The application came back before North Devon Council’s planning committee today (Wednesday) after being accepted in 2015.
Plans to build 58 new holiday lodges at Highbullen Hotel, Golf and Country Club have today (Wednesday) been given the go-ahead – again.
The application, which would also see the hotel in Chittlehamholt given a 16-bedroom extension, was first given planning consent in December 2015 on the provision that ‘passing places’ were improved on Newlands Hill.
However, as the land identified was not owned by Devon County Council, the application went back before North Devon Council’s planning committee at a meeting at Barnstaple Rugby Club on Wednesday, with the condition removed.
Several residents of the village spoke against the plans for expansion at the meeting, with many claiming that the access roads to the village – particularly Newlands Hill – were unsuitable to take on more traffic.
But the committee’s vice-chairman, Councillor Jasmine Chesters, said the application would ‘bring advantages’ to North Devon.
“We live in an area with very narrow lanes – we all know that,” she said.
“There have been no accidents on Newlands Hill in the last five years.
“I feel this application will bring advantages to North Devon; it will bring jobs and tourists will spend money here.
“Additional leisure facilities will be of benefit and most visitors will stay on site more than go out and around the area.”
Joe Tucker said the council ‘had to allow’ a place such as Highbullen to ‘provide employment and create investment’ for North Devon.
Highbullen owner Frank Chapman said: “17 months ago we were here for the previous application, and after hearing both sides of the story councillors agreed the application.
“I would make the point that when we built the Polazzo two and a half years ago, which can accommodate 800 people, we have not received one complaint regarding traffic, noise, or light pollution.
“We’ve brought a run-down hotel up to a four-star hotel and won many awards, and it’s something North Devon can be proud of.”
The new holiday lodges will be built on part of the golf course, meaning it will shortened to nine holes.