Locals have say on Larkbear proposal

Developers quizzed over large-scale homes plan.

LOCAL people have been having their say about developing proposals for hundreds of new homes at Larkbear on the outskirts of Barnstaple.

A total of 261 residents from 189 local households registered their attendance at a planning exhibition held at Roundswell Community Centre on Saturday.

They were able to quiz representatives of Persimmon Homes and Elan Homes about the plans to build up to 1,000 homes on the green field site between Lake, Tower View and the crematorium.

Mark Crosby, of consultation organisers Consensus said: “Based on the written and verbal feedback we received, the potential impact that the development would have on local traffic and highways was the primary issue raised by local residents.

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“Many people also took the opportunity to highlight their frustrations regarding parking in the streets around the college. Impact on local wildlife and ecology is also a key concern.”

Local resident Stuart Watson-Davies, who was among those at the event, said it was not as well attended as he’d expected but many who come did so to voice concern at the proposals.

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He said: “There were a lot of angry people in there and I overheard a number of heated arguments. It was very sad to see because I can sympathise with their concerns.”

The exhibition followed a packed public meeting held in April when there was standing room only.

Mr Crosby said invitation postcards were sent to more than 1,200 homes in the surrounding area.

He said: “It was a very hot day and this probably had an effect on the number of people that might normally turnout for an event of this significance.

“Based on past experience we would usually expect figures in the region of 300 to 400.”

All of the feedback from the consultation will be collated and recorded in a Statement of Community Involvement that will for part of a future planning application, likely to be submitted by the end of the year.

Mr Crosby said the project team would now consider how best to address concerns and issues highlighted and that conclusions would be featured in the next pre-application exhibition which is currently scheduled for early July.

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