result in some increase in traffic around Braunton, this would not unduly affect the safe or efficient operation of the surrounding highway network.”
He also said he felt ‘the proposal would not result in unacceptable effects related to air pollution’.
But parish councillor Brad Bunyard said: “This is an unfortunate decision in the light of the air quality and traffic congestion issues the village faces.
“While there is a real need for more affordable housing in the village, we need a realistic plan to resolve the issues before we exacerbate the problems with further piecemeal development.”
The South Park proposal was the subject of two planning applications, two public hearings and two site visits by the planning inspector.