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COLYTON: Campaigners win in green wedge appeal
Friday, 24 January 2014
RESIDENTS of Colyford and Seaton were celebrating yesterday (Monday) after news that a planning appeal to develop the green wedge between the two communities had been dismissed.
The initial plans to build 170 houses, light industrial units, two football pitches, a pavilion, multi-use games area and new spine road through land east of Harepath Road, were turned down by East Devon District Council last year, but developers Seaton Park (Devon) Ltd. appealed the decision.
The five-day appeal hearing was held at Colyford Memorial Hall in December, for which local objectors formed an official group - the Seaton and Colyford Green Wedge Community Action Group - and employed a planning consultant to represent them.
Objectors were not expecting to hear a decision from the government-appointed planning inspector for several months, but received the news that the appeal had been dismissed yesterday.
The inspector Geoffrey Hill listed five main issues with the application:
i) The effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area, having regard to the landscape setting and the desirability of maintaining separation between Seaton and Colyford.
ii) The effect of the proposed development on wildlife interests locally, with particular regard to bats.
iii) Whether the proposed scheme includes an appropriate proportion of affordable housing having regard to local needs and the viability of the development.
iv) Whether the scheme would lead to an unacceptable loss of good quality agricultural land.
v) Whether any adverse impacts (should there be any) would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposed scheme when assessed against the policies of the National Planning Policy Framework.
Mayor of Colyford, Howard West, who led the campaign group against the plans, said he was “very, very pleased with the decision” but could not comment further as he had only just received the inspector’s report at the time of going to press and had not yet read it.
The developers also applied for cost of appeal at the hearing last year. This was also dismissed.
Seaton Park (Devon) Ltd. submitted a second, similar application for the area after the initial plans were refused by east Devon. This second application was also turned down and the decision has not been appealed.
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