Friends of Mannings Pit gathered at consultation for up to 140 new homes as they launch film showcasing beauty of the area.

Protesters have gathered outside of a planning consultation in Barnstaple today (Monday) for 140 new homes in Pilton.

The Friends of Mannings Pit gathered to quietly show their discontent over yet another application for the area.

They also surprised developers Framptons by hiring the room above the consultation in the Castle Centre to showcase a new film.

The short film, made by ex-BBC film-maker Martin Kemp, shows why the group wish to safeguard the Mannings Pit beauty spot.

Martin said: “It’s a bit of a guerrilla premiere as they did not know it was coming.

“There was a lovely bit in the film where I spoke to an 11-year-old girl who said Mannings Pit was so full of memories.

“There is such a strong feeling, this is more than just a group of NIMBYS, this is something special.”

Bradiford resident Joan Long, 68, was one of those joining the protest outside the consultation.

She said: “I’ve lived here my whole life, and as a child I went over to the fields and played there.

“When I was recovering from a heart operation, walking in the fields was part of my recovery.

“Perhaps I was rather naive when I saw the land was being sold as agricultural.

“I believed the system would protect it, but I doubt it will now.”

Representatives from Framptons were at the planning consultation talking with residents about the plans.

Lead planner Debbie Jones said: “This is a chance to allow the local people let us know what they think.

“People normally are quite interested in developments so we expected a good turnout.”

She said no-one from Framptons would be viewing the short film.

The exhibition is running today until 8pm at The Castle Centre, Barnstaple. You can also watch the short film by the Friends of Mannings Pit in the room above it.