Torridge District Council has been recommended to approve plans for a new housing development in Bideford, or risk a shortfall in housing delivery and ‘significant’ costs from a potential appeal.

Proposals for a major new housing development in Bideford are set to be decided upon next week.

Torridge District Council’s (TDC) plans committee will meet on Thursday, November 2, to discuss plans for 550 new homes and a 1.9-hectare primary school off Clovelly Road.

At last month’s plans committee meeting, councillors voted on a motion to approve the application by Linden Homes, but this was lost four-votes-to-five.

No further motion to refuse was put forward by councillors, so the proposals were deferred for an ‘implications report’ to be prepared.

The report, put together by the council’s legal team, said TDC could face an appeal and costs of at least £75,000 if it refuses the application without demonstrating the harm from the scheme ‘significantly and demonstrably’ outweighs the benefits.

The report read: “The legal opinion has concluded it has difficulty in seeing the basis for objecting to this application give the careful analysis carried out by officers.”

It stated members were ‘entitled to differ in their views on a development from their officers’ and this was a ‘very important part of the democratic process’.

But it added: “Your officers maintain their view that the proposal should be approved and the concerns raised by the plans committee on October 5 can be adequately controlled by planning conditions.”

How the proposed development could look on land south of Clovelly Road.How the proposed development could look on land south of Clovelly Road.

The report said if the council chose to refuse the application, it could result in a shortfall of housing delivery for Bideford and risk the delivery of the emerging joint local plan.

Councillors are recommended to grant the planning application,, which was submitted in 2014.

But at last month’s planning committee meeting, concerns were raised about ‘noise and smell problems’ due to the adjoining farm business.

There was concern this would result in a detrimental impact on the farming business.

An aerial view of the site adjacent to Atlantic Village, south of Clovelly Road.An aerial view of the site adjacent to Atlantic Village, south of Clovelly Road.

The plans committee meeting will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at Bideford Town Hall at 9.30am.

What do you think of the plans? Should councillors approve or refuse them? Vote in our poll above and comment with your thoughts below.