Barratt Homes seeks to narrow the access road after learning it does not own all the land.

DISBELIEF has greeted news of a fresh Fremington Army Camp application after it emerged the access road was in the wrong place.

Barratt Homes is bidding to realign and narrow part of Military Road access after it was discovered some of the proposed route onto the 277 home estate was on land owned by the church.

The original scheme was approved by a Government inspector at appeal last July, following strong local opposition and a refusal by North Devon Council because the access was inadequate.

Now, developers are seeking to reduce the road width at a build out section near the church car park, but say it will not affect road safety, as the footway and visibility for drivers will remain unchanged.

Residents are stunned, but welcomed the chance to tackle the issue again: “This really is unbelievable and incredible to think our community thought the first design was going to destroy the heart of the village with traffic lights, unsafe narrow paths and roads,” said Ian Smith, who lives at Church Hill.

“Their answer is to make the road even narrower! The community has another chance to tell the developers to find another way.”

Fremington County Councillor Frank Biederman said he would be opposing the plans again and had already asked for this to go to committee: “It is my belief the current proposal is unsafe and likely to cause danger to pedestrians. I am also concerned how emergency vehicles will access the site in an emergency,” he said.

“I believe we would be putting the public at risk by supporting this scheme, in its current form, let alone further reducing lengths of this road.”

Bickington district councillor Rodney Cann said he was concerned at the news: “The current proposal was really a compromise agreed with the county council and it It looks as if they are going to have to compromise safety standards even further now,” he said.

“I really feel the proposals as they stand are very detrimental to the village, creating and extra set of traffic lights, a significant build up of traffic and damaging the conservation area.”

A statement from Barratt Homes said: “Barratt Homes is working closely with the county council and local community to ensure all aspects of this new development comply fully with all planning regulations.

“As part of this process new plans are due to be submitted to the council for a minor alteration to the access road. The changes will continue to provide the same level of access to the development and these have already been tested by our highway consultant through the Highway Safety Audit process and the technical approval process with the county council highways team.”