The attraction will be North Devon’s biggest track ride.

A NEW million-pound rollercoaster for North Devon has received planning permission after five years of preparation.

Torridge District Council’s planning committee approved plans for the 400m track ride at the BIG Sheep on Thursday.

Rick Turner, owner of the BIG Sheep, said: “I am hugely excited about the prospect of installing this fantastic attraction, it will be a major addition to our ever increasing appeal and will be a huge boost for the whole of the tourism industry, following what has been a challenging year.

“We will be installing it over the top of our outdoor combat zone, racing through the trees and actually over the side of the lake.”

The ride was purchased by the BIG Sheep in 2008 where it previously ran in the first floor of the Metro Centre shopping centre in Newcastle.

A number of concerns were raised at the committee meeting over the level of noise which would be generated by ‘screaming’ ride-users.

The family attraction has already planted 2,000 native trees around the area to act as a barrier to reduce visual and noise impact.

“It is not a thrill ride and as can been seen from similar rides around the UK, the noise from its operation and the people on the ride will be minimal.

“The noise from the wheels are quieter than a car passing on a road and is a low pitch; with the topography and the distance to the nearest houses it is not expected to affect the peacefulness of The BIG Sheep or to disturb the animals around the site, or any of the residents in Abbotsham.”

An exhibition will be set up during the rest of the summer at the BIG Sheep showing the plans and drawings of the ride.