Plans for 350 new homes in Ilfracombe recommended for approval

Artist impression of the Ilfracombe housing plans

Artist impression of the Ilfracombe housing plans - Credit: Inox Homes

Plans for nearly 350 homes as part of the first phase of the major southern expansion of Ilfracombe are set for approval. 

Outline plans for up to 750 new homes together with a mixed-use centre, extra care housing/facility and primary school at the huge 187-acre site off Old Barnstaple Road were approved back in 2017. 

Now, Inox Homes (Ilfracombe) Ltd’s application for the reserved matters for the application for phase one of the development, which will see 347 homes built on land to the east of Old Barnstaple Road, will go before North Devon Council’s planning committee on Wednesday. 

Officers are recommending the scheme for approval, as well as a related scheme for playing pitches, a MUGA, and car parking. 

The principal of development has already been established through the granting of the outline planning permission back in 2017, and officers in their report say the scheme shows a development that is of an appropriate layout, scale and appearance for the site’s context and the character of Ilfracombe and provides suitable access and landscaping, and therefore in accordance with the development plan and recommended for approval. 

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A statement submitted with the planning application says that the development will have two distinct character areas; High Villas and Hilltop Hamlets, will have a centrally located community building to act as a focal point to the new community, while a mixed-use hub will also be created in the north western corner, maximising the footfall from residents traveling to the superstore and beyond into Ilfracombe to the north. 

The High Villas area with have a lower housing density due to the steeply sloping nature of this part of the site, with streets to diagonally traverse the steep contours to allow users to move through the site along accessible gradients. 

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The Hilltop Hamlets will be built as ‘clusters’ to help lessen the wind speed, and together with planting, help create micro-climates, and to encourage social interaction in the community, smaller scale incidental areas of public open space should be designed into the scheme. 

A tree-lined community hub will form a street that links between the Main Street and sports pitch land to the south of the scheme, while a new community garden to encourage social interaction and community cohesion will be included as part of the plans. 

North Devon Council’s planning committee, when they meet on Wednesday, March 10, will determine the fate of the applications, with officers recommending approval. 

The scheme was initially put forward by Damien Hirst with the homes setting a new standard for environmental living, boasting technology such as photovoltaic panels, concealed wind turbines in the roofs and state-of-the-art insulation, but the artist pulled out of the project in 2016. 

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