34 new homes approved by council


- Credit: Archant

Plans to build 34 new homes in Woodbury have been approved by East Devon District Council, despite ‘overwhelming’ opposition from the village.

The plan is for 17 open market and 17 ‘affordable’ homes to be built in Castle Lane, north of Webbers Caravan Park.

Local residents and the parish council raised numerous objections to the scheme, including concerns about the narrow road which serves the site, and the nearby village school.

However, at a meeting of EDDC’s development management committee, councillors were told by planning officers that the proposed homes were sustainable.

Development manager Ed Freeman also said that approving the project would help EDDC meet its five year land supply shortfall, where currently the district does not have enough land allocated for building under government rules.

When councillors later debated the plan, most felt the scheme should go ahead.

Councillor Mike Howe said: “I’m having trouble trying to understand how any development on the outskirts of Woodbury can be unsustainable, because Woodbury is a vibrant community.

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“I can’t see how we can argue against it with the facts in front of us.”

Councillor Geoff Pook said: “This is a difficult decision as we have overwhelming objection from the parish and I’m aware the parish should have a big say, but we are a district council and we’ve got to look at the wider picture.”

The only DMC members to oppose the plan were Woodbury and Lympstone ward councillors David Atkins and Ben Ingham.

Cllr Ingham said: “[For councillors] from the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s very convenient for them to say build in the corridor down to the River Exe, and I don’t think that’s reasonable on communities within the western band [of East Devon].

“I say this is a move to tick off another few houses on the five year land supply. That’s not sustainable development, and I can’t support that, and I won’t.”