Plans for 61 new homes were discussed by councillors today (Wednesday) in a planning committee meeting at Barnstaple Rugby Club.

Plans for a further 61 new homes in Bickington have been refused by North Devon Council today (Wednesday).

The council's planning committee scotched plans for a development on land near Mead Park, a 'green wedge' plot of land between Bickington and Fremington.

Fremington councillor Frank Biederman said the area had 'done more than its fair share' in providing homes. He said: "The green wedge has always been important to the communities of Fremington and Bickington.

"We as a council have already given permission for 984 houses. That's just about 1,000 houses in one corridor.

"That's already recognised as having a major problem with transport.

"Trust me - Fremington has done more than its fair share for affordable housing.

"We have got to start saying no - we can't cope."

Local ward member Rodney Cann echoed his sentiments that no more new homes should be built near Bickington until a bypass is complete.

He said: "Once we realise the impact of new development in place, it's going to be unbearable.

"There should be a moratorium until there is a Bickington link in place."

Councillors voted by a majority of 10 to two against the development, citing the impact on rural character, lack of affordable houses and impact on traffic in the area.

The proposed development by Cavanna Homes is situated close to 60 homes already being built by Wainhomes near Mead Park.

That development had been rejected by councillors as well, but was overturned by a government inspector after an appeal.

The Gazette has approached Cavanna Homes for comment.

Other developments already approved for the area are Tews Lane (350 houses); Fremington Army Camp (270); Allenstyle (70); West Yelland (135); Chilpark (14); Glenwood Farm (92); and North Lane (65).