Ilfracombe southern expansion 347 new homes plan approved
- Credit: Inox
Plans for nearly 350 homes as part of the first phase of the major southern expansion of Ilfracombe have been given the go ahead.
North Devon Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, May 19, backed Inox Homes (Ilfracombe) Ltd’s scheme which will see 347 homes built on land to the east of Old Barnstaple Road.
Outline plans for up to 750 new homes together with a mixed-use centre, extra care housing/facility and primary school the huge 187-acre site off Old Barnstaple Road were approved back in 2017.
Councillors on Wednesday agreed with the officer recommendation to approve the scheme, as well as a related application for playing pitches, a MUGA, and car parking.
When the scheme had been discussed in March, councillors deferred the application for two months to enable time for a meeting of the relevant ward members to consider the scheme design and also to allow for consultation responses from the local highway authority, lead flooding authority, arboriculturist and housing enabling.
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Amended plans had been submitted in respect of layout, drainage, landscaping and the Community Building, including changing facilities, and at Wednesday’s meeting, councillors voted in favour of planning permission for the scheme.
Officers in their report had said the scheme shows a development that is of an appropriate layout, scale and appearance for the site’s context and the character of Ilfracombe and provides suitable access and landscaping, and therefore in accordance with the development plan and was recommended for approval.
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When the scheme was unveiled, a statement submitted with the planning application says that the development will have two distinct character areas; High Villas and Hilltop Hamlets, will have a centrally located community building to act as a focal point to the new community, while a mixed-use hub will also be created in the north western corner, maximising the footfall from residents traveling to the superstore and beyond into Ilfracombe to the north.
The High Villas area will have a lower housing density due to the steeply sloping nature of this part of the site, with streets to diagonally traverse the steep contours to allow users to move through the site along accessible gradients.
The Hilltop Hamlets will be built as ‘clusters’ to help lessen the wind speed, and together with planting, help create micro-climates, and to encourage social interaction in the community, smaller scale incidental areas of public open space should be designed into the scheme
A tree-lined community hub will form a street that links between the Main Street and sports pitch land to the south of the scheme, while a new community garden to encourage social interaction and community cohesion will be included as part of the plans.
The scheme was initially put forward by Damien Hirst with the homes setting a new standard for environmental living, boasting technology such as photovoltaic panels, concealed wind turbines in the roofs and state-of-the-art insulation, but the artist pulled out of the project in 2016.
In December 2019, North Devon Council had entered into a funding agreement with Homes England to forward fund roads, drainage, a community building, a Mixed Use Games Area (MUGA), and a serviced primary school site for the development, with the HIF funding loan commitment amounting to £6.5 million and is in two tranches.
The first £619,242 was for planning and design related fees and has been drawn down already by Inox. The second tranche of monies will be used to deliver the infrastructure.
The funding agreement with Homes England is dependent upon a number of milestones. The first milestone was securing reserved matters approval for the scheme. The remaining milestones relate to start on site of the wider project (by November 30, 2021), first completions of housing (by May 31, 2022) and completion of HIF infrastructure (by March 31, 2023).