A planning application for up to 750 new homes and a new primary school at Winsford Park have been approved by councillors.

Up to 750 new homes will be built off Clovelly Road in Bideford - but they could take up to 20 years to complete.

Planning permission was granted this morning (Thursday) by Torridge District Council’s plans committee for the Winsford Park application.

As well as the houses, the site will include a 420-place new primary school, which will be built in the first phase, and a care home.

The application was deferred last month after concerns from the Environment Agency and Devon County Council.

But following further consultation, councillors heard both agencies had withdrawn these objections.

Councillor Philip Hackett praised developers Bloor Homes for working closely with the council on the development.

He said: “I think it’s a good site; it has been well thought out and it has been eight years in delivery with the planning department.”

Concerns were still raised by some councillors about drainage water into the Kenwith Dam, as well as the amount of affordable housing on the site.

Members heard there would only be 120 affordable homes, but Bloor would be contributing £8.1million to Torridge.

A large sum of this, the council heard, would be spent on recreational facilities, including improvements to Torridge Pool and Westward Ho! cricket ground.

But Councillor Peter Christie said: “As a councillor I don’t have people coming up to me saying ‘I want more playing fields’.

“They are saying ‘I want more affordable housing’.”

But councillors heard this shortfall in affordable housing would be made up for in agreements with future developments in the town.

The council, which voted to approve the application with a majority of two votes, heard the development could take 18-20 years to complete.

Mike Curtain, planning director at Bloor Homes, said they hoped to ‘move forward quickly’ with the first homes ready as early as the end of next year.

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