Proposals for 92 new homes would shatter tranquillity of Oakland Park South cul-de-sac, say residents and councillors.
MORE than 100 people filled a Barnstaple cul-de-sac to protest plans for a new housing development that they say would shatter the tranquillity of their ‘quiet’ neighbourhood.
Residents of Oakland Park South and Ellerslie Road say proposals for 92 homes on farmland overlooking the Taw Estuary would have a devastating effect on the local landscape – and cause traffic misery for generations of families living in the area.
On Monday, many spoke to the Gazette about their fears for the future of the Sticklepath suburb.
Mike Paddon, who has lived in Oakland Park South for 30 years, said he was ‘gutted’ to learn about plans to convert his cul-de-sac into an access point for the new housing development.
“The only reason we have stayed here so long is because it’s so peaceful and quiet. We’ve never even considered moving before – you couldn’t ask for a nicer area.
“You get half a dozen cars up here a day but that’s all going to change.
“We are absolutely gutted; my wife is distraught about it.”
Neighbour Fred Barrow said it would change the whole character of the area.
“We moved here for the quietness but I’m now going to have a busy road run past the back of my house,” he said.
Fellow resident Anthony Dart said the cul-de-sac would become a through-road, with vehicle movements estimated to increase from around 45 to 545 per day.
He said: “Oakland Park South was built as a finished development 60 years ago. A lot of people here bought their houses from new and one of the reasons they did so is because they thought it wouldn’t be developed.
“Once the estuary views are lost, they will be gone for ever; all you will be able to see as you look across the estuary from the Braunton road is houses.”
North Devon Councillor Des Brailey said traffic would not only affect Oakland Park South, but also cause major problems around Sticklepath Community School, particularly as people head to work in the morning.
“This will cause real problems,” he said.
“It’s congested enough up by the school already and that’s without an extra couple of hundred car movements – I can’t and won’t support that.”
Fellow councillor Rodney Cann said he had already ‘called in’ the application to ensure it is determined by the planning committee rather than officers.
“There are already more than 1,400 homes planned for the immediate area ,” he said.
“It’s a massive total and I think this part of Barnstaple has already met its commitment in terms of new homes.
“This is very much a step too far; in my view, the impact it will have on the landscape and traffic here is totally unacceptable.”
A design statement submitted on behalf of applicant John Evans said the development would provide up to 37 affordable local needs homes.
It said: “There would be some localised landscape impacts and additional traffic would be noticeable to existing residents and road users.
“However, these factors are minor impacts of little weight in comparison with the substantial benefits of the proposal.”