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No to plan, but a battle still ahead

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

STILL FIGHTING: Richard Lockwood says despite planning permission refusal, the battle to save Ayres Close goes on. Picture: Mike Southon. To order this photograph call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref: BNMS20121106B-006_C

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PLANS for a controversial development in East-the-Water, Bideford, have been scraped after planning officers at Torridge District Council decided to refuse the proposal.

Heyford Developments Ltd had submitted an outline planning application for 91 one, two, three, four and five bedroomed homes to be built in an area known as Venn Mines Road, between Shamwickshire Close and Manteo Way.

The people who live in Ayres Close, East Ridge View and Shamwickshire Close, were against the proposals, which would have seen their currently quiet streets turned into a busy access route for the development.

The site already had planning permission for 64 houses, but Heyford Developments wanted to increase this by nearly 30.

Richard Lockwood, who has lived in Shamwickshire Close for ten years, said he was pleased the planning application had been refused, but he knew it was not the end of the battle.

He said: "The refusal is only a pause in the war to stop Ayres Close from being offered up as a sacrificial lamb, as a cheap access to the Venn site.

"Access to this Venn site must be from Manteo Way as this is the sensible, safe approach, child free for construction teams and an easy access for future vehicles."

Mr Lockwood said: "There are ample brown site areas that could be developed, which would stop the unnecessary building over valuable productive farmland that is going to be desperately needed in the future."

A council spokesman said the planning department had refused the application largely because of poor access.

One of the reasons stated: "The application proposes only one vehicular access linking Shamwickshire Close, and no planning reason has been given as to why a vehicular access onto Biddiblack Way to the north of the site has not been utilised."

They also said the developer had not lodged an appeal against the decision.

No one from Heyford Developments Ltd was available to comment as to whether the company would proceed with the development outlined in the existing planning permission.

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