A masterplan for hundreds of new homes on the outskirts of Barnstaple has been put to the public.

An illustrative plan for the Westacott Development. Picture: Barton WillmoreAn illustrative plan for the Westacott Development. Picture: Barton Willmore

Barwood Land unveiled its vision for an urban extension at Westacott with a public consultation at Whiddon Valley Community Centre on Wednesday.

It has plans to transform the 59-hectare site into a ‘new gateway to Barnstaple’, with around 800 new homes, a primary school, community hub and employment space.

The North Devon Link Road would provide the main access point to the site, with the Landkey junction developed and modified.

There are also plans for a Park and Change transport facility, as well as a ‘network of open space’ and pedestrian and cycle links.

If the development were to go through the planning process without delays, construction would begin in 2020.

Barwood Land planning director Rebecca Mitchell said: “We are pleased that the event was well attended and are grateful to everyone who was able to attend to discuss the draft scheme proposals with us.

“The feedback received so far on our draft proposals indicates that most people accept the need for new homes in the area.

“The inclusion of a primary school, the hilltop park and the new roundabout access into the site from the A361 and associated improvements at the Landkey junction were particularly well received.”

“The main point of discussion with local residents was not actually related to our proposals and instead to the secondary access road into the wider allocated site from Westacott Road.

“We appreciate the strong feeling amongst the local community about this but it is important to make clear that the access from Westacott Road does not, and will not, form part of Barwood Land’s proposed development and it is not in our gift to deliver that access.”

Ms Mitchell indicated Barwood Land needed to show how the road in its proposals would connect with the 149-home plans from Progress Land, which were initially approved by North Devon Council last year.

The planned access road for Progress Land site would go through the council-owned play park at Westacott, which has proved contentious.

North Devon Council said it has not been formally approached regarding the purchase of the land it owns.

Devon County Councillor John Mathews said: “After speaking to people up there, they don’t seem derisable or anti to the proposals.

“All they are concerned about is the secondary access through the park when it joins up with the other development, which we assume will happen.

“It was a good presentation and they answered a lot of questions. I thought it was quite positive, and I think they’ve got the message about what people are concerned about.”