Councillors voted unanimously this morning (Thursday) to defer a decision on Knapp House plans while concerns from Historic England are explored.

A decision on a woodland ‘holiday village’ at Knapp House have been deferred after the discovery of a late document.

Torridge District Council’s plans committee voted unanimously this morning (Thursday) to defer the application.

It comes after a letter raising concerns about the plans from Historic England, sent to the council in May 2017, was only discovered this week due to being identified as spam by the council’s IT system.

This map shows the boundaries of the planning proposals - which sit within the current caravan park at Knapp.This map shows the boundaries of the planning proposals - which sit within the current caravan park at Knapp.

The application was originally recommended for approval by the committee before this document was discovered.

Jamie Hollis, TDC’s senior solicitor, told the committee: “The issues raised by Historic England need to be considered and incoporated into a report, so you can make a robust decision.

“We also need to give the applicant a chance to response to the concerns raised.

The proposals for the new holiday park at Knapp House in Northam.The proposals for the new holiday park at Knapp House in Northam.

“I strongly recommend this should be deferred.”

The letter written by Rhiannon Rhys, inspector of historic buildings and areas, said Historic England considered the scheme would have a ‘harmful impact’ on the Grade II listed Tapeley Park and Gardens across the river.

This is due to the increase in ‘scale and mass’ of the site from a caravan park to 58 two-and-a-half-storey chalets.

Knapp House in Northam.Knapp House in Northam.

The application has also received much objection from residents as it is believed to be the site of an ancient battlefield, and was due to be discussed at this morning’s plans committee meeting.

Hector Christie, owner of Tapeley Park, and local author Nick Arnold, who discovered the battlefield history of the site, were among dozens of people who attended the meeting this morning.

The proposals were for 58 new holiday chalets as well as a reception and swimming pool building, which the applicants said would bring much needed modernisation to the site as well as new jobs.