Councillors agree plans to demolish part of the former Penhaven Country House hotel and turn it into flats.

A vacant hotel is set to be demolished and turned into 21 new homes, despite concerns over access to the site.

The former Penhaven Country House Hotel in Parkham and its grounds will become home to new flats and houses.

Torridge District Council's plans committee spent an hour debating the application yesterday (Thursday) before approving it.

Graham Bridger, speaking on behalf of Parkham Parish Council, said he opposed the scheme.

He said the council and residents were concerned over the 'dangerous' road and access to the site.

He added: "We find the scale of this development unsympathetic, and the proposals are not appropriate for a tranquil and rural site."

Applicants Penhaven Estates previously applied to convert the hotel into holiday units in 2011, but this was refused by the council and then turned down at appeal.

Daniel Alwood, of Penhaven Estates, said: "We purchased this property six years ago when it went into receivership.

"In response to people in the community's feedback, a residential offering would the preferred option for this site."

One point discussed by councillors was whether the single-track road to the site, accessed between two pillars, could be widened.

The original plans showed a passing place but councillors agreed this was not good enough.

"I think the passing place needs to be widened the whole way down to the gates," said Cllr Peter Watson.

Councillors agreed to place a condition on the application that the track be widened to accommodate the increase in traffic.