A revised planning application for housing, employment units and a restaurant at the old Yelland power station site has not found favour with parish councillors.

At an extraordinary meeting of Fremington Parish Council the proposals were unanimously rejected by councillors, but the final decision will be made by North Devon Council.

Developer Yelland Quay Ltd has dropped proposals for a hotel on the site and now seeks permission for 250 new homes, employment units, a food and drink business plus community facilities.

It is a revised version of a plan submitted last year which sought to include 280 new homes and a hotel.

The busy Fremington meeting saw councillors reject the plans for a number of reasons, including that the development would have an 'unacceptable impact' on the estuary, which was part of the North Devon Biosphere and s site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

There was also concern over the visual 'urban intrusion' of the new development, which would be visible from Heanton, Northam and Appledore.

There was also concern over the presence of asbestos on the site, which is thought to have been buried and concreted over when the power station was decommissioned. It is feared any development would disturb this.

Councillors also felt there was already significant development taking place in Fremington parish and no remedial works or proposals had been put forward to deal with highways issues and congestion in the area.

They said infrastructure in the area was not sufficient and there wasn't enough school and healthcare provision to cope with the influx of people the development would bring.

Plus they said the development was not complying with planning policy as it was only offering 10 per cent of affordable homes, rather than 30 per cent.

There was also concern over the potential for flooding, encroachment of green space, the impact on migrating birds and the accuracy of the environmental data supplied.

The coal-fired East Yelland Power Station closed in 1984 after almost 30 years.

Since then, numerous attempts have been made to develop and make use of the site, including in 2019 the bid for a hotel and housing, while in 2016 developers sought to create a 'maritime employment campus and marine energy park'.

The jetty on site is still used to bring in cargos from the river, but much of the site has been reclaimed by wildlife. It also sits next to a nature reserve.

The Gazette has asked the applicant's agent if they wish to comment on the parish council decision, but has had no response.