Open meeting being held to galvanise battle against housing plans.

LOCAL people have formed an action group to fight proposals for up to 900 homes on the outskirts of Barnstaple.

The Larkbear Action Group said it will ‘champion’ concerns levelled at plans to turn the town’s last remaining corridor of green land into a housing estate.

Eleven members of the newly-formed group met just days after residents crammed into an ‘introductory’ meeting being held on behalf of developers Persimmon Homes and Elan Homes.

Many expressed their horror at plans to develop land between Tower View in Sticklepath, Lake, the A361 Western Bypass, and North Devon Crematorium.

Members of the group who spoke to the Gazette but asked not to be named, said the development would impact on everybody in the Barnstaple area.

“This is not purely about defending our own interests, but those who will be indirectly affected.

“There are wider issues and it’s about how it is going to affect the region as a whole.

“The local transport network is already under great strain but if you put up another 1,000 homes it will create even more chaos on the roads at key times of the day.

“How are the schools, medical centres and the hospital going to cope? The facilities are diminishing all the time – the same number of services are available to more and more people.

“Where are the jobs for these people? How are they going to afford three or four bedroom houses on the salaries down here? The feeling is that they will be bought by people up country coming down here to retire.

“We don’t feel it’s a balanced application; it’s unreasonable given the countryside and the area.”

The group is inviting people to share their views at an open event at Roundswell Community Hall on Saturday, April 21 from 10.30am-12.30pm.

For more information about Larkbear Action Group or to keep up-to-date with the latest news about the group’s activities, email larkbearactiongroup@gmail.com

The developers are expected to hold a more detailed planning exhibition in mid-May.