Councillors will decide whether to give the green light to brand new retail and restaurant units, as well as 166 houses.

An artist's impression of how the food and retail area at Anchorwood Bank will lookAn artist's impression of how the food and retail area at Anchorwood Bank will look

North Devon councillors are this morning being recommended to approve plans for new shops and restaurants at Anchorwood Bank in Barnstaple.

The council is also being asked to give the green light for the creation of a new 166-home street alongside the River Taw at a meeting today (Wednesday).

Both proposals have already been given outline consent and the detailed applications are deemed acceptable by planning officers.

Anchorwood Developments Ltd is seeking to increase retail space from 1,000 sq m to 7,150 sq m.

An artist's impression of how the food and retail area at Anchorwood Bank will lookAn artist's impression of how the food and retail area at Anchorwood Bank will look

Approval is also being sought for a 1,116 sq m restaurant and café block with outside seating and mezzanine floors throughout.

Yesterday that Gazette revealed that national restaurant chains Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito have agreed terms for the lease of two of the proposed restaurant units.

Managing director Andrew Pegg said: “We are delighted to have attracted two very strong family restaurant brands to Barnstaple and believe they will fit in very well with the rest of our site and complement the existing food offer in the town.”

The Gazette also understands that national furniture retailer DFS has agreed terms for the lease of a unit next to Next, which has already announced its intention to relocate from the High Street.

A spokesperson for DFS said that no leases had been signed, but Wessex Investors confirmed that terms had been agreed with the firm.

The furniture retailer is mentioned in the planning report to go before councillors today (Wednesday).

The retails and shops application also includes 239 car parking spaces and 130 cycle spaces.

The homes application has been submitted by North Devon Homes and Pearce Homes. The blueprint, which features fewer homes than originally anticipated, also includes a central park area, two public piazzas and a small pocket park.

Meanwhile, part of the site is expected to be handed over to Asda within weeks.

The supermarket is scheduled to open in October this year.

Today’s announcements come just days after the Government decided that the Oliver Building will remain Grade II listed.