A 10-year battle to demolish a former guest house at Baggy Point in Croyde has come to an end.
A planning application from Newfield Wren Hotels to demolish Atlantis Lodge in Moor Lane and build a house in its place was approved by North Devon Council’s planning committee at its meeting at Barnstaple Rugby Club on Wednesday.
The Victorian-style house will be replaced by a four-storey, seven-bedroom dwelling with a patio and double garage.
The site has had a long planning history, with four attempts to demolish the hotel and develop new tourist accommodation either refused or withdrawn between July 2008 and March 2017.
As a tunnel at the lodge is being used as a night roost by horseshoe bats, the development requires a replacement bat roost to be built as part of the conditions for approval.
Speaking at the committee meeting, Councillor Joe Tucker said: “Many of us have been involved with this site for many years now. It’s such a shame to see the property there for so long in need of repair and the applicant is trying to resolve this with planning permission.
“I don’t see any planning reason that we can refuse this. It’s time to put it to bed and we can start walking the coastal path and see something of benefit to the area rather than what we have at the moment.”
The application has been met by strong objections. A representation at the meeting from Rebecca Randall, acting on behalf of a neighbour to the property claimed the site wasn’t being used as residential property and the proposals put forward were actually for a hotel, due to the communal space on the ground floor and the inclusion of a lift.
The statement was refuted by Guy Greenfield, the agent for the application, who said: “We went to some considerable trouble to suggest it is a dwelling, even submitting bank statements to show income from tenants.
“I don’t know where the objector could get an idea to the contrary. I can assure you we gave up efforts to develop a hotel on this site a long time ago.
“Our application is for a dwelling on this site and that is what we intend to build.”