16 new homes will be built across two locations in Instow after plans were approved by North Devon Council today (Wednesday).

North Devon Council has given the green light to 16 new homes in Instow.

Councillors approved 10 new homes on land at Marine Parade and another six at Anstey Way at a planning committee meeting at Barnstaple Rugby Club today (Wednesday).

Plans came under fire from residents, who feared the development would create problems with flooding and sewage.

Many have already reported issues with contaminated water appearing near homes and on the site

But despite reservations about its suitability, councillors felt they were unable to object due to the site’s inclusion in the council’s local plan.

A stipulation of the approval was that South West Water provide evidence that they have dealt with sewage concerns.

Councillor Frank Biederman said: “There are issues with the area; South West Water say they have solved the issues - clearly they haven’t.

“I think we’ve got to make the best of a bad situation. I’m not sure about the site, but it is in the local plan.

“If we didn’t approve and got to an appeal, we would be struggling for a case.”

Ten residents voiced their objections to the homes, but claimed to be unaware of the field’s inclusion in the local plan.

Ward member Will Vandersteen apologised that they hadn’t ‘pushed further’ during the consultation process of the plan.

He said: “I’m ashamed it was not pushed further. I think the whole thing was a bit of a shambles. We should have challenged what was put forward in the local plan, and we should have got more answers.”

Savills are the agents working with applicant Christie Estates.

Simon Briggs, head of rural planning at Savills, said: “They were allocated sites in the local plan and we’ve done a lot of work in the two years before and during the application to try and resolve all the issues that have been raised.

“The development should help to make things better. They’ll bring resources to the site, which means we can re-contour it and help to deal with any flooding issues, and hopefully will bring money in to improve the sewage situation.”

A statement from South West Water said: “New houses must be built with separate surface water and foul sewerage networks. There is sufficient capacity in the public sewerage network to accommodate the foul sewage from the proposed new homes.

“Previous sewer flooding problems in the area were caused when an overflow on the combined (surface and foul) sewerage network, designed to direct surplus water to the estuary during extremely wet weather, became blocked by sand.

“The overflow was moved in 2013 and as far as we are aware there have been no further problems with this sewer surcharging.

“However, sewer blockages and flooding can be caused by inappropriate material such as wipes and fat being disposed of down toilets and sinks.

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