St Andrews Road planning appeal dismissed

Plastic house on plan

A planning appeal against a North Devon Council decision to refuse the development of 161 homes off St Andrews Road in Fremington has been dismissed.

The Planning Inspectorate dismissed the appeal made by Vistry Homes Limited against the council in a decision made on 11 September.

The plans, which were submitted in August 2021, proposed up to 161 residential homes, and included the demolition of a property in St Andrews Road to create access to the development.

The council's planning committee refused the application in August 2022 due to the significant impact the development would have on nearby residents, and the site being unallocated within the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan. A decision notice was issued the following month.

The applicant appealed the decision and a public inquiry was held at Brynsworthy Environment Centre over five days in July 2023. The Planning Inspectorate upheld the council's decision, noting the significant impact on residents, the proposal's poor design and access and the council's re-establishment of a five-year land supply.

Lead member for Regeneration, Economic Development and Planning at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse, says: "It is welcome news that The Planning Inspectorate have upheld our original decision to refuse this development. We are committed to ensuring new developments are appropriate for the needs of our residents and communities.

"Now we are back to a position of being able to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply, we have much more control to manage proposals for housing and this decision shows we are in a better position to resist applications that do not meet with northern Devon’s plan for the future of our area.”

The council, along with Torridge District Council, was able to re-establish a five-year land supply in April. This allows the councils to support only the proposals that contribute towards the long-term vision for northern Devon and the area’s local plan, whilst being able to better resist proposals that fail to do so.