Benefits outweigh the harm, says Government inspector

Controversial plans for 135 homes on the estuary at West Yelland have been given the green light by a Government planning inspector.

A hearing at Barnstaple Rugby Club heard today (Friday) that Welbeck Strategic Land LLP had won its appeal against North Devon Council and planning permission was granted.

The inspector said the benefits of new housing were not outweighed by the ‘limited’ harm to the areas character and appearance.

District Councillor Rodney Cann has opposed the scheme from the beginning and said the news was ‘a bitter blow’.

“It really will open up the estuary area for further development,” he said.

“It will dramatically impact on the character of our estuary and the Tarka Trail. We fought it long and hard and I find this decision to be inexplicable.

“The inspector has dropped a bomb on the estuary and it will open it up for urbanisation – everything that is unique about North Devon is being conquered by development.”