A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for three houses in Hele was approved today at a council planning meeting in Barnstaple.
The plan for three identical modern homes on land at the junction of Foxbeare Road and Watermouth Road has been criticised for its potential to increase traffic and for ignoring the council local plan, which states the land is reserved for industrial use.
The application was made by McGlave & Co and was approved despite a recommendation by Ilfracombe Town Council that it be refused.
The concerns expressed by councillors and local residents centred around traffic on what is already a busy, narrow junction and the local plan which states the land should be for industrial use.
Hillside Road resident Claire Powell said Watermouth Road was one of the few roads into Ilfracombe and was always busy.
She said: “Police say it’s a notorious black spot so why are we adding more movements?”
David Jones spoke on behalf of Sandra Dovey, who owns Hele Valley Park, a camping and caravan site.
He said: “The whole nature of the park is it’s concealed.
“These houses would compromise her business.
“They would completely overlook the park.”
Ilfracombe town councillor Mike Edmunds said the local plan had identified the site as industrial land and warned councillors they would be going against the plan by approving the application.
He said: “There will be the need in the future for this site to be taken up as industrial land.”
Hele resident Lyndsey Derbyshire said the houses’ design was not in keeping with the character of the village’s traditional residences, many of which date back to the 1800s.
She also said people walked and played near the site, adding: “An increase in traffic, particularly during development, is of great concern.”
Councillor Paul Yabsley recommended the plans for refusal, saying: “Foxbeare Road has major traffic problems and this development is going to exacerbate the situation.”
But six councillors voted for approval with only two voting against and the plans were approved.
Local resident Andy Haynes said he was disappointed with the result.
He said: “I feel we have been overlooked.
“They’ve completely ignored our objections.”