North Devon Council’s planning committee approves plans despite access road concerns

Contentious plans to build 12 houses in Marwood have been given outline approval by North Devon Council’s planning committee.

The decision was made at a meeting at Barnstaple Rugby Club today (Wednesday), despite Devon County Council’s highways department labelling the proposed access road unfit.

The houses, which will include five affordable homes, are set to be built on land adjacent to the Ring o’ Bells pub in Prixford – increasing the hamlet’s size by around 30 per cent.

Referring to the lack of nearby shops and amenities, councillor Glyn Lane said: “I would question whether this is a sustainable place for development.

“The size of it seems excessive for this location and for me it doesn’t seem right.”

Ward member Cllr Joe Tucker said: “In my 12 years as a district councillor for Marwood this is the biggest and most contentious application I’ve been involved with.

“There has been no real development there for 20-25 years.”

Cllr Jeremy Yabsley moved approval as he believed ‘the benefits outweighed the problems’.

Cllr David Worden said: “If we don’t look after our rural areas with a little bit of growth they will wither and die.”

Members voted eight to two in favour of the scheme.