Calls to reject latest bid for new homes at Chivenor Cross

The Chivenor Cross site which is the subject of a bid for 59 new homes to add to development in the area

The Chivenor Cross site which is the subject of a bid for 59 new homes to add to development in the area - Credit: Devon CPRE

Campaigners have called for councillors to reject proposals for 59 new homes at Chivenor Cross they say would add to ‘unsustainable’ development in the area. 

The proposals for the development alongside Chivenor Business Park and opposite Chivenor Caravan Park have been recommended for approval when North Devon Council’s planning committee meets on Wednesday, January 13. 

Applicant Waddeton Park Ltd is now bidding for the residential development following earlier permission in 2013 for a luxury camp site and facilities. 

The council’s officer has advised approval, giving among the reasons its lack of ability to demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites in the local plan, which has been shown to tip appeal decisions in the favour of developers. 

Locals fear the development of Chivenor Cross will put too much pressure on the area and add to the constant Braunton traffic problems. 

The developer says it will provide high quality two, three and four bedroom houses to meet local need. 

A total of 155 homes has already been built in the area, with permission granted for 94 in autumn 2020. 

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This latest application was ‘called in’ by Heanton Punchardon district councillor Andrea Dais, who said: “The site has a long planning history, the local parish council have been consistently against any residential development here on the grounds of sustainability, increase in highway movements to name two. 

“There are no schools, health care or community facilities in the area of Chivenor. As a frequent user of this junction and the area myself (before the pandemic) I do have significant concerns about the impact on road safety.” 

Devon CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) has lobbied against the over-development of the Chivenor-Wrafton areas. 

Trustee Steve Crowther said: “This application – to turn a proposed tourism site into another unwanted housing estate – must be refused. A slow-motion environmental and economic disaster is unfolding at Chivenor.  

“At the 'Braunton Bottleneck', where many of North Devon’s two million visitors sit in traffic jams every year on their way to our coastal resorts, the council is in the process of allowing developers to build what could ultimately be more than 600 new houses.  

“With no new roads, no new jobs, no new community facilities and no answer to the horrendous traffic problems this will cause on the road, in the already-polluted centre of Braunton, and on the single-track lanes that people will be forced to use to try and escape the endless jams. 

“Because the long-awaited Local Plan only lasted 14 months before it was thrown out by a planning inspector, North Devon Council think they are powerless to stop this, so they aren’t even trying. It’s an unforgivable failure.” 

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