AN application to change the height restriction on a controversial development which was turned down seven times has caused “absolute furore”, according to a councillor.
Permission for 53 homes on land just off Allenstyle in Yelland was granted in October, despite 78 objections.
Len Tanner has submitted seven different applications for the site dating back to 1974.
The most recent outline application was approved by North Devon Council along with 36 conditions.
Number 36 stated the reserved matters application should allow for single storey houses to the northern side of the site and houses no more than one and a half storeys high on the southern side.
But an application has since been submitted by Mr Tanner to remove condition 36, stating is it is “considered to be unnecessary and ambiguous and fails the statutory tests for imposing conditions”.
North Devon councillor Rodney Cann has called this a cynical move, saying the height restriction was a key condition on which the application was approved.
“The point is Allenstyle had been turned down on no less than seven occasions,” he said. “One of my strong issues was the visual impact on the landscape and the internationally important estuary and biosphere.
“They went to great lengths to get this application through and now they come back with this. It is so cynical.
“It has caused absolute furore.”
In a supporting statement submitted by company Maria Bailey Planning on behalf of Mr Tanner, several reasons are given for the remove of condition 36.
The statement refers to a report prepared by a planning officer prior to the outline application being approved.
It says: “While the countryside forms an important backdrop of open countryside for the existing houses in Yelland, the report does not identify the site as falling within a designated protected landscape.”
It goes on to say: “The planning officers’ report notes in general terms the loss of the site as green space to a built up extension of Yelland but it is silent on the matter of suggested building heights and their potential visual impact on the character of the landscape.”
It also says it is unclear from the planning committee minutes what is the “special justification” for the condition. The application has been called in to be decided by North Devon Council’s planning committee at a future date.
The Journal contacted Maria Bailey Planning but no one was available for comment.