Architect says the hotel would be ‘first class’ and create jobs for local people, while residents oppose the design at beauty spot.

AN application to build a high-end hotel at Baggy Point in Croyde has been deferred by North Devon Council's planning committee.

Outline plans show the 18-bedroom hotel would be clad with natural materials and take on a shape similar to that of a pebble.

Architect Guy Greenfield said he hoped to create an award-winning design which would attract high-end tourists to the area.

"I wanted to create something first class that is truly outstanding," said Mr Greenfield.

"It's going to be a very expensive hotel; we are looking at having a Michelin Star chef and have had a lot of interest already.

"Croyde is one of the most desirable spots on the North Devon coast; it will bring a lot of well-paying customers down who will spend money in the area."

But local businesses and residents have voiced an opposition against the proposed hotel plans, which have been recommended refusal by the National Trust and Georgeham Parish Council.

Alistair Poll, of Surfing Croyde Bay, said: "No one in the village is against development, but being fortunate enough to live in such a beautiful part of the North Devon coast, the majority of residents feel all development should be in keeping and in character with the local environment.

"The majority of people believe it's an over-development and out of character with the local environment."

Jan Hall, who lives at Baggy Point, said the area was one of the most beautiful spots on the coastline and should be preserved.

"I have lived up here for eight or nine years now and I know what the road is like during the summer when it's busy," she said.

"The road is as it was 100 years ago and there's no way you can change it."

Maria Facey, who also lives in Croyde, said: "It will be an eyesore as you drive into Croyde and look across at it.

"There's only one way to drive through Croyde to get to where it will be; it's going to be a nightmare."

But Mr Greenfield said he did not feel there would be enough extra vehicles going towards the hotel, which would employ up to 20 full time local people, to cause a problem.

"Everyone knows what the roads are like in North Devon; you expect to have to stop and back up for people," he said.

"People fear change, but it is often the buildings which have so much opposition that people grow to love."

The application is due to appear on August's planning committee agenda and if approved, work could begin on the project as soon as next year.