Councillors to visit Allenstyle site before decision on 53 new houses
- Credit: Archant
Vocal public opposition leads to re-think on revised plans
Councillors will visit the site at Allenstyle in Yelland before deciding whether to approve revised plans for 53 new homes.
North Devon Council’s planning Committee were recommended to approve the new plans, which include a larger proportion of affordable homes, but will now visit the site and nearby area after hearing the concerns of local residents and Fremington Parish Council, with 12 in favour and none against the visit. Attempts have been made to build new houses on the site on numerous occasions for nearly 40 years.
The committee turned down plans for the development and an appeal from applicant Len Tanner was denied in June, as only 11 of the 53 homes would then have been affordable. The revised plans include 16 affordable homes, which would account for about 30% of the new houses.
But vocal public opposition led the members to consider the needs of the mostly elderly residents of Allenstyle.
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Currently, all of the houses which border the proposed site are bungalows in a quiet community, which could be affected by the introduction of new homes. The council received 79 letter of objection from residents.
Concerns were aired that the new one and two-storey houses would not blend in and that introducing affordable houses could change the character of the community. It was also suggested that the current Allenstyle residents may be more happy to accept bungalows, rather than affordable homes.
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Patricia Calverly of the residents group Allenstyle Action Group said: “There were three issues raised by the government inspector at appeal. Only one of those (amount of affordable housing) has been addressed.
“Another of the issues was the effect on the character of the local area. This has not changed.
“North Devon Council has a responsibility to ensure we can have peaceful enjoyment of our homes.”
The committee are wary of turning down the application as it has already been to appeal, and the reasons for the site visit were not initially brought up. But Cllr Frank Biederman’s motion of a site visit carried almost unanimously to the delight of the public.