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Residents welcome 'no' to homes plan

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

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RESIDENTS have welcomed a decision to say 'no' to plans for 100 houses and a care home in the Bridgetown area of Totnes.

But the developers behind the scheme have hinted they may appeal.

Around 40 residents crammed into South Hams District Council's headquarters at Follaton House as the Linden Homes application was discussed.

Following a lengthy debate, a recorded 13 to seven vote in favour of refusal saw the scheme sent back to the drawing board.

Ian Baker, managing director of the Newton Abbot-based construction firm, said the company would now consider its position but did not rule out appealing the decision.

Tom Maughan, chairman of the Bridgetown Alliance residents' campaign group, said: "We are very happy."

Jill Tomlin, a district and town councillor, said: "Our councillors are ready to put the new national planning policy framework to the test. That's admirable."

It was the second time Linden Homes had filed a planning application for 100 homes including 11 affordable units, a 60-unit care home and some light industrial office space.

The first application is currently being appealed after it was not determined.

Residents claimed the latest plans would create a 'gated community on the edge of Bridgetown with no real connectivity to the rest of the town'.

They also claimed it would generate extra traffic on to the already busy A385 Paignton road via a single access point at the top of the development.

Opponents said highway issues formed the brunt of their objections, despite Devon County Council's own highway experts saying there was no 'justifiable reason for refusing the application'.

Residents and local councillors also objected to the planned access road not being on land designated for development and was therefore contrary to South Hams District Council's own development framework.

Ward councillor Judy Westacott said: "It is a site earmarked for development but it is on land with a great landscape value 500 metres from an area of outstanding natural beauty.

"It will be visible from many public viewpoints.

"This site was approved for development by us and DCC. We don't object to new homes being built including 11 affordable homes. Our main reason to object is the proposed access road which would cut a swathe through agricultural fields and would be outside the agreed development boundaries."

Linden Homes' first application appeal is set to be heard in the new year.

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