Objectors make their feelings known at lively on-site rally today (Thursday)

Opposition is growing to plans to develop the controversial former Yelland power station site.

Protestors gathered on the Tarka Trail by the site today (Thursday) to object to the proposed scheme for 280 homes, employment land and a ‘marine energy park’.

One of the loudest claims was the existence of ‘tonnes’ of asbestos buried on the site. The Gazette has asked project agents Woodward Smith Architects if developer Yelland Quay Ltd wishes to respond to this.

The protest rally was organised by Joanne Bell of the Yelland Action Group and other concerns raised on the day included a feared massive impact on landscape and wildlife plus the loss of protected trees.

People also worried about the impact on local infrastructure from the estimated 560 extra cars the scheme would generate, as well as local services such as health and schools.

Jim Bell said the site was right in the middle of an environmentally sensitive area, with nature reserves either side, the river itself and the North Devon Biosphere immediately opposite.

“They are going to raise the ground by the best part of nine feet and put houses on top of that, so you will be able to see this for miles around the estuary,” he said.

“This is really part of the biosphere and they want to put houses on it, it’s just nonsense.”

David Jeremy spoke, calling on people to lodge whatever objections they have to the scheme with North Devon Council.

“A simple start is to say no to the housing full stop,” he said.

“It’s a change of use from brownfield to residential. It’s going to be an awfully long fight, but the time for making comments and encouraging people to look at it carefully is running out.”

The Gazette has asked the project agents for a response to protestors’ concerns.