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Collaton St Mary objectors' joy as plans thrown out

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 15, 2012

objectors: Collaton residents celebrating victory after Taylor Wimpey's plan to build 197 homes off the Totnes Road at Collaton St Mary was rejected

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PLANS to build almost 200 homes on the outskirts of Paignton have been thrown out.

Around 50 angry residents from the village of Collaton St Mary cheered when Torbay Council's planning committee agreed with their officers and turned down plans by Exeter-based Taylor Wimpey to build 197 homes on a field known locally as the car boot field off the A385 Paignton to Totnes road.

Following presentations and a short debate, councillors members decided the proposed scheme would be built on a regularly flooded field, add unmanageable traffic on an already congested road, would be out of keeping with the rural character of the area and go against the authority's own local plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.

Objectors to the multi-million pound plans told the committee they would have spoiled an area of great landscape value and natural beauty, would have disrupted natural wildlife and habitat, created additional noise and pollution, overcrowded the public transport and school facilities in the area and led to the loss of good quality farmland.

They would have also gone against the wishes of the community.

Some 200 objectors signed a petition and wrote to object against the planning application.

David Watts, chairman of the Paignton Neighbourhood Forum, told the committee: "We have come to the view that the proposal is fundamentally flawed in terms of its unsustainable location, unsustainable layout, and unsustainable impact that it would have on the area."

Ward councillor and deputy mayor Dave Thomas said: "This is a smash and grab job. When do we hear of a developer agreeing straight out to 40 per cent affordable homes, early delivery and a large Section 106 agreement?

"This development would have been parachuted in on an area of great landscape value. This is not a sustainable development and presumption should go against the development.

"There is nothing discernible in its character, no link to Torbay or Collaton St Mary.

"The developers could have chosen to put in an outline application but instead they chose to submit a full application. It shouldn't be deferred. It should be refused."

Fellow ward councillor Jeanette Richards said: "This is a piecemeal development without any understanding of how it would impact on the local community."

Cllr Andrew Baldrey said Torbay Council's own policy was to safeguard the Bay from further urban sprawl.

He said: "That's reason enough to refuse this application."

Cllr Pete Addis added: "It is the most beautiful landscape. It is very moving. This development could have been put down anywhere. It has no sympathy for the village and the rest of the Bay."

Local resident and father-of-four Roger Green said: "This is democracy at its best. We are not anti-development but this was the worst development one could have imagined. I don't think they anticipated how much people would object to it."

A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey said the company would review its position.

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