Plans to expand a holiday park near Ashford have been refused by North Devon councillors.
Park Holidays UK’s plan to accommodate as many as 116 caravans and build a clubhouse complete with a swimming pool, amusement arcade, shop and entertainment room at Tarka Holiday Park was discussed by North Devon Council’s planning committee on Wednesday.
Councillors unanimously refused the application, which would have included a new roundabout to serve the entrance at Braunton Road, and the decision was met by a round of applause from a group of around 30 Ashford residents who attended the meeting at Barnstaple Rugby Club.
They cited an adverse impact on the landscape and countryside, the scale of development and the impact on the village of Ashford and other amenities as reasons for refusal.
Councillor Joe Tucker said: “I’ve had quite big concerns about this site in many ways, and we have got grave concerns as a planning committee with the site.
“We are driven so much by national planning policy guidelines made by people sitting in London, it’s a different kettle of fish for people in North Devon.
“There are so many fundamental issues with this site. I think it’s dangerous for us as a planning committee to pass through an application with so many issues.”
The committee heard from six village residents, who expressed concerns about the level of noise, the generation of traffic and the impact on a nearby supported living accommodation.
Parish Councillor John Bleech said it was ‘hard to overstate’ the level opposition to the application, noting 138 letters of objection sent to the council.
Ashford resident Dale Hall said: “Ashford strongly objects to the application and all residents fear for their life in the village. The development is too large, too commercial and too close.
“The change from a quiet caravan site into a large entertainment complex should bring noise.
“Tarka say this is a tranquil site but they threaten that tranquility with that application. Ashford will feel betrayed by the local authority if the application is approved.”
The Gazette has approached Park Holidays UK for a response.
A statement from Park Holidays UK said: “Park Holidays UK will be studying the reasons for the council’s decision with a view to determining the best course of action which will enable us to take the matter forward.”