Councillors have accepted a Devon County Council Highways traffic assessment and rubber-stamped plans for up to 115 homes at Northfield Lane in Barnstaple.

Outline plans for the site in Pilton were approved by North Devon Council’s planning committee in August 2014, but the scheme came back before members on Wednesday following an in-depth report from the county council on the likely impact on traffic in the area.

Members last year were concerned by the cumulative impact of developments at nearby Trayne Farm, Raleigh Park, Westaway Plain and the North Devon District Hospital site - a total of almost 600 homes.

Members of the public spoke passionately against the plans, claiming that the traffic assessment only covered development up to 2018 and did not account for the 750-home Ilfracombe ‘southern extension’.

Ward members Cllrs Brian Greenslade and Mair Manuel urged members not to approve the plans.

Mr Greenslade said: “I don’t think the empirical evidence has been proven and I don’t think it is safe to go ahead with this application.”

But committee members Paul Crabb and Joe Tucker were concerned that refusing the application could land the council with a large legal bill.

Cllr Crabb said: “This was decided last year but with more evidence required, which has now been provided.

“If this goes anywhere near appeal the longest part of it would be writing out the cheque for our barristers.”