Plans for seven homes on land at Hollamoor View have been rejected by North Devon Council

The refusal of plans for new homes on Bickington's 'village green' has been hailed a 'victory for commonsense'.

The proposal by North Devon Homes for seven affordable bungalows for over 55s on land off Hollamoor View was turned down by North Devon Council just before Christmas.

The decision notice said the harm caused by the loss of the open space would outweigh the benefits.

North Devon Homes said it was disappointed with the decision and would now consider its position.

District ward member Rodney Cann said: "It's a victory for common sense and has been greeted with delight by local residents.

"We all felt this application was totally unacceptable and would have spoilt the area."

Mr Cann said the land was effectively a village green and there were still hopes to make it formally into a green.

He added: "I would urge North Devon Homes to abandon developing this site, it's a valuable and much-loved amenity for the community. I would urge them to think very carefully on appealing against this decision."

The application sought to create seven two-bedroom bungalows for affordable rented accommodation, which NDH said was a much-needed opportunity to tackle the lack of housing for older people in the area.

In a statement it said: "We are disappointed with the decision considering the work we have undertaken to design a sensitive low impact scheme after listening to local stakeholders.

"We feel that the proposed scheme presented a positive opportunity to provide much needed affordable accommodation for local people who are in desperate housing need.

"There remains a national and local housing crisis and we aim to continue to work together with partners and communities to increase the supply of high quality affordable housing particularly where we own and have to maintain small infill sites such as these. We will consider our position further once we have more details on the decision."