Former Bickington old peoples’ home will become a housing estate with 20 homes if a developer’s plan is approved

Plans have been revealed to build around 20 homes on the former Oakwell Care Home site at Bickington.

Developer Baker Estates has bought the land and former care home from Devon County Council (DCC) and says it is proposing to apply to build up to 20 new homes there.

Oakwell was one of 20 care homes closed by the county council as it sought to make savings of £10.7million, despite a determined fight from residents and relatives.

Baker Estates has written to Bickington district councillor Rodney Cann to tell him about the proposals and request a meeting.

He said: "Oakwell was a popular community home and I think we were genuinely shocked when the decision was taken to close it.

"Since then it's rubbed salt into the wound as it's been left derelict for around two years. Proposals for 20 homes have come like a bolt out of the blue and I think it really flies in the face of local feeling."

Mr Cann said he had personal experience of Oakwell, as his grandfather had been there and his mother had also gone there for respite care.

He said: "It's a really cynical view by DCC to close down the home and then sell it off to the highest bidder.

"This development is just going to add to the major problems of traffic congestion, overloading of schools and medical facilities. It's on an already busy estate used as a rat run so this is just going to add to the problems further."