A DECISION on whether to grant permission on controversial plans for 53 homes in Yelland, which developers have been trying to build for the last 39 years, has been put off by North Devon councillors.
The plan for 53 homes on land off Allenstyle came before North Devon Council’s planning committee this morning, with councillors asked to decide whether an increased number of affordable homes had made it acceptable.
The most recent plan, which councillors discussed today, was turned down by North Devon Council late last year before going to the planning inspectorate on appeal.
A planning inspector decided the council had been right to refuse the plan, on grounds the benefits of the scheme didn’t outweigh the harm caused to the area.
Specifically, the inspector said the plan didn’t provide enough affordable homes.
The new application is identical to the last, but with an increased percentage of affordable homes.
This morning planning officer Keith Bines outlined the history of the site and listed nine reasons which Fremington Parish Council had cited as reasons to refuse the plan.
Members of the public then had a chance to speak, with one angry his newly bought home would be devalued if the plan went ahead.
Paddy O’Connor told the committee: “We decided to move in because of the peaceful environment.
“Had we known about this plan we never would have bought.”
Patricia Calvery, from the Allenstyle Action Group, told the committee: “We live in a beautiful part of the countryside, a peaceful, quiet area.
“Building family homes will bring extra noise and traffic into our peaceful estate. We have no disturbances here and don’t want police cars on our estate.”
Planning agent Maria Bailey addressed the meeting and suggested her client would seek costs from the council should the plan be refused.
That prompted ward member Chris Turner to stand and speak. He said: “I don’t particularly like being vaguely intimidated.
“The fact is this is a greenfield site outside the development boundary and out of keeping with the surrounding area.
“The only person who’ll benefit is the applicant. There have been 79 letters of objection and no doubt there’ll be mutters of nimbyism but where is this localism act Eric Pickles is so keen on?
“Don’t we have a duty to represent our electorate? I for one am listening.”
As Mr Turner received applause the other ward member, Frank Biederman, rose and moved the committee put off a decision and conduct a site visit, in order to get a better understanding of what’s been proposed.
His motion was unanimously supported.