Budleigh council’s hands were ‘tied’

A move made by the town council to back controversial plans to build up to 48 homes on allotments at Greenway Lane was made to buy the town more time.

Budleigh Salterton ward member Councillor Steve Hall said Budleigh Salterton Town Council’s hands were ‘tied’ on Monday, when the members voted in favour of supporting the outline planning application.

Cllr Hall said the town council backed the early-stage application because, if faced with an appeal, the proposal was unlikely to fail.

The district councillor said the town’s next move was for ward members to present alternative sites to build.

He said the aim was to move the town’s building boundary line to include new parcels of land identified as suitable for development.

Cllr Hall said: “Greenway Lane is not the ideal site. We know that, in our hearts.

“There are alternative sites which are even further way from the building development line which we would prefer, but first we have to change the Local Development Framework

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“The three district councillors need to go and attack with a view to exploring these sites.

“We feel we have the power to influence the Local Development Framework panel to say which land would be better for Budleigh.”

Cllr Hall urged the town to back Budleigh’s three district councillors in their quest by lodging any objections against Clinton Devon Estate’s application to the district council by July 15.

Councillors Hall, Tom Wright and Alan Dent say the objections could help the trio when they face the Local Development Framework panel to request moving the town’s building boundary.

Cllr Hall said the hope was to save the Greenway Lane allotments by securing more favourable plots of land.

He said: “It’s vital and critical that the three district councillors attack the LDF policy and are able to incorporate that land for future development - which we feel would make a much better site for Budleigh.

“The LDF looks forward 20 years and, if we have got places coming forward, that would be it for Budleigh for the next 20 years.

“It’s not an open door because we, as a town, would be filling our quota for affordable housing.”

The Greenway Lane allotments fall outside the town’s building line, within an exemption site, and, as a result, the council can impose stricter restrictions on developers should the build get the go-ahead, added Cllr Hall.

Cllr Hall said: “Isn’t it better to think forward that we can partly change things they will contain, giving us breathing space.”